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Frequently asked questions


What is the Pictou County REMO?

Pictou County REMO is the agency that takes care of Emergency Management planning, preparation, response, and recovery in Pictou County. Every municipality in the province is responsible for emergency management in their areas, and Pictou County REMO helps make sure that all our municipalities, police departments, fire departments, and others can deal with any emergency that happens and continue to provide the essential services needed in our communities.


How is it different from Nova Scotia EMO?

The Province of Nova Scotia operates the provincial Emergency Management Organization, overseeing Emergency Management operations province-wide and assisting in the response to crises as they develop. The Nova Scotia EMO has Planning Officers who work with each municipality and ensure that all Nova Scotians receive strong Emergency Management planning and response.

What is Emergency Management?

  1. Emergency Management is the field of planning for, preparing for, responding to, and recovering from emergencies of all shapes and sizes. The current practices are based on the response to California wildfires in the 1970's, and it is now a fully recognized professional field.

  2. Emergency Management is the responsibility of ALL CITIZENS. It begins with individual preparations for emergency situations and moves up through each level of government as the size of the emergency increases.

What is a State of Emergency or a State of Local Emergency?

  1. Under the Emergency Management Act, the Province of Nova Scotia can declare a State of Emergency that gives them enhanced legal powers to deal with an emergency, if existing laws and regulations are not enough. The Minister responsible for the Emergency Management Organization signs off on the declaration, and the government departments or agencies that are dealing with the crisis can issue orders to help respond.

  2. A State of Local Emergency is a way for municipalities to use enhanced legal powers to deal with an emergency in their local area if existing laws and regulations are not enough. The mayor or warden of the affected areas declares the State of Local Emergency.

  3. Once a Provincial State of Emergency is declared, a State of Local Emergency is no longer in place – all municipalities are part of the Provincial State of Emergency.


Who is involved with Pictou County REMO?

Pictou County REMO has a Coordinator and Alternate Coordinator; the Chief Administrative Officers of the Towns of New Glasgow, Pictou, Stellarton, Trenton, and Westville, and the Municipality of the County of Pictou; representatives from each municipal unit’s Public Works and/or Town Engineer’s offices; representatives from the municipal corporations; representatives from all local police forces as well as the RCMP; representatives from local fire departments; a representative from the Pictou County Amateur Radio Club; and a representative from local groups and organizations as necessary.


How does Pictou County REMO respond to emergencies?

  1. In a local emergency, the Pictou County REMO Coordinator stays in contact with the responding agencies (fire departments, police, Department of Lands & Forestry staff, etc.). If the emergency becomes too large for the responding agency to deal with, the Coordinator will help get the resources needed to deal with the emergency.

  2. In a wide-spread emergency, the Pictou County REMO activates the Emergency Coordination Centre. From here, members of the Pictou County REMO come together to help organize the response to the emergency. The CAO of the affected area becomes the Incident Commander, responsible for all decisions about the response to the crisis.  In a county-wide emergency, CAOs can share the duty of Incident Commander, and members of all municipal staffs participate in the planning, response, and recovery.

What does Pictou County REMO do when it isn’t an emergency?

Pictou County REMO does a lot of planning, and assisting with planning, to help keep our communities safe. We meet regularly with leaders from many businesses, organizations, and community groups, to help them make sure they have the plans in place and the ability to respond to an emergency if it happens. Our number one priority is public safety!

Can Pictou County REMO help my business or organization?

Yes! If you are a non-profit or non-government organization in Pictou County, or a local business, we can help you in many ways. We frequently do public outreach sessions with groups in the community. We can also offer advice with planning for major events, as well as business continuity planning for your business or organization.

Can my organization get involved?

Yes! If you are part of the leadership of a local non-profit or non-government organization and think you could be a valuable asset for Pictou County REMO, contact 902-759-1797 or email and see how we can work together!

Can I get involved personally?

Yes! There are many ways individuals can help. If you have expertise in a related field you would like to offer, or want to be involved in public outreach, contact 902-759-1797 or email and see how we can work together!

I still have questions, who should I contact?

If you have specific questions about the Pictou County Regional Emergency Management Organization, please contact 902-759-1797 or email

I’m a member of the media. Who should I contact if I have a question?

Our Public Information Officers involved with media are: Constable Ken MacDonald with the New Glasgow Regional Police. He can be reached at 902-759-7277 or

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