Gateway Gazette

Town of High River to Host Two Community Disaster Preparedness Workshops

We're ReadyHIGH RIVER, AB: The Town’s Emergency Management Division is piloting a new project to promote neighbourhood and community level emergency preparedness in the Town of High River.

The ‘We’re Ready! Community Disaster Preparedness Pilot Project’ will facilitate two High River communities in designing and implementing their own disaster program through fun and engaging community-building activities.

“The Town is invested in being prepared at a municipal level and we have seen many families in High River getting prepared at a household level,” says Carly Benson, director of emergency management for the Town. “These workshops are intended to address preparedness at a community level because, in most emergencies, the first people on scene are neighbours or passersby. Building capacity and collaboration at a neighbourhood level will enhance the overall preparedness of the entire town.”

The pilot will consist of two workshops, divided by geographic and cultural communities. The first workshop will be held on Saturday, May 28 and invites participants from High River’s Filipino community to take part. The second will be held on Sunday, May 29 and invites participants from the southwest neighbourhoods of Downtown, Old Rodeo Grounds and McLaughlin Meadows.

For more information, visit www.highriver.ca  or www.hrready.ca  or click the links above to register.

Both workshops will take place from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the 2nd floor studio of the Charles Clark Medical Centre at 303 9 Avenue S.W. Those interested in participating are asked to register by May 13, 2016.

“The goal of the workshops is for community members to get connected and plan for how they can respond collectively to make sure everyone is safe and to offer assistance if needed,” adds Benson.

Participants will design their own customized community disaster plan, including hazard and evacuation maps; communication plans; and a community capacity inventory.

As this project is in its pilot phase, only two workshops will be offered in the spring of 2016 with the hope the program can be expanded to additional communities in High River in the future.

The project is funded by the Centre for Community Disaster Research at Mount Royal University, Alberta Emergency Management Agency, and the Town.

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