Emergency Response Plans

EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLANS

Ontario Mass Evacuation Plan Part 1: Far North

Preamble

Context

The Ontario Mass Evacuation Plan (OMEP) consists of three components:

  • Part 1: Far North
  • Part 2: Near North – to be developed
  • Part 3: Southern Ontario – to be developed

The Ontario Mass Evacuation Plan is a supporting plan to the Provincial Emergency Response Plan (PERP).

Authority

The O.M.E.P. is governed by the relevant doctrine, legislation, regulation, policies, and guidelines. This includes the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA.) and its associated regulation and Order–in-Council. This plan supports the activities being undertaken related to mass evacuation planning for ministry and community emergency management programs. It draws linkages to various hazard management plans and procedures developed by ministries. For example, the Ministry of Natural Resources, under Order-in-Council 1157/2009, is responsible for floods and forest fires, two types of emergencies that have previously resulted in the need for evacuations.

For more information on the legislative framework and authorities, see the PERP available on the EMO website.

This plan supports the agreement between the Governments of Ontario and Canada (through the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada) to provide emergency response support to First Nation communities in the province. In addition, this plan references the Service Level Evacuation Standards1 developed by the Joint Emergency Management Steering (JEMS) Committee.

Plan Development and Maintenance

An EMO planning team in consultation with non-governmental organizations, provincial and federal partners developed the plan. Updates to the plan will be undertaken as required based on lessons learned from exercises and incident responses.

Comments and feedback on the OMEP may be submitted to:

Plans and Exercises
Emergency Management Ontario
Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
77 Wellesley Street West, Box 222
Toronto, ON M7A 1N3

Email: askofmem@ontario.ca

Tel: (416) 314-3723: Fax: (416) 212-3498

Chapter 1 - Overview

1.1. Purpose

The purpose of the Ontario Mass Evacuation Plan Part 1: Far North is to ensure a timely and coordinated evacuation from one or more communities or private/commercial concerns in Ontario’s far north. It is a provincial coordination plan outlining how Ontario would coordinate its response and collaborate with federal and municipal governments, First Nations, non-governmental organizations, and ministry partners.

This plan will help expedite:

  • the evacuation of persons from hazardous areas
  • the provision of appropriate resources, including transportation and accommodation resources
  • the return of evacuees

1.2. Scope

This plan is meant to be used to respond to a request for a partial or complete evacuation from one or more communities to one or more host communities. It is not intended for internal evacuations of one part of a community to another part of the same community. Residents sometimes self-evacuate, as well as finding their own hosting arrangements. This plan does not address such cases.

Provincial coordination will involve the evacuating community, host communities, relevant Ontario ministries, federal departments, non-governmental organizations, and others, as required.

This plan is for Ontario’s far north, encompassing municipalities, unorganized territories2 and First Nation communities. This plan does not replace a community’s own emergency response plans, which should contain provisions for evacuations if they consider evacuations likely. As many of the communities in the far north are First Nations, coordination with the federal government is crucial. This plan may also be used or adapted to respond to any evacuation request from private and/or commercial concerns3 (e.g. mining operations, lodges, etc.).

This is an overarching plan for carrying out mass evacuations and as such, many aspects are general in nature4. A detailed action plan that addresses the specific scenario, hazard, and threat will still be required.

1.3. Context

The Far North of Ontario spans the width of the province, from Manitoba in the west, to James Bay and Quebec in the east. It covers 42 percent of the province or approximately 450,000 square kilometres. The population of the far north is approximately 24,000 people. Community population size varies from approximately 3000 people to less than 100 people. The exact population at any one time is difficult to report as people who are recorded in the census may be away from the community and some who are not recorded may be in the community. For example, there may be people staying at fly-in lodges that do not report year-round population. Similarly, there may be community events that draw tourist and other visitors to the community.

There are 34 communities in the Far North, most of which are First Nations. The plan focuses on communities in the far north that are predominantly fly-in communities (see Annex 14 – Ontario’s Far North Map). Two communities falling within the focus area have road access (Mishkeegogamang and Pickle Lake) and there is a rail link to one municipality (Moosonee). There are two municipalities that fall within the focus area (Moosonee and Pickle Lake) plus more than 30 First Nation communities. Unorganized territories, fly-in lodges and camps, and mining operations also fall into the plan area.

The far north is subject to several hazards covered under Ontario’s Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment. Evacuations are most frequently caused by forest fires and flooding (most often from spring break-up along the James Bay coast). See Annex 13 for more information.

The geography of the far north may complicate evacuations or efforts to manage or suppress the hazard. Communities in the far north may be located significant distances from communities with road access or from regional centres where services may be available (e.g. Timmins and Thunder Bay). Some of the communities may only be accessible for part of the year via seasonal roads. The seasonal roads cannot be relied on for evacuation operations given the short and sometimes unpredictable length of time that they are available. For more information, see the Far North Travel Times Map in Annex 14.

1.4. General Planning Assumptions

An evacuation is defined as the process of removing people from an area where a present or imminent situation has or may result in a loss of life and/or a risk to the safety, health and welfare of people. Damage to property or the environment may also trigger an evacuation if it poses a risk to the safety, health, and welfare of people.

To ensure a safe and effective evacuation, responders are to abide by the following general planning assumptions:

  • Conduct ongoing real-time threat assessments to inform decision-making.
  • Optimize the use of resources to expedite the evacuation.
  • Maintain family and community unity, which is integral to maintaining community cohesion and supports.
  • Maintain communications and share information as widely as possible.
  • Deploy staff to the field and other impacted organizations as is feasible.

Annex 15 contains an explanation of these planning assumptions.

1.5. Critical Factors

The list below highlights the critical factors to consider when developing incident-specific plans for evacuation and return:

Risk (Section 2.1.2)

  • Potential threats to the communities and emergency responders are critical in determining the urgency of the evacuation and for planning resource mobilization.
  • Real-time threat assessment should be ongoing and coordinated among partners, particularly ministries with relevant OIC responsibilities and the community(ies) at risk.

Request for Evacuation (Section 2.1.4) or Return (Section 2.4)

  • A request for evacuation or return must be made by an authorized entity5.
  • An OIC ministry or the PEOC may recommend evacuation, or that it is safe to return, based on a real-time threat assessment.

Urgency (Section 2.1.4)

  • Urgency informs how quickly and when to complete an evacuation. It also dictates what level of activation, and how many and what type of resources will be required for the evacuation.
  • This factor is not normally applicable to the return phase. Evacuees will be returned as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Scale

  • Scale refers to the number of residents and/or communities to be evacuated.
  • Scale impacts the following: whether or not full activation of the PEOC and other EOCs would be required; what type and quantity of resources (including host communities) are required for the evacuation; and the level of planning that is required. If the evacuation is for one or a few communities, planning may be restricted to movements within the same general geographic area. However, the evacuation of multiple communities due to an area-wide emergency is likely to require out-of-area movements for hosting, particularly when the goal is to keep families and communities together.
  • There is likely to be some flexibility with respect to timing of the return. Therefore, the return planning may be more influenced by the evacuees’ preferences and host community needs (e.g. an arena may be booked for a large event; therefore, evacuees must relocate).

Host Communities (Section 2.3)

  • Host communities provide temporary accommodations, supports, and services, including logistics, health/medical, security, and emergency social services6.
  • The availability, duration, type, and location of host community facilities affect planning for the evacuation.
  • Planning for the evacuation includes: determining transportation requirements (bus/coach, aircraft, boats); determining the need for transportation hubs7; identifying suitable matches with respect to cultural, social, and other needs of evacuees, including opportunities to keep evacuees from the same family/community together; determining whether temporary shelters may be needed; and determining the level of support needed by host communities.
  • Consideration should be given to maintaining the readiness of host communities for future hosting. Therefore, planning should include post-hosting needs, such as financial reconciliation, demobilization support, and reports on issues to be resolved before hosting evacuees in the future.
  • See the Host Community Checklist at Annex 9

Deployed Staff (Annex 16)

  • Staff may need to be deployed to the evacuating and/or host communities, transportation hubs, the PEOC, and/or other EOCs to provide advice and perform liaison, assessment and incident management functions.
  • These staff may come from federal departments (e.g. AANDC, CF, etc.) or provincial ministries (e.g. EMO, MNR, MMAH, etc.).
  • Evacuating communities should identify Community Evacuation Liaisons for each host community.
  • The decision to deploy is typically based on requests from impacted communities, the mandate of the organization deploying staff, and staff member’s level of expertise.
  • Depending on the scale and complexity of the operation, a senior provincial official may be deployed to coordinate the provincial response and to liaise with community and other deployed officials.
  • Deployed staff should be maintained for the return of evacuees and the demobilization.

