If a disaster on the scale of the recent landslide in Washington happened in our area, would you be prepared? Would you know what to do if an earthquake shook Oceanside? Where would you go? What supplies would you have?
There are numerous resources available but few of us take the time to investigate them, let alone take steps to ensure our own preparedness for emergencies.
Fiona MacInnes is the Program Development contractor for the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN), under the direction of Jani Drew the RDN’s Emergency Coordinator. Her mandate is to promote public awareness as well as encourage the development of disaster preparedness for individuals and communities throughout the RDN.
For the last two years Fiona has been helping train neighborhood disaster resilience teams, individuals interested in contributing to staffing Emergency Reception Centres in times of need, as well as providing guidance to citizens wanting to ensure they are prepared at home. She was also instrumental in organizing a recent RDN workshop that focused on building and maintaining neighbourhood emergency teams and advanced emergency planning.
Few residents in the area of the Washington slide thought it would ever happen to them.
At our general meeting on April 4th, Fiona gave members an invaluable package of information from the RDN and walked us through the various materials. She encouraged us to go home and act upon at least one of the recommendations – whether it be putting a pair of shoes under the bed (ready for a middle of the night escape) or putting away drinking water for a time of need.
All left with a better appreciation for the seriousness of the topic and the relative ease to be better prepared for possible emergencies.