Alert Bay stays alert

Robin Quirk

Georgette Lauten provides information booklets during a free emergency preparedness workshop held in Alert Bay Jan. 21.

Robin Quirk

Correspondent

ALERT BAY – People are more prepared for disaster following a three-hour workshop Jan. 21.

Shannon Alfred, special projects and emergency program coordinator for Cormorant Island, along with Georgette Lauten, provided handouts and up-to-date information on emergency preparedness for participants in the free workshop.

“Alert Bay has a plan!” said Alfred, assuring people after talking about the risk of emergencies such as power outages, fires, floods, fuel spills, earth quakes and tsunamis.

“We know that for Cormorant Island our initial response to an emergency works. Our plan was tested in September,” said Alfred, referring to floods that forced the evacuation of Kingcome Inlet to Alert Bay.

“ESS is the Emergency Social Services, a Provincial community-based program to provide support in terms of shelter, food, clothing, etc. for individuals or families that are forced to leave their home due to an emergency or disaster,” explained Alfred.

“What emergency preparedness does is we look at the worse case scenario and we just keep planning for those…for example if all telephone lines went down. Then our next back up system is the satellite phone,” said Alfred.

“For individual and/or family preparedness, we are pretty well looking at everyone to prepare an emergency supply kit to be self sufficient for at least 72 hours to possibly longer (2 weeks, to 3 months, to 6 months).”

And that’s where community members can make the difference. Alfred encouraged everyone to be prepared. Emergency ‘Grab & Go’ bags were on display along with a fireproof safety box for important documents.

Alfred recently received the 2010 Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award for Alert Bay for her role in helping with the evacuation of Kingcome Inlet residents to the ESS Reception Centre.

“I have a passion for our community,” said Alfred. “It is really getting out there and making our community more aware so that if you had the questions I had, then at least we can start working together in helping each other raise our awareness level as to what our plan is for Cormorant Island.”

For more information contact Shannon Alfred at the ‘Namgis Health Centre at 1-250-974-5522 Ext.2135.

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