The Wallace Ave. street party involved an Emergency Preparedness Relay Race. Pictured

Educational street party in Comox

Wallace Ave. residents get a lesson in emergency preparedness

When the residents of Wallace Ave. in Comox have a block party, they turn it into a learning experience.

On Sunday a section of Wallace Ave. was closed to traffic for a street party – a chance for neighbours to become better acquainted, complete with a potluck supper.

And while there was plenty of socializing during the afternoon, planners took it upon themselves to have a little educational fun.

Rather than bocci, or street hockey, Lois Harvey arranged for an “Emergency Preparedness Relay Race.”

The Harveys are the neighbourhood experts when it comes to such things. Lois worked with the Red Cross in its school program for many years and her husband, Derrick, is the North Island co-ordinator for disaster for the Red Cross.

“We know that we are going to have to depend on each other in this block, if there is a disaster, so if we all make a little effort to be prepared, then we really will be able to help each other out. So that’s why I did the game,” said Lois. “I’ve done it with the Red Cross before – it’s an educational game that they use with the schools program.”

The game’s rules were simple enough.

Two teams line up at one end of the street. At the other end, there is a box full of items.

Participants take turns running from one end to the box at the other. They sift through the box, finding an item they believe should be in an emergency preparedness kit, retrieve it and return to their group.

Once everyone has had a chance to retrieve an item, the “kit” they have amassed is examined and judged, based on its contents.

The kit not only has to be able to withstand the first 72 hours after a disaster, but should contain items that can last up to a year in “pre-disaster storage”.

“There’s a little booklet that the Red Cross puts out talking about the first 72 hours, (Your Emergency Preparedness Guide) which tells you some of the things you need to have; a certain amount of water – two litres to a gallon of water a day per person; matches; a flashlight and batteries; canned foods; can opener, all those kinds of things,” said Harvey.

“Then, for the purpose of the game you also throw in things (into the grab box) like fresh milk containers, boxes of cereal, eggs, things like that, that can get the children thinking about what should go into the preparedness kit and what shouldn’t.”

Harvey said the game was a lot of fun for the parents and children alike, and the important part was that some people learned a valuable lesson.

She was encouraged that a lot of her neighbours already had emergency preparedness kits in their homes.

“About half of our street said they already have one, so that was a really good sign,” she said. “Hopefully we never have to use them, but it’s important not to be without them.”

She is also hopeful that by getting the word out, other neighbourhoods would consider doing a similar exercise during their own block parties.

“I hope other people will do it,” said Harvey. “It was lots of fun and it really built up the community spirit. It was just a little 15-minute segment out of the whole three or four hours, but having one little learning experience really helps to draw your community together as well.”

Red Cross has the booklet available at its Puntledge Road office, and it is also available online at bit.ly/1hQbC0D, in a variety of formats and languages.

editor@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

Just Posted

Busy as a bee in a lavender field

Bees are in abundance at Shamrock Farm off Anderton Road flocking to… Continue reading

Market Day crowds flock to downtown Courtenay

Fifth Street in downtown Courtenay was packed Saturday morning as people flocked… Continue reading

Marine tourism a driving force for Vancouver Island’s economy

State of the Island Economic Summit takes place Oct. 23-24

19 Wing Comox welcomes new wing commander

Col. Dany Poitras assumed command of 19 Wing Comox

Pacific Salmon Foundation contributes $42,000 to Comox Valley wild salmon restoration projects

The Pacific Salmon Foundation announced it is contributing more than $42,000 to… Continue reading

Jets host peewee baseball tourney

The Comox Valley peewee A Jets baseball team is hosting a 10-team… Continue reading

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

Most Read