How we prepare for disasters to help keep residents safe

City of Winnipeg employees regularly train for a variety of potential emergencies, and this sometimes involves simulating large-scale disasters.

This week, in collaboration with various stakeholders and community partners, the City is running a training exercise simulating a rail disaster. It’s expected that over 160 individuals will be involved in this training exercise, which is meant to test our collective response, processes, plans, and actions should this type of disaster occur.

“Disasters can happen any time, and can escalate quickly. That means different agencies need to get involved,” said Jay Shaw, the Deputy Chief of Safety, Emergency Management and Public Information with the City of Winnipeg.

First responders, emergency management professionals, volunteers, community leaders, and authorities at all levels of government all play important roles.

“Training with other agencies ahead of time means our response will be more coordinated, and ultimately more effective, when a real disaster strikes,” Shaw added.

We also train to respond to severe weather events, flooding, air quality problems, and medical emergencies.

Exercises like these help us prepare for new and emerging threats, hazards, and challenges, and we take these training opportunities seriously.

“We hope we don't experience a disaster, but if we do, there is a team of City staff ready to work together to keep people, their families, their livelihoods, and their homes safe,” said Mike Olczyk, the City’s Emergency Management Coordinator.

Learn more about our Emergency Management Office and find out how you and your family can be prepared in the event of an emergency at

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