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Plan Ahead and Be Safe

Preparing for Emergencies

Sometimes things can happen, unexpected accidents or extreme situations or weather occurrences which can humble each of us in an instant. Some examples could be leaving a candle unattended and then develops into a fire or worse yet a house fire, it could be extreme weather such as storm resulting in high water levels, possible flooding, or even a having the community siren going off to indicate a tsunami warning or other emergency situation.

Preparing Your Family for an Emergency

Here in Coast Salish territory, we can be vulnerable to natural disasters – like floods, forest fires, earthquakes or tsunamis. There are things you can do as a family to help prepare for an unexpected emergency.

- Make an emergency plan and talk about it together. The plan should include things like identifying escape routes from your house, collecting contact information, noting everyone’s responsibilities, and having a set place to meet if you get separated. BC has a great fillable template you can complete to collect everything all in one place here

- Put together an emergency kit in a large waterproof tote. The kit should contain everything your family might need for a few days in an emergency. This includes a first aid kit, prescriptions and other personal items, a battery-powered or hand crank radio and flashlight, a whistle, phone charger, non-perishable food and water for at least 3 days, garbage bags, moist towelettes and twist ties, blankets, clothing and footwear, a copy of your emergency plan and cash.

- Make a go bag. Fill a backpack with a smaller version of your emergency kit that you can easily grab if you need to escape quickly.

In order to encourage families with children ages 0-6, Lottie Cook, 4 seasons Early Years Outreach Worker, developed a two session Emergency Preparedness which took place in Qualicum and Stz’uminus location although open for membership from KL’s membership to attend.

“It has received a great response and it’s also been a real eye-opener for myself and participants in creating awareness for each other,” Lottie continues, “Participants having been sharing their goals and making lists of items that they feel is important in the event of an emergency of any sort and the importance of being prepared and having a plan if something goes wrong.”

The participants have really taken this program to heart when discussing and planning what they need in creating a family emergency kit to meet the needs of their family unit.

“It’s been awesome to witness the brainstorming and parents/caregivers engaging the young one on items that they would need in the event of an emergency” says Lottie “The response to this program being held at Qualicum First Nation and Stz’uminus First Nation locations has just been amazing! I have been witnessing the families working together and supporting one another as well as sharing ideas to help customize their ‘Grab-and-Go bags.

We never know what will happen next in life. So, if we start having conversations around safety and emergency preparedness, creating safety strategies and planning as family units in a collaborative manner then we are doing our jobs in keeping everybody safe for potentially anything and that is priceless. (Lottie Cook)

Read more stories from our Tum'xuytl Newsletter here


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