August 9, 2019

Eight ways you can prepare for a disaster

Natural disasters can strike at any time. Earthquakes, floods, and fires can spring up quickly and endanger homes and businesses.

In 2018, BC saw its worst forest fire season on record, with wildfires coming close to Metro Vancouver.

BC is also prone to earthquakes, with about 3,000 reported each year. On average, the region experiences property-damaging earthquakes once per decade.

But what can you do to prepare for a natural disaster?

Steps for disaster planning

1. Visit PreparedBC. This is BC's one-stop shop for disaster readiness information.

2. Know the risks. Find out if your community is at risk for earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, wildfires, or major storms.

3. Prepare your home. Make a household plan – for example, the PreparedBC: Household Preparedness Guide (16-page PDF) and the PreparedBC: Household Emergency Plan (11-page PDF).

4. Prepare your office. You could be at work when disaster strikes.

5. Build an Emergency Kit. Make  emergency kits  for your home, office, and vehicle. Include enough food, water, and supplies for a minimum of 72 hours.

6. Meet Your Neighbours. We’re in it together when disaster strikes. The most immediate help will come from those nearby. Connect with them now and, working together, prepare a plan using In it Together: Neighbourhood Preparedness Guide (16-page PDF). There’s also a specific Guide for Apartments, Condos and Townhomes.

7. Stay Informed.  Every municipality has a website with information and emergency plans for your community. For example, Vancouver has 25 disaster support hubs.

8. Find out how your municipality sends alerts and instructions during an emergency – whether by social media, sirens, radio or television. Bookmark these provincial channels:

For information, visit your local municipality website and search for Emergency Plan.

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