Ottawa first to receive accreditation for emergency preparedness

Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Diane Deans, chair of the City’s Community and Protective Services Committee, launched Emergency Preparedness Week today at City Hall. The event was both a celebration of the City’s achievements in emergency preparedness and a reminder to all that preparing for emergencies is a job that’s never really done.

During today’s ceremony, Ottawa was recognized for being the first Canadian recipient of accreditation from the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP). EMAP reviews emergency management programs at all government levels and provides recommendations for improvement. While the City of Ottawa long ago met provincial standards for emergency planning, EMAP accreditation is considered a higher standard.

“The City is always looking for ways to improve its readiness for emergencies and Ottawa residents are encouraged to do the same for their own homes,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “No one is immune from emergencies. Watch the news any night and remind yourself that what happens in many other communities could happen here.”

Ottawa residents can visit information booths at select stores and libraries during Emergency Preparedness Week, May 3 to 9, to learn more about what they can do to prepare for emergencies, such as making a kit and having a plan. More emergency preparedness tips can be found at ottawa.ca.

“Emergency kits are not only important, but are so simple and affordable that every household can have one,” said Councillor Deans. “I encourage every household to get your kit together, make a plan and, from time to time, review what you’ve done to make sure the contents are up to date.

Today’s event included presentation of the Are You Ready – Partners in Preparedness Awards. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the City’s Are You Ready program, which coordinates emergency preparedness training for individuals and organizations. For more information visit ottawa.ca.

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