Public Safety Canada

Public Safety Canada

May 01, 2009 09:51 ET

Multi-Media Release: Public Safety Minister Launches Emergency Preparedness Week 2009

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 1, 2009) -

NOTE TO EDITORS: A video, audio clips and photos are included with this release.

Core news facts:

  • Emergency Preparedness Week runs from May 3 – 9, 2009. It is an annual event to promote the importance of emergency preparedness across Canada.
  • Emergency Preparedness Week focuses on what Canadians can do to prepare for emergencies like flooding or a severe storm. Canadians are encouraged to take three simple steps:
  • This year, new materials are available to help Canadians better prepare:
    • A short animated video, "Preparing a Family Emergency Kit in Plain English." View it here.
    • A checklist you can use to assemble or buy emergency kit items.
    • New guide on preparing for Severe Storms (part of a series that includes Floods, Power Outages, Earthquakes, and emergency preparedness for livestock).
    • Scouts Canada's new Emergency Preparedness (EP) Program with two new badges, one for Cubs and one for Scouts, and supporting material developed by federal and provincial emergency preparedness experts.
    • An updated Emergency Preparedness Guide. More than 2.5M of these guides have been distributed since the "72 hours" emergency preparedness campaign was launched in 2006.

Quotes

The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of Public Safety: "Emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility. Governments at all levels are working hard to keep Canadians safe, but everyone has a role to play. Do your part this week by taking stock of your supplies and making sure they meet your family's needs. That way, when an emergency does happen, you'll be better prepared and can minimize the impact on you and your loved ones." Click for Audio File.

Scouts Canada Executive Commissioner and CEO, Rob Stewart: "Scouts have always known how important it is to "Be Prepared" – that's our motto. That's why Scouts Canada is proud to have launched a new Emergency Preparedness Program across the country. The program features two new badges, one for Cubs and one for Scouts, and supporting material developed by federal and provincial emergency preparedness experts. Youth and Scout leaders across Canada now have access to this worthwhile program to help them learn not only the importance of emergency preparedness, but practical, hands-on ways to prepare themselves and their families for any emergency. It's another excellent opportunity to educate and prepare young people for life's challenges, especially the ones we can't predict." Click for Audio File.

Canadian Red Cross, Secretary General Conrad Sauvé: "When disasters strike, the Canadian Red Cross is there. We work with governments and other humanitarian organizations to provide for people's basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, first aid, and family reunification. Canadians can help reduce the impact of disasters and aid relief efforts by being prepared to sustain themselves at home for 72 hours. Please, help us help everyone by being prepared." Click for audio file.

Background:

Emergency Preparedness Week is a national campaign coordinated by Public Safety Canada, together with all provinces and territories. First responders (police officers, firefighters, paramedics, etc), industry, and non-governmental organizations all plan activities for EP Week. It is a collaborative event undertaken by many, with hundreds of activities occurring in communities across Canada.

The federal, provincial and territorial governments adopted the concept of EP Week in 1995 to promote activities that increase Canadians' capacity to cope with the effects of major emergencies. The first EP Week took place in 1996.

The public is encouraged to attend local events and activities in their community. Families can assemble emergency kits for the home and car, or create an emergency plan. An emergency plan template and list of kit contents is available at www.GetPrepared.ca and in the Emergency Preparedness Guide distributed by Public Safety Canada.

Emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility. Everyone should be ready to cope on their own for at least the first 72 hours of an emergency. This will enable emergency workers to help those in immediate danger first.

Despite a number of weather-related emergencies in recent years, most Canadians are still not well-prepared. For example, given the gap that exists between those who believe they have a kit (43 percent) and those whose kits contain all the recommended basic items (estimated at 8 percent), further effort is required to raise awareness of appropriate kit contents. 

Contact Information

  • Public Safety Canada
    Media Relations
    613-991-0657

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