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City marks Emergency Preparedness Week amid pandemic response

Emergency Preparedness Week is May 4-8

May 4, 2020

Monday marks the start of Emergency Preparedness Week, an annual awareness week promoted by Public Safety Canada. This year, Winnipeg residents may find they know a lot more about being prepared for an emergency than they imagined.

In the past year, Winnipeg has responded to the fall storm in early October, a potential high-water event, and the global COVID-19 pandemic.

During emergencies like these, the City of Winnipeg’s Office of Emergency Management may activate the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to respond. While the EOC might be the most recognizable aspect of the emergency preparedness plan, there is a lot that goes into keeping the City emergency ready.

People sitting at desks in the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC)
The EOC during the October, 2019 storm.

“The Office of Emergency Management works year-round to prepare to respond to disasters and emergencies,” said Jason Shaw, Assistant Chief of Emergency Preparedness, Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service.

Shaw added that during non-emergency times, it’s important for residents to increase their own resiliency against disaster by creating a 72-hour preparedness kit and creating plans for their families and businesses.

“Winnipeg residents are resilient, and during difficult times we pull together,” he said.

Outreach events were scheduled for this spring to provide residents with education about Emergency Management and personal preparedness, but they were postponed to adhere to physical distancing guidelines and to allow staff to focus solely on the pandemic response. More information will be provided at a later date.

Learn more about emergency preparedness and find the latest updates on the City’s response to COVID-19.

COVID-19 Celebrating City Employees Emergency and Safety