Tomorrow kicks off National Emergency Preparedness Week and this is what Kenora Fire and Emergency Services would like you to know.  

Every year, Emergency Services from around the country participate in Emergency Preparedness Week, an initiative organized by Public Safety Canada. This year, Emergency Preparedness Week runs from May 1 to 7, and will be following the theme of Be Ready For Anything.  

The goal of Be Ready For Anything is to prepare residents for emergency events that may be beyond our control such as natural disasters.  

Kenora Fire Chief Kent Readman spoke with KenoraOnline to explain what Emergency Preparedness Week is all about, “Every year in the first week of May, [Emergency Preparedness Week] is celebrated across Canada.” 

“Every year there is a different theme on how you can help to prepare your family and your home, this year [the theme is] Be Ready For Anything. We are looking at the risks that we might experience here in the city or surrounding areas.” 

Kenora Fire and Emergency Services urges residents to consider what potential risks face our community. From wildfires to chemical spills and even extreme weather conditions, being prepared will help your family to face emergencies that can happen at any time.  

Readman commented on the issues that directly face our region, “We dealt with a high number of forest fires last year which we could experience again this year. Right now, we are dealing with water issues, people's basements are flooding. Knowing our risks and how to make a plan for ‘where are we going to go if we can’t stay in our house’ and 'how are we going to get there' [is crucial]”  

It is important to:  

• Know the risks – Although the consequences of disasters can be similar, knowing the risks specific to our community and our region can help you better prepare.  

• Make a plan – It will help you and your family know what to do.  

• Get an emergency kit – During an emergency, we will all need some basic supplies. We may need to get by without power or tap water. Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours in an emergency. 

According to Readman, everyone should have an emergency kit, “Having a kit prepared so that you have the essentials to keep everyone going for at least 72 hours is what’s recommended.” 

“Having some food, some water, any medications you might need, even some cash so you can buy any essentials you may need, just having that stuff ready to go in case anything was to happen.” 

An emergency situation we are all too familiar with is the COVID-19 global pandemic. While governments at all levels are working hard to keep Canada safe; now, more than ever, we understand that we all have a role to play in emergency preparedness. 

Throughout the week, the Kenora Fire and Emergency Services will be active on social media posting tips and tricks to help you become prepared. Members of the Emergency Services will also be present to answer questions at the 34th annual KDCC Home and Leisure show that will be running at the Kenora Recreation Centre today and tomorrow.