Situational awareness (Section 2.1.2)

  • Situational awareness is having the most up-to-date information about an incident. This allows the incident management team, and all partners, to take informed, effective and consistent actions in a timely manner.
  • Situational awareness requires continuous coordination to help collect, collate, evaluate, and disseminate information.

Preparation (Section 2.2.1)

  • The evacuating community must prepare itself for evacuation. This includes arranging for: medical needs assessment; flight manifests; and preparing community services and infrastructure for evacuation.
  • Preparations for return may include: restarting systems such as power, water, sewer, and airport facilities; re-establishing health care services; and/or stocking the general store.

Transportation (Annex 7)

  • Transportation needs are determined based on the location, urgency, and size of the evacuation; the threat to the community; and the location and capacities of host communities.
  • The need for transportation hubs will depend on available transportation resources and the availability of and distance to/from host communities.
  • When planning for the return of evacuees, the number and location of host communities, and the distance to evacuated communities are key planning considerations.

Financial and Legislative (Annex 17)

  • Roles and responsibilities may pertain to transportation hubs, host communities, support from ministries or the federal government, or responsibilities of evacuating communities.
  • Determine the financial and legislative roles and responsibilities for the evacuation and comply with applicable policies, agreements, procedures, etc. These may include: Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program; EMCPA; AANDC Agreement; and/or JEMS.

Coordination (Section 2.1.5)

  • Assess the level of coordination that may be required among the partners (e.g. PS, AANDC, OIC ministries, NGOs, other communities, etc.).
  • The requirement for coordination may be proportional to the number of communities and organizations that are involved and/or impacted.
  • EOCs, including the PEOC, relevant OIC ministries, communities, and/or NGOs may need to be activated depending on the scale and complexity of the evacuation required.

Emergency Information (Section 2.1.5)

  • Emergency information needs to be coordinated among the affected communities, province, and federal government.
  • For reference see the Provincial Emergency Information Plan

Chapter 2 - Implementation

This chapter is arranged according to the phases of an evacuation operation and covers: activation of the plan; evacuation; hosting; the return of evacuees; and demobilization.

2.1 Activation

2.1.1. Notification and Declaration

The Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) may implement the Ontario Mass Evacuation Plan (OMEP) under any of the following circumstances:

  • notification by a community, or multiple communities, that an evacuation may be required
  • receipt of a community’s Declaration of Emergency
  • advice from an Order in Council (OIC) ministry that an evacuation may be required
  • advice from a federal department that an evacuation may be required
  • a request for evacuation assistance from private and/or commercial concerns
  • a decision by the PEOC that an evacuation may be required
  • a declaration of a provincial emergency

In some cases, clear and obvious risks will establish the need for an urgent/rescue evacuation; while in other situations, a pre-emptive evacuation may be justified to avoid an impending threat.

Real-time threat assessment will assist in informing the decision to evacuate.

Once it has been decided that a community needs complete or partial evacuation, the parties involved must establish who the evacuees are, where the host locations are, and what the means of evacuation will be.

Following the judgement of the authorized entity that it is safe for evacuees to return, the order of return and the methods of transportation must be established using an inclusive planning process that involves affected communities, provincial and federal partners, and other partners (i.e. NGOs, airports, etc.).

2.1.2. Real-time Threat Assessment

Real-time threat assessment refers to the function and process of determining the level of risk facing a community so that appropriate action(s) can be taken to protect life, property, critical infrastructure, the environment, the economy, and/or services.

Real-time threat assessment activities:

  • help communities determine the need for and the urgency under which an evacuation should take place
  • assist partners (PEOC, OIC ministries, etc.) in providing advice to communities
  • provide situational awareness information to senior levels of government
  • support planning the evacuation and eventual return of evacuees
  • typically are valid for the operational cycle being used
  • should be re-evaluated regularly as conditions may change very rapidly

Real-time threat assessment is a critical component of evacuation operations and should be ongoing.

The data that is collected to conduct a real-time threat assessment may include:

  • the nature of the hazard, including its magnitude, direction, duration, and extent
  • the population demographics of the area of concern and the number of people threatened (including the number of vulnerable persons)**
  • the local geography and types of facilities in the risk area*
  • the infrastructure and resources available to support evacuation operations*
  • the potential impact of the hazard on health and safety, life, property, critical infrastructure, the environment, the economy, and/or services*

All responders involved in managing the hazard or participating in the evacuation must regularly communicate situational awareness information to those conducting real-time threat assessments and must report a changing situation as soon as feasible.

Responsibility for real-time threat assessment is shared:

  • OIC ministries are responsible for assessing the threat for the types of emergencies they have been assigned.
  • Similarly, some federal departments have the mandate to provide a real-time threat assessment service, such as Environment Canada’s responsibility for Canada’s severe weather watch and warning system.
  • EMO is responsible for real-time threat assessments for hazards that have not been assigned to an OIC ministry.
  • The PEOC is responsible for assessing the threat based on the real-time threat assessment and characteristics of the community(ies) or region under threat.
  • Local knowledge is essential for informing real-time threat assessment. This is particularly true for Ontario’s far north, where scientific monitoring (e.g. radar coverage) or records (e.g. climatological) may not be complete. Local populations often provide the best information on the threat to their community and the region.

During routine monitoring, the PEOC duty officer performs the function of real-time threat assessment. However, as the level of activation increases, the PEOC duty officer transfers this function to a technical specialist or team, if available. The technical specialist/team will continue to perform real-time threat assessment and coordinate the function with other ministries or federal departments and the affected community(ies).

OIC ministries routinely monitor conditions in the province according to their assigned type of emergency. These ministries have processes in place for transferring the responsibility for real-time threat assessment to specialists within their ministry when required. Ministries that have real-time threat assessment capabilities include:

  • Ministry of the Environment
  • Ministry of Natural Resources
  • Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Federal departments that may be able to support real-time threat assessment include:

  • Environment Canada – Ontario Storm Prediction Centre
  • Natural Resources Canada
  • Health Canada
  • Public Safety Canada
  • Canadian Forces

Uncertainty in real-time threat assessment is unavoidable, which is why persons with appropriate knowledge of the threat causing the emergency should be involved in the assessment.

During emergencies, the PEOC links with the local community and the OIC ministry acting as provincial lead to coordinate real-time threat assessment information. This information will in turn inform response activities. Federal departments may be called upon to support provincial activities as appropriate. This is facilitated through liaison that may be in place between OIC ministries and federal departments - for example, between the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Health Canada and Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN).

During a rapidly escalating emergency and/or activation of the PEOC, the options to coordinate real-time threat assessments include:

  • staffing the technical specialist position in the PEOC
  • inviting OIC ministry(ies) to staff position(s) in the PEOC
  • inviting a federal department to deploy staff to the PEOC, as needed
  • holding real-time threat assessment meetings/teleconferences with ministry, PEOC, and federal technical specialists, as needed
  • reporting the outcomes of real-time threat assessments through operational teleconferences, command briefings, etc.

2.1.3. Populations to be Evacuated

A critical element of any evacuation is the population being moved. All activities and efforts should be focused on moving these people from the at-risk area to places of safety in a timely manner. The size and demographics of the population are significant factors in determining how to conduct an evacuation.

Emergency managers must understand the makeup of the population who are to be evacuated before they can make key decisions about transportation modes, route selections, hosting destinations, and the many other elements of an evacuation.

