Are we ready?

It’s human nature to expect things to be more or less normal. In other words, being in a constant state of vigilance because some disaster or other might happen is not what we do.

Most of us don’t. Some do, maybe. Some are paid to do it so the rest of us don’t have to.

Police and fire departments and the provincial fire protection folks, one hopes, are always prepared for disaster.

The rest of us? After the 2011 wildfire disaster, we told ourselves we were not going to get caught unprepared again. We would catalogue all our possessions, make lists, take photographs. Remember how hard that was, dealing with insurance claims? Trying to remember all the things you once owned? Convincing your insurer that you did?

We’ll get right on that, we told ourselves. We won’t let that happen again. But how many did?

The same goes for having 72 hours-worth of survival supplies packed and ready to go. It seems a fairly simple thing to do. But how many of us have actually done it?

How about making sure flying embers have nothing to set fire to when they land on your property? It’s tough to eliminate this altogether, but it is possible to reduce the risk greatly. Dry stuff in your eavestroughs is probably the greatest culprit. Or in your flowerbeds next to the house. Or woodpiles stacked against house or shed. This is the sort of thing that was combusting in May 2011 with the slightest encouragement.

Moving on to floods, it’s probably fair to say most people don’t expect one to happen to them this spring or summer. And if one does, they won’t be ready for it.

Some people are building in flood-prone areas as you read this. Some people are excavating basements that one day will fill with water. It’s almost a certainty.

So…it doesn’t hurt once in a while to be reminded about this stuff. Are we ready? Because nobody knows what is going to happen in 2021.

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