Emergency Management

Clearwater County maintains an emergency management plan for large-scale disasters that includes planning and allocating resources to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters. A disaster is an emergency that exceeds the communities' resources. 

Emergency management also means training for emergency responders, provision of public awareness programs, liaison with other emergency management agencies and development of practical emergency response plans.

Along with municipal emergency management responsibilities, the County is part of the Clearwater County Regional Emergency Management which is a partnership between the Village of Caroline, the Summer Village of Burnstick Lake and Clearwater County. 
Clearwater County Regional Emergency Management mission is through risk analysis, resource coordination, and education develop programs and plans that contribute to the safeguarding of human life; to preventing undue suffering; and to hastening recovery relating to local disasters or major emergency events.

As part of its mandate, Clearwater County Regional Emergency Management Agency asked its member Councils to adopt a decision-making hierarchy for use when responding to an emergency or disaster. The Councils’ eight-step hierarchy, in order of highest to lowest priority, is:

  • Providing for the safety and health of all responders
  • Save lives
  • Reduce suffering
  • Protect public health
  • Protect government infrastructure
  • Protect property
  • Protect the environment
  • Reduce economic and social losses
  • Responders to prioritize goals and assign limited resources during an event use this eight-step hierarchy. When responders must choose between different objectives, the higher objective on the list will be chosen. 

A State of Local Emergency (SOLE) is a tool that may be used by municipalities (and other local authorities) to manage events. Under Alberta's Emergency Management Act (EMA) the municipality declares a SOLE when it is deemed that additional powers are required to respond to an event. During a declared State of Local Emergency, Alberta's Emergency Management Act bestows a number of extraordinary powers upon a municipality such as the ability to fix prices, conscript persons and equipment, enter property and buildings without a warrant and force evacuation as well as a host of other powers not normally within the scope of a municipality.

Many of the powers conveyed under the EMA can be achieved voluntarily without a SOLE. Declaration of a SOLE adds the ability for the local authority to force those actions. As an example, under a voluntary evacuation a person may refuse to leave the premises. Under a SOLE, a person may still refuse to leave a premises, however, the municipality has the right to forcibly remove the person from the premises without warrant or any other process should the municipality chose to do so.

The declaration of a State of Local Emergency is not required to qualify for Disaster Recovery Funding provided by other levels of government. Please note that in any instance, funding will not be provided for losses that were readily insurable.

Emergencies can happen at any time and without warning. You can learn more about how to prepare for specific event at this link.

By definition, a disaster requires more resources than are readily available. Public education around the role of the public during an event is highly important to a successful response. Many believe that when disaster strikes, responders will be there immediately to lend assistance to those stricken and in need of help. It is formally recognized that this is not always the case.

Often overlooked is that responders are members of the community too. This means that the local firefighter, police officer, ambulance technician or County employee, among others, are most likely going to be affected by the same disaster that is affecting you and may not be able to respond to you specifically in a timely manner. Given the County’s geographic size and rural nature, this can exacerbated in many instances. As such, it is important that residents take appropriate actions to ensure that they can sustain themselves as best as possible until formal help can arrive. To this end, the County is an advocate of the First 72 Hours Program. This program is designed to help you prepare yourself for surviving the first 72 hours during or following an event. The program focuses on helping you help yourself and your family. 

  • Flood Ready: Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters in Canada. Take steps to protect your property. 
  • Get Prepared for Wildfires: As the weather warms up, Canadians are at greater risk of being impacted by wildfires. Learn how to protect yourself, your family, and your home. 
  • Canadian Disaster Database: The Canadian Disaster Database contains detailed disaster information on more than 1,000 natural, technological and conflict events (excluding the war) that have happened since 1900. 
  • Emergency Preparedness for Pets: Pets are domesticated animals and lack the survival instincts that wild animals have. Do not let your pet fend for itself in an emergency situation. Take the time to make a plan and assemble an emergency kit in advance. 
  • Additional Emergency Supplies


During an emergency, the County will issue timely and immediate messaging through:

  • Clearwater County's Official Website
  • Official Social Media Channels (Facebook, Twitter)
  • Mobile App (downloading our app in Google Play or AppStore)
  • E-Newsletter (subscribe by scrolling to the bottom of this webpage)


Alberta Emergency Alerts are notifications broadcast over television, radio and road signs. Alberta Emergency Alert notifications sent to compatible cell phone and wireless devices. You do not need to sign up for these alerts and you cannot opt-out. Test alerts are sent periodically to all Albertans. Learn more about the wireless alerting system.