Emergencies and disasters happen at anytime and anywhere. Although disasters may cause damage to buildings, bridges, and other structures, they affect people in their communities in many ways – people may be injured, lives lost, homes destroyed, families displaced, financial losses incurred, etc.
An emergency is a situation caused by accident, fire, explosion or forces of nature that threatens people or property, and requires the response of more than one agency to protect the health, safety and welfare of people, or limit damage to property.
A disaster means a calamity caused by accident, fire, explosion or technical failure, or by the forces of nature which results in serious harm to the health, safety or welfare of people, or widespread damage to property.
According to PreparedBC (2015), it’s important to familiarize yourself with the potential hazards in your area. Knowing which hazards you may encounter will influence how you prepare.