Leah Marlay, Vancouver PD
One of the most valuable benefits of participating in Block Watch is getting to know your neighbours. It is your neighbours who you and your family will be closest to if you are home when disaster strikes. People naturally work together when tragedies happen but having a Block Watch contact list and knowing your neighbours – even a little bit – can help you survive until emergency services can get to you.
The Block Watch Society of BC hosted a province-wide Emergency Preparedness training presentation late last year over a virtually webinar. We hope it was just what people needed to motivate them to start that “grab and go kit,” make that family meeting plan or start a group emergency preparedness initiative.
We also have a new brochure to help advertise this topic between Captains and their group. Please contact your local Block Watch coordinator to receive your copy or to be connected to city resources.
Being connected with your neighbours and having an emergency plan will help maintain order, comfort, safety and will save lives.
Tips: Emergency Preparedness
Mike Moyer, Regional District of North Okanagan
If an emergency happens in your community, it may take emergency workers some time to reach you. Be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for a minimum of 72 hours.
Know what you’ll face
Part of preparation is knowing what kind of disasters you might face and knowing what to do in each situation.
Learn your area’s evacuation routes
The time to figure these things out isn’t while an interface fire is bearing down on your home or after an emergency warning has been issued. Evacuations are pretty common, so it will serve you well to know the details ahead of time.
Know how you’ll reconnect with people
If cell networks aren’t working, consider how you will contact your family or your roommates. How will you let others know you are alright? Figuring this out ahead of time can make everything so much more comfortable in a difficult situation.
Learn what to do if you’re caught away from home
You may not be at home when disaster strikes. In an emergency, you should be prepared to react from different locations, including your workplace or car. Most of this is pretty basic stuff — again, know your evacuation routes, communication plan and how you’ll receive an emergency notification.
Prepare for your pets
The goal of emergency preparedness is to keep the whole family safe — and that includes our pets. If you need to evacuate, you should never leave your pet behind. Keep a pet emergency kit on hand with food and other vital items.