SASKATOON – Recent natural disasters such as the flooding in eastern Canada and the forest fires in northern Alberta is giving emergency preparedness week a renewed importance in Saskatchewan.
The City of Saskatoon is using the week as an education tool for residents, advising them to have enough supplies on hand for 72 hours during storms and extended power outages.
Eron McCormick, Saskatoon’s emergency measures co-ordinator, said most people wait for an emergency or an incident to happen before they plan for that event.
McCormick recommends stocking non-perishable foods, a manual can opener, batteries and flashlights as basic items to deal with an extended period of being stuck in your home without electricity.
He also suggested residents register with the city’s “notify now” emergency system, which delivers text messages and emails with instructions in serious situations.
McCormick said some worry about registering because they think they’ll get a lot of needless notifications, but that’s not the case.
“We only send out two test notifications a year,” he said. “We really need more people to get involved.”
But most importantly, McCormick wants everyone to have a plan in case of disaster.
“You might have to leave the city and stay with family,” he said, pointing to the Fort McMurray wildfire as an example.
“If your family is prepared, your community may be prepared and then our city is stronger and more independent.”