Emergency Preparedness Week Toolkit
May 2-8, 2021
Thank you for your interest in promoting emergency preparedness!
By taking an active role in your community, you are helping to build a culture of preparedness in Canada. While governments at all levels are working hard to keep Canada safe, everyone has a role to play in being prepared for an emergency.
Building awareness is a great first step. With your help, together we can communicate the importance of emergency preparedness to all Canadians.
Emergency Preparedness Week
This year, Emergency Preparedness Week (EP Week) is May 2-8, 2021.
Emergency Preparedness Week is a national awareness initiative that has taken place annually since 1996. It is a collaborative event undertaken by provincial and territorial emergency management organizations supporting activities at the local level, in concert with Public Safety Canada and partners. EP Week encourages Canadians to take three simple steps to become better prepared to face a range of emergencies:
- Know the risks
- Make a plan
- Get an emergency kit
Welcome to the EP Week Toolkit
This Toolkit was developed by Public Safety Canada in collaboration with partners. It includes tips and ideas to help promote EP Week.
In This Toolkit
Tips and Ideas to Promote EP Week
This year, explore ways to promote EP Week while maintaining physical distance.
- Test emergency plans through an exercise or talk about what you would do if there were a power outage, flood, or other emergency, or if you had to evacuate.
- Introduce a municipal Council / Provincial proclamation of EP Week.
- Enlist local radio and cable TV stations to run daily emergency tips throughout EP Week.
- Build an emergency kit and complete a family emergency plan online at getprepared.ca and review it with your family.
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Watch and share these short videos explaining how to prepare a family emergency kit and how to prepare a family emergency plan. The two videos are less than 4 minutes and explain, in plain language, what is included in an emergency kit and why everybody should have one.
Using Social Media
Ideas for using social media for Emergency Preparedness Week (or anytime!):
- Follow @Get_Prepared on Twitter and Emergency Ready in Canada on Facebook and encourage others to do the same.
- Share content from GetPrepared.ca on your Facebook page or on Twitter (see sample microblogging content below).
- Share relevant information with a blogger who may be interested in emergency preparedness.
- Post content from www.getprepared.ca on your own blog. Videos and several guides are available and can be easily posted or linked to your site.
- Submit a story or photos of an emergency to GetPrepared.ca (email to email@example.com).
Please note: all links refer to content on GetPrepared.ca; they may also be shortened by a service such as goo.gl. Add links to your own organization's website as applicable.
- Follow @Get_Prepared for helpful tips and info on what to do before, during and after an emergency.
- Did you know that your area may be more at risk for one kind of disaster over another - find out which ones (www.GetPrepared.ca - “Know the Risks” page).
- Knowing the risks specific to your area can help you prepare for emergencies - learn how here: (www.GetPrepared.ca - “Know the Risks” page).
- Every home needs an emergency plan. Complete yours here: (www.GetPrepared.ca - “Make a Plan” page).
- Does your family know what to do if disaster strikes? Start planning now: (www.GetPrepared.ca - “Make a Plan” page).
- Get prepared for any kind of emergency. Get a kit. Find out how: (www.GetPrepared.ca - “Get a Kit” page).
Remember, you could also retweet @Get_Prepared's tweets!
Using Hashtags on Twitter
A hashtag is a word or phrase (without spaces) following a hash symbol (#) used to tag a tweet on a particular topic of interest.
Add the hashtag #EPWeek2021 to your tweets to join the online conversation on emergency preparedness. Using the hashtag will make it easy for users to come across your tweets when searching for messages on the topic of Emergency Preparedness Week.
Sample Articles / Email Message
These articles may be used on your website, newsletter, blog, etc. or sent to your community newspaper.
Using Technology During a Disaster
We rely on technology more and more to keep in touch with our family, friends, and colleagues with a click of a button. But what happens in the event of a major emergency? Suddenly these tools can become vital in helping you and your family deal get in touch and stay informed. So here are some tips on the use of technology in an emergency:
- If possible, use non-voice channels like text messaging, email or social media. These use less bandwidth than voice communications and may work even when phone service doesn’t.
