News release

Emergency Preparedness Everyone's Responsibility

Being prepared for an emergency isn't only the duty of government and first responders, such as police, paramedics and firefighters. It's also a personal responsibility.

That is why the Emergency Management Office is encouraging all Nova Scotians to consider their readiness during Emergency Preparedness Week, which runs May 4 to 10.

"Being properly prepared for an emergency begins at home," said David Morse, acting Minister of Emergency Management. "It begins with parents talking to their children, and with individuals taking the time to know the risks in their community, plan their response to a potential crisis and assemble a kit of basic supplies to have on hand."

In recent years, Nova Scotia has endured a hurricane, floods, forest fires, blizzards and ice storms. It is important for Nova Scotians to be prepared in the event of a natural or manmade disaster, which could cut them off from supplies or leave them without electricity for days.

The national theme of Emergency Preparedness Week -- "72 Hours ... Is Your Family Prepared?" -- speaks to that point. Families are urged to have a kit of basic supplies on hand that will allow them to get by on their own during the first 72 hours of a disaster, while first responders help those most in need of assistance.

A home emergency kit should be easy to carry in the event of an evacuation. It should include:

  • Water: Two litres of water per person per day. (Include small bottles for ease of transport)
  • Food: Items that won't spoil, such as canned food, energy bars and dried foods. (Remember to replace the food and water once a year)
  • Manual can opener
  • Flashlight and batteries (and extra batteries)
  • Battery–powered or wind–up radio
  • First aid kit
  • Special needs items: Prescription medications, infant formula or equipment for people with disabilities
  • Extra keys for cars and houses
  • Cash: Include smaller bills and change for payphones

Nova Scotians should also keep an emergency kit in vehicles. Information on home and vehicle emergency kits is available on the Emergency Management Office's website, www.gov.ns.ca/emo or by phoning 1-866-424-5620.

Marking Emergency Preparedness Week, the Emergency Management Office will have a public information display Thursday, May 8 and Friday, May 9 at Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth. Emergency preparedness guides, including the new "Are You Ready?" guide, designed for persons with disabilities and frail or older seniors, have been distributed to all 34 municipal emergency management co-ordinators in the province.

The Weather Network will air a series of special reports during Emergency Preparedness Week, including interviews with Craig MacLaughlan, the CEO and deputy head of the Emergency Management Office.

Emergency Preparedness Week was introduced in 1996. A comprehensive list of tools and resources is available at www.getprepared.ca .

The Emergency Management Office is responsible for ensuring prompt, co-ordinated responses to emergencies. Its head office is in Dartmouth, with regional offices in Sydney, Truro, Kentville and Lunenburg.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Are you prepared in the event of an emergency? The Emergency Management Office is encouraging all Nova Scotians to consider their readiness during Emergency Preparedness Week, May 4 to 10.

David Morse, acting Minister of Emergency Management, says emergency preparedness begins at home with parents discussing it with their children.

The government is urging families to have a kit of basic supplies on hand to get by during the first 72 hours of a disaster, while first responders help those most in need. A kit should include water, non-perishable food, a manual can opener, flashlight and batteries, a battery-powered radio, a first-aid kit and any medication or special-needs items required by family members.

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Media Contact:

David Rodenhiser
Emergency Management Office 902-424-0284 Cell: 902-220-7956 E-mail: