Did you know that this week is National Emergency Preparedness Week?
An Emergency can affect us all at some point in our lives - at home, at school or at work - whether it be an earthquake, H1N1 pandemic or a really bad storm that knocks out power lines and phone lines for days. Are you prepared?
When H1N1 hit a couple of years ago, there was a rush at my workplace to put in policy, procedures and protocols on how to manage the situation. We had to address everything from how to communicate to staff that they should stay home and not come to work if they were feeling sick to increasing the amount of hand sanitizer available in the office to making sure that workload distribution for those that were ill was managed fairly . It took some thought and consideration on how to manage it and during it all I had wished that we had taken the time to develop policy before the emergency happened - not while it was happening! Especially when key staff starting getting sick. It was not a pleasant situation!
Luckily, there are some excellent materials and resources available through a number of websites:
- Emergency Preparedness Week Toolkit
- Recipe for Disaster Series - including posters for Home, Work and one for dealing with Pets
- This website is excellent for Earthquake Preparedness.
- In BC we have the Provincial Emergency Program as well and their website is filled with tools and resources. each province in Canada has their own PEP and the links to them can be found on the federal site.
- And for community based organizations, there is an excellent Service Continuity Planning Guide published by the Community Council of Greater Victoria.
I know that the reason most of don't have disaster plans isn't because of a lack of information. My take on it is that there is a general invincibility to us - we believe it won't happen to us. We have the optimistic view that life is in our control. And for the most part it is - and when it isn't - wouldn't it be nice to be prepared? To be self-sufficient? To be comforted by the knowledge that you, your family, your pets and if at work, your co-workers are taken care because of your efforts ahead of time.
So, I am printing these Recipes for Disaster and making it my mission this weekend to get prepared. What about you?