Ready to respond: celebrating Emergency Preparedness Week


Halton Region Chief of Emergency Management Ralph Blauel; Halton Regional Police Services Deputy Chief Nishan Duraiappah; Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr; Regional Fire Coordinator and Burlington Fire Chief Tony Bavota; and Paramedic Services Deputy Chief Peter McMurrough

Halton Region works with residents throughout the year to ensure our community is prepared for an emergency, and we are pleased to join municipalities across the country in celebrating Emergency Preparedness Week from May 1 to 7. Emergency preparedness is an essential part of fostering a safe community, and this annual event provides a valuable opportunity to learn how you can plan today so you are protected tomorrow.


Emergencies can happen anytime, and your best defense is to be prepared. Emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility, and you can help ensure your family’s safety in an emergency by following three simple steps.

  1. Know the risks
    Familiarize yourself with risks or potential hazards in your area and consider how to mitigate them.
  2. Make a plan
    Ensure everyone in your household knows what to do before, during and after an emergency, from evacuation to communication.
  3. Get a kit
    Assemble or buy an emergency kit to meet the needs of your family and pets for 72 hours, at home or during an evacuation.

I also encourage Halton residents to reach out to neighbours, family and friends who may be particularly vulnerable during an emergency to help ensure that they are properly prepared.

Just as we encourage Halton residents to build strategies of their own, the Region is prepared to respond to emergencies in the community. In addition to keeping Halton’s communities safe through emergency preparedness and education, we work with local partners to minimize the risks, coordinate response efforts and reduce the impact of emergency situations.

Emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility that involves every individual, government and our community. By ensuring that we are prepared for emergencies in Halton, we also provide an important aid to first responders, allowing them to continue to focus their attention on those in immediate need. May 1 is First Responder’s Day in Ontario, and I would like to thank Halton’s dedicated paramedics, police officers and firefighters for their tireless efforts to keep us safe. I would also like to recognize the many organizations, individuals and teams mobilized in emergency situations for their invaluable support.

By working together to ensure that our communities are ready to respond, we all help keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire. To learn more about emergency preparedness, please visit

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.