Be ready to act on emergency responder advice
Islanders can take real steps to protect themselves in an emergency during next week’s Emergency Preparedness Week (May 6-12).
In a natural disaster or other emergency, messages may come through emergency responders, local radio and TV, and government news and social media channels. Emergency messages can also come directly to Islanders’ compatible mobile devices from the PEI Emergency Measures Organization; the first test alert will take place next Wednesday (May 9) at 1:55 p.m.
“PEI Public Safety is responsible for communicating important messages with Islanders before, during and after an emergency,” Justice and Public Safety Minister Jordan Brown said. “When Islanders get any emergency message, it is important that they are ready to act on the advice of emergency responders.”
Get prepared to respond to emergency messages by following a few simple steps:
- Plan - Every family needs an emergency plan so they know what to do, where to meet and how to get in touch if disaster strikes.
- Prepare - During an emergency, Islanders should have an emergency kit with enough supplies for themselves and their families for the first 72 hours of an emergency.
- Be Aware - Know the natural risks in Prince Edward Island including hurricanes, extreme winter weather, and utility outages.
“Taking a few simple steps to prepare your family for emergencies will not only help keep you safe,” Minister Brown added, “but it also helps emergency workers focus on people with the most urgent needs during difficult situations.”
Preparedness tips are available at www.princeedwardisland.ca/preparedness Islanders following PEI Public Safety on Facebook and Twitter can enter to win prizes from the PEI Emergency Measures Organization including items to help them get started on their own emergency preparedness kits.
Here are some low or no-cost tips to being better prepared:
- know who to call for help, and how you will contact them in an emergency (arrange for more than one person -- such as a family member or neighbour --to check on you);
- make sure your civic address sign is in good condition and visible to emergency responders;
- test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on a regular basis;
- if you have a landline, keep a corded phone for emergencies (cordless phones require power to run) and have a charger for your cell phone;
- learn your apartment building’s evacuation plan (remember, a power outage will disable the elevator) and make an emergency plan with your neighbors so everyone can check on one another;
- photocopy your driver’s license, passport, birth certificate, and health card and give copies to trusted friends or family (this will help replace these documents if they are damaged or lost);
- include your pets’ vaccination records, a leash and collar, extra food, and water in your emergency preparedness kit and make plans for your pet in case you need to evacuate your home.
- keep your written prescriptions (including name and dosage) in your wallet and leave a copy with the people in your support network; and
- have a back-up power supply for any medical equipment that requires electricity, and make sure your support network knows how to use it. If possible, keep a manual wheelchair for back up (if you normally use an electric wheelchair) in case of an evacuation.