Pedal cars provided by Tom Thumb Safety Village were a big draw for last year’s Emergency Preparedness Fair at Juan de Fuca Recreation. The 2015 event happens there this Sunday.

Fire trucks a teaser for emergency prep fair in Colwood

Mini-workshops are a new addition to annual preparedness and safety exhibit

Providing an opportunity to inspect fire trucks and other emergency vehicles up close is a good way for organizers of this Sunday’s (May 3) emergency preparedness display and safety fair to attract families.

But the eighth annual event is about more than showing off the equipment used to respond to West Shore emergencies and to keep the public safe. It’s about teaching people how to keep themselves safe and be ready for disasters great and small, says Lt. Troy Mollin with the View Royal Fire Department.

Besides the outdoor parking lot displays at the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre and those inside the Juan de Fuca Seniors’ Centre, a new element to the fair will see local experts give short workshops on various topics.

“There’s the education component around things you can do to be prepared. It’s not that hard,” says Mollin, the fair’s joint co-ordinator and also View Royal’s emergency program officer.

“We’ll have 20- to 30-minute seminars or workshops around some of the things we talk about.”

Topics include how to put together emergency kits, what it means to practise “shelter-in-place” – where residents are asked to stay indoors and seal off any contact with potentially contaminated air outside – how to use social media in an emergency and more.

The event is timed to coincide with the start of Emergency Preparedness Week, being marked May 3 to 9 across Canada.

Not only does the fair showcase the various organizations involved in preparedness and recovery functions, people who are interested in volunteering for Emergency Social Services programs, search and rescue or other service providers can find out who’s recruiting.

Among the 40 different exhibitors will be all five West Shore fire departments, the Department of National Defence bomb disposal unit, Victoria Urban Search and Rescue, West Shore RCMP and a joint exhibit between the municipal ESS groups.

Kid-friendly elements include Tom Thumb Safety Village pedal cars, a burning house fire hose target and a bouncy castle.

The fair runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine.

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