Critical factors include:

  • number of evacuees
  • languages spoken
  • location of evacuees (seasonal activities may affect the number of people in a community)
  • modes of transportation available and/or preferred by evacuees
  • preferences of evacuating communities with respect to location of hosts
  • potential limitations to modes of transportation (e.g. characteristics of the available aerodrome9)
  • persons who may require specialized or additional assistance
  • populations in known areas of high risk, such as close to fuel storage sites

Below is a list of population categories (though not exhaustive) that may require particular attention in an evacuation:

  • persons with disabilities, such as: sensory (e.g. hearing, vision, colour-blindness); mobility (e.g. visible and non-visible); mental health (e.g. Anxiety, Depression); intellectual/developmental (e.g. Autism, Down Syndrome); or learning disabilities (e.g. Dyslexia, Dysgraphia).
  • persons with medical conditions, including females with high-risk or at-term pregnancies
  • persons requiring addiction services
  • persons requiring translation services
  • incarcerated persons
  • temporary populations (e.g. tourists, seasonal workers)
  • students and children (e.g. in colleges, schools, and childcare centres)
  • persons with animals/pets, including service animals
  • elderly persons

In evacuations, the population is divided into categories according to priority:

Medical Evacuation (Medevac)

  • Medevac is used for those individuals receiving home care or residing in a health-care facility in the evacuating community that qualify for medical transfer as per the Ambulance Act (evacuation by emergency medical services (EMS) or Ornge).
  • This stage is typically orchestrated through the existing health procedures used in the community.
  • If local conditions (e.g. smoke or weather) prevent normal medical flights, emergency medical evacuation assistance using federal assets may be requested.

Stage 1 evacuees

  • Stage 1 evacuees are defined as vulnerable populations.
  • This includes persons with disabilities, seniors, children, pregnant women, and those with medical conditions.
  • Among these, some require attendant care, which means both the caregiver and the Stage 1 evacuee they care for should be on the Stage 1 evacuation list.

Stage 2 evacuees

  • Stage 2 evacuees are all remaining residents of the community.
  • It is important to consider family members that should be kept together—including those who are identified as more vulnerable—when identifying where individuals will be hosted.

Essential Services (Optional)

  • In a complete evacuation, it may be advisable to create an essential services list. This list should contain the names of persons needed to restart systems that must be in place before evacuees can return home (e.g. emergency service staff, nurses, essential Northern store’s employees).

The designation of evacuees into the different stages will be determined by the First Nation Chief and Council, Head of Council, or appointed person, with the assistance of the on-site health care organization.

Different types of hazards may dictate variations in the criteria for these categories (e.g. if smoke is the issue, then people with respiratory problems may be prioritized).

2.1.4. Decision to Evacuate

The decision to evacuate a community is the responsibility of the First Nation Chief, Head of Council, or appointed person. If an authorized entity decides on a partial or complete community evacuation, the community should declare an emergency.

The decision to evacuate may be prompted by advice, based on the real-time threat assessment, concerning a threat to the municipality, First Nation, unorganized territory, and/or private and/or commercial concern. The advice may be issued from a provincial ministry (e.g. MNR regarding forest fires and floods) or the PEOC. Alternatively, the Chief of the First Nation, Head of Council, or an appointed person may decide to conduct a complete or partial evacuation based on an assessment of the threat to area residents.

For First Nations communities, AANDC and PS approve federal assistance to support an evacuation.

The urgency of an evacuation is determined based on the immediacy of the threat to the community (life, safety, health, and welfare), the resilience of the community, and (depending on the nature of the threat) the availability of resources for evacuation or shelter-in-place10.

Evacuations may take place prior to (pre-emptive), during, or after an incident has occurred.

  • Given adequate warning about a hazard, adequate resources, and the likelihood of the threat actually impacting a community, it is advisable to conduct pre-emptive evacuations. A pre-emptive evacuation may be undertaken when it is clear that if delayed, conditions (weather or other hazard) would impede evacuation.
  • If adequate resources are not available to conduct a pre-emptive evacuation, it may still be possible and necessary to carry out an evacuation even while a threat is already affecting a community. Evacuations of this nature are done when life safety is at extreme risk and a rescue becomes essential. Such an evacuation poses increased risks to all involved. To acquire resources and expedite the evacuation normally requires extraordinary measures. Emergency responders may require personal protective equipment, as responder safety will be critical. Federal assets may be required to facilitate an evacuation of this type.
  • After a threat has already impacted a community it might be necessary to: remove residents from an environment that is no longer able to sustain them; and/or prevent or mitigate the onset of further consequences leading to a prolonged or new emergency.

Considerations that help determine when to carry out an evacuation include:

  • the availability of a real-time threat assessment of the underlying cause of the incident
  • debris in the community and damaged infrastructure (e.g. live wires)
  • the number of persons to be evacuated
  • the number of persons requiring special assistance (e.g. Stage 1 evacuees)
  • shelter-in-place options
  • the available lead time to order and complete the evacuation
  • the time of day
  • the potential risk to evacuees during evacuation
  • the safety of emergency responders

Early information is likely to be less accurate than just-in-time information. This is a complicating factor for evacuation operations. The preference is to conduct a pre-emptive evacuation. This approach minimizes potentially having people in harm’s way and enables a more controlled evacuation and optimization of resources.

Factors influencing the decision, or recommendation, for a partial or complete community evacuation include:

  • the level of threat to the lives and well-being of the population
  • the urgency of the evacuation
  • environmental safety (i.e. whether the environment poses a threat to the safety, health, and welfare of the population – e.g. smoke conditions)
  • meteorological conditions (e.g. precipitation, and wind speed and direction)
  • the scale of the incident (i.e. the number of people and/or communities to be evacuated)
  • the time frame required to move the population
  • the availability of reliable information
  • the capacity of the community to address the threat or its impact
  • damage to community infrastructure such that:

o food, water and shelter are not immediately available

o debris restricts movement

o electrical power is or will be unavailable for an extended period of time

o local emergency or public communications is or will be unavailable

o health services, medical facilities, and medical transport are or will be unavailable

2.1.5. Mobilization

To mobilize resources and/or activate the PEOC, some or all of the following actions may be needed:

  • If recommending enhanced monitoring or activation of the PEOC, consider what positions must be staffed to conduct the evacuation. For example, evacuations of large populations to one or more host communities may require logistics support to secure modes of transportation from a receiving aerodrome or transportation hub to the host community.
  • Consider recommending activation of other Emergency Operations Centres, if not already operational, including: OIC ministries (depending on the nature of the emergency);communities (impacted or likely to be impacted); federal government; and/or non-governmental organizations.
  • Brief senior officials.
  • Alert PS of the situation and advise them if Government of Canada support may be required to assist.
  • Establish a regular information cycle and contact for evacuating communities, host communities, and other parties assisting with the evacuation.
  • Consider requesting additional host communities stand-by to receive evacuees if the situation appears likely to escalate rapidly.
  • Coordinate teleconferences.
  • Establish the PEOC Command, and if it is an area or unified command, consider including additional organizations in the command meetings to better inform and coordinate the response.
  • Determine financial accountabilities in consultation with partners and communicate the information.
  • Alert MMAH if they are required to coordinate extraordinary provincial expenditures.
  • Determine at the outset of the operations which organization will be responsible for information management and the manner in which information will be shared.
  • Coordinate with neighbouring provinces and states and consider requesting assistance under the Provincial/Territorial Memorandum of Understanding for Inter-jurisdictional Emergency Management Assistance.
  • Coordinate the development of a joint Incident Action Plan (IAP).

All EOCs should consider the following:

  • Initiating media contacts or directing the appropriate position to do this according to established plans and procedures (e.g. Provincial Emergency Information Plan).
  • Adopting an extended operational cycle in which extra positions are staffed beyond the normal working day. If this is required, consideration must be given to supporting prolonged operations. This would include: scheduling such that staff do not become overly fatigued by the operation and providing as much advance notice of scheduling as is possible given the nature of the incident.
  • Alerting other emergency responders in the province, including non-governmental organizations, that they may be requested to provide assistance.
  • Marshalling transportation resources, including the recall of deployed resources in preparation for redeployment.
  • Collecting and analyzing the data necessary to fully understand the potential impact and threat.
  • Mobilizing resources to staging areas.
  • Assigning staff to strategic locations.
  • Establishing financial recording or tracking.

