Everyone has a role to play in enhancing safety during emergencies. PrepareYourself.ca is a collaboration between local government emergency programs in the Capital Region and is designed to be an ongoing source of emergency preparedness information for residents, resulting in increased resilience on a local level.
Know the Risks
To prepare for the risks in our region, you must be aware of what they are, how to prepare yourself and your family in case of an event and where to go to stay informed.
Prepare Yourself - The Guide to Emergency Preparedness in the Capital Region provides information regarding what to do before, during and after these types of emergencies:
- Severe Weather
- Power Outages
- Infectious Disease
- Hazardous Material Spills
- Floods and Storm Surges
- Wilderness Trips
Being prepared is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your loved ones, and possibly even lend a hand if neighbours are in need. The more prepared we are, the more emergency responders are free to serve those with the greatest need.
Every family should have an emergency plan so that you know what to do in the event of an emergency. Having emergency kits readily accessible at home, work and in your vehicle in an emergency is a vital part of preparedness. Familiarize yourself with the most effective way to stay in touch with loved ones during an emergency. Make sure your smoke alarms and CO2 alarms are in working order at all times.
Committed to Safety
The City commits major resources to making sure our public buildings, roads, and bridges are safe. We also make sure we are prepared to give shelter and other emergency services during emergencies. The City of Colwood Emergency Planning Committee looks at a wide range of emergency situations including, but not limited to, fires, floods, earthquakes, severe weather, landslides, and other major disasters. The Committee then develops contingency plans to assist the municipality in coping with each of the emergencies. The Colwood committee is also a key organizer of the annual Regional Emergency Preparedness Fair.
Like most municipalities, Colwood will need to rely on volunteers in an emergency. Even with our dedicated professional responders (Fire, Police, Medical, Municipal Engineering and Public Works), all aspects of the City's Emergency Preparedness is based upon the work of volunteers. The mandate of the program is to help people to help themselves by preparing for any disaster which would take away the resources of the professional responders and leave members of the community vulnerable and/or isolated for at least 72 hours.
Key volunteer groups in our community include:
- West Shore Emergency Support Services (ESS), who provide basic essentials like food, lodging and clothing to people who are forced to leave their homes during a crisis or emergency event.
- Emergency Communications Amateur Radio Operators whose expertise with radio operations provides a critical link with other municipalities, provincial and federal agencies as well as partners such as the Red Cross.
Emergency communications protocols are in place and City staff partner with the Westshore RCMP, Colwood Fire Department, Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt and the Vancouver Island Health Authority on emergency planning initiatives. The City has guidelines in place for the use of social media channels in the event of emergency.
Westshore Alert is a public alert notification system that will alert subscribers in case of a public safety incident. You can receive emergency alerts by home phone, cell phone, work phone, Email and SMS Text messages. Sign up here.
Disaster Response Routes
Disaster Response Routes (DRR) are roads and highways that are designated to be used only by emergency services in the event our area is declared a local or provincial state of emergency. Disaster Response Routes in Colwood run along the Trans-Canada Highway and Veterans' Memorial Parkway. Find more information here regarding Disaster Response Routes.
Social media has proven to be an effective way to communicate during disasters when other forms of communication are compromised.
Below is a list of Greater Victoria twitter names and hashtags you can follow to stay informed.
For your information, here is a map listing Twitter accounts for local governments, police and fire services within the Capital Region as well as accounts for utility service providers, Local Health Authority and Emergency Management BC. Also included on the map is a quick list of emergency hashtags in the region.
Click on the map below to enlarge:
For further information regarding Colwood Emergency Planning, please call Fire Chief John Cassidy at 250-474-8321 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.