We encourage feedback on any and all issues of concern to residents. Please join us at our monthly meetings to discuss issues or send an email to President@khca.on.ca. We look forward to hearing your views!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Winter 2015 - Emergency Preparedness "Are You Ready?"

Winter 2015 - Emergency Preparedness "Are You Ready?"  

We've come a long way baby! 10th Anniversary of Are You Ready!

On January 7th, 2005 a group of enthusiastic community members, City of Ottawa employees, and members of council gathered together to launch a new program with the hope of motivating businesses, families, and individuals in the community to become better prepared for emergencies and disasters.  The program was called Are you Ready? and 10 years later it is still going strong. 

Since the launch in 2005, Are you Ready program volunteers have participated in hundreds of community events, and shared the messages with more than 250,000 individuals, families and businesses.  The Are you Ready e-Newsletter was launched in 2009, and in 2012 we turned the program on its head and launched the We are Ready program, designed to ensure that City of Ottawa employees are prepared at home.

On August 12, 2012 the program issued its first tweet and we continue to use social media to connect with our community.  The year 2013 saw continued program growth with the installation of both road signs and e-billboards, and in 2014 we launched the Partners in Preparedness awards and strengthened our community partnership with the Ottawa Red Cross.

Through the years, there has been one constant. The heart and soul of the program has always been, and will continue to be our dedicated, passionate community stakeholders and volunteers.  Without you, those who subscribe to our newsletters, follow us on twitter and believe in our messages, we would not have achieved all that we have.

Thank you for your support and most of all thank you for taking the time to prepare your families, businesses and communities for emergencies and disasters.

Here's to another successful 10 years of Are you Ready, and an even better prepared City!

Resolve 2B Ready in 2015

Each year, thousands of people eagerly anticipate the arrival of New Years Eve.  It's an opportunity to say goodbye to the old, and to start a new year with a clean slate.  As the ball drops and the calendar flips, many of us make resolutions to get healthy, to live better and to have a better year, but how many of us actually make resolutions that we can keep? 

The City of Ottawa's Office of Emergency Management wants to make it easy for you to not only make a resolution, but to keep it in 2015 with our Resolve 2B Ready campaign, a campaign that will help you and your family better prepare for emergencies and disasters.

Emergencies and disasters can happen anytime and 2014 was no exception in Ottawa with power outages, watermain breaks, boil water advisories, tornado warnings, road collapses, flooding, wind storms and public safety incidents.

The Resolve 2B Ready campaign is simple.  Take a few minutes each month and do something to get better prepared.  If you're not sure where to start, we've provided a calendar with monthly themes and suggested activities.  You can download the full year calendar from ottawa.ca/areyouready or check back each month to see what you can do.

Share your stories, and photos with us through twitter and we'll post your progress updates and highlights in our quarterly Are you Ready e-Newsletter.

Be sure to follow @OEMOttawa on Twitter for ongoing preparedness tips and check back monthly at ottawa.ca/areyouready for inspiring stories about the Resolve 2B Ready campaign.

The time to start planning for an emergency is not in the middle of one.  By making a resolution to take a few simple steps in advance, you can minimize the impact of an emergency on your family, home and business. In an emergency you're either READY or you're not, make sure you're ready!

Emergencies at Work – Are you Ready? 

We know that emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere but how many of us are actually prepared if an emergency happens while we are away from our home?  What if a suspicious package, extreme weather or a lockdown forced you to spend extended hours at your workplace? What if you had to stay overnight?  What if you were evacuated and couldn't get to your car?  While we hope it will never happen, it is a good idea to think about what you might need, and what plans you'll need to have in place, if an emergency happens while you are at work.

Make it a habit to always carry your phone, keys and wallet with you, even if you are just going to a quick meeting down the hall.  If you have a heated underground parking garage, don't be tempted to leave your coat in the car.  Nothing is worse than a winter evacuation without a coat. Keep the area under your desk free of clutter, this is the best place to shelter during an earthquake or other emergency.
Make sure you have back up plans for personal commitments including picking up children, caring for pets and elderly family members.  Learn about your company's evacuation and shelter in place plans and familiarize yourself with alternate transportation modes and routes.  Gather and store essential supplies including flashlights, AM/FM radio (windup and/or battery operated), bottled water, ready to eat food/snacks, work gloves, cash (including coins) and a change of clothes in a small duffle bag in a desk drawer, locker or cabinet.  If you are forced to evacuate and are able to, use this bag as a Grab and Go bag. 

If you travel frequently around the City for meetings, or are a mobile worker, keep a few essential supplies in your briefcase or purse.

For more information about preparing for emergencies, and a checklist for your grab and go bag visit ottawa.ca/areyouready

Are You Ready Community Workshops

Whether you are a community leader, own a small business or are employed by a large corporation, everyone has a role to play in being prepared for an emergency or disaster. To help make sure you know what to do, the City's Are You Ready program has a network of dedicated volunteer trainers available to deliver customized emergency preparedness presentations and displays across the community.

Presentations are typically 45-90 minutes in length and provide information about the importance of personal emergency preparedness, discuss the top risks in Ottawa and demonstrate how to make an effective emergency plan.  Presentations can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your neighbourhood, workplace or community group.
Display booths can be set up during any community event and our knowledgeable staff and volunteers will provide information about how your participants can prepare themselves and their families.

Please contact the 'Are You Ready' program by email at areyouready@ottawa.ca or call 613-580-2424 ext 28078 to book your event today. 

Join the Are you Ready Team!

Do you have a passion for Emergency Preparedness that you want to share with colleagues, neighbours or community groups?

The Are You Ready Train-the-Trainer program is back and better than ever.  Our new 2.5 hour workshop will provide all the information and resources you need to raise awareness and educate your community on the importance of creating personal and family emergency plans?

Once trained, you can apply for a formal volunteer position on the Are You Ready team, or you can continue to volunteer informally as a Community Ambassador.

Monday, March 09
6:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Ottawa City Hall - 110 Laurier Ave. W.

To register for a session please contact the Are You Ready Program at areyouready@ottawa.ca or call 613-580-2424 ext. 28078.