Redwater Emergency Management
Life is a precious thing! When emergencies or disasters strike they can cause mass casualties or deaths in moments. A primary focus of Emergency Management is the preservation of life, the protection of the environment, the preservation of property and a stabilization of the economy. Emergency Preparedness begins with a critical risk assessment and the development of plans to meet the challenges presented by natural, chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or explosive events. Partnerships, education and practice support the four interdependent components of Emergency Management.
Prevention & Mitigation: Long before an event occurs, hundreds of thousands of hours are spent trying to eliminate or reduce disaster risk. Engineering designs protect ship’s hulls, personnel training teaches safe product handling and equipment maintenance removes unsafe vehicle parts before malfunctioning. These are all examples of preventative measures aimed at reducing the risk of an emergency situation. Likewise legislation relevant to prudent land development, building standards and transportation of dangerous goods are also aimed at risk reduction. The last time you built a fence did you call before you dug?
Preparedness: As you read this, think of the thousands of variables that you would experience if a disaster was to strike right now! Where are your children? How much fuel is in your vehicle? Do you know how to shelter in place? Where would your family go to re-unite? How do you communicate if the cell service collapses? How do you get supplies if the debit machines don’t work? What would you do if you were on holidays and become separated during a tropical storm?
Event response is based on your planning and plan practicing. This link will offer some guidelines to assist in your planning, no matter where you may be when disaster strikes. Municipalities engage in mutual aid agreements, maintaining necessary response equipment inventories, training staff and volunteers and activating their plans during exercises and drills. You can help by doing the same!
Planning for 72 hours of self-sufficiency will ensure that you are more comfortable during emergency responses than someone who has not. Knowing how to shelter in place or what to do during an evacuation are key necessities when disaster strikes. Disasters are going to happen….are you prepared?
Response: These are the steps taken to warn you of an immediate threat or to react to the event that has just happened. It may be the Alberta Emergency Alert administered by the Alberta Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) (www.aema.alberta.ca) or the wail of fire, police and ambulance sirens that signal the onset of the event. During this time search and rescue (saving lives) is the highest priority. Emergency Response professionals work to ensure medical aid, protection of property and personal safety are maintained. The response phase is focused on minimizing the loss and suffering associated with an event of this magnitude. During this time, 72 hours, you may be required to look after yourself so complete your emergency preparedness kit today. (www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/kts/index-eng.aspxor www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/yprprdnssgd/index-eng.aspx) What’s in your kit?
Recovery: As mentioned disasters will happen in minutes but recovery may take months or years. Everything from mental health issues to financial aid programs to rebuilding takes place in this phase of emergency management. In reality the effects of the event should be included in the recovery process to mitigate and reduce the like hood of the event repeating itself. In some cases repetition is probable, a tornado, and while in others it is the highly improbable, a flood canal. Do you have the Alberta Emergency Alert AP on your phone?
The Town of Redwater is a member of Northeast Region Community Awareness Emergency Response (NRCAER), a mutual aid emergency response association that began in 1991. Members include emergency management professionals from local industries and municipalities who train, plan and share best practices for emergency response in our area. For current information on activities you may see, hear or otherwise notice, call the UPDATEline 1-866-653-9959. Check out www.nrcaer.com for more information.