May 6 – 12 marks Emergency Preparedness Week on Canadian calendars. Since ’96 Public Safety Canada has spearheaded this national awareness campaign to educate Canadians about emergency planning and prepare them when disaster strikes. In the last decade, the world has seen natural disasters and crises galore, and one lesson learnt is that you can never be too prepared. This year, the Canadian government prepares you for the first 72 hours after an emergency; that is, what would you do and who would you depend on for at least 3 days in the event of an emergency?
The first 72 hours is a crucial window for first responders to deal with urgent cases and the critically injured but in the meantime, you should be fully equipped to cope on your own and with your family. The initiative has made it easy for citizens to become aware of regional hazards, area-specific emergency procedures and what to do before, during and after an emergency. The EP week eToolbox developed by Public Safety Canada and its partners includes useful tips and information based on a 3-step process of “knowing the risks”, “making a plan” and “getting an emergency kit”. Here are the 3 go-to tips they provided by Public Safety Canada to ensure your safe planning:
- Know the risks – Although the consequences of disasters can be similar, knowing the risks specific to our community and our region (like what to do in the case of floods, tornados, earthquakes, storm surges, hurricanes, and technological or environmental accidents such as chemical spills and power failures) can help us better prepare.
- Make a plan – Every Canadian household needs an emergency plan. It will help you and your family know what to do if disaster strikes. We should all practice what to do in different emergency situations.
- Get an emergency kit – During an emergency, we may need to get by without power or tap water. We will all need some basic supplies (items such as three-day supply of water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, batteries, , battery-operated or wind-up radio, first aid kit, pocket knife, prescriptions, extra set of keys and money, and copies of important documents). Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours in an emergency.
Technology has also become an inescapable aspect of the preparation process and one that is no longer an option, but a necessity. EP week’s toolkit has highlighted the importance of using technology during a disaster to seek assistance as well as to keep in touch with family and friends. Guardly’s smartphone application, created for exactly these situations, promises a safety network of contacts (family, friends, coworkers) and the authorities while enabling a mass notification service that alerts multiple networks at once. In an emergency, users would be able to locate their contacts on a map and communicate via voice or text. This system allows users to connect with family and friends in just one tap as oppose to multiple taps, immediately reducing the single point of failure and multiplying your call for help. While some emergencies require 9-1-1 calls, we understand that not all situations fall under this category. Recognizing this, Guardly allows users to create situation, priority and location based contact groups, making the alert for assistance more efficient during emergency situations.
While the 72 Hours campaign focuses on preparing families for emergency situations, this week the Canadian Society of Safety Engineers began their annual North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) week for employers to emphasize key safety and health policies for their workplace. NAOSH week takes a similar community based approach as Emergency Preparedness week and aims for workplaces to create an aware, healthy and cooperative space for workers. Several companies across the United States, Canada and Mexico take part in envisioning and implementing a safe-minded corporate culture with fun and informative events for employees to partake in.
Guardly provides mobile safety solutions for reporting and managing enterprise and public safety emergencies.Our safety apps act as personal emergency phones that transmit real-time indoor/GPS location, and provides two-way communication with private security, 911 authorities and safety groups using our real-time platform for emergency incident monitoring, management, communication and response.
- Read our customer campus safety study showing how Guardly helped improve emergency response times by 44% at a school.
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