Plan when the weather outside is terrible

The southwest was hit by its first big storm of the season this week, highlighting the sometimes dangerous weather that can accompany a typical Saskatchewan season. Whether it’s longer-than-usual power outages, windstorms, high winds or heavy snowfall, the province can see anything and everything. Sometimes over the course of a few days, when the weather goes through fall and winter and the temperature changes back and forth every day.

Swift Current Fire Chief Ryan Hunter and the City of Swift Current Occupational Health and Emergency Management Coordinator spoke to Swift Current Online about the Emergency Management Organization (EMO) of the town and places where residents can find information to ensure the safety of their families.

At the heart of city planning, the EMO website located here offers links to information and referrals on 18 different emergencies ranging from power outages and high winds to the current COVID-19 pandemic and the need a 72 hour emergency survival kit.

as Fonger explains:

“This will let you know what to pack in your car if you are driving down the freeway and you get caught in some kind of snowstorm (for example). You’re in the ditch in a stormy state or something like that. , then you have this stuff in your vehicle. All of these tools are available on the city’s emergency planning website and it is very easy, very well presented. blizzards; everything is there for everyone to see. ‘use.”

The pressure for more residents to use this resource is strong not only as the weather becomes warmer, but the season brings more dangers around the home in terms of heating and fireplaces.

“There is so much information on the town’s website on how to prepare your family,” Hunter added. “How to prepare for the cold. How to prepare for other emergencies; to any type of travel in winter. There’s even cold weather pet care. So the information on the city’s website is so extensive that it covers so much that we would like people to know. “

Some of this information is seasonal; lights, candles and other holiday dangers. But also the typical winter culprits like chimneys, chimneys and vents.

The city has other means of communicating with residents in an emergency, such as the Swift Current Alert app powered by Voyent. But it’s an option that, as Fonger explains, is only used in extreme emergencies and instead builds on other apps like Environment Canada and Sask Alerts, which most residents already have. on their phone. The general apathy of citizens due to over-saturation of emergency alert notifications is a very real balancing act that is performed by EMO.

“If we end up abusing the app, it’s not good because people can just say ‘OK, well, there’s just one more warning’, and they tend not to, or sometimes not to pay special attention to it. This is why we are really using See and Swift Current alerts for absolute emergencies such as evacuations, floods or impending dangers. “

He added that more and more people are paying much more attention to weather with the rise of apps like Sask Alert and The Weather Network, among others.

There can be a sense of complacency in the Prairies, where many of the more geographically limited weather emergencies tend to be rare. Plus, there is a well-deserved self-image of “resilience” in the prairie mentality that stems from plowing through countless winter storms.

But Fonger says just because emergencies on a scale like the one currently unfolding in British Columbia rarely happen here, doesn’t mean they can’t, and that’s something. something residents should keep in mind. .

“I look at the resilience of this province and the population. This is why we can continue. As long as we can keep giving them the information. It’s just one more step and one more tool in the toolkit to help prepare. Because anything can happen. “

Click on the link below to visit the City of Swift Current Emergency Planning Organization:

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