The first week in May is national Emergency Preparedness Week. This is the time of year when we provide updates on the wildfire risk to our community, and encourage you to be prepared, have an emergency plan and an emergency kit.
While this messaging remains the same, we felt compelled to address the ongoing COVID-19 health emergency that is affecting our community and the rest of the world. The threat may not be as imminent as a wildfire or a toxic spill, but a similar responsibility exists for each individual to keep informed; follow public health directives; and look after themselves and their family.
We cannot stress enough the importance of each and every one of us continuing to follow provincial public health directives related to COVID-19. Your response is a key factor in how we will see this crisis unfold locally, and your response will become even more important in the event of a town evacuation due to a wildfire.
Wildfire season 2020 is here. Are you ready? Check our website, follow us on Facebook and read the Fitzhugh to find out how you and your family can prepare.
Preparing for a wildfire:
In recent years, mountain pine beetles have killed thousands of trees around Jasper, increasing the wildfire risk to our community. Wildfire season officially starts March 1 and runs until October 31 each year.
If a fire is near, protect yourself and loved ones by following directions from authorities and be prepared to evacuate. Individuals and families should be prepared to take care of themselves for at least 72 hours.
How to prepare
- Go to www.jasper-alberta.com/notifyme and sign up to receive municipal emergency alerts by text or email.
- Download the Alberta Emergency Alert app and set your location to Jasper.
- Emergency notifications in the event an evacuation alert or evacuation order will be broadcast on both platforms (municipal alert system and Alberta Emergency Alert)
- Maintain an emergency kit stocked with supplies such as water, food, battery-powered or crank radio and flashlight, and extra batteries.
- Store important documents such as passports, birth certificates, banking information and insurance papers in a safe, easy to reach location.
- If you have a vehicle, make a habit of keeping the tank full so you can evacuate without delay if required. Keep a vehicle emergency kit and include an extra phone charger with necessary adapters.
Make a plan
Get together with your family and loved ones and work on your emergency plan together. Make sure everyone understands what would happen and what to do in the event of a major emergency.
Don’t forget to include your pets in your plan. Figure out where they will go and how they will get there. In the case of an evacuation, don’t leave your pet behind.
Use the resources below to make your plan:
- Jasper Evacuation Guide (PDF)
Includes wildfire specific information and a basic emergency plan template
- 72-hour Emergency Guide (PDF)
Government of Canada publication. Visit the federal website at getprepared.gc.ca for more information and resources on how you can prepare for an emergency.
Municipality of Jasper Alert System
Did you know the Municipality of Jasper has its own alert system for local emergencies? Sign up today to receive information updates, evacuation alert and evacuation order notifications from the Municipality of Jasper.
Sign up here: www.jasper-alberta.com/notifyme
COVID-19 Pandemic Information
Avoid unnecessary risks:
As you go outside to take in this beautiful spring weather, please remember to follow public health recommendations and refrain from taking any unnecessary risks that can lead to preventable injuries, taking up valuable hospital beds during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Stay close to home
- Visit trails and parks during off-peak times and maintain your distance from others
- If you’re on a bicycle, wear a helmet and keep an eye out for pedestrians
- Watch out for wildlife and know how to prevent a conflict if you encounter an animal
- Stay in your comfort zone by sticking to routes you’re familiar with
- Adhere to road and trail closures
- Avoid risky terrain
For more trail safety visit https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/jasper/securite-safety
Mental Health Resources
A public health emergency, like the COVID-19 pandemic, can increase anxiety, stress and fear, leaving many people feeling a loss of control. This may be exacerbated by public health directives to physically distance from others, as connection is often an important tool in coping with difficult situations. Try to be patient with yourself and others during this time, as people may not be coping the way they usually do.
If you require support to get through these unprecedented times, there are many resources available to ensure that you find the care you need.
- Alberta Health Services - Help in Tough Times (Links to resources/supports)
- Mental health and coping with COVID-19 (CDC)
- Talking with children about COVID-19 (CDC)
If you need to talk, call the 24-hour help lines:
Kids Help Phone
- Free text messaging support during uncertain times.
- To subscribe: text COVID19HOPE to 393939.
- Fees may apply. Visit the website for more details.
Alberta 211 - Information on social supports
Know where to get accurate information
- Sign up to receive emergency alerts by text or email
- Download the Alberta Emergency Alert app on your phone and set your location to Jasper
- Check this website and the Jasper National Park website, as well as the Municipality of Jasper Facebook page and Jasper National Park Facebook page
- Turn on the radio or call 780-852-3311
Municipality of Jasper Council and Administration play an essential role in local Emergency Management. Training sessions and inter-agency workshops are held regularly, in collaboration with provincial and national authorities.