Devastating acts of any magnitude, both on the human scale and against the interests and well being of the nation, continue to raise uncertainty and heighten our awareness regarding the importance of emergency preparedness. Disasters occur in many forms, “be they natural phenomena such as floods, storms, and earthquakes or technological incidents such as pollution controls gone awry, civil disorder or armed conflict to which no nation is immune.”
Not only does PortsToronto’s event stress the importance of marine safety, but also it brings to light the importance of emergency preparedness as a whole.
On May 17, PortsToronto will partner with Transport Canada, Toronto Police Marine Unit, Toronto Fire Marine Unit, Toronto EMS Marine Unit, and the Canadian Coast Guard for its annual marine safety-training day. This day stresses the importance of not only marine safety, but that of emergency preparedness as a whole. From the moment a disaster occurs, citizens are the first, most directly affected. For this reason, organizations such as PortsToronto spend countless hours ensuring that its members of the community are well equipped and prepared to respond to a disaster on the water, should one arise.
Given the complex nature of today’s threats and unpredictable security environment, the NATO Association of Canada (NAOC) and PortsToronto, through publications and emergency preparedness events, provides for an effective forum in which the use of civilian and military assets can be merged to achieve a desired outcome. Not only does PortsToronto’s event stress the importance of marine safety, but also it brings to light the importance of emergency preparedness as a whole.
Given the requirement for the civilian and military communities to develop and maintain robust cooperation, emergency preparedness provides citizens with the awareness needed to effectively react to a disaster. A fundamental aspect of this cooperation is the ability to be informed about the activities and capabilities of the various actors involved in disaster relief. Cooperation with other organizations is therefore a top priority for the NAOC. NAOC, conveniently located in the PortsToronto building on Harbour Street, represents this robust partnership of ensuring the security of both the people of Canada, and its infrastructure. This partnership also provides an interface across a broad range of sectors, thus providing a vast civil network focused on defence and security.
That being said, individuals and communities must not sit idle until a moment of panic or a destructive act against our security is executed to realize the benefits of a good emergency preparedness plan. According to the Government of Canada, “Citizens also have a responsibility to act – a responsibility to work with Government and security personnel, and a responsibility to build strong and supportive local communities.” Only then, once these tasks are shared and the community is prepared for what ever comes their way, will a truly resilient Toronto, and with that, a robust Canada be achieved.
Photo courtesy of Cpl Gerald Cormier, 14 Wing Imaging, Flickr
Disclaimer: Any views or opinions expressed in articles are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the NATO Association of Canada.