National Emergency Preparedness Week is May 2 to 8 and the City of Red Deer encourages citizens to know the risks in their area, make a plan and prepare a 72-hour emergency kit that includes essential documents.
Karen Mann, the city’s director of emergency management, said Alberta has experienced some of Canada’s worst disasters in the last 10 years.
“We’ve seen the impacts of widespread flooding. We’ve seen the impact of wildfire and grass fires. We’ve seen the impact of wind events, which we saw here in Red Deer in 2017,” Mann said.
“We are also continuing to navigate the complexities of a global pandemic which has really highlighted the importance in our community of decreasing vulnerability and increasing resilience.”
This year the city is specifically reminding residents to collect copies of critical and essential documents in case they have to evacuate their homes. That list includes identification, passports, insurance policies, mortgages, health cards, and contact information.
“It’s an added step that often gets overlooked.”
She said a family’s or individual’s emergency plan should also include family members who live in supportive living facilities, or others in the community that rely on them. Reach out to the organizations or agencies operating those facilities or programs to find out about their emergency plans in order to identify gaps.
Mann said now is also a good time to replace emergency food and water supplies for the upcoming year as the pandemic continues and the possibility of extreme weather this spring or summer.
But there is no need to engage in the panic buying that happened at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.
“I think there was a lot of fear that resulted in some panic buying. People didn’t know what to get. They weren’t sure what was coming. They felt very uncertain and insecure.
“As the pandemic progressed, people started to understand more about what they really do need to become self sufficient in their homes, and the importance of allowing others in the community to purchase things that they need as well so that we don’t end up in situations where we have shortages.”
Gradually building up emergency supplies, and replacing items to maintain supplies, can prevent panic buying in the future, she said.
For more information about emergency preparedness visit reddeer.ca/getprepared.