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British Columbia Interior Faces Flooding Once Again

Flooding in British Columbia is a common and unfortunate reality for many Canadian residents. Property damage, loss of homes or personal belongings, injury and even death are among the situations faced when flooding occurs. Currently the Central Okanagan is suffering from yet another unusual amount of flooding due to heavy rain fall. With the ground already saturated from snow melt, there is nothing to absorb the rainfall. “We’re getting our ducks in a row, mapping out what properties will be impacted and figuring out how best to instruct home owners to protect themselves, what kind of protection works best— whether that be sandbags or the Tiger dams —and how we can facilitate that.”- City Staff quote. Rapid snow melt, ice jams and heavy rainfall are factors that can play into flooding causes. This paired with unprepared communities can be devastating for homeowners and residents. Warm temperatures speed up the spring snow melt, resulting in runoff surges between April to July. 2017 was a devastating time for floods in BCs interior residents with flooding worse than it has ever been since 1990.  Timeline of events for the 2018 Flood Season:
  • April 26 - Property owners are told to get prepared, CORD opens their Emergency Operations Centre (EOC)
  • April 27 - CORD provides sandbags to residents as needed
  • April 29 - Evacuation Orders for Killiney Beach neighborhood and the Nazko Valley are issued
Visit the Central Okanagan Regional District website for further updates (https://www.regionaldistrict.com/).  If you live in this region, be sure to sign up for email alerts. The CORD Emergency Operations Team recommends the following:
  • Install “No reverse” flow valves for basements flood drains
  • Consider investing in a sump pump to help pull water away from your home
  • Move toxic, harmful or potential harmful substances, along with electrical appliances to above ground level floors
  • Seal cracks in foundation, doorways and windows
  • Stock up on sandbags, look into “wet-proofing” systems for your home
  • Purchase emergency supply kits for your home, car and work (plan for at least a three-day supply of food and water for each family member)
  • Have a grab-and-go kit ready if you have to leave your home quickly
  • Keep important papers in watertight containers and have a record of your valuables in a safe place
  • If flooding is likely in your area, pay attention to the local media for information
  • Watch for warning signs: increase in height and intensity of water flows, mudslides, debris in creeks, colour changes in water or leaning trees
  • Know that banks of rivers and streams may be unstable and dangerous
  • Keep a safe distance away from fast flowing water, especially children
  • Teach your children about flood safety
  • Consider arrangements for your pets and any livestock
Putting emergency systems in place are only one way to protect your home during flooding, it is critical that your family and neighbours have an evacuation plan in place, along with a grab and go style emergency bag with everything you need for a minimum 72 hours, including food and water rations, first aid supplies, clothing, sanitary items- such as soap, hand sanitizer and toilet paper, baby food and formula (if applicable), lighting sources, emergency blankets, whistle, multi-function knife. Keep a close eye on emergency management websites for your regional district. Preplanning evacuation routes- know the dangers with each route. Water boil advisories are often put in place during flooding due to water contamination with the rising water levels. Total damages and homes affected are not yet able to be reported on as the numbers are still being put together and damages are so extensive, the numbers have yet to be rendered. Sources: https://www.kelownacapnews.com/news/heavy-rain-causes-floods-in-the-central-okanagan/ https://www.cordemergency.ca/  

Vehicle & Roadside Safety

General preparedness is critical for all situations, however one that is often overlooked is vehicle safety and preparedness. Many vehicle emergencies or road side issues are ones that are easily preventable with pre-planning and preparation. All levels of government recommend carrying a survival kit in all vehicles. A few tips to help you get prepared!

 Repairing your vehicle prior to a trip:

  • Do a vehicle walk around and underneath to see if there is anything that looks out of place, damaged, or hanging down improperly.
  • Schedule a checkup before leaving for a trip.
  • Ensure there is enough supplies for all persons in the vehicle in case you break down in a remote location, in extreme weather, or late at night.
  • Keep fuel topped up, check tire pressure and fluid levels - consider bringing fluids along for extending trips.
  • Actively check the weather forecast and ensure your vehicle meets or surpasses weather requirements.
  • Inform a friend or family member aware of your route and check in often. If something happens and they do not hear from you, they will know your last check point and better predict where you might be if stranded.

