Participants at least year’s event steer a B.C. Hazmat car around a course. This year’s 11th annual regional emergency preparedness fair and display takes place on Sunday, May 6. (Gazette file photo)

Get advice on emergency preparedness from the experts

Annual emergency preparedness fair goes May 6 in Colwood

Being prepared could mean a world of difference in the event of an earthquake, tsunami, wildfire or other natural disaster.

That’s exactly what emergency response agencies are hoping to teach residents during the 11th annual regional emergency preparedness fair and display next weekend.

As part of the free fair, which helps kick off Emergency Preparedness Week, agencies throughout Greater Victoria including fire, police, ambulance, search and rescue, Emergency Management B.C., the Red Cross and the Salvation Amy will be on hand to educate residents about how they can be prepared.

There will also be emergency vehicles, equipment and emergency supplies, as well as interactive activities for kids, giveaways, draws and a couple of food vendors.

RELATED: View Royal fire department sent to battle B.C. wildfires

In the wake of the devastating fires that ripped through Interior B.C. last summer, Capt. Troy Mollin, emergency management officer with View Royal Fire Rescue, said this year’s theme is focused on being prepared in the event of a wildfire.

“We’re getting warmer and dryer summers and spring. It’s just a change in weather trends,” Mollin said. “We want people to be prepared for all hazards in the region.”

Last year’s 10th annual event drew a couple thousand people and organizers expect to see a similar crowd this year as well.

RELATED: Being prepared a key to survival, say West Shore emergency providers

With the tsunami warning issued earlier this year and a series of smaller earthquakes that were felt around the region in recent months, Mollin said more people are becoming aware of the need to be prepared, but there’s still a ways to go.

“I think it’s slowly catching on, but it’s not where we want it to be. I don’t think we could ever get to 100 per cent preparedness but we can always start doing better, we can always move forward and be more prepared as individuals and as communities,” he said. “We hope that they [residents] will be motivated to prepare themselves for emergencies and that they’re more aware of the risks that we have in this community and the things that they can do to be better prepared.”

RELATED: Hundreds learn to prepare for disasters and more in Colwood

The regional emergency preparedness fair and display takes place at the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre on Sunday, May 6 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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