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Emergency Preparedness Week reminds Canadians of importance of emergency preparedness
Published:  06 May, 2011

Spring flooding, severe storms, and earthquakes have recently reminded Canadians of the importance of emergency preparedness, making this year’s Emergency Preparedness Week (EP Week) especially relevant.

The 16th annual EP Week runs from May 1 - 7, 2011, and encourages everyone to take the time now to plan for the unexpected. The theme is “72 Hours…Is Your Family Prepared?”

EP Week is a national event coordinated by Public Safety Canada in collaboration with provincial and territorial governments and other partners. Canadians are encouraged to be ready to cope on their own for at least the first 72 hours of an emergency. This will enable first responders to focus on those in urgent need.

During EP Week, countless events are held across the country. Canadians are encouraged to take part in EP Week activities and to prepare for emergencies by following three simple steps:

  • Know the risks - Learn how to prepare for the natural hazards in Canada and in your region. Tailor your emergency plan and kit to the common risks in your area.
  • Make an emergency plan - Having a family emergency plan will save time and make real situations less stressful. During EP Week, draft or update your plan, and practice it with your family.
  • Get an emergency kit- In case of a major event, you will need some basic supplies set aside. Many emergency kit items may already be in your home. This EP Week, take the time to update or assemble a basic emergency kit that meets your family’s needs.

Launched in 2006 by Public Safety Canada in collaboration with the Canadian Red Cross, St. John Ambulance, and The Salvation Army, the 72 Hours campaign asks Canadians to take the three steps above.

Public Safety Canada has been working closely with the provinces and territories, NGOs, and other key partners, in this comprehensive social marketing program on emergency preparedness.

The campaign includes a range of publications and promotional materials, a dedicated website www.GetPrepared.ca, social media, advertising, collaborative arrangements, exhibits and special events such as Emergency Preparedness Week, held the first week each May.

The campaign has proven successful, with each year showing an increase in the percentage of Canadians taking action to prepare.  Since the campaign was launched, approximately three million unique visitors have accessed the campaign website (www.GetPrepared.ca) and over two million emergency preparedness publications have been distributed by Public Safety Canada and partners.

For more information on EP Week or for practical information on preparing for emergencies, visit www.GetPrepared.ca or follow @Get_Prepared on Twitter.