It’s like packing for a surprise three-day camping trip, only no one knows when it’s coming.
“(Emergencies) don’t discriminate and they can happen anywhere, at any time,” said Calgary fire Chief Bruce Burrell as he encouraged city residents to pack a self-contained, 72-hour supply of essential items including canned goods and water in case of an emergency.
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“We’ll get there as soon as we can, but you are your own best defence,” added Ald. Ric McIver as the city emergency services kicked-off its 13th annual emergency preparedness week, a nationwide initiative to ensure citizens are ready for any disaster that might hit them, from floods to tornados and earthquakes.
Burrell said Calgarians must be ready for whatever natural, man-made or technological disaster that may head their way by taking a multi-faceted approach to one’s well-being.
“It’s not just a single approach, it’s having an approach that says I’m able to take care of myself and my family for 72 hours,” he said.
Burell said while Calgary is not infallible as far as its capacity to deal with a disaster, a $25-million Emergency Operations Centre expected to open in 2010 should ease the city’s burden.