Officials stress the need to be prepared for all types of emergencies
Woolwich & Wellesley Township's Local Community Newspaper | Elmira, Ontario, Canada
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Officials stress the need to be prepared for all types of emergencies

Avril Tanner is Woolwich’s community emergency management coordinator. [Bill Atwood]

In conjunction with National Emergency Preparedness week, local officials are reminding residents to “be prepared for anything.”

Avril Tanner, community emergency management coordinator for Woolwich Township, said the importance of being prepared for anything has increased in recent years.

“More and more we are starting to see that with climate change we have other things that occur. Emergencies can happen at any time and without warning. Just being prepared actually makes it safe for the whole community,” she said.

Part of being prepared includes having an emergency plan which can look very different for each individual or family depending on the circumstances, Tanner noted.

“If you have any family members with special needs that you need to consider, or family pets – what you will do with your pets? Things like where you are going to store copies of important documentation.”

The government of Canada’s website on emergency preparedness (getprepared.gc.ca) states a number of factors to think about when developing your plan. These include: having safe exits from your home and neighbourhood, deciding on a meeting place to reunite with family or roommates, designating a person to pick up children should you be unavailable, and location of your fire extinguisher, water valve, electrical panel, gas valve and floor drain.

Tanner also noted the importance of having a 72-hour emergency kit.

“Things you might want to include in that kit would be change of clothes, food and water for 72 hours, should you need to evacuate and not necessarily have that handy. You should have a bag ready to go that has the things you need to get by for a few days,” she said.

“The key is to make sure [items] are organized and easy to find. Would you be able to find your flashlight in the dark? Make sure your kit is easy to carry and everyone in the household knows where it is,” the getprepared website says.

Tanner is also encouraging residents to sign up to the region’s alert system at alertwr.ca.

“Everyone has a role to play in an emergency. Being prepared ensures that our community continues to grow ever more resilient in emergency response,” the region’s Emergency Management Office said in a release marking the week.

“During an emergency people want to stay informed,” said Tanner.

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