Americas Oct 15, 2013
OTTAWA: The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, made the following statement today acknowledging the United Nation’s International Day for Disaster Reduction.
“The International Day for Disaster Reduction reminds us of the importance in taking action to reduce the risk to disasters. The recent flooding in Southern Alberta and the train derailment and explosion in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, clearly show the devastation that disasters can bring to our cities and communities. They highlight the need to strengthen our social and physical environment by empowering citizens, communities, first responders and governments to keep hazards from becoming disasters and to recover from those disasters more quickly. Today is an opportunity to remember that we all have a role to play in disaster risk reduction and building more resilient communities.
This year’s theme is about people with disabilities. The resilience of a community can be measured by how well all of its citizens are able to cope during a disaster. Public Safety Canada recognizes that persons with disabilities may face unique challenges, and offers an online Emergency Preparedness Guide for People with Disabilities. It includes an emergency kit checklist, service animal emergency kit checklist, and suggestions on how to create a personal support network.
The guide is a cooperative effort between the federal government, the Province of Ontario, and twenty public and private organizations, all consulted for their subject matter expertise and special insights. I urge persons with disabilities and their support networks to familiarize themselves with the practical advice it contains. Taking some of these simple steps today can make a huge difference during an emergency. I encourage first responders and emergency managers to continue to consider the needs of diverse groups, such as persons with disabilities, in their planning.”
Public Safety Canada is a proud supporter of disaster risk reduction. The Department will host the fourth Annual National Roundtable of Canada’s Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction on November 5, 2013. The Roundtable brings together various stakeholders and serves as a forum for Canada’s ongoing national dialogue on disaster risk reduction.
Canadians can follow @Get_Prepared on Twitter for safety tips and practical information on how to prepare for emergencies and for updates from the 4th Annual National Roundtable on Disaster Risk Reduction.