Report from Parliament Hill:
Emergency Preparedness Week reminds everyone to think about safety this season
Bob Nault, MP, Kenora Riding
The sunshine is out and slowly we’re seeing a steady rise in temperatures across the riding. Now that many residents are returning to the lake, it’s a good time to think about water safety. Last week was also Emergency Preparedness Week, which is a good reminder to be prepared instead of caught off guard.
Here in Northwestern Ontario we tend to be pretty protected when it comes to natural disasters. One of the more prevalent issues we deal with is the threat of forest fires. Unfortunately, as the weather continues to warm, we’re likely to see more forest fires according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. So while we often don’t have to deal with emergency evacuations, it’s always good to be ready.
The Red Cross continues to remind all Canadians to have an emergency plan and kit ready. They recommend being prepared to take care of yourself and your family for a minimum of 72 hours. The Red Cross also suggests having a household plan, as well as a meeting plan, in case you are not all together when an emergency happens. You can find helpful tips including what to include in an emergency kit on their website www.getprepared.gc.ca<https://www.getprepared.gc.ca/index-en.aspx>.
Of course, living in an area with so many bodies of water means we have other safety concerns to consider. Unfortunately, 2016 saw a spike in the number of drowning deaths in Ontario. The majority of these deaths happened on lakes in the province with no lifeguard supervision. The Lifesaving Society of Canada urges swimmers to be aware of their own limits and swim within them.
Another big aspect of lake-living is boat safety. We should all know the laws of boating, like having lifejackets, a paddle, and a bucket on board, etc., but another important aspect to consider is the weather. This also goes for anyone using the incredible trails we have in the area. Whenever you go outside it’s always a good idea to look up the weather before you go and then monitor it while you’re out.
This summer I want everyone to take advantage of this beautiful area we call home. Whether it’s swimming, boating, hiking or camping, get out into nature and have fun. At the same time I encourage everyone to stay safe and always plan ahead.