- If you must use a phone, keep your conversation brief and convey only vital information to emergency personnel and/or family. This will also conserve your phone’s battery.
- Unable to complete a call? Wait 10 seconds before redialing to help reduce network congestion. Note, cordless phones rely on electricity and will not work during a power outage. If you have a landline, keep at least one corded phone in your home.
- Keep extra batteries or a charger for your mobile device in your emergency kit. Consider getting a solar-powered, crank, or vehicle phone charger. If you don’t have a cell phone, keep a prepaid phone card in your emergency kit.
- Keep your contacts up to date on your phone, email and other channels. This will make it easier to reach important contacts, such as friends, family, neighbours, child’s school, or insurance agent.
- If you have a smartphone, save your safe meeting location(s) on its mapping application.
- Conserve your smartphone’s battery by reducing the screen’s brightness, placing your phone in airplane mode, and closing apps you are not using. You never know how long a power outage will last!
Remember, in an emergency or to save a life, call 9-1-1 for help. You cannot currently text 9-1-1. If you are not experiencing an emergency, do not call 9-1-1. If your area offers 3-1-1 service or another information system, call that number for non-emergencies.
Facts About Emergency Preparedness
- Roughly 5,000 earthquakes are recorded in Canada every year.
- The worldwide cost of natural disasters has skyrocketed from $2 billion in the 1980s, to $27 billion over the past decade.
- Canada’s first billion dollar disaster, the Saguenay flood of 1996, triggered a surge of water, rocks, trees and mud that forced 12,000 residents to evacuate their homes.
- Some hailstones are the size of peas while others can be as big as baseballs.
- Approximately 85% of Canadians agree that having an emergency kit is important in ensuring their and their family’s safety, yet only 40% have prepared or bought an emergency kit. Complete yours online at www.GetPrepared.ca.
- In 2011, flooding in Manitoba and Saskatchewan featured the highest water levels and flows in modern history. Over 11,000 residents were displaced from their homes.
- Ice, branches or power lines can continue to break and fall for several hours after the end of an ice storm.
- The deadliest heat wave in Canadian history produced temperatures exceeding 44ºC in Manitoba and Ontario in 1936. Rail lines and bridge girders twisted, sidewalks buckled, crops wilted and fruit baked on trees.
- In 2007, the Prairies experienced 410 severe weather events including tornadoes, heavy rain, wind and hail, nearly double the yearly average of 221 events.
- The coldest temperature reached in North America was –63ºC, recorded in 1947 in Snag, Yukon.
- The largest landslide in Canada involved 185 million m3 of material and created a 40m deep scar that covered the size of 80 city blocks in 1894 at Saint-Alban, Quebec.
- Hurricanes are bigger and cause more widespread damage than tornadoes (a very large system can be up to 1,000 kilometres wide).
- One of the most destructive and disruptive storms in Canadian history was the 1998 ice storm in Eastern Canada causing hardship for 4 million people and costing $3 billion. Power outages lasted for up to 4 weeks.
- The June 23, 2010 earthquake in Val-des-Bois, Quebec produced the strongest shaking ever experienced in Ottawa and was felt as far away as Kentucky in the United States.
- Using non-voice communication technology like text messaging, email, or social media instead of telephones takes up less bandwidth and helps reduce network congestion after an emergency.
- At the end of October 2012, Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of the Caribbean and the northeast of the North American continent. When the hurricane made landfall in the United States it blended with a continental cold front forming a storm described as the "Monsterstorm" by the media.
Emergency Management in Canada: How Does It Work?
In a country that borders on three oceans and spans six time zones, creating an emergency response system that works for every region is a huge challenge. That's why emergency management in Canada is a shared responsibility. That means everyone has an important role to play, including individuals, communities, governments, the private sector and volunteer organizations.
Basic emergency preparedness starts with each individual. If someone cannot cope, emergency first responders such as police, fire and ambulance services will provide help.
If the municipality needs additional assistance or resources, they can call on provincial/territorial emergency management organizations, who can seek assistance from the federal government if the emergency escalates beyond their capabilities. Depending on the situation, federal assistance could include policing, national defence and border security, and environmental and health protection.
