Editorial – Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

Mac Olsen

There have been lots of complaints that winter is lingering, and that it’s time for spring weather.

You can see that in the social media posts, including the meme ‘Scr*w it! I’m gardening!’ with a photo of someone tending to their flower pots on their back porch in a heavy snowfall.

All joking aside, every day that the snow continues means highway and municipal crews must be on duty. Given the amount of snow we’ve had this winter, it is incumbent upon us to do everything we can to prepare for flooding. There is a story in this week’s Express on the M.D. of Smoky River No. 130’s preparations in case of flooding.

I saw someone in Falher dealing with flooding in their driveway a couple of weeks ago and it brought to mind the flooding that took place in the M.D. In 2013 and I hope that it doesn’t repeat this year.

I also remember the flooding that took place along the Thompson River in B.C. In 1999, Extensive property damage occurred, and Riverside Park in Kamloops was one of its victims, as was a summer trailer park on the other side. Returning to the present day, I certainly expect that if a house or a farm in the M.D. is flooded, their neighbours and emergency services will come to their aid without hesitation.

The communities within the M.D., including the hamlets, must also be prepared and assisted as required. Whether it’s filling sandbags or offering reassurance and sympathy, those who need should not go without.

The Alberta Emergency Management Agency’s website, found at http://www.aema.alberta.ca, offers information about how to prepare for flooding. On the ‘Be Prepared’ page, AEMA offers the following points. In an emergency:

. Follow your emergency plan.

. Get your emergency kit.

. Make sure you are safe before assisting others.

. Monitor alerts from Alberta Emergency Alert and listen to the radio or television for additional information from authorities.

Local officials may advise you to evacuate or stay where you are. Follow their instructions. The website also advises that is important for you to know your flood risk:

“Though homes near bodies of water are often at risk, overland flooding can also affect urban and suburban areas when heavy rainfall cannot be absorbed by the drainage system.”

The website also says, “To check your flood risk, consult your city’s flood maps or search for your property on Alberta Environment and Park’s Flood Hazard Map Application. Because flood risk can vary on a property-by-property basis, homeowners are encouraged to contact their insurance provider to assess their individual flood risk and understand what insurance options are available to them.”

Concerning the Alberta Emergency Alert, “these alerts are issued to the communities where a disaster or emergency is occurring. By signing up to receive this information directly you will be better informed about potential risks to your health, safety or community.”

The Alberta Emergency Alert app is available for Android and Apple smartphones.

So, let us hope for a slow melt and no rain as the snow finally melts and disappears. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.


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