“The new Partners in Preparedness Program brings emergency preparedness front and centre, making it easier for British Columbians to purchase the supplies they need to be better prepared,” said Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness, last Saturday. “Industry, retailers, all levels of government and all citizens have a role to play in emergency readiness. So let’s be partners in preparedness, and get good and ready together.”
Rice announced the new program at the Vancouver Art Gallery, along with London Drugs and Save-On-Foods, the first two B.C. retailers to come on board, and City of Vancouver staff, during the official kick off for Emergency Preparedness Week.
Under the program, B.C. retailers will partner with the Province to champion emergency readiness by promoting and selling disaster supplies in their stores. The theme of the program is “Get Good and Ready.” The aim is to make it easier for people to buy emergency supplies, improve community resilience and public safety, and raise awareness about emergency risks.
Ready-made shopping lists will be available to help people find the supplies they need for assembling an emergency kit. Retailers can customize the program to the specific hazards in their area by choosing to feature one or more of the five emergency risks: earthquake, wildfire, flood, power outage and severe weather.
Information will be on display at all B.C. London Drugs locations, highlighting what British Columbians should have on hand as they prepare their homes, cars and workplaces for an emergency.
“London Drugs is pleased to become an inaugural member of the Partners in Preparedness Program,” said Tony Hunt, general manager of loss prevention, London Drugs. “Uniting on this important program provides an opportunity to highlight the items families and individuals should have on hand, while providing our customers with the resources and tools they need to better prepare for an emergency.”
Save-On-Foods will share information about the program at all B.C. stores during launch week, and help raise awareness through its digital channels, including saveonfoods.com.
“We are pleased to be able to partner with Emergency Management BC on this important initiative aimed at making it easier for families to be prepared for an emergency,” said Julie Dickson, director of public affairs and corporate services for Save-On-Foods. “We play an active role in supporting communities in times of need, and helping spread the word about this proactive approach seemed like a great way for us to go the extra mile for our neighbours.”
PreparedBC is working to recruit more B.C. retailers, with a goal of having a Partners in Preparedness presence in every region of the province.
* PreparedBC is a public education program dedicated to emergency readiness. It serves as a one-stop shop for preparedness resources and materials, serving the public and local authorities.
* May 6 to 12 is Emergency Preparedness Week, which serves to encourage people to be better prepared to protect themselves, and their families, during emergencies.
* When disaster strikes, emergency workers may not reach everyone immediately, or even for several days. Families should be prepared to take care of themselves for a minimum of 72 hours.
* During Emergency Preparedness Week, British Columbians are encouraged to take three simple steps to become better prepared to face a range of emergencies:
* Know the risks specific to your community.
* Develop a family emergency plan and practise it.
* Prepare emergency kits for your home and your vehicle.
* According to a PreparedBC survey, personal laziness and apathy were cited as primary reasons why people don’t have an emergency kit or plan. Lack of knowledge of what to include and a lack of time to prepare are additional challenges that prevent people from establishing an emergency plan and assembling an emergency kit.