From the smallest of viruses to the largest of flooding, Calgarians are being asked to be prepared for when disaster strikes.
The annual Emergency Preparedness Week kicked off this week, and runs through Saturday. The national awareness campaign, run by Public Safety Canada, aims to help Canadians to “be ready for anything.”
“Every emergency is different but having a plan will help you and your family know what to do and who to contact in different situations,” said Calgary Emergency Agency Chief Sue Henry.
The City of Calgary’s focus for this year was to help Calgarians be prepared for severe weather events.
“May to September is the time of year we can see extreme spring and summer weather events in our city, including: summer storms, flooding, hail, and extreme heat,” said Chief Henry.
The city has challenged younger Calgarians to take part in the Junior Weather Forecasters Challenge. Families can use city resources to learn how to create a homemade weather station, watch webinars from Environment Canada, and track the weather using city-made observation forms.
Starting Friday, the city will be promoting its Ready Squad program, targeted at educating kids aged 7-12. Additional disaster risk exploring tools and disaster response resources will be made available on the City of Calgary website.
The Telus Spark Science Centre also took part in helping young Calgarians be prepared this week. They hosted presentations from CEMA and CANTF2 members.
The centre is also running an interactive exhibit called “Rescue,” which runs until May 15. The exhibit features interactive games and experiences, including helicopter and jetski water rescues, and a replica burning building, to teach Calgarians about how first responders rescue people.
72-hour home emergency kits encouraged
The Calgary Emergency Management Agency has also provided resources for creating 72-hour preparedness kit for home use. An additional guide was created to assist pet owners to keep their animals safe during an emergency.
On Thursday, May 5, the city will also be releasing additional vehicle readiness and vehicle emergency kit information.
Some of the items the City of Calgary suggests Calgarians include in their home emergency kit include:
- An emergency action plan
- Four litres of bottled water, per person, per day—for a family of four this would be 48 litres of water
- A minimum of three days of food that requires minimal preparation
- A first aid kit
- Any medication needed by family members
- Wind up flashlight and radio
- External battery pack or wind-up phone charger
- Dust masks and duct tape to help shelter-in place from the elements
- Warm clothes and blankets or sleeping bags
- Personal sanitation items including garbage bags
- A whistle for getting attention
- Important documents and cash in small bills or coins