Mississauga recognized as among the best-prepared cities to handle an emergency
Published January 6, 2023 at 2:06 pm
No matter what type of widespread emergency or natural disaster might present itself, the City of Mississauga ranks among the most prepared, according to national and international bodies that specialize in emergency management.
The City’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) was recently recognized with two prestigious awards for outstanding efforts made in fostering resilience and preventing, preparing for, responding to and recovering from emergencies and disasters, the City said in a news release.
The 2022 Prepared Community Award, presented to Mississauga by the International Association of Emergency Managers, Canadian Chapter, recognizes a Canadian community that has enhanced public safety through comprehensive emergency planning and risk reduction.
“The City of Mississauga was chosen for its dedication to strengthening social and physical capacity across all the pillars of emergency management–prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery,” a City spokesperson said in the news release.
The Emergency Management Exemplary Service Award (Resilient Communities), presented to the City by Public Safety Canada and the Senior Officers Responsible for Emergency Management, is a partnership between provincial, territorial and federal governments and recognizes recipients who have achieved excellence in their respective fields.
Mississauga was chosen for the work done as a result of the City’s Emergency Management Program (EMP), which includes:
- resiliency demonstrated through supportive responses to various emergencies (fires, flooding and storms) and quickly adapting to unforeseen circumstances as shown by the development of Mississauga’s COVID-19 Framework in response to the pandemic
- maintaining, improving and constructing new stormwater infrastructure using funding support provided by Canada’s Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund
- educating the public and schoolchildren on the importance of emergency preparedness throughout the year, and in particular during key times such as Emergency Preparedness Week and Fire Prevention Week
“I am proud of the work our Office of Emergency Management does under the leadership of Deryn Rizzi, Mississauga’s fire chief and director of emergency management,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “These awards recognize the team’s excellence in their field and also that of senior City leaders and business areas that work together to prepare and ready us for the unthinkable, who respond when disaster and emergencies strike and support us through recovery.”
Rizzi noted the importance of being prepared, for any type of emergency situation, cannot be overstated.
“In Mississauga, throughout Canada and around the world, we have seen the devastation that can be caused by extreme weather events such as floods, fires, ice and wind storms. We’ve seen the toll they can take on our communities. That is why we ensure resiliency planning and mitigation remains at the core of all our emergency management plans and programs,” said Rizzi. “We are working hard to reduce the impact emergencies have on our community through actions like strengthening our stormwater infrastructure assets, increasing public education and community outreach and developing contingency plans for our most critical risks.”
Mississauga’s Office of Emergency Management assesses 49 potential hazards that could impact the city and its residents through its Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment program.
The body also provides ongoing emergency management training sessions to City staff, local and regional stakeholders, and first responders to support the City’s preparedness efforts. In 2022, more than 120 City employees and external partners were provided with such training.
Additionally, the OEM collaborates with all levels of government, conservation authorities, local industry and other partners to ensure a holistic approach to emergency preparedness and community resilience, City officials say.
Last September, City officials took to social media to encourage people to prepare themselves and their families for any large-scale event that could suddenly cripple society.
“Our lives can change in an instant,” City officials wrote on a Twitter post at the time. “It’s important to be prepared for potential emergencies or disasters.”
They urge people to read Mississauga’s latest Emergency Preparedness Guide, a comprehensive collection of important tips, necessities and much more information critical in case disaster strikes.