Be prepared

Jamie Bennett
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Red Cross highlighting planning ahead during Emergency Preparedness Week

Judy Bond of the Canadian Red Cross sorts through the contents of an emergency preparedness kit Sunday, May 4, 2014. Monday, May 5, 2014 marks the start of the organization's annual Emergency Preparedness Week.

You have two minutes to evacuate your home before it is engulfed in flames.

Are you ready, right now, in case that happens?

Judy Bond, service centre co-ordinator with the Canadian Red Cross, says you should be.

The Red Cross’s annual Emergency Preparedness Week kicks off today.

The organization is promoting readiness for small-scale individual disasters such as house fires, as well as preparedness for larger scale disasters like floods and forest fires.

“We’re constantly in preparedness mode and we’d like individuals and families to be prepared in the event of an emergency,” Bond said Sunday from her office in Corner Brook.

“We have volunteers available 24/7 who are nationally trained to deal with and assess emergencies.

“We have pre-positioned cots, water, blankets, an emergency response vehicle and a trailer that’s ready to go with supplies when necessary.”

She said the organization also has volunteers ready to help families through the first 72 hours following a disaster with such essentials as food, shelter and clothing.

This winter’s rolling power blackouts across the province and an overall growing awareness of climate change has made the public more informed of the need to be ready for a variety of emergencies, she noted.

Still, Bond said it’s important for families to have a plan of where to meet in the case of an emergency.

More importantly perhaps is the need to have a emergency preparedness kit stocked and ready to go with such items as water, food, duct tape, cash, pet food and a crank flashlight.

She said these supplies should be in a backpack, tote or cardboard box, but should be in a place where it can be retrieved quickly should a sudden evacuation be necessary.

“Everybody should have one of those in their homes ready to go,” she said.

For more information please visit www.redcross.ca.

Organizations: Red Cross

Geographic location: Corner Brook

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