Requests for assistance from provincial/territorial authorities are managed through Public Safety Canada, which maintains close operational links with the provinces and territories. It can take just a few minutes for the response to move from the local to the national level, ensuring that the right resources and expertise are identified and triggered.
Everyone responsible for Canada's emergency management system shares the common goal of preventing or managing disasters. Public Safety Canada is responsible for coordinating emergency response efforts on behalf of the federal government. More information is available on the Public Safety web site at www.publicsafety.gc.ca (click on “Emergency Management”).
Suggested Email to Employees
EP Week 2021 - May 2 to 8, 2021
Emergency Preparedness: Be Ready for Anything
Natural disasters may be beyond our control, but there are ways to reduce the risk and the impact of whatever emergency we might face - whether natural or human-induced.
Emergency Preparedness Week (May 2-8, 2021) encourages Canadians to take concrete actions to be better prepared to protect themselves and their families during emergencies. This special week is a national effort of provincial and territorial emergency management organizations, and Public Safety Canada.
I encourage you to contact (name and number of emergency coordinator), our departmental emergency coordinator to learn about our role in emergency response.
By taking a few simple steps, you can become better prepared to face a range of emergencies – anytime, anywhere. It is important to:
- Know the risks – Although the consequences of disasters can be similar, knowing the risks specific to our community and our region can help you better prepare.
- Make a plan – It will help you and your family know what to do
- Get an emergency kit – During an emergency, we will all need some basic supplies. We may need to get by without power or tap water. Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours in an emergency.
Visit www.getprepared.ca (or your EMO or local website) for more resources to help you and your family prepare for all types of emergencies.
This year, the COVID-19 global pandemic continues to have unprecedented impact on Canadians. While governments at all levels are working hard to keep Canada safe; now, more than ever, we understand that we all have a role to play in emergency preparedness. You can help to protect yourself, and others, against COVID-19 by staying informed. We encourage all Canadians visit Canada.ca/coronavirus for the latest information on the response to COVID-19 and more tips on how to continue to help prevent the spread.
This week, I encourage you to take concrete actions to be better prepared. Please do your part! Experience has shown that individual preparedness goes a long way to help people cope better - both during and after a major disaster. Get an emergency kit now - it can make a world of difference.
1. A family emergency plan should NOT include which of the following?
- Information about your children's school(s)
- The name and phone number of an out-of-town contact person
- A list of important phone numbers, including those of doctors and emergency services
- Arrangements for each person in the family to be at a specific land line telephone at a specific time
- A meeting spot outside your home and one outside your neighbourhood in case you need to leave the area
The answer is D. The arrangements for each family member to be at a specific land line telephone at a specific time may not be possible or useful under many conditions, as people may have to relocate or evacuate entirely during a disaster. Families should create an emergency plan and carry important information with them so they know how to get in touch and get back together during an emergency. Finally, both telephone land lines and cellular phones may be overloaded or out of service during or after an emergency, so knowing in advance where to meet is important.
2. How many litres of water per day per person should you have in your basic emergency kit?
- 1 litre per day per person
- 3 litres per day per person
- 2 litres per day per person
- 4 litres per day per person
The answer is C. At least two litres of water are recommended per person per day. Be sure to include small bottles that can be carried easily in case of an evacuation order.
3. Which tool allows you to learn about historical information on disasters which have directly affected Canadians, at home and abroad, over the past century?
- Canadian Disaster Database
- Natural Hazards and Emergency Response
- Disaster Management Canada
The answer is B. The Canadian Disaster Database contains references to all types of Canadian disasters, including those triggered by natural hazards, technological hazards or conflict (not including war). The database describes where and when a disaster occurred, who was affected, and provides a rough estimate of the direct costs.
4. When does Emergency Preparedness Week (EP Week) occur?
- First full week of February
- First full week of September
- Last full week of February
- Last full week of May
- First full week of May
The answer is E. EP Week is an annual event that takes place each year during the first full week of May. This year it takes place from May 2-8, 2021. EP Week is a national awareness campaign coordinated by Public Safety Canada and is about increasing individual preparedness - by knowing the risks, making a plan and preparing a kit you can be better prepared for an emergency.
