This tornado touched down near Ponoka during a past summer season, lasting only a few minutes on the ground. Emergency and government workers in Alberta hold regular simulation drills to practice their response to disasters. (Black Press file photo).

Red Deer tornado simulation is part of provincial emergency drill

Emergency workers are participating in a preparedness exercise that runs to Saturday

Emergency workers across Alberta are practising their response to imagined tornadoes striking Red Deer, Calgary and Edmonton.

The simulated emergency management drill, titled EMX 20, started on Wednesday and will run until Saturday at the Provincial Operations Centre.

Emergency professionals are learning how to deal with challenges that can arise during and after major emergencies. They are learning to work together, confirming their roles and responsibilities, and testing their procedures.

“During real disasters and emergencies, these dedicated individuals are there 24/7 to help keep us safe and up to date with the latest information,” said Municipal Affairs Minister Kaycee Madu.

He added that’s why it’s important to regularly bring together government staff and emergency management partners to practise response efforts.

Disasters in Alberta have increased over the years, he said, so the government feels emergency preparedness exercises are vital to ensuring the province and its community partners respond effectively.

About 350 people are expected to participate in the exercise over the three days. Staff from all provincial ministries and three federal departments, including Department of National Defence, Environment and Climate Change Canada and Public Safety Canada. Epcor and the Alberta Energy Regulator are also taking part.

Epcor will be practising how it would deliver safe drinking water if a real disaster struck, said Steve Craik, director of the company’s water quality assurance and environment program.

Albertans are encouraged to have their own emergency plans in place and to practise them with their families.

Emergency Preparedness

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