Emergency Preparedness Week May 7-13, 2017 Print Article Font Size
If there were a large-scale emergency in the community, would you and your family be prepared? As Emergency Preparedness Week nears, the time is right to know the risks and develop your own emergency plan.

According to getprepared.gc.ca, Emergency Preparedness Week, which runs May 7-13, is a national awareness initiative that has taken place annually since 1996. This year, the theme is Plan. Prepare. Be Aware. The theme highlights the importance of keeping up to date on current conditions, like the weather, that might impact you.

“This is particularly timely with the upcoming spring freshet,” says Kyle Hale, Golden and Area Emergency Program Coordinator. “In addition, we have higher than normal snow levels in the alpine this year so the risk of flooding is elevated. We will be focused on keeping the public aware of the conditions and reminding people to stay away from the rivers as the weather starts to warm and the thaw begins.”

Hale says it is important for people to be prepared to be self sufficient for at least 72 hours in the case of an emergency so that Emergency Services teams can focus on the most vulnerable in the community.

“That means having enough food and water to get by without power or tap water, medication if needed and a plan that allows the whole family – including pets – to get to safety if instructed to do so by emergency responders.”

In our area, Golden and District Search and Rescue and Golden Fire Rescue are the first responders. Hale explains that in a large scale emergency, the local Emergency Management Program would be activated to support those organizations. In Golden and area, the top identified hazards are interface forest fires, flooding and hazardous material spills.

“There is a lot of planning we can do to protect ourselves in the case of an emergency,” Hale says. “This includes a family escape plan and educating all family members on a safe meeting place outside your home.”

The Get Prepared website, www.getprepared.gc.ca, has a wealth of information, checklists and even a printable family emergency kit that you can create online. Check your kit twice a year and re-stock as needed.

Golden works under a joint emergency program between the Town and the CSRD and supports emergencies within the community. That program is active year-round with training scenarios and preparedness exercises to response to emergencies.

For more information on our local Emergency Management Program and emergency preparedness, contact Kyle.hale@goldeneoc.ca.