Daily Vehicle Use:

  • Make a habit to keep fuel levels half a tank or higher start considering half a tank your new “empty”.
  • Carry snacks, spare clothing and water bottles in your vehicle we have assembled our Vehicle Survival Kits to include important items such as: car fuses, high-visibility vest, rain poncho, multi-function army knife, multi-bit screw driver, reflective triangle, food + water rations, emergency blanket, sanitary items, first aid, candles & matches,  among many other items.  Our kit will ensure you are prepared for all road side emergency situations.

Long Period Vehicle Storing:

  • Remove wiper blades and store in vehicle to avoid weathering damage.
  • Get an oil change and top up all fluids- including break, wiper fluid, anti-freeze, etc.
  • Periodically start the vehicle and let it run for at least ten minutes.
  • Thoroughly wash the exterior of your vehicle to remove any harsh contaminates, detail interior and remove all garbage.
  • Using a car cover, pop up shed or a tarp to keep harsh weather conditions from effecting your vehicle.
If you need to pull over to the side of the road, always use your flashing hazard lights, wear reflective or high-visibility clothing when walking around or exciting the vehicle. Be sure to check out one of our retailers to get your vehicle kit, or shop online today!

Emergency Preparedness Planning

Emergency preparedness is a topic on the minds of many Canadians with all the disasters happening around the country. A question we get asked often is – what should I prepare for?  The thing is, there is no one solution fits all and that we need to not get overwhelmed. There are many types of emergencies and we cannot lose focus. When getting emergency prepared, the main thing is to have enough supplies to survive the first 72 hours. It is recommended by most municipalities and provinces to have a week’s supply of food, water and shelter – But to have a minimum of three days supply.

Key Points for Your Emergency Preparedness Planning

At GetMyKit.ca we do specialize in high quality emergency kits, but we cannot lose focus on planning. Having an emergency plan is just as important. The best way to ensure we make rational decisions is to have pre-existing answers. A couple things that are important to have included your emergency plan are:
  • Have an out of town contact - This is someone away from the epicentre, someone who usually lives in another city or province.
  • Know your neighborhood – There is many sides to knowing your neighborhood. You want to know where the hazards are, contact your local municipality to find out where the reception centres will be set up post disaster, what streets you will use in the event of an emergency and where you will get your information from during a disaster.
  • Have a meeting place -  In preparing with your family, you should have a 1st and 2nd Meeting place set. This is where the family will meet in the event of a disaster or emergency. The first thing we will do is grab our mobile devices which more than likely wont work and all we will want is our family. It is crucial to planning that we have meeting places set ahead of time.
These are couple of things that should be included in your emergency plan. For more information on emergency planning visit GetMyKit.ca.

Emergency Supplies Needed

When it comes to the kit, like we had said earlier – you should have a minimum of 72 hours worth of supplies for all family/household members. This is recommended by all levels of government in Canada. Municipal, Provincial and Federal government all recommend Canadians to be emergency prepared for a minimum of 72 hours. GetMyKit Emergency Kits have enough food and water to sustain you for 3-5 days. In addition to the food and water - also Included in our kits are blankets, tents, crank flashlight, radio, light sticks, matches, first aid, gloves, hand & body warmers, heating mechanisms, can openers, a stove and much more. To view a full list of our emergency kits, visit GetMyKit.ca/shop. The best thing about GetMyKit is that our kits have a 5-year shelf life. Making being prepared easy. For more information about emergency preparedness planning or questions about our emergency kits, please give our office a call at 1-888-673-1222

British Columbia Headed Into Earthquake Season

British Columbia is headed back into another one of its riskier seismic seasons, raising the risk of "The Big One," earthquake experts say.  Every 14 months, the Cascadia subduction zone — which runs from northern Vancouver Island down to northern California — experiences what seismologists call a "slow slip."

