Prepare before disaster strikes

Most of us likey haven’t even taken the time to prepare a “go-bag”

Penticton Western News

If disaster strikes, are you ready?

Fire, flood, earthquake, the end of days … or even just a few hours without electricity?

If you are like most people, the answer is probably no.

Most of us likey haven’t even taken the time to prepare a “go-bag,” with a change of clothes, a bit of food and water along with a list of prescriptions and other essentials.

Our homes may seem safe and secure but, in reality, that’s an illusion.

The people of Cache Creek got an object lesson last month in how fast things can change as severe storms hit, at one point dropping 26 millimetres of rain in one hour, forcing their mayor to declare a state of emergency as the streets of the town flooded.

Closer to home, a fire that destroyed a Naramata business on May 24 was close to being blown into nearby homes.

The 1994 Garnet fire and the 2003 Okanagan Mountain Park fire showed just how much damage a wildfire can do.

And, half a world away, the people of Nepal are still struggling to deal with devastation on an epic scale caused by the April 25 earthquake.

The Red Cross recommends keeping a disaster preparedness kit in your home with enough supplies to meet your family’s needs for at least 72 hours. It’s a good bet that many families don’t have enough water to last a day, let alone three.

With the rush of daily life, getting things done and finding time to be with your family, that might seem like an impossible goal. But just these local emergencies show how close to the line we all live.

It’s a good time to look around and make sure you and your loved ones can survive for 72 hours without support. That means having enough water, medications if you need them, food, even supplies for your pets.