COLUMN: Lyle Karasiuk — June 19, 2014

Lyle Karasiuk
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Recently forest fires forced the evacuation of people from Stanley Mission.

We heard through the media how folks were up rooted for many days. We may have wondered could that happen to us? Then we heard of possible extreme flooding in southern Alberta and a terrible tornado in Ontario and again wondered could that happen to us. These events can happen to us and it is a good reminder to us all as we step back for a lazier, less stressful summer that we should take some simple precautions.


The Red Cross website ( offers the following steps to start the planning process for our homes.

• Plan the best way to evacuate your home

• Determine the best ways to evacuate from inside your home in case of an emergency.  

• Make sure everyone in the house knows the location of your emergency kit and water supply.

• Establish a safe place for your family to meet.

• Include a plan for evacuating your pets.     

• Practise your evacuation plan frequently.


What if you can’t evacuate your home?

There may be certain situations where you are not able to or it is not safe to evacuate your home, like a power outage, tornado or flu pandemic. You should be prepared to be self-sufficient in your home for 72 hours (or seven to 10 days in a health emergency).

If you or your loved ones have any special needs that would require extra assistance, you should work those details into your family emergency plan and into your emergency kit. This could also include checking in on neighbours who may require assistance during an emergency.

Remember that emergencies can occur when you are travelling too. Vehicle collisions can happen when travelling; storms can affect the cottage or trailer park you may be staying at. Wherever summer takes you, travel safe, be prepared and take precautions. Don’t forget your pets.

For their safety travel with them in a secure kennel. Make sure they have some identification worn on their collar and pack along some extra water for them too!


While summer travels will take many of us away from home, others will opt for a staycation. Getting to the many chores around the house and other renovation projects require you to think before you act.

• Read instructions on chemicals and paints.

• Place ladders safely and securely

• Never remove safety guards off mowers or other power tools

• Wear the gear such as gloves, eye protection, and safety footwear as required

• Keep children and pets away from construction areas.


What would summer be without some trips to the beach. Remember that starting June 27, 2014 new rules apply for children travel in car seats. It is mandatory for children under 7, under 145 cm in height and under 36 kg to be safely secured in a booster seat. Once you arrive at the beach, safety around water means:


Supervise your children at all times

• Wear a proper fitting life jacket for everyone on the boat

• Never mix alcohol with boating

• Ensure the operator of the boat has a pleasure craft operators card

• Ensure that all applicable safety gear like, tow rope, paddle, bailing bucket and more is on board the craft

• Know where you are going and what to do in case of an emergency.

From all the paramedics and telecommunicators at Parkland Ambulance Care have a safe summer wherever travels take you!

Organizations: Red Cross, Parkland Ambulance Care

Geographic location: Stanley Mission, Southern Alberta, Ontario

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