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Being prepared for an emergency

Sana Ahmed and Alexandra Pope, staff writers

May 2, 2011 — Knowing how to save your own life will come in handy.

Tornadoes can be a deadly event
Tornadoes can be a deadly event

From tornadoes, to floods and earthquakes, natural disasters have become a seemingly prominent feature of current weather-related news.

Emergency Preparedness Week was launched by the Canadian government precisely because of this reason. The agency's main aim is to pre-emptively provide critical advice during a weather emergency.

The annual event is observed nation-wide in the first week of May. Each province organizes activities that create more awareness on how to better prepare for emergencies.

Following three important steps can help prepare for all types of emergencies:

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

Dan Hefkey, Ontario Commissioner of Comnunity Safety, says having a three-day kit is the number one item to have ready at all times.

“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.”

Officials say 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.

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