To kick off emergency preparedness week, the Town of Strathmore will be hosting an open house at the Strathmore Fire Hall on May 7 from 12:00-5:00 p.m.

The Town's Emergency Management Coordinator Sara Coutts explained as the name of the week implies, the open house is all about preparing you and your family for a wide array of emergencies. For our region specifically, Coutts said weather emergencies are something to definitely keep your eye on, including but not limited to hail storms, flooding, fires, and more.

Coutts emphasized the importance of having a plan in case an emergency does strike. For example, we may all think it's simply a case of leaving your home in the case of fire and going somewhere safe, but what about the other essential items in your home?

"Some of the important ones are your important documents that you want to take with you, some clothing, some food, some water, some things to hit the road. Your spare key to your car is a good one, your medication that you take regularly, basically anything that you need to take care of your basic needs to live," Coutts said.

Most of us likely don't carry all of these in the same location, which is why Coutts advises creating a 72-hour kit, which carries those essential items and more that you can simply grab and go in case of emergency. Learning about the 72-hour kit is one of many things Coutts hopes to share with the community during their open house.

Coutts also hopes to share escape plans with people, as this is yet another thing that may seem simple until you're actually faced with an emergency. If your doors are blocked, where do you go? Once you leave your home, where do you go from there? These questions and more are what Coutts hopes to answer to make sure the community is able to stay safe in dire circumstances.

"We really just want to make the scary things not so scary for everybody. So our open house is trying to help you not only open your mind to emergency preparedness, but set you up on the road to success for emergency preparedness."

The open house will have several activities, games, and prizes to make learning fun and engaging for kids too, including "a fire extinguisher challenge that you can come in and try out."

Coutts also encouraged everyone to sign up for Voyent Alert, which she says is one of the Town's main ways of communicating emergencies to the community.

"Voyent Alert is much like the Alberta Emergency Alert, but it's more local. Our hope is that everyone will come in and ask questions and sign up for that so we have a bigger usage across the community."

You can download the Voyent Alert app through the Apple app store or the Google Play store.

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