Are you ready? Emergency Preparedness Week returns May 5-12, 2019

Get prepared through various events throughout Squamish

How prepared are you and your family for safety in the event of an emergency, evacuation or natural disaster? Emergency Preparedness Week, a national awareness initiative designed to help Canadians become better prepared for major emergencies, returns May 5 to 12  with emergency preparedness activities taking place throughout Squamish.

"Emergency preparedness is not something we can take lightly because of where we live and because a changing climate may increase the intensity and frequency of flood and wildfire events. The District continues to focus on emergency preparedness and community resiliency, and we will only be successful with the active participation of our citizens,” says District of Squamish Mayor Karen Elliott. “Because we live in an area prone to multiple types of hazards, we urge all residents to develop, update and practice their own emergency plan to ensure personal safety in the event an emergency situation. The first 72-hours in an emergency event are absolutely critical. Sign up for the SquamishAlert emergency notification system to make sure you are alerted in case of emergency and know how to respond. Then know your muster point, know your neighbours, and prepare yourself and your family by keeping your household emergency kit up to date.”

Know the risks:

  • Wildfire: Dry, hot weather puts any community at an increased risk for wildfire. The District of Squamish has received $100,000 in grant funding to support FireSmart initiatives that will help home homeowners identify and address wildfire threats on their property. The funding will allow for more Community Chipping Days in Squamish, during which residents in neighbourhoods located within close proximity to the wildland urban interface will be encouraged to FireSmart their property by bringing excess yard waste to the curb where it will be chipped and disposed of for free. View the list of neighbourhoods chosen for the program at http://squamish.ca/firesmart. Adopting FireSmart principles to your home and property can help reduce the potential impact of wildfires, and will help firefighters better defend your home. Visit Squamish Fire Rescue at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday, May 4 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for information on how to FireSmart your home, and learn more at http://squamish.ca/firesmart
  • Flood: Flooding is one of the most common environmental hazards in Canada. The District of Squamish Emergency Program works closely with the Canadian Red Cross to ensure the delivery of basic support services during emergencies and disasters which could affect the community. Squamish was one of three Canadian communities chosen for a recent door-to-door pilot program to boost flood risk awareness and emergency preparedness at the household level. Residents can learn more about what do to during a major flood event, and what the District is doing to manage local flood risk at http://squamish.ca/floods

The public is invited to get involved in the following Emergency Preparedness Week activities:

  • SquamishAlert Notification System Test: Subscribe to the free SquamishAlert emergency system, or complete your existing profile, to receive important emergency information by phone, email and text. A community-wide system test will take place on Tuesday, May 7 at 1 p.m. Sign up at http://squamish.ca/alert to create your account and stay informed.
  • Community Chipping Day: Residents living in select addresses on Arrowhead Road, Depot Road, Government Road, Ross Road and Woodland Place are invited to participate in the free Community Chipping Day on Sunday, May 5. For addresses and details visit http://squamish.ca/firesmart
  • Emergency Preparedness Station: Drop by the Squamish Emergency Program station all week long for valuable information and resources to help you and your family get prepared. Residents can also enter to win a four-person household Emergency Kit! Monday, May 6 through Friday, May 10, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Brennan Park Recreation Centre.
  • Squamish Emergency Program at the Squamish Farmers’ Market: Visit the Squamish Emergency Program at the Squamish Farmer’s Market for emergency planning tips and resources. Saturday, May 11, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the corner of Cleveland Avenue and Victoria Street.

The District takes its responsibility to be prepared for community emergencies very seriously and works in partnership with local first responder agencies to develop and implement best practices to protect the community in the event of an emergency, evacuation or natural disaster.

The District has recently completed the draft Sea to Sky Multimodal Evacuation Plan, a proactive plan that outlines steps the District would take in the event of a mass evacuation. Developed with the Resort Municipality of Whistler, the plan allows the District to make critical decisions before and after an evacuation order is issued. The plan includes a comprehensive analysis of Highway 99 traffic and how we can most efficiently use the available modes of transportation we have in place today. The draft plan will be presented to Council on Tuesday, May 21. Residents should stay tuned for public engagement opportunities to view highlights of the plan, learn more about the risks in their neighbourhood, understand their evacuation zone and central muster points, and know how to create a 72-hour emergency kit. 

For more information about the District of Squamish Emergency Program and for emergency planning tips and resources visit http://squamish.ca/emergency-program. To subscribe to the SquamishAlert emergency notification system visit http://squamish.ca/alert.  

May 3, 2019

Post your comment

Comments

No one has commented on this page yet.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments