South Cariboo seniors are invited to a workshop on emergency preparedness.
The event, slated for Feb. 21, is aimed at helping retirees and other aging members of the community to create a plan in the event disasters strike. The workshop is being hosted by Better at Home, the new home support system for seniors in 100 Mile House.
Guest speakers include 100 Mile Fire Rescue Chief Roger Hollander and Stephanie Masun, manager of Emergency Programs & Disaster Resilience for the Cariboo Regional District (CRD).
“It will be on evacuation preparedness, pre- and post-evacuation, and FireSmarting the outside of your house,” said Better at Home program coordinator Cindy Falkner.
Faulkner will hand out “go-bags,” valued at $100 each, to the first 100 attendees. Each kit contains supplies to cover a 72-hour period in an emergency, she said.
“This way they have their kits ready to go,” she said. “We’re going to advise them and help them prepare to have two weeks of their prescriptions prepared as well because that is something that you don’t want to be stuck without in an emergency.”
Masun said seniors benefit from face-to-face information sessions. “My experience with groups is that you are in an environment where you feel that you can ask a question you’re going to get some really solid answers and in context to what matters to you,” she said.
One of the subjects Masun will raise is the importance of having seniors speak with their caregivers and doctors in advance of an emergency to ensure they can fill their prescriptions when they’re away. Another topic is what happens after an evacuation.
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Masun also mentioned the emergency notification system.
“I’m going to talk to them a little bit about the local (CRD) system and the provincial system,” she said. “The province has a system they use as well and it can be confusing for people. This is sort of to let people know what the difference is and what to expect.”
While emergency preparedness brings to mind large events like wildfire evacuations, Hollander will be addressing the subject of everyday safety around the home. This includes having fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in the house and the importance about “getting up and getting out.”
Hollander will also touch on wildfire and grass fires, electrical safety in the home and cooking fires – “just a general fire safety talk.”
“We have a wealth of knowledge and experience to be able to share but we don’t often get a chance to proactively get out there and educate the public,” said Hollander. “When these things are put on it is really important to attend if you can and take advantage of the expertise in our community.”
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