News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

September 17, 2008

SCHOOLS TO GET ADVANCE NOTICE WITH WEATHER WARNING RADIOS: BJORNSON



Students and staff will be better equipped to respond to severe weather with the province’s investment in weather radios for schools, Education, Citizenship and Youth Minister Peter Bjornson announced today.
 
“Weather radios are an important addition to our schools’ emergency response plans and will help to ensure the safety of our students and staff,” said Bjornson.
 
“We are also moving ahead here in Manitoba on improving severe weather alerting and public awareness and these weather radios are the next step,” said Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Steve Ashton, minister responsible for the Emergency Measures Organization, adding that Manitoba has been a leader on the national stage in calling for a Canada-wide public alerting system.
 
The radios, which will be delivered to all Manitoba schools over the next two weeks, were a part of the province’s response to the recommendations of the Severe Weather Working Group.  Weather radios will be distributed to all public schools, funded independent schools, board offices and transportation garages across Manitoba.
 
Ashton announced the province is providing:
·         $300,000 to support a national CANALERT warning system,
·         $75,000 to supply all schools and municipal offices with weather radios,
·         $450,000 for a three-year public education campaign including radio and print advertisements and updates to the Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization’s website, and
·         $135,000 to work with Environment Canada to expand weather radio coverage to more areas of the province.
 
Weatheradio Canada is a national network that broadcasts up-to-the-minute weather and environmental information in both official languages 24 hours a day, directly from Environment Canada’s storm prediction centres.  The Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization has partnered with Environment Canada to improve community preparedness by working with Environment Canada in the expansion of its weather radio network to make vital forecasts and warnings available to people within the range of a Weatheradio Canada transmitter.
  
Weather radios will be provided to all schools on a one-time basis and will be distributed directly to schools or through individual boards.  Local authorities will be responsible for maintaining the radios and setting policies to ensure they are used effectively.
 
Weather watches and warnings are available at no cost from Environment Canada.
 
Subscriptions to weather services can be made on services’ web pages. Subscribers can receive text messages on cell phones and e-mails to computers, Blackberries or similar devices from:
·         Environment Canada at www.weatheroffice.gc.ca,
·         The Weather Network at www.theweathernetwork.com, and
·         Accuweather at www.accuweather.com/canada.
 
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