Weather, resource availability, and the scale of an incident can significantly affect the time required to mobilize resources. Communities are encouraged to make the decision to evacuate as soon as a significant or imminent threat is identified. Communities should request assistance, where needed, as soon as is feasible.

Emergency information is primarily the community’s responsibility, but may be supplemented by the province according to the provisions of the Provincial Emergency Information Plan. In widespread evacuations, emergency information may need to be coordinated amongst all involved partners. This could necessitate the use of a joint Emergency Information Centre. The provision of emergency information must be ongoing throughout the operation.

Communications between the field and the PEOC, between the PEOC and partners, and within the PEOC is critical. To assist with streamlining communications, an operational cycle should be established and communicated by the PEOC to partners so they know when they are expected to provide updates on the situation from their perspective. In addition, up-to-date contact lists should be maintained by all organizations for use in an emergency. Where possible, identify the positions, rather than individuals who may be involved in the operation.

The province and/or federal governments may deploy staff to affected communities depending upon requests and/or operational needs. For instance:

  • Deployed staff perform liaison duties but may also function as advisors and/or assessors.
  • The PEOC (or other EOC) may request deployments to fulfil specific incident management functions, as needed (e.g. real-time threat assessment).
  • Where the scale of the incident, evacuation timeline, or availability of staff prevents the physical deployment of staff, relevant incident management functions may be performed remotely using available technology.

Deployed staff should be maintained throughout the operations. For more information, see Annex 16.

Information technology in the far north is not universally accessible and may be further compromised by the nature of the emergency. Partners should have back-up technologies available, particularly for their deployed staff.

All partners (but with specific reference to PEOC) should recognize the potential limitations to information technology in these regions of the province. Large files or multiple e-mails sent to blackberries should be avoided. Alternate technologies that may be utilized in an evacuation include satellite phones and amateur radio.

2.2 Evacuation

The time involved in conducting an evacuation is influenced by:

  • the timeliness of the request and the decision to evacuate
  • the time required to mobilize evacuation resources
  • the time taken to prepare the community to respond to the call for evacuation
  • the time of day or night
  • the availability of transportation resources (while accounting for the limitations on permitted operating hours for the bus drivers, pilots, etc.)
  • the time taken for transportation, including time taken at the airport, boarding the plane, deplaning, etc.

The priorities for evacuation will be determined by the Chief and Council (for a First Nation), the Head of Council (for a municipality), or an authorized entity. Where possible, essential community support resources (nurses, social workers, etc.) should be kept with the community’s evacuees. They should also be identified to the host community as resources that may be called upon to assist evacuees.

Ideally, the host community should be located as close to the home community as possible. It is preferable to host community members together, even if it means hosting them farther away from their home community. This mitigates the risk of families being separated and makes the return of evacuees less complicated. Notwithstanding this recommended practice, a host community’s capacity may be such that it is unable to accommodate an entire community. Where an entire community may not be hosted together in close proximity to the home community, and if the situation allows, the community’s preference should be discussed with the Head of Council, First Nation Chief, or appointed person.

Transportation planning for the evacuation will be undertaken by a joint planning team as described in Annex 7.

2.2.1 Evacuation Preparation

The evacuating community must prepare itself for evacuation. This includes knowing and/or arranging for:

  • when and where to go for the arranged transportation
  • anticipated duration of evacuation
  • medical needs assessment
  • luggage/weight limits
  • hosting arrangements
  • preparing community services and infrastructure for evacuation
  • provisions for pets/animals

The evacuating community should identify community evacuation liaisons at each of the host community sites to support evacuees. Evacuation liaisons represent the needs of evacuees when attending meetings with the host community and other agencies. Evacuation liaisons also assist with creating manifests and determining the order of the return of evacuees in consultation with the Chief, Head of Council, or appointed person from the home community.

2.2.2 Manifests

If an evacuation involves a First Nation community, the JEMS Service Level Evacuation Standards provides a sample flight manifest. Another sample manifest is included as Annex 5. Once a flight manifest is prepared, it should be sent to the PEOC, which can in turn forward it to other organizations that require the information.

Ideally, each manifest:

  • includes information on family groups to help keep these families together
  • records children and their parents separately
  • identifies the need for any special assistance (e.g. wheelchair)
  • notes persons with food allergies or other medical issues.

This information helps the transportation hubs and host communities in their planning. If the information is not collected on the manifest, registration services can collect and provide this more detailed information. Receiving the information in advance can help ensure that needed services are delivered quickly.

2.2.3 Multi-Community Evacuation Considerations

There are times when more than one community has ordered an evacuation. Depending on the scale of the incident, and the numbers and locations of persons to be evacuated, the needs may exceed the capacity of available resources. In this situation, evacuations may need to be prioritized and contingency plans implemented. The following are some factors transportation planners (e.g. PEOC, MNR, and CF) would consider in the prioritization of evacuation efforts:

  • relative urgency based on the threat to life safety
  • stage of evacuation called for (Stage 1, Stage 2)
  • transportation capacity (number of transportation resources that can be mobilized and number of people who can be moved)
  • host community capacity and readiness
  • availability of transportation hubs

2.3 Hosting

Service Level Evacuation Standards11 are in place for hosting First Nations community members in the event of an evacuation. The Standards provide guidance on allowable expenditures, hosting arrangements, health services, emergency social services, etc. While the Standards provide guidance on hosting First Nations, they may also be applied to municipal or unorganized territory evacuations as they pertain to hosting arrangements. Agreements on expenditures for hosting non-First-Nation communities should be arranged with the evacuating municipality unless otherwise determined. More information on finance and administration are contained in Annex 17. This plan reflects the arrangements outlined in the Standards and builds on advice contained therein.

2.3.1 Selection

EMO maintains a list of potential host communities for First Nations (i.e. communities that have hosted in the past or have expressed a willingness to host). While agreements may exist between EMO and a host community, the community retains the option of not hosting during a particular evacuation. In the event that the list of potential host communities is insufficient for the size of evacuation pending, the PEOC will solicit additional host communities.

Through the PEOC, EMO works with the evacuating First Nation to identify a host community or communities for its evacuees. If requested, the PEOC could assist other communities in identifying potential host communities. A minimum 24 hours’ notice will be provided to host communities whenever possible.

The selection and preparation of host facilities should be driven by the needs of the evacuees. Factors affecting the selection of a particular host community include:

  • the services available in that community (particularly for physical, spiritual, and mental health)
  • the number of people the community can host – it may be advisable to use fewer host communities, but larger sites to keep evacuees together
  • the types of accommodations that can be provided
  • the transportation resources available (discussed in more detail in Annex 7)

Another key consideration is the availability of personnel and other resources to support the host facilities. It is worth noting that community health services and hospitals in the host community may experience an increased demand for their services.

Potential conflicts with the longer-term use of accommodations in the host community should be considered and mitigated if possible (e.g. a hotel only being available for part of the time evacuees require shelter).

The PEOC should begin contingency planning with partners for longer-term evacuations if it appears likely that evacuees will be displaced from their community for longer than the period discussed below.

When evacuees are members of a First Nation, the use of any facility that was used as, or could evoke comparisons to, residential schools should be avoided.

2.3.2 Emergency Shelter Facilities

Communities considering acting as a host community during an evacuation should identify emergency shelter facilities. Other municipal departments, including fire, public health and paramedic services, as well as the department/agency responsible for emergency social services, should participate in the planning. Emergency planners should assess proposed facilities based on location, capabilities, capacity, accessibility, and resources, as well as how they would route evacuee traffic. Details on the set-up and operation of the shelter should be provided in the community’s emergency response plan.

