May – Emergency Preparedness Month

Find resources on how to prepare, what to do if an emergency happens and how to recover from an emergency as well as resources for emergency response at the workplace.  Scroll to the bottom of page for helpful videos. 

*Please note that this is not a comprehensive list of how deal with emergency situations.  Visit the Government of Canada “Get Prepared” website to plan out your own emergency response. 

Types of Emergencies in Alberta

Emergency situations in Alberta can arise from a variety of events, such as (click on links for more info from Government of Canada):   

– Avalanches
– Earthquakes
– Floods
– Pandemic influenza – Public Health Agency of Canada
– Landslides
– Power outages
– Severe storms
– Tornadoes
– Wildfires

Be Prepared

If an emergency happens in your community, it may take emergency workers some time to reach you. You should be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for a minimum of 72 hours.

What to Do

Because you have planned ahead, you are more prepared for any emergencies.

In the case of a major emergency:

– Follow your emergency plan. (see video below)
– Get your emergency kit. (see video below)
– Make sure you are safe before assisting others.
– Listen to the radio or television for information from local officials and follow their instructions. Stay put until all is safe or until you are ordered to evacuate.

What if I am told to evacuate?

If authorities believe you are in danger, they may ask you to evacuate.  If this happens you should take:

– your emergency kit
– your emergency plan
– essential medications and copies of prescriptions
– your wallet, personal identification for each family member 
– copies of essential family documents 
– a cellular phone and charger 
– your pets
Always use travel routes specified by local authorities.

*It is also important to have identified safe places where everyone should meet if you cannot go home or you need to evacuate.

Alternatively, you may be told to “shelter in place”. To maximize your safety from chemical, biological or radiological contaminants, you should:

– Close and lock all windows and exterior doors.
– Turn off all fans, heating and air-conditioning systems to avoid drawing in air from the outside.
– Close the fireplace damper.
– Get your emergency kit and make sure the radio is working.
– Go to an interior room that’s above ground level (if possible, one without windows). In the case of a chemical threat, an above-ground location is preferable because some chemicals are heavier than air and may seep into basements even if the windows are closed.
– Using duct or other wide tape, seal all cracks around the door and any vents into the room.
– Continue to monitor your radio or television until you are told all is safe or are advised to evacuate.

Recovery

Here are some things to consider following a disaster or emergency:

– Return to your property only when emergency services declare it safe to do so.
– Do not turn on light switches or light matches until you are sure that there aren’t any gas leaks or flammable liquids spilled. Use a flashlight to check utilities.
– If tap water is available, fill a bathtub and other containers in case the supply gets cut off.
– Get medical care if you are injured, sick, or having trouble coping with stress.- Clean up, disinfect, and practice good hygiene to avoid illness from bacteria, viruses, mold, and mildew.
– To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, only use generators, pressure washers, grills, camp stoves, or other gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning devices outside and away from open windows, doors, and air vents.

Did you know there are limits on compensation? No compensation will be provided for damage, loss or costs that are (i) an ordinary or normal risk of a business, trade, calling or occupation, (ii) loss of income, (iii) interest charges on loans and overdue accounts, or (iv) normal operating expenditures. No compensation will be provided either to restore property to a level that exceeds its condition before a disaster.

Emergency Response at the Workplace

The Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Code Part 7 states that 115(1) An employer must establish an emergency response plan for responding to an emergency that may require rescue or evacuation. 115(2) An employer must involve affected workers in establishing the emergency response plan. 115(3) An employer must ensure that an emergency response plan is current.

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