Online tool aims to keep Calgarians informed about potential disaster risks, mitigation plans

Emergency officials in Calgary will have a new tool this year to keep residents in the loop on measures they’re taking to help mitigate possible disasters that could hit the city.

The city’s new tool — called the Disaster Risk Explorer — is an online education tool that will allow officials to share information both about the types of disasters that could be threatening the city as well as what the City of Calgary and the Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) are doing to get ahead of them.

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“Disasters in Canada are increasing in frequency and severity, and citizens have a responsibility to get informed and be prepared,” CEMA deputy chief Sue Henry said in a news release Tuesday.

“The first step is understanding what the risks are. Our new Disaster Risk Explorer is an interactive website that provides detailed information about disasters that pose the greatest risk to our city and individual communities.”

CEMA’s disaster risk assessment, which is a regular evaluation of the city’s risk landscape, feeds the new Disaster Risk Explorer.

According to CEMA, disaster losses in the Calgary area have exceeded $5 billion since 2000. From 2010 to 2016, losses averaged $600 million a year — the devastating flood in 2013 falls within that timeframe.

CEMA also said that even though Calgary is located in an area that has a high tornado risk, only six per cent of respondents to a recent survey said they viewed a possible tornado as a risk.

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The new Disaster Risk Explorer will be on display, along with dozens of other exhibits from more than 40 other agencies, at the interactive Disaster Alley event this weekend. First responders, emergency vehicles, STARS Air Ambulance and the Calgary Police Service’s HAWCS helicopter will be on hand at McMahon Stadium on May 4 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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