City of Calgary launches online tool to keep kids informed and prepared for disasters

A look at the extensive damage to the Saddledome during the historic Calgary flood. Global News

Calgary kids have a new online tool to help them understand and be prepared for emergencies that may impact their city.

The Ready Squad was developed by the Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) to take a fun spin on teaching and training children aged seven to 12 about emergency skills and preventative actions, the city said.

Through The Ready Squad, kids will learn:

  • What disasters Calgary is at risk of, including tornadoes and floods
  • Ways to be prepared, like having a home evacuation plan and household emergency supplies on hand
  • What to do and how to stay informed in common emergency situations
  • What to expect during disaster recovery

“Children are often overlooked when it comes to disaster planning, but teaching them about emergencies and having them contribute to emergency action plans will increase their resilience to disaster and improve safety for the whole family,” CEMA deputy chief Sue Henry said.

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READ MORE: Online tool aims to keep Calgarians informed about potential disaster risks, mitigation plans

The city said children are more emotionally and physically vulnerable to disasters than adults, adding that research shows empowering young people with knowledge and awareness not only keeps them safer, but also makes them more resilient to trauma they might experience.

It’s also hoped the children will spread the message of what they learn to friends, family and others in their community.

The City of Calgary said it’s working with school and youth programs to have The Ready Squad used as an education tool that falls in line with the Alberta Education curriculum.

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