Emergency preparedness starts at home

·2 min read

Being prepared in the event of an emergency is important, especially when living in a flood community like the Town of Drumheller, but preparing your family and home for the unexpected can seem like a daunting task.

Drumheller Mayor Heather Colberg, Drumheller Fire Chief Bruce Wade, along with home inspector Steve Pittman, joined Justin Lamoureaux at Drumheller Canadian Tire on Thursday, April 29 to discuss the importance of having a 72-hour emergency kit on hand, and what steps to take to protect your home in the event of flooding.

“Especially around here with bentonite in some of the areas, if you don’t have a good grade away from the home, water will sit between the wall of dirt and the wall of the home,” Pittman told the Mail. “We get that cold weather and it’s going to freeze and the water’s going to expand and push on the foundation and cause cracks and cause damage.”

Pittman adds, on the exterior of homes, it is also important to assess eavestroughs and downspouts to ensure proper drainage of water away from the home’s foundation.

Inside the home, Pittman notes it is important to make sure a floor drain is near the water tank in the event of rupture, and that it is working correctly.

Sump pumps or backwater valves should also regularly be checked once or twice a year to ensure they are working properly, and window wells should also be checked regularly to ensure proper drainage.

72-hour emergency preparedness kits are also a great way to keep your family safe in the event of an emergency. Premade kits are available for purchase through numerous retailers, both online and in-store, and Lamoureaux notes items can be purchased at Canadian Tire to build a kit at home.

“We used my house as an example,” Lamoureaux says. “The list isn’t short, but it’s not tough stuff.”

Flood season will begin in the Drumheller Valley on Saturday, May 15, and the Flood Mitigation Office is encouraging residents, regardless of where they live in the community, to have a 72-hour emergency preparedness kit on hand.

Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Drumheller Mail