Be aware: Emergency preparedness week
May 1 marked the beginning of the 21st annual Emergency Preparedness Week in Canada. This year's theme is "Plan. Prepare. Be Aware."
By Cindy Macdonald
The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, said in a prepared statement: “The theme emphasizes the need to stay informed on current conditions, such as the weather as it can quickly become dangerous, often with little warning. Being aware of impending events is not only common sense – it can help you and your family take the necessary steps to reduce the impact of these potential disasters.”
Goodale suggested that members of the public should identify key websites to keep abreast of what is happening in case of an emergency. A municipality or provincial website, as well as police and emergency management websites may offer alert services or post information for citizens during a disaster. He also suggested downloading mobile applications to your cell phone and subscribing to text and email alerts that let you know about bad weather, road closures and local emergencies.
“We all have a role to play in emergency preparedness and knowing what can happen in your area is an important first step in getting prepared.”
“I look forward to meeting with my federal, provincial, and territorial counterparts at the end of this week to continue the conversation on how we can further strengthen emergency management in Canada and increase our capacity to prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from major disasters and other emergencies,” said Goodale.
The Minister of Public Safety also took the opportunity to commend “the tremendous work done by our first responders.”
Canadians can create their own emergency plan online and find more practical tips on the Get Prepared website.