Calgarians to explore new emergency preparedness tool at Disaster Alley on May 4

The Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) is set to demonstrate the latest tool in Calgary’s emergency preparedness arsenal.

The new Disaster Risk Explorer will be on display when CEMA hosts the tenth annual Disaster Alley at McMahon Stadium May 4 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The explorer is a web-based education tool designed to share information on the types of disasters that could hit Calgary and what The City and CEMA are doing to help mitigate the impacts.

“Disasters in Canada are increasing in frequency and severity, and citizens have a responsibility to get informed and be prepared,” says CEMA Deputy Chief Sue Henry. “The first step is understanding what the risks are. Our new Disaster Risk Explorer is an interactive website that provides detailed information about disasters that pose the greatest risk to our city and individual communities.”

The Disaster Risk Explorer is based on information in CEMA’s Disaster Risk Assessment (DRA), a regular evaluation of our city’s risk landscape. Some highlights from the DRA include:

  • Since 2000 there has been over $5 billion in estimated disaster losses in Calgary and area.

  • For the period 2010 to 2016, losses in Calgary averaged $600 million per year.

  • Five of the 10 costliest disasters in Canadian history have impacted Calgary directly.

  • The frequency and intensity of extreme weather events is increasing due to climate change.

  • A recent survey conducted by CEMA found that only six per cent of respondents viewed tornadoes as a high risk in Calgary despite our city being located in an area of severe tornado risk.

“Keeping Calgarians safe is the top priority for The City and all responders,” says Henry. “We use the information from the Disaster Risk Assessment to make decisions on city planning and policy, emergency response planning and risk management. The new Disaster Risk Explorer website provides Calgarians with that same information, so they can take action to protect themselves and their businesses.”

The Disaster Risk Explorer is only one of dozens of displays at Disaster Alley. More than 40 agencies will be on hand to demonstrate how they prepare for and can spring into action when disaster strikes. Visitors can meet first responders while enjoying family activities like face painting and tours of fire trucks, the STARS ambulance helicopter, Calgary Police HAWCS helicopter and The City’s new Mobile Command Centre.

Disaster Alley takes place during Emergency Preparedness Week which runs May 5 - 11, 2019.

Calgarians are encouraged to visit to learn what they can do before, during and after an emergency. Take the Ready Calgary preparedness course, and sign up for emergency alerts.