You never know what kind of a disaster could happen in your city, let alone when it could happen. City of Portage representatives are doing what they can so they will be prepared for anything.

Fire Chief and Director of Public Safety Brad Bailey was part of a training session earlier this month during Emergency Preparedness Week. He says the training explains the roles of everyone in the disaster management structure when it comes to the Emergency Operations Centre team. Some members include RCMP, Manitoba Hydro, Southern Health-Santé Sud. 

"An Emergency Operations Centre can be set up basically at any time. It doesn't necessarily have to be when the disaster happens," says Bailey. "A lot of times, you'll set it up in advance knowing that something can go wrong, or the situation is going to expand into something much larger than it initially is."

Part of the training involved a tabletop exercise where the team worked together to plan how they would handle that situation. Chief Bailey adds this experience is vital, as any time there is a disaster, everyone comes together to form that centre. Bailey mentions this is only part of the emergency prepareness, noting they've been working on plans for a while.

"A few weeks back, we had some training with our local Mayor and Council on their roles and responsibilities in a disaster situation," says Bailey. "We've also included the RM representatives in with our training. We're all working together like a big team to try to be prepared to mitigate any situation that comes our way."

The City is mandated by the Province of Manitoba to partake in training for emergency management every year. Bailey says they also need an emergency plan approved by the Emergency Management Organization.

If you would like a Quick Reference Guide so you will know what to do in the event of a disaster, you can pick one up at City Hall and other city buildings.