Emergency preparedness week wraps up

If an emergency happens in your community, it may take emergency workers some time to reach you. You should be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for a minimum of 72 hours.

Last week was emergency preparedness week in B.C., with communities all over the province coming together to discuss being ready for local emergencies. On May 7 the Houston & District Chamber of Commerce hosted an emergency preparedness open house, at the Houston Fire Department from 10 a.m. – 2: p.m. During this time the public met with officials to discuss what they could do to be safe during an emergency.

Fire Chief Jim Daigneault said that the event went off without a hitch, and while many pamphlets were available at the event, all of the information can be found online.

Things like having enough food for 72 hours for your family and your pets in a ready go bag and having any important documents together and accessible is fundamental in being prepared for disaster.

At www.gov.bc.ca you can find both the prepared BC website, where you can be walked through the process of knowing your hazards, making a plan and preparing your kit.

Having gotten through spring without any major floods, and heading into summer with a class two fire ban already in effect and with the new fire rating of high danger (4), it should be kept in mind that for the Houston area, wildfires are the number one natural disaster and to be mindful of fire safety. “Campfires are still allowed,” said Daigneault, “But you got to use some common sense and caution so it doesn’t get away from you”.

People lighting campfires must ensure they have access to eight litres of water or a shovel during the time the campfire is lit. When finished, the fire must be completely extinguished and ashes be cool to the touch.

If a campfire escapes and starts a wildfire, offenders can be charged with $100,000-$1 million and face a sentence of up to one year in prison.

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