The Alberta government and emergency management experts are holding a three-day emergency exercise to help better prepare Alberta for future disasters.
Representatives from all levels of government, First Nations, industry, and emergency management agencies are teaming up February 24-26 to review and test their emergency plans to ensure they are well co-ordinated for disasters.
Every year, the province holds an emergency management exercise to improve the way it responds to disasters. This year’s exercise is the largest emergency training exercise in Alberta. With the learnings from this event, the province will be better prepared for future disasters.
“It’s important that we continue to build and maintain resilient communities in Alberta. Our goal is to ensure the province continues to be a leader in emergency management. We know you can never be too prepared when it comes to disasters, so ongoing training is crucial. In fact, a key recommendation in the independent review of the 2013 floods we released in December encouraged government to conduct more training exercises like this.”
This year’s training builds on the learnings from the 2015 exercise of a mock extreme ice storm. Multiple response scenarios will once again be set up across the province, including people trapped in collapsed buildings, motorists stranded on closed highways, power outages, and train derailments. In addition, a mock provincial state of emergency will be declared.
These scenarios provide emergency responders with the opportunity to improve their skills, for co-ordinators in the provincial operations centre to test their response procedures, and to train government officials in their roles and responsibilities.
Six Alberta communities – Dene Tha’ First Nation, the MD of Greenview, the City of Airdrie, Kneehill County, and the towns of Redcliff and Trochu – will participate in the exercise.
The province announced that wildfire season will begin March 1, a month early due to the dry conditions. This underscores the need for Alberta to be well prepared for disasters and emergencies.
Albertans are urged to follow Alberta Emergency Alert online or download the smartphone app to stay informed on emergencies in their area.