Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Emergency Preparedness Week 2013 - Knowing The Risks

For today's post, we'll take a look at the first step to being prepared...knowing the risks.  There are two basic types of disasters that can affect you and your family, they are:
  1. Natural disasters
  2. Man made disasters 
Natural disasters are quite region specific.  For instance, a person living in BC would likely not need to prepare for a hurricane, however, being ready for an earthquake would be high on the list.  When researching the risks relevant to your region, history is the best teacher.  The Get Prepared Website will provide you with links to disasters that you should be preparing for on a province by province basis.  Also of great use is the Canadian Disaster Database, which is searchable by province, disaster type, and many other options.  By searching out various disasters that have occurred in your region in history, you can better assess the risks you face, therefore, allowing you to be more prepared for the most likely situations.

Man made disasters are far more unpredictable.  Of course, living near a nuclear power plant or chemical factory would be good indicators of the probabilities, the risk of an emergency can also be mobile, such as a train carrying hazardous materials derailing, or a trucking accident, or even terrorism.  Fast paced global travel has also opened up the possibility of a pandemic spreading as quickly as a jet can travel from one continent to another.  There are, of course, certain emergency situations that have no specific geographical limits, such as an extended power failure, drought, and others.

Knowing the risks is the first step to being prepared.  If we don't know what could happen in our specific area, how could we possibly be prepared?  Sit down and do a bit of research then make a list.  Look into the possibilities within your neighborhood, your province, and also world wide events in the past.  Having this information will be of great importance when you get to the next step, Making a plan.

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