Nfld. & Labrador

Inclusive emergency preparedness plans launched in St. John's

Emergency responders and persons with disabilities in this province should be familiar with a new emergency preparedness kit that was unveiled Wednesday by the provincial government and Coalition of Persons with Disabilities - Newfoundland and Labrador, groups say.
President of COD-NL, Jerry Weir, says the new tools were developed in response to severe weather situations people in the province faced. (CBC)

Emergency responders and persons with disabilities in this province should be familiar with a new emergency preparedness kit that was unveiled Wednesday by the provincial government and Coalition of Persons with Disabilities - Newfoundland and Labrador, groups say.

It is the definitive guide for dealing with persons with disabilities.- Fire Chief Vince MacKenzie 

An Inclusive Emergency Planning Guide: A Resource for First Responders and Community Leaders, and the PREP kit were announced at news conference held at St. John's city hall Wednesday morning.

Jerry Weir, president of COD-NL, said the kit provides information tools to help people understand how to be inclusive in emergency planning. 

"You have to complete the check list and personal assessment sheet at the end of this guide, remove it from the guide and keep it on the fridge so that it will be easily accessible for anyone to find," Weir said.

Coalition of Persons with Disabilities - Newfoundland and Labrador, along with the provincial government, released an emergency preparedness kit and guide Wednesday. (Twitter: @firechiefvince)
Fire chief Vince MacKenzie said the emergency guide is a "definite guide for dealing with persons with disabilities."

"This guide, for me, is a must-read for every emergency responder in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and for every community," MacKenzie said.

"It is the definitive guide for dealing with persons with disabilities."

The guide discusses the importance of taking mobility devices with the person who's being evacuated and having accessible warming centres.

Weir said the new kit and guide were developed after the province experienced severe weather, such as last January's power outage.

"More importantly, this project provided a platform to talk about attitudes towards persons with disabilities, to talk about choice, respect, dignity and fairness — and people listened and people learned."

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