The County maintains an emergency management plan for large-scale disasters that includes mitigation, responding and recovering strategies for emergency events.
Emergency management also means training for emergency responders, provision of public awareness programs, liaison with other emergency management agencies and development of practical emergency response plans.
Along with municipal emergency management responsibilities, the County is part of the Clearwater Regional Emergency Management Agency (CREMA) which is a partnership between the Town of Rocky Mountain House, Village of Caroline, the Summer Village of Burnstick Lake and Clearwater County.
CREMA's mission is through risk analysis, resource coordination, and education develop programs and plans that contribute: to the safeguarding of human life; to preventing undue suffering; and to hastening recovery relating to local disasters or major emergency events.
Emergency Decision Making Hierarchy
As part of its mandate, CREMA asked its member Councils to adopt a decision-making hierarchy for use when responding to an emergency or disaster. The Councils’ eight-step hierarchy, in order of highest to lowest priority, is:
- Providing for the safety and health of all responders
- Save lives
- Reduce suffering
- Protect public health
- Protect government infrastructure
- Protect property
- Protect the environment
- Reduce economic and social losses
- Responders to prioritize goals and assign limited resources during an event use this eight-step hierarchy. When responders must choose between different objectives, the higher objective on the list will be chosen.
What is a State of Local Emergency?
A State of Local Emergency (SOLE) is a tool that may be used by municipalities (and other local authorities) to manage events. Under Alberta's Emergency Management Act (EMA) the municipality declares a SOLE when it is deemed that additional powers are required to respond to an event. During a declared State of Local Emergency, Alberta's Emergency Management Act bestows a number of extraordinary powers upon a municipality such as the ability to fix prices, conscript persons and equipment, enter property and buildings without a warrant and force evacuation as well as a host of other powers not normally within the scope of a municipality.
Many of the powers conveyed under the EMA can be achieved voluntarily without a SOLE. Declaration of a SOLE adds the ability for the local authority to force those actions. As an example, under a voluntary evacuation a person may refuse to leave the premises. Under a SOLE, a person may still refuse to leave a premises, however, the municipality has the right to forcibly remove the person from the premises without warrant or any other process should the municipality chose to do so.
The declaration of a State of Local Emergency is not required to qualify for Disaster Recovery Funding provided by other levels of government. Please note that in any instance, funding will not be provided for losses that were readily insurable.