Arranging for evacuee accommodations is the responsibility of the host community. Representatives from provincial (through the PEOC) and federal organizations may be available to assist a host community in providing services to evacuees. Municipal departments involved in the development of the host facility plan may be able to provide resources to support the set-up and operation of a host facility.

The following types of accommodations may be utilized during an evacuation:

  • Short-Term Basic Shelter Services: for a period of 1-14 days, in arenas, gymnasiums, recreation halls, etc. (cots, air mattresses and sleeping bags). If basic shelter accommodations are not available, the use of alternate facilities such as dormitories, motels/hotels and residential settings will be considered.
  • Special Accommodations: to address the requirements of medically vulnerable individuals or those with special needs. These special accommodations are typically provided in available long-term care facilities or hotels/motels.

Host communities may be limited in the types of accommodations that they are able to provide. It is generally understood that time of year may affect the host community’s ability to provide accommodations during an evacuation.

2.3.3 Host Community Services

Planning for hosting evacuees builds on information already available (typically from the manifest). This includes:

  • the approximate number of people in each age group
  • the number of people requiring special care and what the special care may entail
  • the amount of notice that can be expected before evacuees begin to arrive
  • how the evacuees will be arriving and if additional transportation arrangements have been made
  • health services that may be needed including health care, public health services, access to OHIP registration services, or addiction services
  • whether extra supplies are required to support the evacuees

The following activities or services will typically be provided or supported by a host community at a shelter:

  • security
  • food storage, preparation, and services
  • cleaning and maintenance
  • health services (e.g. providing information on how to access community health services, local hospitals, or registration for OHIP cards)
  • translation
  • recreation and entertainment
  • local transportation
  • communications and information
  • management of supplies, resources, and records

2.3.4 Registration

Host communities are responsible for registering evacuees that are entering into their care. This allows the host community to better coordinate services and seek reimbursement for expenses incurred due to hosting. Registration involves creating a municipal record, which is covered under municipal privacy legislation. Each municipality has the responsibility for managing the record in accordance with the applicable legislation and their municipal policies. Municipalities may choose to contract registration services to an NGO (e.g. CRC). If a municipality exhausts its resources and requires support for registration services, they may:

  • obtain assistance from other municipalities through mutual assistance agreements
  • request assistance from the PEOC

Registration records should only be shared with organizations providing services to the evacuees (e.g. MOHLTC, MCSS, PEOC) and in accordance with applicable privacy legislation.

It is recommended that all host communities collect consistent registration information to:

  • facilitate the tracing of evacuees
  • reunify12 families and communities
  • forward important materials
  • determine priorities and manifests for the return of evacuees
  • track expenses and support claims for reimbursement
  • access schooling during longer evacuations
  • provide provincially and federally delivered/funded services
  • arrange for special requirements

A sample registration form is attached in Annex 6.

Municipalities may consider developing an additional means to readily identify evacuees. Methods include temporary identification cards or wristbands. Care should be taken to ensure the privacy of the individual and freedom of movement.

2.4 Return

Following an evacuation, community members may wish to return home as quickly as possible. The recommendation and the decision to return should be based on the results of the ongoing real-time threat assessment, plus a determination that the home community is ready to support the returning evacuees. A recommendation may be based on the advice of a provincial ministry. The Chief of a First Nation, Head of Council of a municipality, or appointed person, will decide when to allow evacuees to return to the community.

Before the return of evacuees, the evacuated community should be in a safe and ready state. This means that:

  • The threat that prompted the evacuation has been resolved or has subsided.
  • Access to the community is assured.
  • The infrastructure is safe to use (e.g. airport and roads between the airport and community).
  • Safety hazards connected to the emergency have been eliminated.
  • Services have resumed and are sufficient to support returning evacuees – for example, power, water, sanitation, security, food and essential supplies, and medical services.

If a community was completely evacuated it may be advisable to begin the return of evacuees with essential workers to restart systems and assess the readiness of the community to receive other returning evacuees. This may involve the coordination of an advance team that is given sufficient time and other resources to return the community to a pre-evacuation state. Since the degree of damage will likely vary within the affected area, it might be beneficial to initiate a phased re-entry process. As geographic areas are declared safe for re-entry, evacuees will be able to return.

Once approval has been given for all or a part of the population to return home, community leaders, working with community evacuation liaisons, will develop priorities and manifests for the return flights. Registration lists at host communities may be used in the creation of return manifests. In most instances, people are returned in the reverse order of when they were evacuated (i.e. Stage 2 populations returned prior to Stage 1). The primary reason for returning the most vulnerable people last is to help ensure that support services are in place when they return.

Ground transportation arrangements may be made by the host community or the provincial government. Air transportation planning will be coordinated by the province, as outlined in Annex 7. As with the initial evacuation, numerous resources, especially personnel and transportation related resources will be required to return evacuees to their home community.

The evacuees will be returned home as quickly and efficiently as possible. However, the return may take longer than the evacuation. Situations may arise where the return of the evacuees is delayed due to health and/or other issues.

The evacuated community will take the lead for communicating re-entry procedures, with assistance from partners as required. When developing communications to the public, officials may consider the following:

  • Is a phased return of evacuees going to occur?
  • What services are available (or not) in the area?
  • What utilities are functional (or not) in the area?
  • What media sources can evacuees use for the most up-to-date information on re-entry procedures?

2.4.1 Multi-Community Return Considerations

Following a regional evacuation, multiple communities may decide at the same time that they are ready to return evacuees. This may exceed the capacity of partners to assist with the return of evacuees. In this situation, transportation planners (including the PEOC and MNR) will consult community leaders and prioritize the return of evacuees based on the following factors:

  • community risk assessment
  • community readiness assessment
  • number and location of evacuees
  • return resource capacities (e.g. the number of people who can be moved per day)
  • length of time required to return evacuees from host to home community
  • host community capacities
  • length of time evacuated from the community
  • stage of evacuees being hosted

2.5 Demobilization

It is prudent to prepare a demobilization plan early in the operation. Otherwise, resources may self-demobilize, and control and accountability may be lost.

The PEOC and partners will commence demobilization as host communities are cleared of evacuees. It is critical that at the end of an evacuation, there is a full accounting of the operation in the form of after-action and financial reports. Below are activities that typically occur during demobilization:

  • scaling back PEOC/EOC activities
  • returning real-time threat assessment capabilities to routine monitoring
  • returning communications with communities to a routine level
  • debriefings
  • stand-down of host communities, transportation hubs, and staging areas
  • recall of deployed resources
  • recall of deployed staff
  • financial reconciliation
  • briefings to senior officials
  • follow up communication to other emergency management coordinators in the province
  • follow up communication to Public Safety Canada
  • final communication to media
  • termination of emergency declarations
  • consolidation of after-action reports and sharing of same with partners
  • revision of evacuation plan(s), if necessary
  • return of facilities to a pre-hosting state

Annex 1: Quick Reference Guide

The Quick Reference Guide is a condensed version of the Ontario Mass Evacuation Plan Part 1: Far North. It shows the steps/actions to take during a mass evacuation operation including activation, evacuation, hosting, return, and demobilization. It also shows the various partners likely to be involved in an evacuation, broadly reflecting the actions that fall within their jurisdiction. It can be modified as necessary depending on the situation.

