Emergency preparedness workshop offers tips and strategies
Craig Langston has found himself in a tough spot before. He lives in an apartment building and relies on an electric wheelchair for mobility and independence, and in the event of a power outage he can find himself in a vulnerable position.
To protect himself, Craig has reached out to his neighbours and created a support network he can turn to in the event of an emergency — which he’s thankful for in light of a multiweek heat wave in 2008, that struck while the elevator in his apartment was on the fritz.
He turned to the people in his support network to help survive the heat by stocking up on ice and liquids. “It took two weeks to fix the elevators, and I counted on them to help me through that,” says Craig.
Craig work with the B.C. Coalition for People with Disabilities and on June 4 he’ll be co-presenting on Emergency Preparedness for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities, discussing strategies like the support network, so families will have plan in the event of an emergency.
“I really want to stress to people, you can do this yourself, and this can be set up today and it really pays off when it’s called upon,” says Craig.
The Burnaby Emergency Program Office and the Burnaby Access Advisory Committee presented the open meeting at the Tommy Douglas Library May 16, sharing tips and strategies for being prepared during an emergency.
Having an emergency plan helps put people at ease, as well.
“It certainly gives people a sense of empowerment,” he says. “They know if something does happen, that they know how to begin that process, instead of being fearful of ‘what if.’ ”
The session discussed and offered tips for emergency planning for someone with intellectual or physical disabilities, whether it’s during a house fire, heat wave or earthquake.
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