Enhancing Emergency Preparedness for Vulnerable Ontarians
Emergency Preparedness Week is an annual event that takes place the first full week of May. The theme for Emergency Preparedness Week 2015 is Know the Risks, Reduce them Together!
Emergency Preparedness Week is a national event that includes all levels of government. Communities and emergency management organizations across the country hold local events and promote emergency preparedness.
This year, which also marks the 20th anniversary of the initiative, Ontario's Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM) is promoting a "me-to-we" preparedness approach to highlight how Ontarians can look out for one another and help others prepare for, and cope with, emergencies.
This year's campaign focuses on Ontarians who live in high-rise and multi-unit dwellings who can be hit particularly hard by emergencies like power outages. Power outages can create difficulties for the elderly and those with special needs because they are unable to walk down stairs.
OFMEM will continue to work with community partners to develop and distribute preparedness materials designed for those who are most vulnerable and live in high-rise buildings.
Importance of Preparedness
Preparedness, at the individual, family and community levels is important because it may take longer for first responders to reach everyone during an emergency. Ontario families can be resilient in a disaster by being prepared to be self-sustainable for at least three days. There are three easy steps to being prepared:
- Make a Plan: where to go, how to get in touch with family and friends, and checking on others
- Build a Kit: at least a three-day supply of water, non-perishable food, radio, flashlight, etc.
- Be Informed: knowing the risks (such as tornadoes, flooding, and others) in your area and receiving alerts and warnings