“Emergency Preparedness Week (May 5-11) offers a great opportunity for all of us to take stock of how a wildfire, flood, tornado or other emergency could disrupt our lives and learn how to take action to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

“Alberta is already in the midst of wildfire response this year, with multiple wildfires burning across the province. All indicators point to a challenging hazard season, and the need to be prepared for the unexpected has never been more important.

“As we know all too well in Alberta, disaster can strike at any moment, and being prepared can save lives. That’s why it is so important to know the risks that exist in our communities, and to be prepared to navigate a range of emergencies and disruptions, big or small, at any time.

“We have asked Albertans about their emergency preparedness and have learned that 45 per cent of those surveyed feel unprepared for disasters and only 24 per cent have an emergency kit ready. Disasters affect us all. While local and provincial governments take steps to prepare for wildfires and other hazards, individuals, households and organizations should be taking steps to prepare as well.

“Breaking preparedness down into simple steps can help you respond quickly to protect yourself and your loved ones. Here are some steps we can all follow:

  • Make a plan. Create an emergency plan that works for you, your family and other members of your household. An emergency plan will help you cope with the stress of an emergency or a disaster.
  • Build a kit. When the unexpected happens, it is easier to prioritize safety and well-being if you have an emergency kit you can grab at a moment’s notice.
  • Gather supplies. Having supplies on hand can help keep people and pets safe and provide peace of mind, even if services are unavailable.
  • Create strong networks. Community members are often first to lend a hand and provide support when something unexpected happens. Communities are stronger and more resilient when residents are well prepared for emergencies.

“On May 8, the Government of Canada will test the National Public Alerting System across all platforms. We recognize that some might find these tests to be a disturbance, but it is essential that we test our emergency system to make sure it’s ready when we need it. 

“I encourage Albertans to download the Alberta Emergency Alert app. Alberta issues emergency alerts and Amber alerts to provide critical information about an immediate disaster or situation, where it is happening and what actions Albertans can take to stay safe.

“There are also many resources available online that can help Albertans get started and make preparedness a habit.”

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