National Emergency Preparedness Week runs from May 6 to 12, 2012.
In a country that borders on three oceans and spans six time zones, creating an emergency response system that works for every region is a huge challenge. That’s why emergency management in Canada is a shared responsibility. That means everyone has an important role to play, including individuals, communities, governments, the private sector and volunteer organizations.
Basic emergency preparedness starts with each individual. if someone cannot cope, emergency first responders such as police, fire and ambulance services will provide help.
Barriere Emergency Support Services (BESS) members would like to invite local residents to visit their display at the AG Foods parking lot on May 11, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. There will be representatives from BESS, the Barriere Fire Department, Simpcw, Search and Rescue, the RCMP and the Ambulance Services all on hand to answer any questions you may have regarding what services they will provide in an emergency. There will also be cake, coffee and juice available for all to enjoy.
Here are some interesting facts:
• Canada gets more tornadoes than any other country except the U.S., averaging about 50 tornadoes per year.
• Some hailstones are the size of peas, while others can be as big as baseballs.
• The deadliest heat wave in Canadian history produced temperatures exceeding 44C in Manitoba and Ontario in 1936. Rail lines and bridge girders twisted, sidewalks buckled, crops wilted and fruit baked on trees.
• In 2007, the Prairies experienced 410 severe weather events including tornadoes, heavy rain, wind and hail, nearly double the yearly average of 221 events.
• The coldest temperature reached in North America was -63C, recorded in 1947 in Snag, Yukon.
• One of the most destructive and disruptive storms in Canadian history was the 1998 ice storm in Eastern Canada, causing hardship for four million people and costing $3 billion. Power outages lasted for up to four weeks.
• Roughly 5,000 earthquakes are recorded in Canada every year.
• Approximately 85 per cent of Canadians agree that having an emergency kit is important in ensuring their and their family’s safety, yet only four in ten have prepared or bought an emergency kit.
For more information on what goes into a basic kit, go to www.getprepared.ca.