Who does what in an emergency?


When it comes to emergency preparedness and emergency management, we all have a role to play.

Individuals and families

  • Individuals take steps ahead of time to prepare themselves and their families for emergencies. You should be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for a minimum of 72 hours during an emergency. You should also understand the basic principles of first aid and safety.

Every disaster is a local disaster. Different levels of organizations respond progressively as an emergency escalates and their resources are needed. The first ones to respond are closest to the emergency.

First Responders – i.e. fire, police, paramedics

  • Local fire, police, paramedic, and search and rescue teams are normally the first to respond to an emergency. They are responsible for managing most local emergencies as part of the municipal emergency plan. Find out more about the emergency plan in your area by contacting your emergency management organization(EMO).

Non-government organizations

  • There are several non-profit, non-government organizations (NGOs) that play very important roles in emergency management, including disaster prevention/mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Some examples include the Canadian Red Cross, St.John Ambulance and The Salvation Army. They work in partnership with governments to help Canadians deal with emergencies, from providing first aid training to disaster relief.

Provincial and territorial governments

  • Every province and territory has an emergency management organization (EMO), which manages large-scale emergencies and provides assistance to municipal or community response teams as required. EMOs fulfill an important role in support of first responders and municipalities. Federal departments and agencies support provincial or territorial EMOs as requested. They also manage emergencies that involve areas of federal jurisdiction, such as nuclear safety, national defense and border security.

Box 280, 5031 - 50 Street, Stettler, Alberta, Canada T0C 2L0