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Be prepared for an emergency


Click on the photo for a closer look The Weather Network's coverage through Emergency Preparedness Week
Click on the photo for a closer look The Weather Network's coverage through Emergency Preparedness Week

Sana Ahmed and Alexandra Pope, staff writers

May 3, 2011 — Emergency Preparedness Week is May 1st-7th, 2011. Know how to save your own life and protect your loved ones in case of a disaster.

If a tornado or other disaster hit your community, would you know what to do?
If a tornado or other disaster hit your community, would you know what to do?

From a tornado to a flood or earthquake, disaster can strike at any time, as recent national and global events demonstrate.

Emergency Preparedness Week (EPW) was launched by the Canadian government for precisely this reason. The main focus of EPW is educating the public on how to respond to a disaster in order to protect their own life and their loved ones.

The annual event is observed nation-wide in the first week of May. Each province organizes activities geared at generating more awareness of how to prepare for emergencies.

Following three important steps can help you be prepared for all types of emergencies:

  • Having an emergency kit
  • Making an emergency plan
  • Identifying risks in the region

Dan Hefkey, Ontario Commissioner of Community Safety, says having a three-day kit is the easiest and most crucial step.

“Depending on who you are or how old you are, mobility issues or if you have pets at home but really for us, one of the common denominators to preparedness is that three day kit. The kit that will help you, your loved ones and your pets to be able to work through three days of a disaster.”

Hefkey says a three-day supply of water, non-perishable food, and any necessary medications, as well as flashlights and extra batteries, are all good items to include in an emergency kit.

Environment Canada's WeatheRadio system broadcasts constantly
Environment Canada's WeatheRadio system broadcasts constantly

The recent deadly tornado outbreaks in the United States have also put the spotlight on weather radios.

Environment Canada operates WeatheRadio, a cross-continental network of radio transmitters that provide continuous broadcasts of weather information. New WeatheRadio receivers can be programmed to automatically alert you when severe weather is happening in your area.

The receivers cost anywhere from $60 to $100 and are available at most electronics retailers.

Click here to find the WeatheRadio transmitting station nearest you.

The Weather Network will be airing special reports on emergency preparedness every day until May 7th, so be sure to tune in.

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