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Emergency preparedness week: SD62 on emergency kits at schools

How to prepare your own Grab-and-Go Bag and Emergency Kit

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Tuesday May 3, 2022 | LANGFORD, BC

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

This is Emergency Preparedness Week (May 1 to 7) in British Columbia and across Canada.

Tonight the Sooke School District SD62 Education Policy committee meeting addressed emergency preparedness at the start of their meeting.

SD62 Associate Superintendent Stephanie Hedley-Smith at the May 3, 2022 Education Policy meeting. [MS Teams]

Centralized emergency kits:

Different from in previous years, students won’t have individual emergency kits at their desks. Associate Superintendent Stephanie Hedley-Smith said this evening that apparently students wouldn’t have enough time to grab them. Instead, each SD62 school has all required items in a sea container outside the school.

All the containers are set up in the same way (to assure consistency for administrators who might transition from school to school), said Hedley-Smith. With enough of a line-item in the SD62 budget, there are funds to make sure that emergency preparedness items with expiry dates are replaced on a regular basis, she said.

Aligning with current standards:

Long-time Juan de Fuca Emergency Program Coordinator Jeri Grant is on board with this direction in emergency preparedness management.

“When the emergency supplies are in the container at the school it is easier to keep all supplies up to date and available for use. Teachers change positions frequently. One teacher might be concise and another not so much,” Grant explains.

Juan de Fuca Emergency Program Coordinator Jeri Grant.

“We frequently tell the public to store emergency kits outside in a shed, for use in event of an earthquake or fire,” says Jeri Grant.

The Juan de Fuca Emergency Program covers the areas of East Sooke, and west of Sooke out to Port Renfrew.

SD62 schools are in Langford, Colwood and Sooke, serving families as well in Highlands, Metchosin and parts of View Royal.

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Grab-and-Go Bag vs Emergency Kit:

For years, people on Vancouver Island have been encouraged to develop grab-and-go bags. “The grab-and-go bag is for when you have to flee or evacuate. The emergency kit is for hunkering down,” she explains.

Grab-and-go bags should be near the door or exit that you would use in the event of an emergency. An emergency kit would include more items and might need a larger storage space like a shed.

Here is the BC Emergency Preparedness info for building a grab-and-go bag and an emergency kit.


Island Social Trends (formerly West Shore Voice News, Sooke Voice News and MapleLine Magazine) has been covering emergency preparedness in the west shore region since 2008 and SD62 in depth since 2014.

Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., Cert PR is the editor of Island Social Trends (and the previous publications).

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===== LINKS:

Emergency Preparedness Week in Canada

Emergency Preparedness Week in BC