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Emergency preparedness in focus next week

Friday, 29 April 2011 - 12:35pm
By Duane Hicks

Is your family prepared?
Next week is “Emergency Preparedness Week” in the Town of Fort Frances, and the public is being encouraged take a little time to think about having a plan in case of a crisis.
The Municipal Emergency Control Group has put together an information sheet, which will be distributed to every household in town on Monday.
Fire safety specialist Wayne Riches said this morning the information sheet, which is perfect for hanging on the fridge, includes reminders of what people should do to prepare for an emergency.
For example, you should know what the risks are in your community (i.e., blizzard, tornado, drought, wildfire, industrial accidents, etc.)
You also should prepare a kit that would let an individual or family survive for a 72-hour period.
This would include at least two litres of water per person per day, flashlight and batteries, food that won’t spoil and a manual can-opener, a first-aid kit, and a radio.
Candles and matches/lighter, extra keys for vehicle and house, and some cash also should be included.
The kit also should contain special items such as prescription medications, infant formula, and equipment for people with disabilities, as well as a copy of the emergency plan and contact information.
It’s also a good idea to always have a basic kit in your vehicle, which would include food that won’t spoil, water, a blanket, extra clothing and shoes, a candle in a can with matches, first-aid kit with seatbelt cutter, warning light/road flares, small shovel, scraper, and snowbrush, and a list of contact numbers.
You also should draw up an emergency plan that takes into account escape routes (i.e., emergency exits from the home and escape routes from the neighbourhood), as well as meeting places for families who may not be together when an emergency occurs.
As well, you should write down how to get hold of your children, relatives, and other important contacts in case of an emergency (i.e., family doctors, insurance agents, neighbours, etc.), along with pertinent health information for family members with special needs.
Finally, you should keep in mind that some public shelters or hotels don’t allow pets, and that pet owners should make alternate arrangements for their pets to be fed and cared for if they do have to
evacuate their home.
The Fort Frances Fire and Rescue Service will cap off the week off with its annual “Spring into Summer” campaign next Saturday (May 7) at Canadian Tire.
Riches said firefighters will be on hand from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. to offer information on fire safety, as well as answer any questions.
There also will be displays, booths, trucks, plenty of giveaways, and a draw for a child’s bike.
“Anyone who has any questions about emergency preparedness, we’re going to have lots of information to give out, as well,” noted Riches.
“I imagine we should have a big turnout.”

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