Gateway Gazette

High River Will Celebrate Emergency Preparedness Month in May

Emergency Preparedness Month in High River falls in May each year and was designated as an initiative of Council and the Town’s Emergency Management department.

Each May, the Town celebrates and recognizes High River’s preparedness and takes the opportunity to raise awareness among residents on the importance of being prepared for all types of emergencies.

“The purpose of Emergency Preparedness Month is to highlight the importance for residents and businesses to be prepared,” says Mayor Craig Snodgrass. “We also use this month as an opportunity to review our emergency management program and provide additional staff training.”

There will be several components to the month:

  • Live test of emergency notification systems (outdoor sirens and High River Alert) – May 3
  • Publication of the new and improved Household Emergency Guide
  • A Community Café  with a focus on Safety & Security – May 10
  • Neighbourfest – May 19 to June 25

“We are excited to be piloting a new program this year called Neighbourfest. Community and neighbourhood connections are such an important part of preparedness, and that’s our focus for this year,” says Carly Benson, emergency management coordinator with the Town. “This program will provide a block party starter kit, emergency preparedness information and icebreaker games to any neighbourhoods hosting a block party from May 19 to June 25.”

To order a starter kit to host a block party, or to book the Block Party Trailer, contact Caitland Asmundson, community development worker, at (403) 603-3447 or community@highriver.ca.

“Safe communities are connected communities. Building strong relationships within communities and neighbourhoods is one of the most important steps we can take to be prepared for any type of incident,” says Asmundson. “That’s why we’re launching Neighbourfest, to support community get-togethers to encourage and facilitate building these relationships.”

Town staff will also spend May preparing for all types of emergencies by participating in annual Emergency Operations Centre trainings. This includes a support services-specific training on May 11.

“Staff at the Town spend the month participating in practice exercises in preparation for the spring and summer seasons,” says Benson. “We’re preparing and you should too, by subscribing to High River Alert, updating your personal and business emergency plans, and taking time this month to review and practice your plan with your family.”

The Town’s celebrations will incorporate the National events of Emergency Preparedness Week (May 8 – 12), an annual event that takes place across Canada during the first full week of May.

More information on the Town’s Emergency Management Program can be found at www.HRReady.ca

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