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Emergency preparedness is key for every southern Alberta community

Posted on April 7, 2015 by Sunny South News

By Stan Ashbee
Sunny South News

What should an everyday Sally or Joe Albertan do in an emergency? For starters, being prepared for an emergency is key. During Canada Emergency Preparedness Week being held May 3-9, the Town of Coaldale and the Real Estate Centre in Coaldale are offering residents a Community Information Night May 7 at 6:30 p.m. at the Gem of the West Museum.
The meeting will include a short video and power-point presentation from the government of Canada plus disaster preparedness kits will be available. The town will also be providing an update on flood mitigation efforts in Coaldale.
Usually, a full Canadian Red Cross emergency preparedness kit sells for $60. It is hoped generous local sponsors will get on board, so the first 100 residents donating $30 to the Canadian Red Cross can purchase a kit at the information session. There will also be a draw for a free kit.
Kit contents include waterproof matches, non-battery flashlight/radio/alarm crank, candle, knife, blanket, first aid kit and more. For more information about the information night or to be a kit sponsor contact 403-345-5100.
“I was just looking online and I was looking for how to be prepared for myself and I saw it was a national preparedness week,” said Doreen Lloyd, from the Real Estate Centre in Coaldale, so she thought why not do something big.
Lloyd noted there will be a variety of different information booths set up including Coaldale Emergency Services and it is hoped a Canadian Red Cross presentation will be a part of the event.

According to the Canadian Red Cross, the organization has developed a comprehensive disaster preparedness kit to help Canadians prepare for short-term power outages or major disasters or make your own kit. The Red Cross recommends you keep a disaster preparedness kit in your home with enough supplies to meet your family’s needs for at least 72 hours. By taking the time now to store food, water and other supplies, Canadians can provide for their entire families in the event of an emergency. It is important to store these supplies together in a sturdy and easy-to-carry bag, such as a backpack that can easily be used in an emergency situation.

*Water: During an emergency, tap water can become polluted or supply may be cut off. Canadians should store two litres of drinking water and two litres of water for washing per person, per day. A 72-hour supply should also always be kept on hand for family members and pets. Once per year, it is important to rotate your water supply and add fresh water to your kit. It is also recommended to listen to public announcements about treating the water in an affected area after a disaster.

*Food: Store at least a 72-hour supply of non-perishable food for each person. Select foods that are compact and lightweight, non-perishable and require no refrigeration, cooking, preparation or added water. Once a year, check the expiration dates of your food items. Ensure there is enough for each member of your family.

Items to perhaps pack: manual can opener, extra keys — for house and car, cash in small bills, special needs items (medications, infant formula) and important family documents (copies of birth and marriage certificates, passports, licences, wills, land deeds and insurance). Additional items to consider: change of clothing and footwear for each person, pet food and pet medication, toilet paper, duct tape and sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person.

Coaldale Mayor Kim Craig said the town welcomes the opportunity to report back to the community on the status of various projects and procedures — either completed, underway, or contemplated — to address flood mitigation.

“We are very pleased to be able to collaborate with the Coaldale Real Estate Centre to highlight the importance of every household being prepared for emergencies. Please join us at the Gem of the West Museum on May 7 for what promises to be an informative evening,” said Craig.

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