What kinds of natural disasters can occur in Calgary?
If you said “none”, you’d be mistaken. Many Calgarians think natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and tornadoes happen in other places. While we may not be subjected to huge superstorms like Sandy or Hurricane Katrina, we have our own potential problems.
As we head into spring, we are also heading into flooding season. In the spring of 2005, about 40,000 homes in Calgary suffered flood damage. More than 1500 Calgarians were evacuated in a state of local emergency. Even if you live in an area on higher ground, you may still experience flooding though basement seepage, storm water backup and sewage backup. Certain types of flood damage are often not covered by insurance policies – you should be aware of how your insurance policy covers flooding.
The Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) encourages Calgarians to be prepared for any emergency. Some of the things you can do include:
- Know the risks. For example, flooding is most common mid-May to July, but can occur at any time of year.
- Plan for an evacuation in the event you have to leave your home.
- Ensure you have a 72-hour kit stocked and ready to go. A 72-hour kit is supplies to support you and your family for 72 hours (3 days) in an emergency situation.
- Have a family plan. The most common source of stress during an emergency is not knowing where your loved ones are. Know how to contact everyone in your family.
CEMA invites you to learn more about how you can get prepared at Disaster Alley, a fun and FREE family event! Disaster Alley showcases first responders and agencies that help in emergencies. Disaster Alley is a great chance to get up close and personal to representatives – and their equipment! – from the Calgary Fire Department, the Calgary Police Service, STARS, Alberta Health Services, HAWCs helicopter, ENMAX, ATCO, Calgary Transit, and more! Disaster Alley is Sunday, May 5 from 11AM to 3PM, at McMahon Stadium (east parking lot).
To learn more about preparedness, visit www.calgary.ca/cema. We’re prepared – are you?
Having seen first hand what floods can do, I have to say that communication around a family plan for disasters is the first step towards preparedness.
In the plan you would identify the risks and plan for different scenarios.
From that plan you can stock up on supplies and have contingency plans for the identified scenarios.