Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Second annual Disaster Alley is this Saturday

Be prepared; the mantra of moms, scouts and paramilitary types. Shouldn't it be as common to everyone though? That's what the people at the Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) think.This is the group that responds to help citizens during major catastrophic events like fires, floods and even pandemics. Planning and reacting to prevent bad news from turning into worse news is what CEMA specializes in.

Deputy Chief Tom Sampson of CEMA, sums up the facts about disaster scenarios this way, "If the majority of the population can take care of themselves for the first 72 hours or more, emergency services are able to focus their resources on the high needs citizens and the management of the disaster situation"

Part of CEMA's efforts to mitigate the severity of disastrous events is to create awareness about emergency preparedness among Calgarians. There are several ways they tackle that goal and one of the most visible ways is through Disaster Alley. This all day event takes place Saturday May 7, 2011 near Elliston Park, where firefighters and other emergency personnel train.

"Disaster alley is a great opportunity for residents to see what the Calgary Emergency Management Agency is all about and how as a team The City of Calgary prepares for and responds to disasters" said Tom.

This Saturday over 27 local, provincial, national and international agencies that respond to disasters will showcase they're talents, equipment and advice. In addition to Police, Fire and EMS, showcases from many of the little-known heroes will also be on site. Last year Water Services, ATCO and Alberta Health Services all had great booths and a fly-in from STARS air ambulance made-the-day for many kids present. The Red Cross demonstrated their ability to feed people en masse, by bringing snacks for hundreds in a converted semi trailer.

If you're mad you missed it last year, be sure to attend this year; It may inspire you to compile a 72 hour survival kit (follow the link for a great video on making one). A fun day of demonstrations could save someone in your life. In 2010 we learned that a City survival kit was credited with saving two lives during 2009's flooding in the Philippines.   

Here's a short video of last year's Disaster Alley.

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