Editorial: Being prepared is key

It’s a phrase we’ve heard time and time again from emergency crews and officials. Be prepared in the event of a natural disaster.

In recent months, Mother Nature has proven she can be a fickle foe. Last Thursday the Kilauea volcano erupted, spewing molten rock and high levels of sulfur dioxide on Hawaii’s Big Island. As of Monday, 35 structures — including at least 26 homes — had been destroyed. Lava and hazardous fumes continued to pour out several days after the eruption as well.

A bit closer to home, municipalities across the West Shore have been prepping residents for natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tsunamis or wildfires for years, and continue to spread the message as part of Emergency Preparedness Week, which takes place the first week of May.

While there is obviously no danger of volcanoes erupting on the West Coast, the tsunami warning, which caused the evacuation of several homes throughout Greater Victoria earlier this year and the smaller earthquakes that rattled the region, are a stark reminder of how important it is to be prepared.

One of the first steps to emergency preparedness is creating home and grab-and-go emergency kits. Kits should include a First-Aid kit, battery powered or hand crank radio or flashlight, a whistle to signal for help, a cell phone and charger, seasonal clothing and water.

Kits should also include enough non-perishable food to last for three days to one week, and a manual can opener.

These items may not seem like much. You may even have many of these things tucked away in drawers in your home at this very moment. But put together they can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.

The information above and much more can be found on Emergency Management B.C.’s website. Heck – there’s even a section about what to do during a zombie apocalypse starting from outbreak to evacuation orders. From tsunamis and earthquakes to zombies – the key to survival is being prepared.


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