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Statement on Emergency Preparedness Week

Honourable senators, the ice storm, the Winnipeg flood, the high winds in British Columbia and Hurricane Juan on the East Coast are all events that have taught us, if nothing else, that an emergency, whether natural or manmade, can strike any place at any time. May 4 to 10 is Emergency Preparedness Week, which is a national campaign organized by Public Safety Canada. It is a reminder that we need to be prepared in the event of an emergency.

This year's theme, "72 hours — Is your family prepared?" is intended to encourage Canadians to be ready to manage on their own for 72 hours — a full three days — should an emergency hit. The hope is that by ensuring that most people will be able to take care of themselves during the crucial time period first responders, such as police officers, firefighters and paramedics, may focus on those with urgent needs.

To be ready means knowing what risks one might face in the area in which one lives, developing a plan to respond and to put a kit together. Common sense allows that knowing what one may have to face will allow one to be better prepared.

Being ready also means developing a plan that details how to respond to an emergency, and that could include where one's family should reunite if separated, or where to go in the house in case of high winds or a tornado.

Being ready also means having an emergency kit on hand that should include water, food, a radio and a flashlight with extra batteries as well as anything else one might need to make it through 72 hours alone.

For more information I urge honourable senators to check the website www.getprepared.ca.