Al Wickham

Being prepared in the worst case scenario

Think about what you might need in your emergency kit

In any disaster situation, what makes recovery for the affected community more difficult? Lack of basic amenities such as water, food, shelter and medical supplies.

It doesn’t have to be difficult though — not if majority of the community is prepared for the worst, said Al Wickheim.

That’s the idea behind a recent emergency-kit awareness program that’s circling the local community. The man behind it, Al Wickham, community coordinator for Otter Point, Juan De Fuca Emergency management, has been coming up with more and more initiatives to get more locals involved — and talking — of such kits that may potentially save their lives.

“If something major happens around here, it’s not just Otter Point, it’s everybody. We’re all in the same boat here… it’s not only about first-aid, it’s about community restructure,” Wickheim said. “If we can connect the people with the assets in terms of skills and equipment and those with liabilities, such as elderly people or people who are trapped or people with medical issues.”

Wickheim says the first step to a solid survival/emergency kit starts with the retailers offering certain items on discount — stuff like batteries, toilet paper, canned food, flashlights, radios, walkie-talkies, portable water purifiers and so on.

“If you have a product that you feel may be included in a survival kit, then get in touch with me and I’ll see if it’s kit-worthy. What I’d like to see a list of 10 or 15 listed items that we strongly recommend,” he said, noting that after a retailer lists an item, when a person comes in to buy said item for their survival kit, they get checked off a list (just so that individual can’t get the same item at a discounted price over and over).

In the end, it’s about reducing costs for a good cause.

“It makes it all more affordable for people who can’t lay down $200 for a top-tier emergency kit,” he said.

Wickheim also pointed towards items that encompass general hygiene – as lack thereof creates a prime factor for infection in a disaster scenario.

“Rubbing alcohol, hand hygiene, oral hygiene, these are good hygienic practices that help make a recovery so much better, because then you’re not dealing with a bunch of sick people as well as a whole lot of displaced people,” he said.

Understandably, not all items can be discounted, like say, camp stoves. However Wickheim notes the cost of fuel for camp stoves can be reduced as, once again, in a disaster scenario, fuel can quickly become a rare and scarce commodity.

While recent reports of earthquakes looming on Vancouver Island have succumbed to sensationalism, there’s no denying the potential damage and crippling aftermath an earthquake/tsunami scenario can cause on the island community.

Same reason why Wickheim wants to encourage both citizens and retailers to start taking action.

“If merchants become a bit more aware of items that may be wanted and can stock and sell more, this takes the burden off the supply chain in a time of acute need,” he said. “It also speeds access to needed items and so promotes a more effective home, community, district, and broader regional recovery.”

For more information, you can reach Al Wickheim at 250-642-5124 or via email at al@prodaptivemedical.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Volunteers sought to remove weeds from Port Renfrew’s Parkinson Road

Road has no sidewalks, forcing pedestrians to walk on pavement

Langford residents concerns rise over proposal for two 11-storey buildings

Group calls for more green space, independent traffic feasiblity study

Plans for pot shop in Sidney spark back to life

Changing provincial regulations could clear the way for Sidney’s first ever pot shop

Falling oak tree causes minor damage to Langford home

Tree damages garden and gutters of home on Lindsay Place

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

Most Read