May 5 to May 11 is Emergency Preparedness Week in Canada. Is your family ready for an emergency?

Imagine you’re scrolling through your local news website while sipping your morning coffee. You see a reminder that this week is Emergency Preparedness Week (EP Week) in Canada. The headline grabs your attention: “Are You Ready for an Emergency? It’s Everyone’s Job.”

The article you read explains why Emergency Preparedness Week is important, especially in places like Mississauga. It’s clear: it’s not just about being ready individually; it’s about working together as a community to ensure everyone stays safe if an emergency happens.

The City of Mississauga’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) explains that building connections in your neighbourhood is important. Whether it’s with your family, friends, neighbours, or even people you don’t know well, having a solid support system can really help during an emergency.

They give some simple steps to get prepared:

  1. Create an emergency plan: Sit down with your family and those living with you at home and create an emergency plan. Remember to include your pets — they need to be part of the plan too!
  2. Think about everyone: Consider the needs of older people and those with disabilities. Take a moment to read Mississauga’s Emergency Preparedness for Older Adults and Persons with Disabilities. Even if you don’t live with someone who needs extra help, it’s good to know how to assist others in your community.
  3. Build an emergency kit: Gather important things like food, water and first aid supplies. Once again, don’t forget about pets or service animals — be sure to have their items and at least three days’ worth of food.
  4. Know the risks: Understand what could go wrong where you live, so that you know what to prepare for. In Mississauga, the top five hazards that most commonly affect the city are winter storms, floods, thunderstorms, power and telecommunications outages and cyber attacks.
  5. Stay updated: Stay informed about what’s happening before, during and after an emergency, and make sure to have a list of important phone numbers on standby.
  6. Be proactive: If you know someone who might need extra help in an emergency due to health or mobility concerns, ensure they are registered on Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services’ Vulnerable Persons Registry. This ensures that Mississauga Firefighters know their needs when attending an emergency call.
  7. Be fire safe: Learn how to prevent fires by reviewing fire prevention tips with your family regularly throughout the seasons as you will encounter different hazards in the winter than the summer.
  8. Check your insurance: Make sure you have adequate insurance coverage for a range of risks that might occur in your area. Chat with your insurance provider to ensure you have adequate coverage and that you know the 24/7 emergency phone number to start a claim.

So, as you finish your coffee, you’re now thinking about planning with your family and checking in with your neighbors to see if they need help getting ready too. Because when it comes to being prepared for emergencies, we all have a part to play.

Background

A report to Council from 2023, highlighted OEM’s presence in the city and commitment to public safety:

  1. OEM attended 70 community events in 2023, engaging with more than 11,500 residents.
  2. OEM was involved in responding to/monitoring approximately 39 incidents.
  3. OEM provided 13 emergency management/incident management training courses to both internal staff and emergency management partners from various agencies.
  4. OEM conducted and participated in approximately eight emergency exercises.

During EP week, OEM and select city staff are participating in a provincial mock exercise with other municipalities. These exercises keep staff informed and updated with best practices to ensure everyone’s safety.

Looking forward to the year ahead, OEM continues to take a collaborative approach to community resilience – working closely with various divisions, external partners and community groups to adapt disaster-risk reduction solutions to the unique needs of the multiple groups and communities within Mississauga.

Read and share Mississauga’s Emergency Preparedness Guide for more information about emergency preparedness.

Leave a Reply