In a time of crisis, we usually look to community centres, stadiums and schools for refuge, shelter and emergency food and water. In smaller communities, especially in the lower mainland, we rely on our high schools and our elementary schools for refuge and shelter. Maybe it’s due to familiarity with these sites or maybe it’s that we think that logically the powers that be would make sure there are supplies on hand to service the youth of our community. This got us thinking at EarthquakeKit.ca, how well equipped are our local schools? Not just for the students in attendance but for residents in the surrounding community seeking shelter. When an earthquake hits there may not be time to search for supplies or wonder what is on hand that could be useful in a time of crisis.
At the very least, you would think that each school/classroom should have basic supplies on hand to cover the students it services. From a communal standpoint, these supplies can also be used to help those displaced from their homes in the aftermath of a major quake. Food rations, water rations, water purification tablets, and Lifestraws would be great items to have on hand at schools. They are easy to store, incredibly effective, relatively cheap to purchase and have long shelf lives at 5+ years.
We have decided to do an emergency preparedness study of every school in every school district in the BC Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley and on Vancouver Island. We will report the results of this study back to our readers, district by district, over the next 12 months. A simple yes or no question will be asked to every school. Do you have an earthquake kit or emergency preparedness supplies on hand? Schools will then be graded on their answer. The expectation is that the school receptionist should know off the top of their heads if they have emergency supplies on hand. After all, in the event of an emergency during school hours, this is the person the public will be speaking with. Schools that answer “No” will be given a failing “F” grade. Those that “Do not know or refuse to answer” will be given an incomplete grade of “D”. A “B” grade will be assigned to those that claim to have supplies on hand and an “A” grade is reserved for our customers as we have direct confirmation that they have supplies on hand and that have not expired.
EarthquakeKit.ca is located in Maple Ridge, so naturally the first district that we will review is our home district of School District 42. The results will be published in an article on our site and will be sent to our subscribers via email and posted to all our social media.