Responders encourage preparedness at Disaster Alley

Calgary emergency responders at Disaster Alley on Sunday encouraged participants to consider building an 72-hour survival kit.
Mascots were on hand for the family-friendly event Disaster Alley Sunday. (Courtesy: Adam Wargon/Twitter)

If disaster strikes, can your family survive for 72 hours?

That's the question being posed to Calgarians by the city's emergency responders at Disaster Alley on Sunday. Responders hope to get people thinking about safety and how to survive a fire, tornado or any other disaster.

"People need to be able to look after themselves in those 72 hours so that emergency services personnel can deal with people that are most in need," says Barrie Brand, a risk manager with Alberta Emergency Management Services. "The minimum requirements are things like water."

Experts recommend that everyone keep a 72-hour emergency kit handy, which should contain things like non-perishables food items, blankets, extra batteries, waterproof matches, a cellphone charger, a first aid kit and a whistle, among other things.

They also suggest that people keep an emergency supply of pet food for their furry friends, including any medication their pet might need.

Family favourites like Sparky the Fire Dog were on hand along with other mascots for the day.

Participants could stop by several of Calgary's food trucks and watch emergency demonstrations involving fire trucks and helicopters.

While some of those who came by the event say they are prepared for anything, others say they realized how unprepared they really are.

"The funniest thing is, I think I have everything for the pets," says participant Andrew Bellavie, "everything for my cat here on the list but maybe not everything for myself."