Emergency Preparedness Week underway

Castlegar taking lower-key approach this time around

Emergency planning must be timely in order to be effective

Emergency planning must be timely in order to be effective

Although Castlegar Fire-rescue personnel are always on the lookout for public relations opportunities, as well as venues for promoting public safety, this time around the department, according to Deputy Chief Duane Monsen, is taking a lower profile approach to Emergency Preparedness Week than in some years past.

“We’ve got helpful information available, pamphlets and such,” said Monsen on May 7. “But we don’t have anything big going on this time.”

The deputy chief indicated his department had a highly visible presence during the recent Spring Fling celebration in downtown Castlegar, and also had a joint publicity effort with Canadian Tire coming up later this month.

What follows is some information, as contained in a news release from the B.C. Government on the topic of Emergency Preparedness Week.

British Columbia has joined jurisdictions across Canada in marking May 6 to 12 as Emergency Preparedness Week.

Emergency Preparedness Week is a national awareness campaign co-ordinated by Public Safety Canada, in close collaboration with the provinces, territories and municipal partners. Since 1996, the campaign has served to educate Canadians of the value in emergency planning and preparedness for emergencies and disasters of all kinds.

British Columbia faces many hazards, most stemming from natural disasters. While the Province works closely with other levels of government to help ensure public-safety response and emergency management, safety begins at home with individual and family preparedness.

When disaster strikes, emergency workers may not reach everyone immediately, or even for several days. Families should be prepared to take care of themselves for a minimum of 72 hours. The impacts of any emergency or disaster can be lessened by knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency and by identifying the risks, having a plan and a kit prepared.

During Emergency Preparedness Week, British Columbians are encouraged to take three simple steps to become better prepared to face a range of emergencies:

• Know the risks specific to your community.

• Develop a family emergency plan and practise it.

• Prepare emergency kits for your home and your vehicle.