May 6, 2019 1:01 pm

London launches week dedicated to emergency preparedness, community safety

Mayor Ed Holder (left) poses with London fire Chief Lori Hammer and division manager for London's emergency management Dave O'Brien during the launch of a week dedicated to emergency preparedness, community safety and crime prevention.

Andrew Graham / 980 CFPL
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Londoners will get to see how hard the city works to keep them safe this week.

On Monday, city officials marked the launch of Emergency Preparedness Week and Community Safety and Crime Prevention Week.

The week will feature a handful of free events for Londoners of all ages, including a seniors’ safety lunch on Tuesday and a youth safety seminar on Wednesday.

READ MORE: London launches new emergency notification system

On Thursday, the city will conduct a test of the Alert London Notification System, which will send notifications to Londoners who have signed up for the system at 10:55 a.m.

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Dave O’Brien, manager of the City of London’s emergency management team, says the alert system provides a direct line to Londoners during an emergency. People who sign up can choose to receive notifications via telephone, cellphone, text message or email.

“It allows us to get that critical information to the public … communication is always very, very important in these situations,” O’Brien said.

As of Monday morning, nearly 5,000 Londoners have signed up for the system, with 300 of those sign-ups taking place last weekend.

READ MORE: London to launch municipal emergency notification test Wednesday

The city is also using the week to introduce the Citizen Academy Program, a public education citizen volunteer program that will train everyday Londoners on what to do during an emergency situation, along with how to prepare for risks to community safety.

“This is about neighbours looking after neighbours … especially when there’s an emergency,” said Mayor Ed Holder, who voiced pride in the new program.

“The reality is it’s not so much ‘if’ but ‘when’ … that’s what the national Emergency Preparedness Week is about.”

The list of free events available to Londoners this week can be found at london.ca.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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