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GPREP shares emergency preparedness tips

Being prepared for the unexpected can save lives in an emergency. That’s why the province is marking Emergency Preparedness week from May 6 to the 12, 2018.

The recent flooding we saw in the region may have had a limited impact but it is a good reminder of how quickly things can change. Jennifer Wood with the Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership (GPREP) says everyone needs to help in an emergency.

“Certainly our first responders have a role but so do citizens. Being prepared means having the knowledge and equipment that you need to cope.”

Wood says the best ways to get important information in an emergency is through the Alberta Emergency Alert system app or Alert Ready. Both systems send information to cell phones immediately but do have certain handset and software requirements. She adds we saw the app in action during the evacuation of Muskoseepi Park.

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“If an alert comes through the most important thing is to follow the directions. Often it may just be an information alert saying something is happening avoid the area. Sometimes they are what we call a critical alert.”

There are a number of situations that could happen in a split second. That is why Public Safety Canada works with provinces and municipalities to encourage people to be ready. Woods says one of the best tips is to make a plan with you family, including kids.

“That would include things like having a meeting place. Having copies of important documents like your passports, license, birth certificates those kind of things. And talking with your family about what you would do if something was happening.”

A checklist can be found online with guidelines to help pack a 72 Hour kit. It can even be kept in a bag so it can be easily accessed if a quick exit is required. There is also a list for a pet emergency kit.

GPREP went into full force during last weekends flooding. They bring a number of personnel together from around the region to streamline the process of situation management.

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