The Science Behind the Quakes

The Cascadia Subduction Zone is a 1,000 kilometer fault that runs from Northern Vancouver Island to Northern California. The fault itself is a boundary between two tectonic plates: the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate is moving towards and getting forced under the North American plate that we live on. A section of that boundary has become locked together - the plates are no longer sliding smoothly. So, all that forward movement is being stored up inside the rocks, waiting for the day that the energy will be released as a catastrophic megathrust earthquake, colloquially known on the Pacific Northwest as the 'Big One'. The tremors caused by slow slips are different from routine earthquakes that occur in the Pacific Northwest, and they aren't felt on the surface because they originate so far underground.

Past Slow Slip Cycles Can Help Us Gauge Future Seismic Activity

During the slow slip, in late December 2015, around 8,000 mini-tremors were recorded. During this slow slip B.C.'s South Coast was hit by an earthquake that shook many people from their sleep just before midnight, in what one seismologist called the largest quake in the region in years. This 4.8M earthquake was recorded on December 29th, 2015 at 11:39pm in Victoria B.C. Our regions seismologist Alison Bird describes the heightened risk, similar to the increased risk of driving in rush hour traffic.  "Going for a drive in the country on a Sunday, you're not that likely to be in a car accident. But if it's rush hour in Vancouver and there's a game on ... you're more likely to be in an accident. You're not necessarily going to be, but the probabilities are higher." "We are living in a seismically active area. We will have damaging earthquakes — they're guaranteed," Bird said. "A lot of people use that cycle to remind them to check on their kit, to review their plan, that sort of thing.” There couldn’t be a better time to go through your emergency plan and purchase supplies. Find a local GetMyKit.ca Emergency Kit retailer, or visit our shop.   We offer free Emergency Preparedness Workshops and are looking for venues across British Columbia.  Check our Facebook page for events near you, or contact our office 1-888-673-1222.   Sources: CBC News.ca Oct 10, 2016 - Johanna Wagstaffe CBC News.ca Feb 23, 2017 
Fundraising

Fundraising that Matters 

Fundraising can also help your community buyers

How many fundraisers have you participated in where you bought or sold “stuff” – the coupons that sit in your junk drawer, the chocolates that you really didn’t need in the first place, trinkets of all sorts that collected dust – all items that didn’t really have a meaning or a deeper purpose.  And so, GetMyKit Fundraising was born, an easier and more meaningful way to raise funds for your organization. GetMyKit offers a chance for you to help make a difference in your community by providing high-end emergency safety kits that will help protect and prepare their loved ones. Chocolates and cookies disappear, but emergency preparedness is invaluable. In addition to selling a meaningful product, we’ve developed a completely no-fuss process that couldn’t be easier for your group to administer.

Here’s how the GetMyKit Fundraising Program works:

  1. Register for free online www.getmykit.ca/fundraising
  2. Promote using our free print or online templates
  3. Earn, track your progress and receive payments from each kit that’s sold
In today’s world, we are fully immersed in the digital age and are always surprised how many fundraising campaigns are still stuck in the dark ages with their door-to-door canvassing. While this classic technique may be nostalgic, it is time-consuming. To fix this, GetMyKit Fundraising has streamlined the process. We’ve cut out the walking from house to house, the harassing your co-workers in the break room, and the begging your relatives at Sunday dinner. Now, you can do it all online! Once you have registered your group you will get a unique promotional code for you to track your progress. We have templates for a variety of mediums like:
  1. Social media
  2. Email
  3. Even print too!
These templates will bring your supporters to a GetMyKit order page where they can use your organization’s unique promo code to get great deals on the GetMyKit package of their choosing. Once they have submitted their order, you get paid and we do the rest. We handle all the order processing and shipping so all you have to do is sit back and relax and watch those funds roll in. The future of fundraising is here. The time is now to be prepared! Click here to learn how your organization can benefit from fundraising made easy that you can feel good about.
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