How To: Prepare for an Emergency

Calgary isn’t exactly a hotbed of possible emergency scenarios. Short of the unlikely yet surprisingly popular zombie invasion, our city is well insulated against disaster. That doesn’t mean however that we shouldn’t be diligent in our preparation. In conjunction with Emergency Preparedness Week, CREB® Now offers the following suggestions to help make it through that earthquake, tornado, explosion, outbreak or downpour.

” height=”150″ class=”alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-4286″ />Responding to an emergency scenario can sometimes mean calling the proper authority. In addition to the tried and true standby of dialing 9-1-1 for ambulance, fire, police and hazardous materials spills, Calgarians can call ATCO Gas (403-245-7222) or ENMAX Power (403-514-6100) for gas or electrical related emergencies. To contact the Poison Control Centre, dial 1-800-332-1414. For all other city services, dial 3-1-1 or use the City of Calgary’s new 311 smartphone app.

A good family emergency plan will have all the information you can put together regarding the people who can and will help you in the event of an emergency. The City recommends discussing your plan with those whom you list as out-of-area contacts so they understand you will be looking for help in an emergency. Choose an out-of-town contact everyone can reach in an emergency. A friend or relative who lives in another part of your city should also be listed and may be used as a contact and/or evacuation location.

In the unlikely event a weather-related emergency or similar catastrophe does fall upon our city, those who’ve taken the time to prepare an emergency kit will likely be the envy of those who haven’t. The Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) recommends having a 72-Hour Emergency Kit in your home. 72-Hour kits should include water (2L per person per day), canned or dried food, a manual can opener, a radio (wind-up models that do not require batteries are available), first aid kit, personal toiletry items, a flashlight, blankets and medication you or family members may need. Visit www.calgary.ca/cema for more information on 72-hour kits.

While preparing for tornados and earthquakes might be a bit foolhardy in Calgary, planning for a severe storm makes perfect sense. Summer storms can bring heavy rain, high winds, hail and intense lightning. Improving your yard drainage can minimize damage from heavy rains. Angle downspouts away from your house toward your lawn and not toward the neighbours’. Also, cap or install a backflow prevention valve on your basement floor drain and always keep your eavestroughs clean.

City of Calgary – CEMA

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