In 2017 we’re going to continue to remind people about the importance of being prepared for any emergency or disaster – by knowing the risks, having a plan, have kits and knowing your neighbours. In 2017 we’re going to expand that conversation from how you can be self-sufficient for 72 hours to one week after an event to how you can start the recovery process as soon as the event happens. We’ll be asking you what recovery means to you, your family and your community.
We hope you’ll attend the next information session with one of your neighbours. Check out the monthly events calendar in the Oak Bay News or on the District of Oak Bay website for dates and times. Or call us to arrange a private session for you and your neighbours.
There is a new push provincially to bring emergency preparedness training to our youth. Eight years ago, Oak Bay piloted an Emergency Preparedness Program for children in Grade 3. We are back in our Grade 3 classes again in May for the ninth year. Now the province has developed a curriculum-based EP program aimed at Grade 6 students. We will be working with our schools to bring that program online.
In the coming year, we are going to be following our own advice and revisiting our emergency plan and evaluating our own preparedness. In 2006 we undertook a Hazards, Risk and Vulnerability Analysis (HRVA) which identified earthquakes, fires and atmospheric events as being our primary hazards and we have done much of our planning based on that analysis. It is time we took another look and considered our vulnerability to things like cyber terrorism and climate change. What do you think are the greatest risks our residents and community face? What are the risks associated with those hazards? We will need your feedback to make sure we have all the information we need to update our HRVA. We hope we can count on your participation in the process.
Emergency preparedness is about power and resilience. Being prepared gives you the power to take control in a bad situation and the resilience to recover.
Wishing you all a safe and prosperous year.
– Eileen Grant, Oak Bay manager of emergency programs