Get ready for the big flood, fire or quake

Maple Ridge offering free 90-minute sessions to prepare for catastrophe, but you have to register in advance

  • May. 4, 2012 11:00 a.m.

People can learn all about how to stay safe and survive the aftermath of a flood, forest fire or earthquake at a free emergency preparation session, this Thursday, May 10.

The District of Maple Ridge is hosting the event, no charge, in its council chambers. Each of the sessions will take about 90 minutes and have emergency program Barb Morgan review basic steps. Advance registration is needed. Call 604-467-7477.

“Every time there is a natural disaster in the world the interest in personal emergency preparedness becomes elevated. I strongly urge everyone to take advantage of the opportunity to get some really well-thought out and practical information so that you can be prepared,” said Mayor Ernie Daykin in a release.

People not only have to prepared to survive the initial event, but the days or weeks after when basic services may no longer exist.

Morgan pointed out that interest in planning jumped last year following the earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand.  “This year, the phone started ringing when people heard about the flooding in the Interior just a couple of weeks ago.”

The district is already checking levels of the Fraser River as the big melt begins following another year of heavy snowfall in the mountains and Interior.

Snow conditions are similar to those in 2007, which is the last time the Fraser River threatened to flood.

Based on the weather conditions and information from the BC River Forecast Centre, staff will activate parts of the Emergency Response Plan relating to neighbourhood meetings in areas where there may be a flooding risk. The Fraser freshet, or runoff, typically peaks in June.

This year, Facebook and Twitter will get out information instantly, (using the name yourmapleridge) as well as its website, and newspaper ads to get out its information.

“Since 2007, the growth in the number of people using smartphones and the ability for people to get alerts on important information have been integrated into our district communications toolkit,” said district spokesman Fred Armstrong.