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General News · 8th December 2010
Cortes ESS
The Emergency Social Services Program (ESS) has a Cortes Island team (Cortes ESS) who have been meeting regularly to plan and train in the event of an emergency. We would like to share some information about ESS and invite you to help us prepare for an emergency just in case we ever have one. Our preparedness will help to ensure a reliable response.

What is Emergency Social Services?

Emergency Social Services (ESS) provides short-term assistance to families & individuals who are forced to leave their homes because of fire, flood, earthquake or other emergency. This assistance includes food, lodging, clothing, emotional support and family reunification.

What do ESS volunteers do?

Emergency Social Services is based on volunteerism, and is dependent on the willingness of individuals in the community to help plan for the well-being of their neighbours and fellow citizens in the event of a disaster. Preparing our community is the best way to achieve our goal, 26 weeks to Preparedness.

The needs of one community can vary greatly from the needs of another. Living on a remote island such as Cortes, we are fortunate to have a wealth of knowledge for self sufficiency. Many households are already prepared for emergencies with emergency equipment such as generators for backup power, stocks of food and water, etc. May 1-7, 2011 is Emergency Preparedness Week. Emergency Preparedness starts with the individual, expands to the family and then out to the community. Over the next 23 weeks, look for a weekly tip to prepare yourself, your family and your community.

This week, there are three tips (we started a little late!)

Week #1 - Get a large portable container with a lid to use as an emergency kit. A plastic storage bin or garbage can works well, particularly one with wheels. Choose an accessible location for the container near an exit and label the container. Make sure all family members know what it will be used for and where it is. (You may also want to pack items into individual wheeled carts, carry-alls or packs to make them easier to carry by individual family members.)

Week #2 - Take note of water supply. Begin storing water. Keep in mind, in the case of a major catastrophe, outside help may not arrive for weeks.

Week #3 - Begin stocking non perishable food. Stock your kit with several varieties of packaged foods, canned meats/fish and dried fruit. Include a manual can opener. If needed, include infant supplies including disposable diapers, disposable bottles, formula, etc. Plan for at least a two week supply of food for each family member.

Thanks for joining us on the 26 Weeks to Preparedness program. Feel free to contact Liesa, Suzan & Colleen with any ideas and/or knowledge that may be most applicable to island living.