Red Cross urges families to prepare for emergencies

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Saskatchewan Red Cross

When disaster strikes, it may take emergency workers some time to reach everyone and they will assist the most vulnerable first. We should all be prepared to take care of ourselves and our families for at least 72 hours in a disaster. We may feel that disasters only occur somewhere else, but the reality is that flooding is occurring in Saskatchewan and will be an ongoing risk this year. Already his spring, more than 50 Red Cross volunteers have been mobilized to help about 1,100 residents. Red Cross depends on donations as well as funding from its lottery and raffle to provide disaster preparedness training and to help those affected by disasters in Saskatchewan. Your support does make a difference. Call 1-800-418-1111 to make a donation, or visit www.redcross.ca/saskatchewan for more information today.

During national Emergency Preparedness Week, May 1 through 7, and throughout the year Red Cross reminds individuals and families to take three simple steps to become better prepared to handle emergencies:

1) Know the risks – Knowing the risks specific to our community and our region can help us better prepare. This year, it would be wise to be prepared for floods.

If extreme flooding occurs while you are home:

· Turn off power and gas lines, if necessary  and safe to do so.

· Place your valuables on the upper floor of your house.

· Remain on the upper floor and wait for instructions from your local authorities.

Precautions to take once water levels recede:

· Formerly safe places, such as favourite swimming holes, are no longer safe once the water levels recede. Always check the safety of an area before partaking in water-related activities.

· Hypothermia can occur at any time of year. Always take the appropriate precautions, such as changing into dry clothes immediately after being in water.

· Always wear a life jacket when you undertake any activity in, on or around water.

2) Make a plan – An emergency plan will help you and your family know what to do if disaster strikes. We should all practice what to do in different emergency situations.

3) Purchase or make an emergency kit – During an emergency, we may need to get by without power or tap water. We will all need some basic supplies – such as three-day supply of water per person, non-perishable food, battery-operated (or wind-up)  flashlight and radio, first aid kit, pocket knife, prescriptions, extra set of keys, cash and copies of important documents. Checklists to create emergency preparedness kits and emergency plans can be found on the Canadian Red Cross web site at www.redcross.ca.

Organizations: Red Cross

Geographic location: Saskatchewan

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