Family Emergency Preparedness Workshop

Event Details

Family Emergency Preparedness Workshop

Time: June 19, 2013 from 7pm to 9pm
Location: Beach Business Hub
Street: 2181 Queen Street East Unit 301, Toronto
City/Town: Toronto
Website or Map:…
Phone: (416) 432-8436
Event Type: workshop
Organized By: Joyelle Jolie
Latest Activity: Jun 22, 2013

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Event Description


In this workshop, our presenter, Stefan Verstappen, will provide detailed information for individuals and families about preparing for various types of short and long-term emergencies.

Today, more than ever, we need to ensure we have both the skills and materials to withstand such emergencies as:

  • Climate related emergencies such as floods, tornadoes, wildfires, hurricanes, tsunamis, volcanoes, snow/ice storms
  • Geological disasters - avalanches, earthquakes, landslides
  • Man-made emergencies – chemical releases, bomb threats, nuclear meltdown, power failure, epidemic/pandemic diseases


We will teach participants how to build an emergency survival kit with the supplies needed to be safe and take care of yourself and your family for at least three days. We will also discuss issues that may force the population to withstand longer disruption of normal services such as water, fuel, food and other necessities.

Participants will come away from the workshop with a better understanding of the importance of personal emergency preparedness and a plan to achieving this as well as the confidence to implement this plan should it be necessary.



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Comment by Stefan Verstappen on June 22, 2013 at 9:16am

Hi Martine

Thank you for your comments and thoughtful response.

I think what has happened is that Michael is responding to another form of programing coming out of the US media.

With shows like “Doomsday Preppers” and assorted mainstream and alternative articles about survivalists, the implication is that they are all right wing nutjobs with their focus on armed defense of their compounds.

Not surprisingly, the US homeland security propaganda is also aimed at demonizing “preppers” and “survivalist” as homegrown terrorists.

Now people assume that just because you store a few days’ worth of food and a med kit in your closet, you’re automatically a terrorist. Why?

Home Emergency Preparedness is merely taking a few precautions to minimize one’s dependence on government emergency services during times when those services may be stretched to their limits or unavailable at all.

You can see the danger here, if people learned to be more self-reliant and self-sustaining why they may discover they have no need for a massive bureaucracy to micro manage, and of course tax, every activity of its citizens.

Yet, both the US and Canadian governments’ emergency and disaster response websites encourage everyone to take emergency preparedness training and put together an emergency kit!

Comment by Martina Rowley on June 20, 2013 at 2:22pm

Hi there,

Transition Toronto "monitor" stepping in here!! :)

Michael H: NOWHERE on our website, in our literature, our dialogue, this particular workshop, nor ANY of our workshops does it say - nor do we promote or suggest - anything to do with "protecting from others [people]", nor feed fears on which criminal lives where and how to protect from them. I really don't know where you get that negative impression from!!

Neither Stefan, nor any of the presenters we bring on-board, profit from speaking at our workshops. Almost all share their knowledge free - because they wish to share it. That is one of the mottos of Transition Towns around the world, including Toronto. The whole basis of TT is to act and be positive, and turn life's "lemons into lemonade". That seems what you are suggesting yourself - be happy and happiness will follow. 

It isn't always easy to achieve but that's what we strive for. And as Stefan says, 'shit happens' whether you're happy in your mind or not. No matter how positive you are, you will not, cannot prevent say a tornado or super-storm from hitting the town you live in and knocking out electricity for several days. THEN it's good to be prepared with an emergency/food/clothing/shelter kit at home or for the road!

If you had attended last night, you'd have heard that was exactly what Stefan taught about, with realism, insights from his experience, yet practical solutions AND much humour! None of the attendees left feeling fearful or depressed - we laughed, took notes, and had many "aha!" moments. The talk achieved precisely what Transition is about and wishes to teach: knowledge, skills, and to be positive even in challenging situations.

Comment by Michael Holloway on June 14, 2013 at 9:12am

[NOTE: A comment in response to my first comment has been deleted ( I assume, by the author of the comment). It makes my reply to her look like a rant to no one.]


The idea that we need to 'keep safe' from something is my over arching point here.

It is Safe --- It is only Unsafe in our heads.

Act on that fear-based neurosis and you create a fearful community; a 'gated' community if you will. A community that cannot listen - or hear. 

That you are successful in creating this kind of community is my fear.



Comment by Stefan Verstappen on June 14, 2013 at 1:49am

Dear Michael

First let me say I'm not making a living from peddling fear. I have a full time job. The money I receive from these workshops wouldn't buy me dinner in a nice restaurant.

And where did you get the idea that I teach "protect yourself from everyone else." I am not some US Prepper with a hundred guns, I teach emergency preparedness to help keep people safe. There is nothing in this workshop, about guns or weapons or defending against people.

Finally, my up-coming book is a guide on how to form and maintain sustainable communities. Everyone pays a lot of lip service to "Community" yet I don't find many people that have done much in this direction.

I believe people don't really know how, or have the tools to create a true community, and that is what my book will provide, a nuts and bolts guide to creating a real community for mutual support and sustainability.

As per your advice, " Create happiness - then you're happy." in what universe does this work? Have you looked around? Do you think that you running around being happy is going to change anything? That it will stop the government, feed the starving children, prevent crime? You go a week without a meal and tell me then how happy you are.

Please, grow up.

Comment by Michael Holloway on May 29, 2013 at 2:54am

Fear itself references Roosevelt.  I guess unite not divide was a little charged with political history - so not clear. Create happiness - then you're happy. Happiness comes from building community, culture - the future.

Worrying about which house has the serial killer in it is a *little* negative to me. :)

Comment by Michael Holloway on May 28, 2013 at 12:34pm

Fear itself.

I thought transition Toronto would be a positive force - it seems most workshops I'm seeing (not just this one) are about how to protect yourself from everyone else. Your guest speaker is making a living off this fear of the other.

We need to unite - not divide.


Comment by Rob Campbell on May 28, 2013 at 11:21am

I'll be there with a great attitude and I WILL SURVIVE !

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