HIGH RIVER, AB: As part of its emergency management program, the Town of the High River has completed a Hazard Risk and Vulnerability Assessment that has identified 29 potential risks that could create emergency situations.
“There are a number of different types of emergencies that could affect the town aside from flooding,” said Carly Benson, director of emergency management. “This assessment will help us be better aware and prepared for any event. Knowing what types of emergencies we may face will help Town personnel develop effective contingency plans.”
The identified risks were assessed based on the potential consequences and the likelihood of occurring in the next 10 years and included environmental, technological and human-caused events. The assessment looked at risks such tornadoes and severe winds, hazardous material spills, and potential contamination of the water supply. While floods remain the risk with the highest level of impact to the town, the likelihood of a serious flood, like the one that occurred in 2013, has decreased significantly due to ongoing mitigation efforts.
A number of criteria were used to identify potential emergencies that could impact High River and the likelihood of their occurring, including:
- Historical data and records
- Subject matter expertise from responsible agencies and stakeholders
- Local knowledge
- Climate change forecasts
“This assessment is useful for emergency planning not just for the Town, but for residents too,” explained Benson. “We have very engaged residents who want to know how best to prepare their families and households for any type of emergency and this assessment will help them with that.”
The report will be available on High River’s emergency management website www.HRReady.ca.