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B.C. government urging residents to be prepared for ‘the next’ natural disaster

Forest fires northeast of Fort Nelson.
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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The B.C. government is asking its residents to consider looking at making an emergency plan in the event of a natural disaster.

After an “unprecedented” wildfire season in B.C. which forced more than 65,000 British Columbians from their homes, many of which were without identification, medications and had no way to contact loved ones. Buildings were gutted, while more than 1.2 million hectares of land were incinerated.

“The past summer taught me that disasters disproportionately affect those who already inhabit the socio-economic margins including the elderly, First Nations communities, single-parent households and other vulnerable populations,” said Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness Jennifer Rice. “During that time, I met with British Columbians who escaped their homes with little more than clothes on their back.”

Natural disasters took 2017 by storm as there were floods in Asia, Europe and here in B.C. In Mexico and Iran, residents experienced record earthquakes. Record heat waves and prolonged droughts were all over the globe, something scientists warn will become the new normal heading into the coming decades.

“The best way to cope with mother nature is to develop a household emergency plan and share it with family, friends and neighbours,” added Rice. Assemble an emergency kit that can sustain you and your household for seven days. Retrofit your house to minimize damage following an earthquake. If you own a business, develop a continuity plan to ensure that if one of you is injured, or worse, another can take over. This can make the difference between whether your business collapses or survives.”

For more information visit:www.gov.bc.ca/PreparedBC

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