Up­dated rules pro­tect Al­ber­tans from dis­as­ter

The McLeod River Post - - Viewpoint -

A new reg­u­la­tion will help com­mu­ni­ties im­prove their re­sponse to dis­as­ters by up­dat­ing re­quire­ments for train­ing, man­age­ment plans and evac­u­a­tion or­ders.

The Emer­gency Man­age­ment Amend­ment Act is now in ef­fect, pro­vid­ing com­mu­ni­ties with an easy ref­er­ence as they de­velop and re­fine their emer­gency man­age­ment plans and pro­grams.

“We have all seen the num­ber and sever­ity of dis­as­ters in­crease over the years – and ev­ery time a ma­jor event hap­pens, we learn from it. By up­dat­ing our leg­is­la­tion, we are ap­ply­ing what we have learned and are work­ing with mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to help them bet­ter pre­pare for dis­as­ters and keep Al­ber­tans safe.”

Shaye An­der­son, Min­is­ter of Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs

Changes to the act also al­low for the ad­di­tion of the Lo­cal Au­thor­ity Emer­gency Man­age­ment Reg­u­la­tion.

The reg­u­la­tion will come into force Jan. 1, 2020 to give mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties suf­fi­cient time to im­ple­ment. The reg­u­la­tion will en­sure:

• Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties have up-to-date emer­gency plans and pro­grams that are reg­u­larly re­viewed and ex­er­cised.

• Elected of­fi­cials and mu­nic­i­pal em­ploy­ees are trained for their roles and un­der­stand their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

• Re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and func­tions of mu­nic­i­pal emer­gency ad­vi­sory com­mit­tees and emer­gency man­age­ment agen­cies are clear.

• Re­gional col­lab­o­ra­tion agree­ments with other mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties are clear.

“The up­date to the Emer­gency Man­age­ment Act and ad­di­tion of the Lo­cal Au­thor­ity Emer­gency Man­age­ment Reg­u­la­tion not only demon­strate the im­por­tance of emer­gency man­age­ment in Al­berta, but also sup­port all mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties by pro­vid­ing a clear and ob­jec­tive set of re­quire­ments to as­sist in en­sur­ing we con­tin­u­ally strive to im­prove our in­ter­nal pro­cesses.”

Mer­rick Brown, di­rec­tor, Health, Safety, En­vi­ron­ment & Emer­gency Man­age­ment, City of Medicine Hat

Over the sum­mer, the gov­ern­ment en­gaged with 92 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and five or­ga­ni­za­tions to gather in­put that helped in­form the new reg­u­la­tion. First re­spon­ders, lo­cal elected of­fi­cials, mu­nic­i­pal di­rec­tors of emer­gency man­age­ment, Metis Set­tle­ments and First Na­tions all par­tic­i­pated in the dis­cus­sions. The re­sult­ing feed­back has been is­sued in a re­port that is now avail­able on­line.

Min­is­ter An­der­son an­nounced the amend­ments and the ad­di­tion of the reg­u­la­tion at the Al­berta Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency Sum­mit on Dec. 5. The sum­mit brings to­gether emer­gency man­age­ment part­ners from across Al­berta to help strengthen and build re­la­tion­ships and of­fer op­por­tu­ni­ties for pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment.

The Emer­gency Man­age­ment Amend­ment Act was in­tro­duced in April 2018. It was passed on Nov. 1 and came into force on Nov. 19.

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