Editorial: Planning a small price to pay to be prepared

It’s not a matter of if a natural emergency or disaster will strike, but when. So what do we do about it?

As the experts repeatedly tell us, it’s not a matter of if a natural emergency or disaster will strike, but when.

It’s a fact underscored by the recent 8.4 magnitude earthquake in Chile, where media accounts suggest things could have been far worse were it not for the planning of government and residents.

And then there were the people displaced by wildfires this summer, many of whom likely had to leave without medications, important documents or even pet supplies because the fire spread fast and furious.

Truth is, while we typically focus on the likelihood of an earthquake when it comes to emergency planning – and for good reason – natural disasters can take many forms, all of which require that we be prepared.

Even on the Lower Mainland, where the recent record windstorm knocked power out for several days, some residents were reportedly caught up in a panic due to the lack of electricity and provisions. Imagine what these same folks would do in the event of a true catastrophe.

The question, then, is what do you do about an elusive, undefined future disaster?

You plan.

Because while many things are beyond your control, a good many more aren’t.

Here in Oak Bay, the message is clear: “Emergency Preparedness Begins with You,” and truth is, they couldn’t make it easier.

All Oak Bay Emergency Program workshops and events are free and share invaluable information about how to keep yourself and your family safe in the event of an emergency. From preparing your home for an earthquake to what to have on hand to fend for yourself in the days afterward, the information is there, easy to understand and follow.

Coming sessions are planned for Oct. 15 at Monterey Centre and Nov. 17 at Windsor Park Pavilion. While the programs are free, organizers ask that you pre-register to guarantee seat at 250-592-9121 or obep@oakbay.ca.

A phone call or email and two hours of your time seems like a small price to pay to feel confident you and your family will be prepared for a natural disaster.

Doesn’t it?