Build Preparedness Habits
Emergency Preparedness Week (EP Week) is a national event that has run for more than 25 years in Canada and takes place annually during the first full week of May. Public Safety Canada coordinates this event in close collaboration with the provinces, territories, and other partners. While being prepared for disruption is important year-round, EP Week provides a unique opportunity to spotlight emergency preparedness nationwide. Between May 7th and 13th join the campaign to take action to reduce your risks.
This year's theme is Build Preparedness Habits. Alberta's EP Week is a reminder that preparedness isn’t just about being ready for the next big disaster. It’s about making preparedness a part of your regular routine so you are better able to navigate disruptions, big or small. Over the last few years, many of us have been developing preparedness habits without realizing it. Creating community connections you can rely on, finding trusted sources of information about local threats, and maintaining a stock of supplies are examples of habits that we developed to increase our self-reliance during times of uncertainty.
The below Risk Reduction Behaviors are steps you can take to increase your resilience and reduce your risk:
1. Know the Risks:
Learn about the risks in your community. For example, when looking to buy, rent, or develop property, you should avoid high-risk areas like floodways and fringes. You should also find out if a property has received disaster financial assistance in the past and purchase adequate insurance. Learn more HERE
2. Get Informed and Stay Informed:
Signing up for local and provincial communications and downloading alerting apps can help you stay informed so you are better able to respond to threats.
Take preparedness action by getting informed and staying informed with these trusted communication channels:
Town of VegrevilleTown of Vegreville Website
Town of Vegreville Social Media Facebook Page
Town of Vegreville Text Message Notifications
Town of Vegreville Mobile App Notifications
Government of AlbertaAlberta Emergency Alert
Alberta Rivers: Data and Advisories
Government of CanadaWeatherCan
Public Safety Canada
Emergency Ready in Canada
Safety in Canada
3. Create Financial Resilience
Insurance is a financial safety net. The right coverage will speed up the recovery process. Steps to build financial resilience:
- Learn the difference between insurable and non-insurable disasters, and speak with an insurance provider about your specific needs.
- Talk to your insurance provider to ensure you have adequate insurance, that you understand what your policy covers, and more importantly, what it doesn’t cover.
- Keep a detailed list of all property, including photographs, in case you must file a claim. Use your annual policy renewal as a reminder to check and update your list and photographs.
- Keep cash on hand, as ATMs and debit services may become unavailable during a disruption.
- If possible, create an emergency savings account to cover expenses during an emergency.
- Know what type of assistance your insurance policy provides and how to claim it if needed. Make sure to keep all receipts from expenses incurred during an emergency.
- Know the 7 steps for making a home insurance claim.
*The Government of Alberta’s disaster recovery program may be an option for recovery after a disaster but should be considered a last resort. It does not cover all types of damage, loss, or the full cost of replacement. Visit Disaster Recovery Program to learn more.
4. Make Community Connections
Often, it’s community members who are nearby when an emergency, disaster or unexpected situation occurs. When relationships are made before an emergency, it makes it easier for people to rely on one another for support when it’s needed most.
Steps to build community resilience:
- Reach out to the network you built over the last few years and talk about how you can continue to support one another during times of uncertainty.
- Consider creating a shared text or email group for wellness checks.
- Create a buddy system with someone close by so you can help one another out.
- Attend local events to expand your network.
5. Start a Conversation
Start a conversation discussing preparedness with your networks to consider your own vulnerabilities and support systems.
Tips to creating conversation opportunities:
- Use the test of the Alberta Emergency Alert system to ask loved ones “How prepared would we have been if this alert had been real?” The test occurs twice a year.
- Use current events to start a discussion. When you see people being affected by unexpected situations on the news, consider what you would do if in the same position. Talk with your household about what you can do to reduce your risk and prepare for a similar situation.
- Listen to subject matter experts talk about emergency preparedness with the EPIC podcast team and talk about what you learned with your network.
6. Build an Emergency Kit and Gather Supplies
During an emergency, grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, and banks may not be available. When individuals are equipped with the right supplies and are prepared for disruption, it helps to reduce the personal emergencies that occur during extended disruptions. The right supplies can help you and your family (including your pets) stay safe, warm, and comfortable when disruptions occur. Your supplies should meet the needs of you and your household for a minimum of three days. Focus on supplies to keep you safe first, then concentrate on items for your comfort.
Checklists for your home, vehicle, pets, animals and livestock:Supplies for sheltering at home
Emergency kit checklists
7. Make an Emergency Plan
Disasters often cause confusion and distress; an emergency plan helps individuals navigate the situation more safely. Consider your household members' power requirements for medical devices, specific needs for children or pets, reliance on assistive technology, mobility issues, and language barriers. Make your plan work for you.
- Make an emergency plan – planning considerations and resources.
- Pet Preparedness – to help keep pets safe, before, during and after an emergency.
- Farm animals and livestock – to help keep farm animals and livestock safe when sheltering or evacuating.
8. Create a MyAlberta Digital ID
This free account lets you prove who you are online without paper documents or face-to-face visits. Creating and verifying an account before an emergency occurs can help you navigate disruptions by getting you access to information on supports and services you may be eligible for.
You can use your verified account to access provincial services that were previously considered too sensitive to offer online, including MyHealth Records, MyAlberta Emergency Benefits System, as well as Alberta Student Aid, and the Canada Revenue Agency My Account for Individuals.
For more information on Vegreville Emergency Management, call 780-632-2257.