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Editorial: When it comes to emergency preparedness, help is available

We must not let the fear of natural disasters cow us into ignoring our chance to prepare
A North Shore Emergency management staffer uses a smoke signal during the Nov. 18, 2015 disaster response simulation Operation Windshield | Mike Wakefield / North Shore News files

Landslides, wildfires, “The Big One.” It’s frightening to think about the disasters that could befall us on the North Shore. Daunting as it may be to contemplate, we should not let that fear cow us into ignoring the relatively simple steps we should make today to prevent a bad situation from getting a whole lot worse.

According to a poll of North Shore News readers, more than 60 per cent admit to not having an emergency kit or plan in place. We suspect the actual number in the community is much higher.

As we’ve seen in other incidents around the world, the period immediately following a disaster will be harsh and traumatic. But life does go on. We are, by our nature, resilient. Just how well we cope while governments scramble to respond, and how quickly and comfortably we recover will, come down to the emergency preparedness efforts we put in today.

We are extremely lucky to have North Shore Emergency Management offering solid advice on how to assemble home emergency kits and grab-and-go kits, as well as putting together the contingency plans that will meet the needs of our families and neighbourhoods.

We recommend everyone take some time in the days ahead, seek out the materials offered by NSEM and get started. It’s every bit as prudent as making sure your insurance is up to date and your smoke detectors are working.

In as little as an afternoon, you could collect all the gear and supplies your household needs to weather the worst days of the aftermath.

It won’t prevent the earth from shaking or the forests from burning, but it will offer you peace of mind.

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