The Town of Banff will deliver an updated Evacuation Guide to all Banff dwellings this month as part of the community’s efforts to prepare for emergencies such as flooding and wildfires.
Alongside the advice on preparing for disasters, the Town of Banff is supporting the community through the COVID-19 pandemic by delivering disposable masks with the Evacuation Guide to help residents reduce the risk of transmission.
The awe-inspiring wilderness surrounding the mountain community brings with it risks of potential natural disasters. The Town of Banff aims to maintain its leadership in all-hazards emergency planning, prevention and readiness with involvement of the community in its preparations.
“We are asking residents and businesses to please keep an eye out for the Evacuation Guide in June,” says Silvio Adamo, the Town of Banff’s Director of Emergency Management. “The Town of Banff works diligently to ensure optimum levels of safety and protection in the community, and individuals have a responsibility to do their part in being ready to respond to emergencies. The Evacuation Guide is an important tool to help the people of Banff prepare.”
Masks help in crowded spaces
With the Evacuation Guide, the Town will deliver to each dwelling a sealed bag with about eight disposable masks, which were secured from the Government of Alberta. Alberta Health Services encourages people to wear the masks in crowded public spaces and where it is difficult to maintain a two-metre distance from others.
Masks are not intended as a replacement for physical distancing but are recommended to help prevent the transfer of the virus.
“Wearing a mask helps prevent transmitting the virus, which may not display symptoms for everyone or show up right away,” said Adamo. “We hope more people in Town help normalize wearing a mask in more crowded public spaces, until a vaccine is available.”
Banff ready for flooding, wildfire other disasters
The Town of Banff and Parks Canada conduct annual training exercises for wildfire management and emergency response, while practicing synchronization with residents, local agencies and organizations. Since Alberta remains in a State of Public Health Emergency, the Town of Banff will not be conducting training exercises this year. However, Banff residents and businesses must continue to prepare for emergencies.
“The Banff Evacuation Guide and our online tool kits will help families, individuals and businesses be ready for situations like flooding – which is a significant risk this time of year – as well as wildfire approaching the town and even localized aggressive wildlife issues. Human-caused issues are a risk everywhere, including train derailment or acts of violence,” said Adamo.
Everyone in Banff is urged to:
- review the Evacuation Guide upon delivery to learn about, your evacuation zone, levels of response and what people need to do to prepare for evacuation;
- sign up to receive emergency alerts (email or SMS text) from the Town of Banff by registering at banff.ca/emergency;
- follow the Town’s Twitter feed at twitter.com/banff_town; and
- develop an evacuation plan for your home and workplace, and prepare an emergency kit that remains ready by the door.
Regarding the ongoing COVID pandemic, the Town of Banff urges everyone to:
- pay attention to your surroundings to avoid coming within 2 metres from other people;
- wear a mask or face covering in crowded public spaces and in areas where it is difficult to maintain a two-metre distance from others;
- wash/sanitize your hands frequently;
- stay home if you are sick; and
- avoid crowds – back away and return later, and schedule your day to avoid busy destinations at busy locations.
For more information about being prepared, or for assistance preparing a plan or emergency kit, visit banff.ca/emergency, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 403-762-1256.
For information about COVID measures, support and updates in Banff, visit banff.ca/COVID.