Emergency Preparedness, Drinking Water weeks to run May 1 to 7 

Education, awareness at the centre of both

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO - ARE YOU PREPARED? Emergency Preparedness Week aims to educate Canadians about what to do in the event of an emergency, like earthquakes or wildfires.
  • file photo
  • ARE YOU PREPARED? Emergency Preparedness Week aims to educate Canadians about what to do in the event of an emergency, like earthquakes or wildfires.

One week, two equally important focuses.

At its April 19 meeting, the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) council proclaimed two different weeks for May 1 to 7 — Emergency Preparedness Week and Drinking Water Week.

A variety of activities are planned for both.

Emergency Preparedness Week is based around four simple steps for residents: Know the risks, make a plan, get a kit and get insured.

The festivities will be highlighted by Whistler's first-ever Emergency Preparedness Fair on Wednesday, May 11, from 1 to 7 p.m. on the Village Stroll next to Olympic Plaza.

The fair's big draw is the "Shake Zone" — a mobile earthquake simulator designed to give people a sense of what an 8.0-magnitude earthquake feels like — as well as info booths and emergency kits for sale, with $25 from each kit sold going to Whistler Animals Galore.

A free emergency prep presentation will take place at 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 5 at the Whistler Public Library. The info session will discuss hazards that affect Whistler, what to include in an emergency kit and what measures parents can take to protect their kids before, during and after an emergency.

There's also a full-scale emergency response exercise planned for the evening of Wednesday, May 4 in the Rainbow subdivision.

RMOW Protective Services, Whistler Fire Rescue Service, Whistler Search and Rescue and other first response agencies will take part.

The exercise is designed to test the RMOW Evacuation Plan, and will involve activating the municipal Emergency Operations Centre.

Crews involved with the exercise will be canvassing door-to-door, but no one will be evacuated as part of the exercise.

The RMOW is prepared to help residents during severe storms, earthquakes, wildfires, floods, hazardous chemical spills and other emergencies, but residents and businesses also have a responsibility to be prepared.

For more information head to www.whistler.ca/emergencypreparedness.

Taking place over the same time frame — but no less important an initiative — is Drinking Water Week.

The BC Water and Waste Association is hosting its annual conference in Whistler on May 1 to 3, with the theme "Resilient, Resourceful and Ready."

On Wednesday, May 4 from 10 to 11 a.m., the Whistler Public Library will host a casual book and craft session for kids aged two to five. Kids will be treated to a short story before making some water-themed crafts.

On Saturday, May 7 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., residents can learn more about Whistler's water distribution system and Wastewater Treatment Plant by taking a tour of the RMOW's 21 Mile Creek collection site.

Those interested are asked to register by emailing engineers@whistler.ca before Thursday, May 5.

Also on May 7, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., Family Together Time at the Whistler Public Library will allow participants to build their own working water cycle. The event is suitable for kids aged three and up (with caregivers), and the crafts can be taken home when it's all over.

Students at Whistler Secondary School will also take part in the Awesome Aquifer Competition, which pits teams of students against one another to see who can produce the best model aquifer — and who knows the most about them.

Whistler's annual Drinking Water Report is scheduled to come before council on May 17.

For more on Whistler's drinking water head to www.whistler.ca/services/water-and-wastewater/water/drinking-water.



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