As part of Emergency Preparedness Week, the City of Markham reminds you that emergencies can happen in an instant and their effects can be short-term or long-lasting so know the risks and be prepared.
The national event is coordinated annually by Public Safety Canada and this year, the theme is Emergency Preparedness: Be Ready for Anything.
“Emergency preparedness is everyone’s responsibility and it’s a responsibility we take very seriously here at the City of Markham, as evidenced in our robust response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “Our staff are trained to respond and to provide recovery services in the case of an emergency. We also rely on you, our residents. Know the risks, make a plan with your family and create an emergency kit.”
The first step is to create a plan with your family and ensure everyone knows what to do. Know all the safe exits from your home and agree on safe places in your neighbourhood and out of the area where everyone can meet if you become separated. Next, create an emergency kit that would allow you to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours, whether you shelter at home or need to leave your home unexpectedly.
A basic emergency preparedness kit should include four litres of water per person per day (two for drinking and two for sanitation and food preparation), non-perishable food items, a utility knife and manual can opener, important documents such as your passport and birth certificate, and a wind-up or battery-powered radio and flashlight.
Your kit should also include a phone charger and battery bank, prescription medication, toiletries, first aid kit, extra keys for home and car, cash in small bills and change, change of clothes, a blanket or sleeping bag, and special items such as prescription medications and infant formula. If someone in your home has special needs, include their special items in your kit. If you have pets, use this Pet Emergency Kit Checklist. Finally, practise using your plan and emergency kit at least once a year.
Find tips and information on how to stay safe though different emergency scenarios at markham.ca/AreYouReady. For the latest local emergency updates and information, tune in to 105.9 The Region (CFMS), the City of Markham’s official emergency and information radio station, sign up for eAlerts from the City and follow the City of Markham’s social media accounts. As part of the provincially-legislated municipal Emergency Management Program, the City maintains a state of readiness by training staff, conducting mock emergency exercises and maintaining the Markham Emergency Response Plan.
Public Safety Canada invites you to take join its Emergency Preparedness Week online social media challenge for a chance to win an emergency kit. Share a tip or picture showing how you’re helping to make you and your family better prepared to cope during an emergency and use the hashtag #ReadyforAnything. It can be as simple as making an emergency kit with items found around your home, creating a family emergency plan or becoming more informed about the hazards in your area. Before entering, consult the rules and regulations.