Updated rules protect Albertans from disaster
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.