As dry season approaches, now is a good time to clean up yards and do a FireSmart assessment of your home and surrounding property. (Dashwood Fire Department photo)

As dry season approaches, now is a good time to clean up yards and do a FireSmart assessment of your home and surrounding property. (Dashwood Fire Department photo)

Regional District of Nanaimo offer sessions on emergency preparedness

Official says it’s time to update personal emergency plans

The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) invites residents to learn more about emergency preparedness in the region.

This is being held in conjunction with Emergency Preparedness Week (May 2-8), a nationwide event that encourages Canadians to take concrete actions to better prepare and protect themselves and their families during emergencies.

“Emergency Preparedness Week is a good time to review and update our personal emergency plans or make one if we do not already have one in place,” said Tyler Brown, RDN chair. “The theme this year is ‘Emergency Preparedness: Be Ready for Anything’ which is very fitting here on the West Coast where we can face a number of critical situations including earthquakes, floods and wildfires. Having a plan helps us be prepared and self-sufficient until emergency responders can provide assistance.”

As the dry season approaches, now is a great time to clean up yards and do a FireSmart assessment of your home and surrounding property. Take the free FireSmart 101 online course to learn about the Wildland Urban Interface, why FireSmart is needed now more than ever, the seven FireSmart principles and more. Visit firesmartbc.ca to register for the FireSmart 101 course and to learn how you can prepare for the upcoming wildfire season.

READ MORE: Parksville, Qualicum Beach recognize Emergency Preparedness Week

To complement individual FireSmart planning, the RDN has received a grant from the government of British Columbia that is administered by the Union of BC Municipalities to complete seven Community Wildfire Resiliency Plans (CWRPs) across the region. CWRPs are used to assess wildfire threat and risk within a community by analyzing the local environment and engaging local community stakeholders. The plans prepare and educate the public on how to keep their communities ready for wildfire. For more information on the CWRPs, visit getinvolved.rdn.ca/rdn-wildfire-resiliency.

During Emergency Preparedness Week, the RDN offers a series of informative webinars via Zoom to help residents be as prepared as possible. Plus, there will be some great, emergency-related prizes given away in each webinar. To register for the free webinars, email emergencyservices@rdn.bc.ca or phone the RDN at 250-390-6759 with your name and which session you would like to attend.

Household Emergency Preparedness

May 3 at 2 p.m. and May 5 at 6 p.m.

Learn about Emergency Preparedness in our region and some tips and tricks to ensure your family is prepared.

FireSmart Tips

May 4 at 10 a.m. and May 6 at 2 p.m.

Learn some easy ways you can protect your home from wildfire.

What is Neighbourhood Emergency Preparedness?

May 5 at 10 a.m.

Do you know your neighbours? In a large-scale emergency, your neighbours will likely be your first support. Find out what you can do to help build resilience within your community.

Another important aspect of emergency preparedness is staying informed. The RDN encourages residents to sign up for Voyent Alert, a free emergency notification service that enables subscribers to receive critical event messages through an app, text message, voice call or email. To receive critical emergency alerts, sign up at rdn.bc.ca/voyent-alert. Subscribers can also opt in or out of RDN non-emergency alerts on topics such as recreation, parks, water services and more.

The RDN also has several online resources to help residents better prepare for emergencies including downloadable workbooks, handbooks, checklists and links to other emergency preparedness websites. For resources and to learn more about all RDN Emergency Services, visit getinvolved.rdn.ca/nepp and rdn.bc.ca/emergency-services.

— NEWS Staff, submitted

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