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Editorial: Make use of these resources now to help you prepare for worst-case emergencies

Three quarters of North Shore residents say they aren't prepared for an emergency. Now is the time to change that
NSR Sumas4
Scenes over the Sumas Prairie near Abbotsford this week.

It’s a lesson we seem determined to learn only by the hard way. A recent North Shore News poll has found about three quarters of North Vancouver and West Vancouver residents are not adequately prepared for an emergency.

It’s timely, given the havoc we are witnessing with floods and landslides around the province. We are grateful to everyone who has helped, including our own North Shore Rescue. We know now that even our mightiest mountainsides and concrete infrastructure are fragile when nature exerts its force.

There’s no time like the present to shore up our own resiliency in any way we can.

Some general advice: Know what hazards your home faces – flooding, landslides, wildfire, liquefaction – and base your plan on that. Learn what you can do to mitigate the risk, but also be prepared if the worst should happen. That may mean being stranded for a period of time, or having to evacuate. Every home needs a cache of supplies to last at least a week without any outside help. That means food and water, but also medicine, tools and whatever your pets need.

Think of your neighbours too. During the June heat dome, nine North Shore residents died – mostly seniors who were living alone.

It’s a daunting thing to contemplate worst case scenarios, which is probably why so few people actually do it. The good news is our own North Shore Emergency Management has all the resources you will need to make a plan, and the Alertable smartphone app to keep you informed. We encourage everyone to seek out both.

And don’t be frightened. Be prepared.

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