Seniors’ Column

This week's column looks at the precautions to take in case of an emergency in winter.

Every year, thousands of people face emergency situations including power failures or severe storms, which occur during the winter months.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) represents a diverse number of communities within this part of B.C.

We are urged to take the time to be prepared in the event of an emergency, and to begin preparing now. It is important to learn the hazards that could arise in our region, in order to protect yourself and other members of your family should disaster strike.

Listen to the cold weather forecast which is a valuable source of information, especially for those who plan to leave their warm homes even for a short time. Listen carefully for a wind chill warning, noting that these predictions are based on the local climate.

Weather forecasts are available through radio and television broadcasts, and also online at weatheroffice.gc.ca.

Many power outages will be over almost as soon as they begin, although some do last for a longer period of time. During an outage you could be left without heating or air conditioning, lighting and even running water. If you only use a cordless telephone, you might also be left without phone service, possibly leading to further major challenges.

If you don’t have a battery-powered or crank type of radio, you might have no way of monitoring news broadcasts, for example.

You can greatly lessen the impact of a power outage by taking the time necessary to prepare in advance to be able to cope on your own during the outage for at least 72 hours.

There are three basic steps to take as part of your planning efforts. These include finding out what to do before, during and after a power outage. Make a family emergency plan so that everyone will know what to do and where to go, should you need to leave your home.

Put together an emergency kit so that you and/or your family or caregiver can be self-sufficient during the period of an outage.

Make a point of staying notified when a disaster or emergency strikes within the RDCK. Sign up for the Emergency Alert Notification System. For more details, and referrals to the appropriate service which is offered within our own area, contact the Emergency Program coordinator at 250-352-8177.

Terry Warren is the contact for Nakusp and Area K as well as Slocan Valley and Area H. Call the office at 250-265-0230 to obtain further information on how to prepare for an emergency.

 

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