5. Which of the following items should NOT be included in a basic emergency supply kit?
- Water (two litres of water per person per day)
- Manual can opener
- Comfortable shoes
The answer is E. While sturdy protective shoes are important during and after a disaster, they are not necessary for survival. You can learn more about the basics of survival by visiting GetPrepared.ca.
Fact or Fiction: Are the following statements true or false?
Q1 - Water can be purified with soap.
False - Boil water for 10 minutes or disinfect water by adding unscented bleach. Add 3-4 drops of bleach per litre of water with an eyedropper (do not reuse eyedropper for any other purpose). Mix well and let stand for 30 minutes. The water should smell faintly of chlorine. If it does not, repeat the steps and leave for another 30 minutes.
Q2 - You can walk through moving flood waters as long as the water level is no higher than your waist.
False - One of the worst floods in Canada's history occurred in July 1996 in the Saguenay River Valley, in Quebec. Ten people died and 15,825 others were evacuated when flood waters swept through thousands of homes, businesses, roads and bridges. The flood was caused by 36 straight hours of heavy rainfall, for a total accumulation of 290 mm (approximately to the knees). Estimated damages: $1.5 billion.
Q3 - Tape prevents window glass from shattering during a hurricane.
False - Storm shutters can be put into windows and exposed panes. This is the simplest and most economical way to protect your house.
Q4 - Roughly 5,000 earthquakes are recorded in Canada every year.
True - Although the most powerful earthquakes occur near the Pacific Rim, there are a number of Canadian cities that are vulnerable to earthquakes, particularly Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, Victoria and Quebec City. Most of the injuries resulting from an earthquake are caused by falling objects. Use screw eyes and iron wire to hang frames and mirrors on walls.
Q5 - Tornadoes occur only in the spring.
False - Tornadoes occur most often in the spring and during the summer, but they may form any time of the year.
Q6 - Destructive hail storms occur most often in late spring and in the summer.
True - In June, most hail storms occur in southern Canada and the north central United States. Violent storms may deposit enough hail to completely cover the ground, damage crops or block storm sewers. Up to 2% of the value of crops is destroyed by hail every year.
Q7... Add to this quiz by asking questions on potential emergencies that are relevant to your region.
Appendix 1 – "Can You Build a Kit?" Game
This fun game is designed to raise awareness about emergency preparedness and more specifically, test the player's knowledge on emergency preparedness kits.
What is needed?
- A table
- Actual basic emergency kit items (See items below)
- Unrelated / fun items (for example: toothbrush, measuring tape, chewing gum, etc.)
- A timer
- A notepad
How it works
Place the emergency kit items on a table. Add and mix other items on the table that would not normally be found in an emergency kit.
Have participants choose the items they think belong in a kit and write them on a notepad. Give each contestant one (1) minute to complete this task.
After the one minute mark, show them the results and invite them to leave their name and contact information for the chance to win a prize!
- Extra keys
- First aid kit
- Flashlight and batteries
- Manual can opener
- Emergency plan
- Battery-powered or wind-up radio
Appendix 2 – EP Outreach Showcase
Scouts Canada’s free Emergency Ready program, through the support of Hydro One, offers youth and families tips, checklists and skills to prepare for safe response to potential hazards and conditions at home or in the community.
Through Emergency Ready, gain the confidence and skills to prepare, take action, and stay safe in a variety of emergency and unexpected situations, from extreme weather to household accidents, to protecting yourself and others during a global pandemic.
Through engaging on-line resources and hands-on activities, youth and their families will learn how to create emergency plans and kits for a variety of scenarios, identify hazards, what actions to prioritize in a crisis, how to safely assist others, basic first aid, recognize and treat shock symptoms, and more.
More information is available at Scouts.ca/EmergencyReady where you’ll find:
- a Checklist to create an emergency kit,
- an Emergency contact checklist,
- a Safety Tip for emergencies, and
- other relevant emergency ready resources
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