Family Resource Centre helps get families ready for disaster

Submitted photo Hannah Duguay, right, emergency management co-ordinator with the Canadian Red Cross, gave a presentation on emergency preparedness to a group at the Family Resource Centre of Charlotte County on Oct. 28. Also OVERSET FOLLOWS:pictured are Cynthia Cleghorn, left, and Cheryl Cleghorn-Hachey.

ST. STEPHEN – The hope is that the knowledge never has to be put to use, but the Family Resource Centre of Charlotte County wants local families to be prepared anyway.

To do that, they hosted a representative from the Canadian Red Cross on Friday to speak about disaster preparedness.

Hannah Duguay is an emergency management co-ordinator for Southern New Brunswick with the Red Cross. She spoke to families about how they can be ready for a disaster event like a hurricane, flood or winter ice storm.

A key of her takeaway from Duguay’s talk was that being prepared helps make you better able to weather a disaster event and that leaving things to the last minute is not advisable.

Climate change and the impact of climate change-related events was also an important aspect of the presentation. Weather events are happening more frequently and are more intense than in the past, which makes having a plan even more important.

Her goal wasn’t to fear monger of scare people but to be realistic about what is happening now and what is likely to happen in future years.

“You hear about 1-in-500-year floods happening every other year now. Standards are changing,” she said.

The Family Resource Centre, located on Milltown Boulevard in St. Stephen, offers different types of programs for children, parents and families.

Cynthia Cleghorn, a program facilitator at the centre, said the creation of a 72-hour preparedness kit was something that caught her eye about the presentation and was part of what interested her in bringing in the Red Cross.

“I can look a lot of things up but they live it and breathe it and I was very excited that they were offering the program to us and to help our community learn how to prepare should a disaster strike,” Cleghorn explained.

The centre also offers pre-school classes and play groups for young kids. Services of the centre are open to all families in the region.

Robert Fisher

Fisher is a writer/author, photographer and filmmaker. Itinerant observer of life. His dog, Lincoln, is a travel companion and has been coast-to-coast with him four times.