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Leaping into the 21st century

Nov. 26, 2008

I don’t watch a lot of TV – the usual news programs and a spate of edgy HBO programming. Still, even with that small amount of viewing time, it’s tough to miss the ads from the Canadian Centre for Emergency Preparedness telling viewers it’s their responsibility to have enough food, water and medication on hand for three days in case of an emergency like, say, the Ontario/Quebec ice storm, Hurricane Juan in Nova Scotia or flooding in Manitoba.

November 26, 2008 
By Laura King

Maybe I’m
more attuned to these ads because of my job. Maybe you are too. But clearly a
large percentage of the population is watching only
U.S. reality TV – and therefore
missing the ads – or skips out to the loo during the commercial breaks.

A hard copy of a survey for The
Canadian Centre for Emergency Preparedness, called Preparing for Crisis, arrived by courier this morning and can be
found online at
The conclusion? Surprise, surprise – Canadians don’t have a clue what to do or
where to turn in a crisis. “
The overwhelming majority of
respondents feel that people just do not think about emergency preparedness
(81%) . . . The second most common reason is that people just expect the government,
police, hospitals and fire departments to make the necessary preparations

survey acknowledges that fewer people are getting their news and information
from newspapers and TV and are instead using the internet. Maybe I’m just
cynical but this doesn’t exactly come as a lightening bolt. In fact, it has
been a topic of conversation at fire chiefs conferences over the last few years
– how to better use the internet to get word out about fire prevention, smoke
detectors, residential sprinklers and other issues. The CCEP has an excellent
website and if you know what you’re looking for it’s easy to find. But most
Canadians don’t go searching for details on emergency preparedness. It’s not
rocket science – ads on sites like Facebook and YouTube instead of the
might do the trick. It’s fine to compile statistics but let’s take some action



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