Activation

Evacuating Community:

  • Notify the PEOC and, if a First Nations community, AANDC, of the need to evacuate, outlining:

o nature of the threat(s) to your community

o potential impact(s) on your community

o urgency (how soon evacuation is required)

o scale (number of people potentially requiring evacuation)

  • Declare an emergency and forward a copy of the emergency declaration to the PEOC and, if a First Nations community, AANDC
  • Monitor conditions in the community and communicate the information to the PEOC and, if a First Nation community, AANDC (Advise the PEOC if threat assessment assistance is required)
  • Prepare the community for evacuation

o Alert community members of the need for evacuation and the appropriate preparations

o Notify the appropriate health service of the need for medevac as required

o Compile/update evacuation lists for Stage 1 (vulnerable persons and their caregivers) and Stage 2 (all remaining community members). As lists are being compiled, try to keep family units together as much as possible

o Identify essential staff for preparing the community for evacuation and those required to restart systems upon return

o Arrange transportation for residents within the community

o Provide/plan for pet/animals remaining in the community

  • Prepare flight manifests and/or passenger lists and forward a copy to the PEOC
  • Once host communities have been identified, establish communications with them, including:

o Appointing community evacuation liaison(s) for each host community and advising the PEOC of the liaison names and contact information; and

o Advising the host community and the PEOC of any special needs of community members

  • Commence emergency information activities as needed
  • Work with any deployed provincial and federal staff

Host Communities and Transportation Hubs:

  • Advise the PEOC of Stage 1 and/or 2 hosting capacities or the ability to be a transportation hub, as appropriate
  • Provide resources and support for evacuees

o Mobilize community resources and implement agreements to provide for the needs of the evacuees

o Liaise with partners to assess and support the needs of the evacuees

  • Advise the PEOC and, if appropriate, AANDC, of any challenges in meeting the needs of the evacuees
  • Arrange transportation for evacuees in the community, or request logistics assistance from the PEOC
  • Establish communications with the evacuating community, and provincial and federal partners

o Collaborate with community, provincial and federal partners through their deployed staff or directly to their headquarters/EOCs

  • Commence emergency information activities as needed
  • Consider the need for a declaration of emergency

Provincial Government Partners (including the PEOC, OIC ministries, and other supporting ministries):

  • Monitor conditions in the province and provide intelligence to local communities to assist with decision-making
  • Establish a real-time threat assessment capability (remotely through partners, locally in the PEOC, or combined)
  • Manage the hazard as described in OIC ministry plans
  • Identify the lead ministry and provide support as needed
  • Where provincial coordination is required:

o Activate and manage required incident management functions in the PEOC

o Coordinate the development of a plan (e.g. Incident Action Plan) to execute the evacuation(s)

o Coordinate emergency information activities as needed

  • Notify partners to deploy a representative to the PEOC, as appropriate
  • Coordinate transportation planning appropriate to the emergency

o Acquire and coordinate air operations assets through MNR

o Coordinate with partners to ensure the availability of air operations facilities including transportation hubs (e.g. MTO, MNR, GOC)

o Acquire and coordinate transportation assets in collaboration with the Supply Chain and Logistics Alliance

  • Identify and support host communities and transportation hubs, if required

o Use the host community list to identify host communities. Solicit host communities beyond the list as required to support the evacuation

o Support the planning efforts of host communities and transportation hubs

  • Mobilize provincial resources to support the evacuation

o Liaise with the evacuating community and partners to provide for the needs of the evacuees

o Deploy staff (including a senior provincial official if needed) to support evacuating and host communities, and transportation hubs, as required or requested

o Deploy staff to EOCs by request

  • Consider the need for a provincial declaration of emergency

Federal Government Partners (including AANDC, HC, PS, CF):

  • Provide federal approval for funding to support the evacuation of First Nations communities

o Collaborate with partners to provide resources to support the needs of First Nation community evacuees

  • Activate or establish agreements to reimburse eligible expenses as required in accordance with established policy and procedures
  • Provide federal assets to support the evacuation, as requested/required
  • Commence emergency information activities as needed
  • Deploy staff to support evacuating and host communities, and transportation hubs, as required or requested
  • Deploy staff to the PEOC to represent supporting and assisting department(s) and provide a communications link
  • Establish communications with partners including through activated federal EOCs
  • Notify partners, including the PEOC, of approved federal points of contact

Non-governmental Organizations (including CRC, SA, SJA, etc.):

  • Support communities in planning the hosting of evacuees by request or through standing agreements
  • Deploy staff to EOCs, including the PEOC, by request
  • Assist with the planning of the evacuation and support to evacuees as per mandate

Evacuation

Evacuating Communities:

  • Declare an emergency if not already done
  • Implement the evacuation plan:

o Implement transportation arrangements to get evacuees to departure points (e.g. aerodrome, bus rally point, rail station) within the home community

o Ensure medevac flights have been arranged or completed

o Evacuate Stage 1 and 2 evacuees according to established flight manifests and try to keep family units together

o Implement arrangements to safeguard the community during the period of evacuation, if feasible, with special attention to critical facilities (e.g. nursing station, water treatment plant, etc.)

o Provide for pet/animals remaining in the community

  • Collaborate with community evacuation liaisons and deployed provincial and federal staff, as applicable in the home or host community(ies)
  • Monitor conditions within the community and communicate with the PEOC (If a First Nations community, also communicate with AANDC)
  • Communicate progress and/or difficulties with the evacuations to the PEOC and, as appropriate, AANDC
  • Maintain community evacuation liaisons in host community(ies)

Host Communities:

o Register evacuees, compiling a list, and identifying any special needs

o Send the registration list to the PEOC

  • Work with partners to continually assess and provide for the needs of the evacuees
  • Implement transportation arrangements for evacuees within the host community, or request logistics assistance from the PEOC
  • Advise the PEOC of the numbers of evacuees being hosted (including numbers of men, women, children and special needs); update as necessary
  • Advise the PEOC of changes to hosting capacity
  • Collaborate with community evacuation liaisons and deployed provincial and federal staff, as applicable
  • Consider declaring an emergency if not already done

Transportation Hub(s):

  • Receive evacuees en route to host communities
  • Provide support and facilities for evacuees (e.g. first aid service, refreshments, waiting area, quiet room, etc.)
  • Implement transportation arrangements for the ongoing movement of evacuees as coordinated by the PEOC or host community
  • Conduct immediate needs assessment where feasible/necessary
  • Collaborate with community evacuation liaisons and deployed provincial and federal staff, as applicable
  • Prepare to provide short-term shelter facilities in the event that delays necessitate the hosting of evacuees overnight until they are transported to their host community
  • Maintain records of evacuees who transit through the hubs (may be through registration or checked against manifests)
  • Provide copies of records to the PEOC
  • Consider declaring an emergency, if not already done

Provincial Government Partners (including the PEOC, OIC ministries, and other supporting ministries):

  • Staff the PEOC to support the evacuation
  • Coordinate the evacuation by implementing the Incident Action Plan
  • Monitor conditions in the province and coordinate the provision of real-time threat assessment information to partners
  • Coordinate the implementation of the evacuation transportation plan

o Collaborate with MNR and federal partners (e.g. Canadian Forces) to acquire and coordinate air assets

o Coordinate ground transportation, as required/requested

o Support host communities and transportation hubs

  • Collaborate with community evacuation liaisons and deployed provincial and federal staff, as applicable, to assess and provide for the needs of the evacuees
  • Maintain and support deployed staff
  • Support the management of the emergency (as outlined in separate OIC ministry plans)
  • Assess and determine the need for a provincial declaration of emergency

Federal Government Partners (including AANDC, HC, PS, CF):

  • Provide federal resources to support the evacuation as required

o Conduct search and rescue operations as requested

o Provide federal assets such as air or other resources, based on a request from the PEOC or federal department

  • Provide federal approval for funding to support the evacuation of First Nations communities
  • Activate or establish agreements to reimburse eligible expenses as required in accordance with established policy and procedures
  • Collaborate with community evacuation liaisons and deployed provincial and federal staff, as applicable

Non-governmental Organizations (including CRC, SA, SJA, etc.):

  • Support communities in hosting evacuees by request or through standing agreements
  • Maintain deployed staff to EOCs, including the PEOC, as required/requested
  • Assist with the coordination of the evacuation and support to evacuees

Hosting

Host Communities:

  • Consider declaring an emergency if not already done
  • Act as a host community, as arranged
  • Receive evacuees as per pre-established process
  • Register evacuees, compiling a list, and identifying any special needs
  • Collaborate with the evacuated community and partners to assess and provide for the needs of the evacuees including: social, dietary, educational, safety, family unification/reunification, medical, spiritual, and others, as identified in collaboration with each impacted community.
  • Collaborate with community evacuation liaisons and deployed provincial and federal staff, as applicable
  • Advise the PEOC of the numbers of evacuees being hosted and update as necessary
  • Participate in return planning

