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Are you and your loved ones Storm Ready?

Photo from left to right: <strong>Sharon Luhtala</strong> of Red Cross, <strong>Sharon Bak</strong> of Red Cross, and <strong>Linda McDonald</strong> of St. Joseph's Care Group
Are you and your loved ones Storm Ready?

Date: 2015-01-30

Seventy-two hours.

That is the amount of time you should be personally prepared for in case of a power outage, disaster or emergency, residents were told Thursday at a Personal Preparedness Workshop at Sister Leila Greco Apartments (SLGA).

For Pearl Dicks, 91, this information is crucial to her safety. “It’s very important to me to come to this information session,” she said.

Her daughter Marsha Tetreault agreed. “I think it reinforced to residents that these are things they should think about, and if emergencies do happen, to know what they need to do.”

More than 40 people attended the workshop, open to all SLGA residents and delivered by staff from the Red Cross Disaster Management Program in partnership with St. Joseph’s Care Group (SJCG).

“Seniors are among those most vulnerable in emergency situations,” said Sharon Bak, Trainer and Emergency Response Leader for the Red Cross in Thunder Bay. “Residents and family members need to be aware. They need to ensure they have emergency kits in place, and know that there is a Storm Ready Plan in place.”

The presentation is part of a community-wide campaign called “Are You Storm Ready?” which is being delivered across the city in partnership with Thunder Bay Hydro, the Red Cross and Lakehead Social Planning Council. The aim is to provide residents and family members with tips and information on how to cope with a variety of emergency situations.

Seniors were told to: (1) Be personally prepared with a fully-stocked emergency kit at home; (2) Know the emergency plan for your building and what you personally need to do; and (3) Follow SJCG’s emergency instructions.

It is recommended that each resident have his or her own emergency kit, with: a flashlight, battery-operated or crank radio, spare batteries, a first-aid kit, a telephone that can work during a power disruption (or access to one), low and secure-standing candles, medications (or a list/photocopies of them), personal ID, important papers, non-perishable food, a manual can opener and bottled water.

“We want our residents to know our building’s emergency plan, and to know that they need to listen and take direction from our staff who are trained in emergency response and evacuation plans,” explained Linda McDonald, SJCG’s Emergency Management Planner.

The session is not only aimed at residents, but for the family members they rely upon, as well as staff.

“Family members need to know what to expect and the locations where we evacuate to, and our staff needs to be prepared because we are considered ‘emergency services’ and the residents rely on all of us to help keep them safe,” McDonald added.

The next Personal Preparedness Workshops will be held at PR Cook Apartments and St. Joseph’s Hospital. Residents, staff and family members are encouraged to attend.

“If you train people to be prepared then they will know what to do,” said Bak of the Red Cross. “Preparedness is simple, you just need to be aware and have the right tools on hand.”

For more information about upcoming workshops, contact Linda McDonald or Sharon Bak at or (807) 623-3073. You can also visit


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