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New Brunswick municipalities, local service districts to conduct emergency exercise in June

Greg MacCallum, director of New Brunswick’s Emergency Measures Organization, is reminding residents that they should always be “72-hours ready” in case of an emergency and have everything they need, including food, water, medication, batteries, cash and other necessities.
New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization director Greg MacCallum says while emergencies cannot always be avoided, being as prepared as possible can lessen their impact.

FREDERICTON, N.B. – A province-wide exercise will be conducted on June 13 to test emergency preparedness plans and community plans in New Brunswick municipalities and local service districts.

Brunswick Alpha 2018 is a one-day event that will revolve around a progressively severe weather event unfolding across the province. Advanced weather reporting, simulated social media, and web-based news reporting will add to the realism of the experience. More than 100 communities, municipalities and local service districts will be participating, as well as New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization, the Canadian Armed Forces, NB Power, the Red Cross, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and Public Safety Canada.

“This first-of-its-kind exercise in New Brunswick is an excellent way to test local emergency plans,” said Justice and Public Safety Minister Denis Landry. “Communities have to be able to react swiftly and decisively in the face of an emergency. Plans need to be up to date and those responsible for implementing must be trained.”

"While emergencies cannot always be avoided, we can help to lessen the impact by being as prepared as possible.”

– NB EMO director Greg MacCallum

The exercise is being led and organized by the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization in partnership with the Canadian Armed Forces, through Joint Task Force Atlantic.

“Our partnership in domestic emergency preparedness is demonstrated not just in times of need, but in the more important phases between emergencies, where we learn valuable lessons through exercises such as this,” said Rear-Admiral Craig Baines, Commander of Joint Task Force Atlantic. “Training of this scale is vital to ensuring all organizations are able to work cohesively and efficiently when crises demand a large partner response.”

In the months prior the exercise, hundreds of stakeholders attended three planning conferences to discuss and develop the scenario and goals. The end result is a tailor-made scenario that will give communities the opportunity to achieve their individual community objectives.

Brunswick Alpha 2018 is designed to allow municipal staff to practice planned responses and other procedures at any level at which they choose to participate, from simple to complex.

New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization director Greg MacCallum said the number of participants shows increased engagement and a provincewide desire to be ready.

“While emergencies cannot always be avoided, we can help to lessen the impact by being as prepared as possible,” MacCallum said.

The Emergency Measures Organization co-ordinates preparedness for emergencies, working at provincial, regional and municipal levels to ensure communities are protected during all phases of an emergency. It also co-ordinates provincial response operations during emergencies and administers disaster financial assistance programs during recovery.

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