News release

Emergency Preparedness Week

The Emergency Measures Organization is marking Emergency Preparedness Week from May 1 to May 7. The theme for the week, held nationally in conjunction with Emergency Preparedness Canada, is Together we prepare...the family, the community, the country.

The Emergency Measures Organization advises Nova Scotians that appropriate preparations can reduce both the occurrence of emergencies and the resulting impacts.

"The major objective of Emergency Preparedness Week is to emphasize the importance of personal emergency preparedness and to increase knowledge of broader provincial and Canadian emergency measures," said Jamie Muir, Minister responsible for the Emergency Measures Act. "Working together to build a more disaster-resilient family, community and country will result in a safer and more secure quality of life for all Nova Scotians."

Emergency preparedness does begin at home. There are certain steps families can take to prepare for potential emergencies. For example, every family should have both a home and automobile emergency kit.

A home emergency kit should contain items such as a flashlight and battery-operated radio, first aid kit, candles and matches, and medication. An emergency food and water kit can also come in handy and should contain canned goods, crackers, non-perishable condiments, at least one litre of drinking water per person per day, as well as the appropriate dishes and utensils.

Auto emergency kits are important especially during the winter months. Important items include a shovel, tow chain, compass, paper towels, booster cables, survival candle and matches, flashlight and first aid kit.

For more complete emergency preparedness checklists, refer to the website at www.gov.ns.ca/emo/bulletin/check.htm .

Another important emergency preparedness step for Nova Scotians is ensuring the correct civic number is posted in front of each home where it can be easily seen from the roadway, day or night.

"Emergency responders frequently tell us how frustrating it is for them when they cannot find the location from which a 911 call originated," said Mr. Muir. "Posting a civic number is a key element of individual preparedness."

On the community level, each of Nova Scotia's 55 municipalities has an emergency measures co-ordinator in place. Each co- ordinator is responsible for developing and exercising a municipal emergency plan.

The provincial Emergency Measures Organization provides emergency preparedness training to emergency responders and emergency planners at all three levels of government and the private sector. The organization also facilitates integrated emergency planning through the development of a province-wide network of emergency plans. The organization co-ordinates response to an emergency through effective communications, pre-arranged mutual aid agreements and established networking protocols.

"We have seen our share of weather-related disasters here in Nova Scotia over the past few years and we have also responded admirably to the Swissair disaster," said Mr. Muir. "Emergency response of this calibre is possible only through the commitment of the many Nova Scotians involved. It takes extreme dedication to prepare for an event which you hope never happens, and we are all indebted to them for that service."

FOR BROADCAST USE:

May first to seventh is Emergency Preparedness Week in Canada and the Emergency Measures Organization is advising Nova Scotians that preparedness begins at home.

Emergency measures recommends that families have emergency home and automobile kits and that they ensure their civic number is clearly posted where it can be seen from the roadway, day or night.

Preparedness is also important at the municipal and provincial levels.

Each of the province's 55 municipalities has an emergency measures co-ordinator in place to develop and exercise an emergency management plan.

The Emergency Measures Organization provides for integrated emergency planning and response on a province-wide basis.

For a complete emergency checklist, refer to the Emergency Measures Organization website (www.gov.ns.ca/emo/bulletin.check.htm).

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Contact:

Mike Myette
Emergency Measures Organization 902-424-5620 E-mail:
kjd                      May 2, 2000     10:25 a.m.