Evacuated Communities:

  • Maintain continuous liaison with the host community(ies), community evacuation liaisons, and deployed provincial and federal staff to assess and provide for the needs of the evacuees
  • Participate in return planning
  • Advise partners on any changes to the needs of the evacuees
  • Maintain up-to-date registration data on own evacuated residents
  • Communicate information on the evacuation to evacuees on a regular basis
  • Advise partners including the PEOC on the number of evacuees to be returned and update as necessary

Provincial Government Partners (including the PEOC, OIC ministries, and other supporting ministries):

  • Staff the PEOC
  • Coordinate the provision of support to host communities
  • Maintain liaison with community evacuation liaisons and deployed provincial and federal staff, as applicable to assess and provide for the needs of the evacuees
  • Maintain deployed staff
  • Monitor values protection/community safeguard arrangements with the evacuated community, OIC ministry, and other partners
  • Initiate return planning
  • Consider whether to maintain the provincial declaration of emergency, if in place

Federal Government Partners (including AANDC, HC, PS, CF):

  • Maintain any deployed staff to support evacuated and host communities
  • Provide federal approval for funding to support the hosting of First Nations communities
  • Participate in return planning, especially where federal assets are required or requested
  • Activate or establish agreements to reimburse eligible expenses, as required, in accordance with established policy and procedures
  • Collaborate with community evacuation liaisons and deployed provincial and federal staff, as applicable

Non-governmental Organizations (including CRC, SA, SJA, etc.):

  • Support communities in hosting evacuees by request or standing agreements
  • Maintain deployed staff to EOCs, including the PEOC, as required/requested
  • Support hosting activities as well as planning for the return of evacuees

Return

Evacuated Communities:

  • Ensure the home community has been returned to a safe and secure state. Considerations include:

o Power is on

o Sufficient food is in the community for residents

o Sanitation systems are operational and garbage has been picked up

o Health care is in place (e.g. staffing of local nursing station/health facilities)

o Water and sewage systems are functioning (if water system has been turned off or malfunctioned, testing will be required; alternate source of drinking water may be required until water has been tested and is safe)

o Transportation from the arrival point (e.g. aerodrome), including luggage, has been arranged

o Necessary support systems are functioning (e.g. community support networks and family supports for Stage 1 evacuees)

  • Request the return of evacuees (through the PEOC, and AANDC if a First Nations)
  • Determine the priority for returning evacuees

o Return essential staff to the home community

o Return evacuees: Stage 2, Stage 1, and then Medevac

  • Assist in the preparation of flight manifests and/or passenger lists for the return working with community evacuation liaisons, host communities, and deployed provincial and federal staff
  • Monitor conditions in the home community and communicate the information to the PEOC and AANDC as appropriate
  • Communicate progress on the return of evacuees on a regular basis

Host Communities:

  • Prepare flight manifests and/or passenger lists for the return working with the evacuated community leadership, community evacuation liaisons, and deployed provincial and federal staff
  • Arrange transportation for evacuees to departure point(s) or request assistance through the PEOC
  • Collaborate with community evacuation liaisons and deployed provincial and federal staff, as applicable, to coordinate the return of evacuees, and assess and provide for the needs of the evacuees as they depart shelter facilities

Transportation Hub(s):

  • Receive evacuees en route to their home community
  • Provide facilities for evacuees transiting the facility (e.g. refreshments, waiting area, quiet area, etc.)
  • Implement transportation arrangements for the ongoing movement of evacuees
  • Collaborate with community evacuation liaisons and deployed provincial and federal staff, as applicable
  • Prepare to provide short-term shelter facilities in case delays result in hosting evacuees overnight until they are transported to their home community
  • Maintain records of evacuees who pass through the hub
  • Provide copies of records to the PEOC
  • Consider whether to maintain a declaration of emergency if one is in place

Provincial Government Partners (including the PEOC, OIC ministries, and other supporting ministries):

  • Support evacuated communities in preparing to receive returning evacuees
  • Staff the PEOC
  • Monitor conditions in the province and coordinate the provision of real-time threat assessment information to partners
  • Ensure that the evacuated community is not, or will not soon be, under renewed threat
  • Coordinate return planning
  • Collaborate with the evacuated community(ies) on prioritizing the return of evacuees
  • Coordinate return transportation planning

o Acquire and coordinate air operations assets through MNR

o Coordinate ground transportation, as required/requested

o Acquire and coordinate transportation assets in collaboration with Supply Chain and Logistics Coordination Alliance as needed

  • Support host communities and transportation hubs
  • Collaborate with community evacuation liaisons and deployed provincial and federal staff, as applicable
  • Maintain and support deployed staff
  • Support the management of the hazard (if still ongoing) and as outlined in OIC ministry plans
  • Consider whether to maintain the provincial declaration of emergency, if a provincial emergency was declared

Federal Government Partners (including AANDC, HC, PS, CF):

  • Provide federal approval for funding to support the return of evacuees from First Nations communities
  • Activate or establish agreements to reimburse eligible expenses, as required, in accordance with established policy and procedures
  • Maintain deployed staff to support home and host communities, and transportation hubs
  • Collaborate with community evacuation liaisons and deployed provincial and federal staff, as applicable

Non-governmental Organizations (including CRC, SA, SJA, etc.):

  • Support communities during the return of evacuees, by request or through standing agreements

Demobilization

Returned (and previously evacuated) Communities:

  • Monitor conditions in the community and communicate the status to the PEOC and, if required, AANDC
  • Conduct and/or support financial reconciliation
  • Hold debriefs with staff, inviting partners, as appropriate
  • Prepare after action reports and send a copy to the PEOC
  • Be prepared to participate in other debriefs, upon invitation
  • Recall deployed staff (e.g. community evacuation liaisons)
  • Terminate the declaration of emergency and provide a copy of the termination to the PEOC

Host Communities:

  • Monitor conditions in the community and communicate status to the PEOC
  • Conduct and/or support financial reconciliation
  • Hold debriefs with staff, inviting partners, as appropriate
  • Prepare after action reports and send a copy to the PEOC
  • Be prepared to participate in other debriefs, upon invitation
  • Stand down hosting operations
  • Return facilities to pre-hosting state
  • Terminate the declaration of emergency, if in place, and provide a copy of the termination to the PEOC

Transportation Hub(s):

  • Monitor conditions in the transportation hub and communicate status to the PEOC
  • Conduct and/or support financial reconciliation
  • Hold debriefs with staff, inviting partners, as appropriate
  • Prepare after action reports and send a copy to the PEOC
  • Be prepared to participate in other debriefs, upon invitation
  • Stand down transit operations
  • Terminate the declaration of emergency (if one was in force) and provide a copy of the termination to the PEOC

Provincial Government Partners (including the PEOC, OIC ministries, and other supporting ministries):

  • Monitor conditions in the province and provide real-time threat assessments to partners
  • Return the PEOC to routine monitoring (unless another emergency dictates otherwise)
  • Reduce activation level of the ministry EOCs, as appropriate
  • Stand down provincial resources, including the release of deployed staff in the field or the PEOC
  • Conduct and/or support financial reconciliation
  • Hold debriefs with staff, inviting partners, as appropriate
  • Prepare a provincial after action report and send a copy to partners (PEOC)
  • OIC ministries and supporting ministries prepare own after action reports and send a copy to the PEOC
  • Be prepared to participate in other debriefs, upon invitation
  • Terminate the provincial declaration of emergency (if one was in force) and advise partners

Federal Government Partners (including AANDC, HC, PS, CF):

  • Stand down supporting resources, if not already done
  • Conduct and/or support financial reconciliation
  • Hold debriefs with staff, inviting partners, as appropriate
  • Prepare and provide a copy of after action report to partners
  • Be prepared to participate in other debriefs, upon invitation
  • Recall deployed staff

Non-governmental Organizations (including CRC, SA, SJA, etc.):

  • Conduct and/or support financial reconciliation
  • Hold debriefs with staff, inviting partners, as appropriate
  • Prepare after action reports and send a copy to the PEOC
  • Be prepared to participate in other debriefings, upon invitation
  • Recall deployed staff
  • Stand down all other resources and supplies that are no longer required to support consequences from the evacuation

Annex 2: Evacuation Schematic

vacuation and Return Process

Annex 3: Sample Declaration of Emergency

For use by a Municipality, First Nation, or Authorized Entity (Unorganized Territory)

This document should be produced on Municipal or First Nation letterhead where possible

Declaration of Emergency

(I)(We)______________________________________________ declare an emergency in

(Mayor or Elected Head of Council or First Nations Chief)

accordance with the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.E.9, s.4. (1) due to the emergency described below:

For the Emergency Area or part of the Area described as:

Signed ________________________________________

Title __________________________________________

This ______day of _______ 20___ at _______A.M./P.M.

