Emergency Responders Ready 24/7
July 30, 2012
As Edmontonians remember the tornado that devastated the city 25 years ago, the City of Edmonton wants to remind residents that it’s prepared to respond to a tornado or any major emergency.
Joanne Sheardown, director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness, says the City is better able to deal with a significant event today thanks to several changes since a tornado hit Edmonton on July 31, 1987. These include the creation of the Office of Emergency Preparedness and the establishment of a standalone Emergency Operations Centre that is ready to go into action 24/7.
“The anniversary of the tornado is a reminder of how serious a natural disaster can be,” said Sheardown. “The City of Edmonton’s Office of Emergency Preparedness is ready to respond. And we can respond more effectively since adding resources to the way we handle emergencies.”
The Office of Emergency Preparedness, created in 2002, is responsible for the City’s municipal emergency plan. It has several staff dedicated to emergency planning, training and working closely with the City’s emergency partners.
“We also promote emergency preparedness in the community by encouraging individuals, families and businesses to be prepared with emergency supplies for a minimum of 3 days,” said Sheardown. “The anniversary of the tornado is a good reminder of the importance of doing this.”
As well, public warning systems used to notify Albertans of severe weather and other dangers were expanded as a result of the 1987 tornado. The Government of Alberta created the first province-wide emergency public warning system in 1992. In 2011, the system was upgraded and renamed Alberta Emergency Alert to make better use of new technology. It provides warnings through radio, television, as well as through RSS feeds and social media. Today, Alberta leads the country with the most advance emergency warning systems in Canada.
The tornado that struck Edmonton and surrounding area in1987 killed 27 people.
The flags at all City of Edmonton buildings will be flown at half-mast on July 31, 2012 to mark the 25th anniversary of the tornado.
For more information:
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