As summer weather approaches and we begin spending more time outdoors, Manitoban emergency officials are reminding us to have an emergency plan in place in the event of severe weather or a natural disaster.

May 2 marked the start of Emergency Preparedness Week across Canada and Darren Driedger, emergency coordinator for the Southern Emergency Response Committee, is encouraging families to use this occasion to have a discussion about their home emergency plan and review some of the specifics of that plan.

"For example, if there was an emergency that happened during the day like a tornado or any type of emergency, it's very likely family members in your household will be scattered in the community either at work, or school. You should have a plan on how you will reunite and a good suggestion is to have a family contact who lives out of town. It will make getting back together a lot easier after the event has happened."

Driedger says many communities in southern Manitoba have very good alerting systems in place through cell phones, local radio stations and emergency sirens. He says when an emergency occurs people need to take the information seriously and then take action.

"My biggest concern is seeing people becoming too complacent with all the alerts that they get and I'm worried that it will lead to someone potentially getting hurt. So, that's the main thing that I'd like to see, people reacting to that information that they're getting and taking appropriate measures to keep themselves and their families safe."

Meanwhile, the Alert Ready system plans to send a public test message Wednesday, May 5 over radio, television and compatible wireless devices across Canada. Here in Manitoba, the test will go out at 1:55 pm


Written by Dean Penner.