PORT HARDY—The Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw Nations marked Emergency Planning Week with an information session to raise public awareness.
With a pair of dry runs fresh in the local memory, local emergency planners were using the week to remind people that a few simple steps can go a long way towards ensuring the safety of you and your family should a disaster happen.
On Tsulquate in particular, a tsunami or flooding event has a strong possibility of cutting the area off from the rest of town for a period, so the session’s organizers hoped to remind people to make preparations to be self-sufficient should the worst happen.
Members of the Emergency Planning Committee, headed by Bob Swain, were on hand to answer questions and inform the public on how to take steps to be proactive ahead of any emergency.
On display was Swain’s own emergency kit as an example of the items that should be included, as well as pamphlets and information on the planning process itself.
The committee has recently received approval of funding to provide additional training on emergency reception protocols but further volunteers would be welcomed.
“We know if something happens community members will jump in but it would be great for them to have training,” explained Swain.
Anyone interested in learning more is invited to attend the group’s meetings, held the first Thursday of each month from 10- 11 a.m. at the community centre. The meetings are also open to the public to attend.
Later this month the committee hopes to install an early-warning siren in the vicinity of the band office to alert the community of an impending alert.
Perched on a 50-foot pole, the siren will broadcast a pre-recorded message to the public instructing them on what to do. The system has capacity of four messages, tentatively earmarked as a test broadcast, an all-clear announcement and a pair of warning messages.
The committee will provide more details ahead of a system test once the system is installed.
The core message of emergency planners is to be proactive in preparing an emergency kit, supplies and a plan, and, in the event of an alert, to follow the advice of first responders.