Before the day of modern conveniences, such as electricity, oil heat and automobiles, communities were generally self-sufficient when natural disasters struck their towns. Today, modern technologies have made us far more vulnerable and it has increased the chance of encountering a disaster.
Everyday, communities face potential man-made or natural disasters. Each village or town is exposed to hazardous materials traveling on their streets or to industrial or engineering installations that could endanger the surrounding populations if they malfunction. Environmentally, Canada has been exposed to ever changing weather extremes, earthquakes, major floods, ice storms and hurricanes. It is all of these potential hazards that make Emergency Planning so vital.
The Municipality of Colchester, Town of Stewiacke and the Town of Truro, signed an Agreement to develop one Emergency Plan for the region. This plan was developed by the Regional Emergency Management Organization (REMO). The REMO is made up of the Regional Emergency Management Advisory Committee, the Regional Protective Services Coordinator and the Regional Emergency Planning Committee. The Advisory Committee is comprised of the Mayor of each Municipality and one other elected official. The Planning Committee is comprised of representatives from community services, law enforcement, fire, health services, engineering, transportation and communications.
The goal of the Regional Emergency Management Organization for the Colchester Region is to establish arrangements and procedures necessary for the earliest possible coordinated response in order that the following be assured:
- minimize the effects of an emergency or disaster on the Colchester Region and its citizens;
- the safety and preservation of health, private property and the environment and;
- the restoration of essential services.
What is a disaster?
Any real or anticipated occurrence which endangers the lives, safety, welfare and well-being of some or all of the people and which cannot be brought under control by the use of all the regular Municipal Government services and resources may be called a disaster.
What is an Emergency?
An abnormal situation which, to limited damage to persons, property, or the environment, requires prompt action beyond normal procedures (all disasters are emergencies but not all emergencies are disasters).
What is an Emergency Management Plan?
A planned program or procedures prepared by the Municipality that aims (1) to mitigate the effects of an emergency or disaster, and (2) to safeguard the health or welfare of the population, and to protect property and the environment, in the event of an emergency or disaster.
What is Protective Services Coordinator Coordinator?
A Protective Services Coordinator is a person hired or appointed by the Municipality. One of their duties is to develop and coordinate the preparation and maintenance of municipal emergency management plans such as emergency evacuation.