Neighbourhoods boast emergency prep packs

Residents should be ready for 72 hours without aid

If you lived in Greater Victoria in 1996, you remember The Snowstorm.

When the first flakes began to fall 15 years ago on the morning of Dec. 21, few realized that by the time the storm ended the entire region would be thrown into survival mode.

The roads were closed, which meant many stores stayed shuttered, which meant too many people were left woefully unprepared.

In Langford, home to 17,500 residents at the time, a decision was made to make sure the community was better prepared.

The municipality organized a group of volunteers to better help residents caught up in catastrophe.

“People were stranded all across the area, stranded by the snowstorm,” said Tom Burchill, a director with Langford Emergency Support Services. “Since then people have been stranded by power outages, wind storms – all sorts of natural disasters.”

Among the strategies developed was a plan to store materials needed to create emergency reception centres at strategic locations across Langford.

The kits are tucked away until needed and include signage and administrative materials to organize people who have been displaced by an emergency.

The problem, however, is Langford is growing so quickly that new neighbourhoods are sprouting up in need of their very own reception centres.

Last month, volunteers brought four large bins to Crystal View elementary school, located in a relatively new neighbourhood.

Langford also has kits stored for emergency reception centres at Willway, Happy Valley, Lakewood and Spencer schools. The Eagle Ridge arena can also serve as a reception centre in event of disaster.

Each centre can be quickly set up to help people who find themselves without a home. However, it’s also important for individuals to help themselves.

“One of the big things I’m involved in is educating the public on emergency preparedness,” Burchill said, explaining that everyone should be prepared to make due on their own for 72 hours.

People also need to plan for the unthinkable, such as a fire or flood that forces them to leave their home suddenly.

 

Families should have an emergency bag packed and stored near an exit in case they need to grab it and run.

 

 

Just Posted

Victoria police seize over one kilo of fentanyl, guns and cars

Andrew Ritch is facing charges of drug trafficking and firearm offences

Tour de Victoria rolls through the region Saturday

Expect traffic delays across Greater Victoria on Aug. 18

Fire chief stops driving lesson to fight fire

Sooke fire concerned over second suspicious bin fire this year

UPDATE: Missing Langford teen found safe

The 13-year-old Langford boy reported missing Wednesday has been found

West Shore firefighters answer call to battle fires in north-central B.C.

Crews to help with structural fire protection in Fort St. James

B.C. wildfires 2018: Hazy skies impacting crews in spotting new fires

18,000 people are on an evacuation alert, with 3,000 homes under an evacuation order

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

B.C. program to educate parents reduces ‘shaken baby syndrome’ by 35%

Period of PURPLE Crying was launched nearly a decade ago

UPDATED: Vancouver Island community under evacuation alert due to wildfire

BC Wildfire Service says steep terrain near Zeballos poses challenge as “out of control” wildfire approaches homes

Most Read