Alberta Mirror

Monday, December 4, 2023

Local states of emergency support neighborhoods manage with catastrophes


Key takeaways: 

  • States of regional emergency give authorities to cities they don’t usually have.
  • A wildfire burning to the west of Edmonton in Yellowhead County causes evacuations in June 2021. 

Local emergency to help manage districts with disasters: 

Alberta and Saskatchewan have witnessed their rightful share of provincial emergencies, wildfires, drought, or flooding in the previous year.

And as weather change gets more variable climate with more significant storms, more severe droughts, and longer wildfire seasons, they will notice states of local emergency announced more often. 

So what do these statements suggest?

A state of regional emergency provides a municipality with powers it doesn’t usually have, such as evacuation orders or supply of basic supplies. 

Because each neighborhood has various requirements, states of emergency also vary. 

Read more: An all-girls football club in Edmonton makes its comeback after COVID closed down

The local state of emergencies support the communities

According to the Alberta Emergency Act, regional authorities are liable for their emergency management, states Barb Gamble, local operations center manager with the Alberta government. 

“The City of Edmonton has a lot more help than a smaller hamlet would have,” Gamble tells. “So what would be something that would induce a small hamlet to reach a state of regional emergency, may not force Edmonton to call a state of local emergency.”

Probable additional measures during State of Local Emergency

• Conscript individuals with unique skillsets to help in an emergency

• Control or restrict travel

• Evacuate

• Order repair of essential services

• Order allocation of essential supplies

• Control costs of food

In Alberta, states of local emergency survive for seven days (or 90 days if the trouble is connected to an outbreak), and they pass or are renewed, according to Gamble. They can also be revoked at any time. 

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