City of Calgary creates online emergency preparedness course

Emergency responders rescued dozens of people from the flood waters in communities along the Elbow and Bow Rivers/June 20, 2013. Global News

The City of Calgary has developed an interactive online course it believes will help residents become better prepared to deal with an emergency or disaster.

The “Ready Calgary” eLearning course deals with topics from knowing the risks around your neighbourhood, to making an emergency action plan and coming up with a 72 hour emergency kit.

Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) chief Tom Sampson said he would consider it a success if 20,000 people sign up for the 40- to 60-minute course in the next year.

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“We’ve got a great response system in Calgary, it’s strong, it’s proven it’s capabilities, our police service, fire service, EMS, very strong,” Sampson said. “This is about strengthening Calgarians so that they can take care of themselves and potentially their neighbours in the event of a crisis. The end result is that it allows our emergency services to focus on those who are most in need.”

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The online course uses the best information from other cities and adapts it to Calgary so citizens can identify risks around their home and make an emergency action plan.

“Taking this kind of course reduces your stress level because you’re more prepared for all the variables that life throws at you and in Alberta we have lots of them especially in regards with the weather,” Sampson said.

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“Not only do we help you find some of the risks that could be in your community or who might be able to help you, things as simple as an emergency plan — those kinds of things are important. We always assume that any given day we’ll be able to go home and our kids will be able to go from their school to home, but do we understand what the plan is if that’s not the case?”

The Ready Calgary eLearning course is on the city website at