Ladysmith families invited to learn more about local emergency response neighbourhoods

Local Emergency Response Neighbourhoods Program is hosting an information session Feb. 8 at 6:30 p.m. at Ecole Davis Road Elementary.

Ladysmith families are being invited to gather next week to learn about their neighbours and find out what to do in an emergency.

Local Emergency Response Neighbourhoods Program (LERN) — Keeping Families Safe is hosting an information session Feb. 8 at 6:30 p.m. at Ecole Davis Road Elementary at 444 Parkhill Terrace.

LERN provides neighbourhood communities with information, training and skills to be self-sufficient for a minimum of seven days following a disaster.

Experience shows that in a disaster, 80 per cent of your help comes from your neighbours and that neighbourhoods naturally come together in times of crisis, according to LERN.

“(The session) is mainly just to know what to do when there’s an emergency and some of the key steps, how they can help their neighbour,” said Ecole Davis Road Parent Advisory Council (PAC) member Karen Fediuk.

The whole town is invited to the session, and Fediuk says they especially hope people who live around Davis Road will come because there is no safe site at the south end of town in Ladysmith’s emergency plan.

“The Davis Road PAC thinks Ecole Davis Road would be the logical spot because it’s the only, or one of the few, open areas in the south end — it has a ball field there,” she said.

Fediuk says a big concern for PAC members is that if there was an emergency, the principal would be responsible for children until their parents could get to them, and what would happen if they couldn’t get to that part of town from elsewhere.

“It’s recognizing that in a real emergency, your neighbours are who you are relying on,” she said. “A few people will be trained on what to look for. We’re hoping to map some information about our neighbourhood. I think it’s really about finding out who your neighbours are.”

The LERN Program is seven simple steps:

• Talk to neighbours closest to you and invite them to become prepared for emergencies

• Call 250-245-2560 or e-mail to ask about a presentation

• Invite your neighbours to attend

• Come and find out how to prepare and get your questions answered

• Challenge each other to get prepared and share ideas

• Map important information about your neighbourhood

• Sign up for free training and continue developing your community spirit

Contact 250-245-7187 to register for the LERN session.