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Majority of British Columbians have poor emergency preparedness: poll

Less than 25 per cent of British Columbians have an emergency kit and plan
Emergency kit items. (Stock photo)

Only 38 per cent of British Columbians have prepared an emergency kit, and just 22 per cent have a plan in the event of a natural disaster or other major emergency, according to a new Research Co. poll.

Despite that, the poll says 75 per cent of British Columbians believe a high-magnitude earthquake will hit B.C. within the next 50 years.

Research Co. president Mario Canseco says Vancouver Island is the most prepared, with 45 per cent of residents having an emergency kit and plan, while northern B.C. (29 per cent) and southern B.C. (30 per cent) are the least prepared.

The poll also suggests that two-thirds of British Columbians have confidence in the provincial government to properly handle an emergency, 63 per cent have confidence in their municipal government and 59 per cent in the federal government.

Major fires and earthquakes are the disasters British Columbians are most worried about, while tsunamis and landslides provide the least worry among respondents.

Compared to their older counterparts, respondents aged 18 to 34 are more likely to have a fully prepared emergency kit.

The poll, which reached 800 people online, comes during one of the worst wildfire seasons in recent history, with many British Columbians being forced to evacuate their homes.

Emergency kits should contain a minimum of three days worth of non-perishable foods, four litres of water per person per day, a way to charge your phone, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio and flashlight, a first aid kit, whistle, personal toiletries, copies of important documents and cash in small bills.

An emergency plan should consist of safe ways out of your home and neighbourhood, a meeting place for family and friends, out-of-town contacts, health and insurance information and location of any emergency devices, such as a fire extinguisher, water and gas valves and electrical panel.

READ MORE: Interior B.C. emergency animal shelter overcrowded, asking for help amid wildfires


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