Preparing for a disaster in Greater Sudbury

It’s National Emergency Preparedness Week and officials in Greater Sudbury say residents should be prepared.

Officials said there are three key elements to being ready for a disaster: knowing the risks, making a plan and building a 72-hour emergency kit.

"We’re talking about adding essentials like a first aid kit, copies of your important documents, keeping them in a safe and secondary place, having canned or non-perishable food items, flashlights, perhaps a portable power bank and things like water," said Shannon Dowling, Greater Sudbury's special operations co-ordinator.

As part of activities this year, the Red Cross is focusing on seniors and has released a guide for older adults. It includes how to assess someone’s medical, physical and cognitive needs that may affect their ability to respond to a crisis.

"I think some of the key things are what is my support network going to look like," said Dave Fraser, a Red Cross volunteer.

Support network is key

"If I am impacted by an emergency, do I have a good support network? Maybe your family happens to be down the road or in the next community. Or maybe it's your neighbours who are right next door to you or if you have caregivers."

According to the city’s 2021 community survey on emergency preparedness, less than 50 per cent of respondents said they have discussed the issue with their family.

Dowling said now is the time to prepare.

"If you think about what we’ve experienced over the last two years with a public health emergency, the time is now to have those ongoing conversations and be prepared so that if something were to happen, there’s no surprises for you and your family," she said.

Dowling said residents can register for Sudbury Alerts, the city’s mass notification service that will send out information about extreme weather, hazardous material spills and wildfires.

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