Are You Ready? Emergency Preparedness Week
Last week Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale announced May 1st begins Canada’s 21st annual Emergency Preparedness Week, with the theme “Plan. Prepare. Be Aware.”
This is a collaborative government initiative where provincial, territorial and federal emergency management organizations to run local activities to encourage Canadians to take three simple steps to become better prepared to face a range of emergencies: Know the risks; make a plan; and get an emergency kit.
Our dependence on technology to keep in touch with friends and family in an instant, but during a disaster, some of these tools could be compromised. Here are some tips on how to use technology in an emergency to stay informed:
- If possible, use non-voice channels like text messaging, email or social media. These use less bandwidth than voice communications and may work even when phone service doesn’t.
- If you must use a phone, keep your conversation brief and convey only vital information to emergency personnel and/or family. This will also conserve your phone’s battery.
- Unable to complete a call? Wait 10 seconds before redialing to help reduce network congestion. Cordless phones rely on electricity and will not work during a power outage. If you have a landline, keep at least one corded phone in your home.
- Keep extra batteries or a charger for your mobile device in your emergency kit. Consider getting a solar-powered, crank, or vehicle phone charger. If you don’t have a cell phone, keep a prepaid phone card in your emergency kit.
- Keep your contacts up to date on your phone, email and other channels. This will make it easier to reach important contacts, such as friends, family, neighbours, child’s school, or insurance agent.
- If you have a smartphone, save your safe meeting location(s) on its mapping application.
- Conserve your smartphone’s battery by reducing the screen’s brightness, placing your phone in airplane mode, and closing apps you are not using. You never know how long a power outage will last!
In an emergency or a life-threatening situation and ONLY then, call 9-1-1 for help. This can only be called, it cannot receive text messages. When individuals take concrete actions to be better prepared, they are better able to cope both during and after a major disaster. By planning ahead, you and your family will be better able to cope if an emergency happens. For more information, visit www.ontario.ca/beprepared. To receive email notices from the township for news and notices during an emergency, visit the website at www.cavanmonaghan.net and go to News and Public Notices and subscribe.