If an emergency were to hit this community such as a major natural disaster or toxic train wreck in your neighbourhood, would you be ready?
Do you have an emergency survival kit with a flashlight, battery-operated radio, water and other essential items? Would you be able to sustain yourself and your family for a minimum of 72 hours?
Emergency Preparedness Week, an annual event designed to build public awareness about the importance of being prepared, is being celebrated across Canada from May 2 to 8, 2004.
?It's an ideal opportunity for the City and its partners in emergency preparedness to remind citizens to expect the unexpected and prepare for it,? says Greater Sudbury Mayor David Courtemanch, in a press release.
A variety of events will take place throughout Emergency Preparedness Week, focusing on this year's theme Prepare Now! Learn How! The City's emergency broadcasters, CBC and CBON Radio, will host a trivia contest. Listeners will have an opportunity to win a Basic Emergency Survival Starter Kit.
Representatives from the Greater Sudbury Police Service, the City's Fire Services and Emergency Medical Services, the Canadian Red Cross - Sudbury Branch, the Sudbury & District Health Unit, Emergency Management Ontario and Critical Incident Stress Management will present a display in the New Sudbury Centre (Centre Court) from Thursday, May 6 to Saturday, May 8, 2004.
Citizens will be able to learn more about emergency preparedness and enter their names in a draw for a Basic Emergency Survival Starter Kit.
On Thursday, May 6 the Greater Sudbury Fire Fighters Choir will perform in the New Sudbury Centre at 7:30 pm. On Friday, May 7, the Red Cross will host a classroom presentation in the mall with Grade 6 students from Carl A. Nesbitt Public School at 1:30 pm. Also on Friday, the Greater Sudbury Police Band will perform in the New Sudbury Centre at 7:30 pm.
?Emergency preparedness begins at the local level - in our homes and in our communities,? says Courtemanche. ?I encourage all citizens of Greater Sudbury to visit the display being presented by our emergency service providers.
Together, we can ensure that safety remains a top priority in our community and our country.?
The City of Greater Sudbury's Emergency Response Plan is reviewed and updated annually. It provides the framework for activities to be undertaken to provide the protection and preservation of life in times of crisis when an efficient, co-ordinated emergency response is required.
Police officers, firefighters, paramedics and public works crews, with the assistance of community agencies and volunteer organizations, are always prepared to respond to any situation - to save lives, protect property and assist in the recovery process.
?The ity is ready to provide leadership and support, in a co-ordinated, community-wide effort,? says Alan Stephen, General Manager of Emergency Services.
?During an emergency, citizens can be assured that the City and its partners in emergency preparedness will work together to respond to the situation. Community citizens also have a role to play. Having an Emergency Survival Kit is an important first step.?
?We invite the public to visit the Emergency Preparedness display at the New Sudbury Centre,? says Greater Sudbury Fire Chief Donald Donaldson.
?Representatives of the City's various emergency services, including firefighters, will be on hand to provide information and answer questions.? He adds: ?Emergencies can occur quickly and without warning. That's why it's critical that you prepare today for a potential emergency tomorrow.
"I have tremendous confidence in the combined efforts of our local emergency service providers, including this police service, to ensure the safety and security of all citizens of this community regardless of what emergency may arise,? says Greater Sudbury Police Chief Ian Davidson.
?Despite the best of precautions, we can't predict an emergency. But we can take positive steps to make the best of any situation that comes our way. Education is the key to prevention and safety.?
Joe Nicholls, Acting Director of Greater Sudbury's Emergency Medical Services, says paramedics welcome the opportunity to dialogue with the public.
?It's critical that citizens take the necessary measures to be prepared. There are simple things that everyone can do to ensure their safety and security in the event of an emergency. Emergency Preparedness is everyone's responsibility.?
Emergency Management Ontario (EMO), a branch of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, provides central co-ordination and advice during any provincially-declared emergency.
In addition, EMO is working with the Greater Sudbury community on public events to increase awareness about emergency preparedness.
John Stothers, Community Officer, Vermillion Sector, Northeastern Area with Emergency Management Ontario, says the ?Emergency Survival Kit - Have it in the Bag' campaign sends an important message to all citizens.
?Each individual is responsible for his/her safety and the well-being of their family,? he says.
?Everyone should be prepared to take care of themselves and their families for up to three days in the event of an emergency. Emergency Preparedness Week is an ideal time to emphasize this important message.?
For more information about Emergency Preparedness, visit the City of Greater Sudbury's website at www.greatersudbury.ca for an online guidebook on emergency preparedness and a list of interesting and educational websites.
For more information, please contact: Alan Stephen, General Manager of Emergency Services, City of Greater Sudbury, 671-2489, ext. 2188.