Preparing for Emergency
Recent environmental emergencies and extreme weather events remind us of the need to be prepared for emergencies of any kind. The June 23rd downburst in Sioux Lookout, our early heat wave, temperatures as high as unheard of 120 degrees F (48° C) in western Canada all speak to the reality of climate change. The numerous forest fires and the burning of an entire town in British Columbia remind us that we, here in Sioux Lookout, are not immune to similar emergencies. In the past week several people have mentioned to me their interest in being prepared.
Initially presented in an article in May, here is a repeat of what we can do to prepare ourselves for any emergency including an evacuation. First and foremost, keep an emergency kit containing:
- 2 litres of drinking water for each person in your household;
- 72 hours supply of non-perishable food that can be eaten uncooked – beans, canned fish, camping-like utensils including a can opener;
- Special needs items such as diapers, infant formula;
- Roll of toilet paper;
- Over the counter medications; a week’s supply of your prescription medications, first-aid kit;
- Sleeping bags;
- Change of under wear;
- Personal hygiene items (soap, towel, tooth brush, tooth paste etc;
- Flashlight and extra batteries if necessary;
- Battery operated radio if that is your only way of receiving news updates;
- At least $100 cash in small bills.
The following are also important strategies:
- Keep important documents (passports, status cards, birth certificates, health cards, wills, passwords etc.) in an easily retrievable place.
- Determine an out of town contact on whom you could call for shelter.
- IMPORTANT: keep your gas tank at least half full. If you must leave town on short notice, line-ups at stations will be long, or gas may even be inaccessible.
Sioux Lookout has an extensive emergency plan. If necessary our emergency personnel will provide information by radio, internet or in person. Be prepared for disasters regardless of their origins.
Councillor Joyce Timpson,
Sioux Lookout Municipal Environment Committee