Municipalities may have vastly different Hazard Risk and Vulnerability Analysis, (HRVA), from their neighbor. Each municipality however will create an HRVA each year. Being part of the analysis process will help you to better understand emergency preparedness and plan preparation.
There are a number of steps that you can take to be prepared:
STEP ONE: know the risks. Research the latest HRVA that was carried out by your community. Review the data to determine what risks are identified and the rank order of their assessment. The Sturgeon Regional Emergency Management Partnership's last analysis has been compiled and is available for your review by visiting the "ABOUT US" button on this web page.
STEP TWO: plan for those risks and hazards. There is no sense investing in a canoe and life jackets if your community has low flooding but high fire risk. Free online tools to help you create your family plan are available from the Federal and Provincial Governments. Visit the Personal Preparedness Program on the Alberta Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) web page at:
Likewise the Federal Government provides valuable suggestions at:
STEP THREE: create your kit. The first 72 hours of any emergency may require you to fend for yourself. How well you have understood the risks and created a plan for those risks will determine how well you are able to mitigate the hardships that may be presented in the first 72 hours. Visit the Checklist section above to view a generic listing of things to include in your kit.
DID YOU KNOW:
Some models of the emergency preparedness process include a fourth step. This is the practice section of the process and you are encouraged to visit your kit and your plan on a regular basis to makes sure supplies are fresh and on target to your risk assessment. It is also a great opportunity to make sure the risk assessment for your area has not changed. An even better solution is to volunteer with your municipality's Emergency Management Agency so that you can have input into the hazard and risk assessment and the subsequent planning process. Take courses in the Incident Command System and volunteer to contribute to your municipality's emergency response. You will be surprised that even your children can fill an emergency response role and assist during an event.
This information from the Alberta Emergency Management Agency web page may also assist you in the emergency response process:
RISKS: In Alberta, we can face meteorological events (such as blizzards, tornadoes and wildfires), industrial accidents (such as chemical spills), technological events (such as power outages), biological events (SARS, H1N1) or intentional acts. No matter what the source, these hazards can have a large impact on your community. Understanding the risks and taking steps to mitigate the impact can stop a hazard from turning into a disaster.
PLANS: Disasters often cause confusion and distress. A household plan will help you cope with the stress of an emergency or disaster. Taking the time now will help your family feel empowered, knowing they can survive on their own. Be mindful when talking about emergencies with children. Remind them that if an emergency happens, someone will be there to help. Talk to your children about people they can count on such as firefighters, police, teachers, neighbors and emergency workers.
Consider that your family may not be together when an emergency occurs. Discuss what you would do in different situations. A good first step is to put a list of emergency numbers by each telephone in your home and keep the contacts in your cellphone up to date. This list should include the work and cellphone numbers for each person in your family or home. Tell your children what each number is for and provide them a contact list for their school backpacks.
Build a Kit: In an emergency, you will need some basic supplies. By taking a few simple steps today, you can become better prepared to face a range of emergencies. Individuals and families should be prepared to be self-sufficient for a minimum of 72 hours.
Stay Informed: During an event it is extremely important to keep informed with accurate and timely information. Emergency response teams will work very hard at providing that information through a number of channels and you are encouraged to use them all. The NR CAER update line is simply one of the tools used to provide accurate information to residents. 1-866-653-9959 will have official information recorded on it for your assistance. It is free of charge and it only takes a minute to put that number into your phone. Also you can use the web pages of the partnership municipalities which are directly linked at the bottom of the home page. Use the free Apps provided by the Weather Network, local media and the Alberta Emergency Management Agency.