St. Paul’s Regional Emergency Management Agency (REMA) is responsible for the planning, coordinating and supporting emergency agencies and resources during major emergencies and disasters. REMA is established under the following Bylaws:
· County of St. Paul No. 19 – Bylaw No. 2014-30
· Summer Village of Horseshoe Bay – Bylaw No. 106/2014
· Town of St. Paul – Bylaw No. 1209
· Town of Elk Point – Bylaw No. 731/14
REMA works with all departments, utility companies, other municipalities and nonprofit groups to prepare, respond and recover more quickly when a disaster occurs. The REMA manages the Region’s Emergency Management Plan and six Sub-Plans which identifies the Region’s resources and organization in the event of an emergency or disaster. The entire process and readiness of Emergency Management is compiled in those series of plans. The REMP is the master document developed by various Agencies such as Police, Fire, Municipal Works, and Emergency Social Services. The Director and all the agency representatives of the various essential services agencies meet on an annual basis to discuss and refine plans.
An all Hazards Approach was taken to understand the potential hazards we could be faced with in the Region of St. Paul. We looked back at past incidents, we have look at our current status now, and have tried to be proactive in looking ahead at those potentials for the future. The main plan was developed using the hazards identified in the hazard assessment. The plan is now in place and is ready should it be required. As the plan is a living document and always requires updates and upgrades, it is never ‘done’, but it is ready to support our Region.
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
The Emergency Management Committee is made up of councilors from each municipality and has the responsibility of designating a Director of Emergency Management and mandating their responsibilities. The Director is responsible for:
ensuring that risk analysis are conducted
a mobilization plan is crafted and maintained
regular planning meetings are scheduled
the plan is exercised routinely.
How to Be Prepared for an Emergency
Know the risks that can happen in your area. In Alberta, a tornado can strike quickly, wildfires can threaten communities and heavy rains can cause flash flooding. When an emergency occurs, family members may not be together and could be at school, home or work. It’s important to sit down with your family and make your own emergency plan so that each family member knows what to do if an emergency occurs.
PLANNING IS SIMPLE!
1. Identify the risks
Prepare a list of the most common risks in your region and learn about the possible consequences of those risks. Then, walk around your house and identify dangers like heavy pictures hung loosely, toxic products, and so on. Take any necessary corrective steps to secure your possessions and your home.
2. Prepare your family emergency plan
Choose an out-of-area contact, someone each member of the family can call or e-mail in case of an emergency. This person can help family members stay in touch and get back together if they are separated. Be sure to pick someone who is far enough away so as not to be affected by the same situation.
Decide on temporary accommodation – such as a friend’s place or hotel – where you can stay for a few days in case you are evacuated. This may also be where you will meet if you are separated during a disaster. When choosing your shelter, remember that bridges may be out and roads may be blocked. (Don’t forget to plan for your pets: they are not always welcome in emergency shelters or hotels.)
3. Practice as a family at least once a year
An emergency can happen anytime, anywhere. Practice often helps people feel less disoriented and better organized in case of a disaster – even in the middle of the night or the middle of winter.
The County of St. Paul, Town of St. Paul, Town of Elk Point, and Summer Village of Horseshoe Bay have agreed to a regional approach to Emergency Management. A Working Group was formed (with representation from each of the municipalities) to guide the process, and it was agreed that a single Regional Emergency Management Plan (REMP) and Agency would make the best use of shared resources. The REMP will incorporate information from the current individual municipal emergency plans, and will provide additional opportunities to work together (e.g., training and exercises).
What is Emergency Management? Emergency Management is a course of action developed to mitigate the damage of potential events that could endanger a Region’s ability to function. We use the Emergency Management Building Blocks of Prevention/Mitigation; Preparedness; Response; and Recovery to develop our plan. Such a plan will include measures that provide for the safety of the public and, if possible, property and facilities. The elements of emergency management planning include determining potential emergency situations and what the appropriate responses to each would be. Conducting a Hazards; Risks; and Vulnerabilities Assessment will help a Region understand the risks posed by various events either natural or manmade.
Emergencies can happen anywhere and at any time. They can be caused by severe weather, infectious diseases, industrial accidents or spills, or by intentional acts. The very nature of an emergency is unpredictable and can change in scope and impact. When an emergency happens it can threaten public safety, the environment, property, the economy; critical infrastructure such as transportation and telecommunications; and the health of the public. An emergency can also affect a person’s ability to access health care services and the health care system’s ability to respond to the situation.
By taking an active role in your community, you are helping to build a culture of preparedness in our Region. 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. When a major emergency occurs the speed of response, and particularly in the first few hours, is critical. This is not the time for any of us to ask "Where do I go and what do I do”. This is why our plans are prepared in advance, it’s to ensure that we are not caught totally unaware, and give us direction on how to manage appropriately. With your help, together we can communicate the importance of emergency preparedness to everyone in our Region. By you taking the initiative and preparing yourself ahead of time, helps us prepare in taking care of you and the community.
Continue to check the website on a regular basis for information updates; links and attachments. We are always adding to our page to keep the community and Region up to date.
Stay Safe and look out for one and other.
Regional Director of Emergency Management