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Emergency Preparedness Week is May 6 to 12

May 8 2018 Don’t be left scrambling when disaster strikes

“We’re doing everything we can to make sure we’re ready to respond quickly and save lives in a major emergency. Emergency Preparedness Week is a great reminder of the simple steps we can all take to stay safe in a disaster," says Mayor Gregor Robertson.

A group of Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services Special Operations members with hardhats in front of concrete rubble

Are you ready for when disaster hits? If not, then Emergency Preparedness Week is the time to get ready and increase your chance of survival in an emergency. Throughout the week, the City of Vancouver will be running a number of events and activities to help residents ensure they are prepared for a wide range of disasters.

This year’s campaign asks “what if?” emphasizing the need to have a personal preparedness plan in place as earthquakes and other natural disasters can happen without warning. Throughout the week, the City will be posting ‘what if?’ questions on its social media accounts asking residents questions like, “what if you can’t get home?” and “what if you can’t reach your loved ones?” With each question, the City will share tips and resources for residents to use to develop their own preparedness plans.

The City of Vancouver has a comprehensive plan in place that will be activated in the event of a crisis, but everyone has a role to play to stay safe.

There are lots of things that we can all do to be better prepared, such as:

  • Preparing an emergency plan so that every member of your family understands what to do and where to meet following an earthquake or other disaster
  • Having enough supplies to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours, including food, water, and extra clothing
  • Knowing where your nearest disaster support hub is and planning how you would get there from home or work

By creating a preparedness plan, you empower yourself and your family to be as resilient as possible, and it can be as simple as starting a conversation. Emergencies happen, and planning for them is a shared responsibility.

May 11 emergency preparedness event at Canada Place

This year, the City in partnership with Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, will host a family-friendly Emergency Preparedness Week event on Friday, May 11 at Canada Place. The event features interactive booths and displays from local scientists, first responders, and emergency preparedness agencies to help residents prepare for all types of emergencies.

Over 15 partner organizations will be on hand to answer questions from the public, provide materials, resources and tips on how to properly prepare for various emergencies or disasters.

“As a port authority, part of our mandate is to facilitate Canada’s trade objectives by ensuring the safe and efficient movement of goods,” said Duncan Webb, Manager, Safety and Emergency Management at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. “Emergency Preparedness Week is an excellent opportunity for the public to learn about the hazards our region faces and is an important reminder that safety and resilience in emergencies starts with preparation at the individual and regional level. We are thrilled to collaborate with the City of Vancouver to help promote the importance of emergency preparedness.”

Where: Canada Place, 999 Canada Place, Vancouver, BC

When: Friday, May 11, 1pm to 7pm

While there:

  • Ride the MotionSafe earthquake simulator
  • Play the life size emergency preparedness snakes and ladders game
  • Learn about our Disaster Support Hubs
  • Register for a free upcoming Emergency Preparedness workshop
  • See how an earthquake early warning system works
  • Spin the Emergency Preparedness Wheel to win free prizes
  • Build a mini structure that can withstand simulated high winds
  • Kids can race in the bike-circuit

Emergency management update 

The City is committed to improving Vancouver’s preparedness as a whole and has undertaken a number of new initiatives this year to increase citywide resilience. These include:

  • Planning for a 2019 full scale earthquake exercise
  • Supporting community resilience through the Resilient Neighbourhoods pilot
  • Council approved a funding application to UBCM’s Community Emergency Preparedness Fund – Structural Flood Mitigation for $750,000 toward the Fraser River Flood Protection – East Fraser Lands Area 2 (Phase 2) project.

Read how we prepare for emergencies

Be sure to follow @CityofVancouver on Twitter and Facebook during the week to learn important emergency preparedness facts and tips and use hashtags #EPWeek and #Inittogether to follow the conversation with other agencies and organizations.