In the Municipality or First Nation of

Send to Provincial Emergency Operations Centre Duty Officer @ 416-314-0474 or operations.emo@ontario.ca when completed. Contact the PEOC Duty Officer to confirm receipt of the declaration.

Annex 4: Evacuation/Return Checklist

For the Use of Home Communities

Evacuation

  • Ensure community members are alerted to the need to evacuate and have made the appropriate preparations
  • Determine the numbers affected and prepare lists of evacuees:

o Medevac (receiving home care or residing in a health-care facility in the evacuating community that qualify for medical transfer as per the Ambulance Act (evacuation by emergency medical services (EMS) or Ornge).

o Stage 1 (vulnerable populations such as persons with disabilities, the elderly, children, and those with medical conditions, including women with at-term or high risk pregnancies; people who require attendant care should travel with their caregivers)

o Stage 2 (All others)

o Consider establishing an essential services list. These persons would typically be the last out in an evacuation and the first to return as they are needed to re-establish or maintain services in the community (e.g. fire services, aerodrome operator, etc.)

  • Create manifests (keep families together where possible and indicate whether the passenger is a male or female, senior or child, or has special needs)
  • Organize transportation to departure points within the community
  • Designate Community Evacuation Liaisons in host community(ies) and share the names and contact information of liaisons with the PEOC
  • Ensure that Community Evacuation Liaisons are evacuated on the first flights from the community in order to have them available in host communities to assist with the coordination of further arrivals and accommodations
  • Ensure individuals evacuate with identification (status cards and OHIP cards), medication, eyeglasses, medical equipment/devices, and appropriate clothing
  • Ensure the security of the community during evacuation paying special attention to the nursing station, water treatment plant, etc.
  • Plan for pet/animals remaining in the community
  • Tag bags with the evacuee’s name, home community, and host community (if known)

Return

  • Ensure evacuated community is safe and secure prior to requesting the return of evacuees. Considerations include:

o Power is on;

o Sufficient food is in the community for residents;

o Sanitation systems are operational and any garbage pick-up has been completed;

o Health Care (staffing of local nursing station/health facilities);

o Water and sewage systems function (if water system has been turned off or malfunctioned testing will be required. Alternate drinkable water supplies may be required until water safety confirmed);

o Transportation from airstrip, including luggage;

o Necessary support systems function (e.g. community support networks and family supports for Stage 1 evacuees).

  • Request the return of evacuees through the PEOC, and if a First Nation, AANDC
  • Prepare lists of evacuees and order of returns. Work with the host community(ies) and community evacuation liaisons to prepare flight manifests/passenger lists:
  • Communicate information to evacuees on baggage limits
  • Communicate progress to the community on a regular basis directly or through liaison
  • The Community Evacuation Liaison(s) should be among the last to leave host communities

Annex 5: Sample Flight Manifest

For Use by Evacuating and Host Communities, and Transportation Hubs

mple Flight Manifest

Annex 6: Sample Registration Form

For Use by Host Communities and Transportation Hubs

mple Registration Form

Annex 7: Transportation Guidelines

For the Use of MNR, MTO, CF, PEOC, and Transportation Hubs

Evacuations should be as orderly and efficient as possible. In case of an evacuation, all available modes of transportation should be considered. Transportation mode will be determined at the time of the incident and will be dependent on the usual community access, weather, the effects of the emergency (such as smoke), and the types of transportation available.

When transporting evacuees the following challenges may arise:

compromised infrastructure

  • Some incidents, such as fires, may compromise the safety and availability of certain critical pieces of infrastructure, such as bridges, tunnels, viaducts, and transportation infrastructure. Alternate routings will need to be developed and the information disseminated quickly.

secondary incidents

  • Following the initial event that triggers the evacuation, secondary incidents (e.g. vehicle collisions, fires, explosions, etc.) can further compromise evacuation infrastructure after the evacuation has commenced. Such events may require emergency responders to re-assess the evacuation strategy and to provide updated information to evacuees who are impacted by the effects of secondary incidents.

Types of Evacuation

A community requiring evacuation may use one of the following types:

Type 1: Transported directly to a host community (preferred type)

Type 2: Transported through one or more transportation hub(s) to host communities

Modes of Transportation

Modes of transportation include the following:

  • Air transportation (including amphibious/floatplanes, fixed wing, and rotor aircraft) will be the most often used mode of transport for isolated communities in the far north.
  • Land transportation (including private vehicles and motor coaches) will be most often used from transportation hub(s) or aerodromes13 to the host community, though there may be some limited ground access from communities in the far north
  • When accessible, railway passenger trains can transport large numbers of evacuees.
  • When accessible, marine transport will usually be limited to small pleasure craft but could include car and passenger ferries where appropriate.

Air Transportation

Most communities in the far north have aerodromes (either land or water), and scheduled and charter air services. Most aerodromes are equipped with lighting systems that are activated by signals from incoming aircraft. Evacuation and return planning considerations include:

Crew day/crew rest

  • Pilots and First Officers are limited in the number of hours they can operate a commercial aircraft in one day. This is usually limited to eight hours of flying time followed by eight hours of rest. Military flight crews may have a longer crew day/crew rest period. Flight time includes departure from and return to the aircraft’s base.
  • Distance and regulated crew rest times limit the number of round trips that may be made in a day.
  • Time spent waiting at an aerodrome is included in the flight time.

Take-off weight limitations

  • An aircraft may not take-off if its weight exceeds the maximum take-off weight specified in the aircraft flight manual for the prevailing conditions.

Gravel runway operations

  • Flight crews must be aware of the special considerations for take-offs and landings on gravel runways.
  • Gravel runways can be severely damaged by heavy aircraft (C-130 Hercules, for example) and loose gravel can damage aircraft.

Wet/contaminated Runways

  • Runways that are wet, snow covered, or have debris may affect take-offs and landings (e.g. wet runways cannot withstand as much weight).

Weather

  • Environmental conditions may affect flying operations

Real-time threat assessment

  • The real-time threat assessment will be used to assess the dangers associated with air operations (e.g. smoke, fire position, or the airfield may be at risk of flooding)

Availability of fuel

  • Aircraft will require fuel specific to their engine type.
  • Consider the availability of fuel at aerodromes based on factors such as the types of aircraft being used and the distance being travelled.

Aerodrome capacity

  • This includes the number and size of planes that may be staged at the aerodrome for the purposes of loading or offloading evacuees.
  • The length of the runway will affect the types of aircraft that can be used for the purposes of evacuation or return.
  • Whether the aerodrome can accept fixed wing or rotary aircraft.

Aerodrome management

  • Typically, far north aerodromes will be managed by one or two personnel to ensure the facility is kept running and the field remains accessible.
  • The limited personnel may constrain normal air operations mostly to weekday and daytime operations.
  • Surge capacity and extended operational hours become an issue for evacuation and return operations. Planning should consider this and provide for supplemental crew as needed to support evacuation and return operations.

Distance between the community and aerodrome

  • The distance between the aerodrome and the community will affect the time it takes to gather people to board planes.

Ground Transportation

Few communities in the far north have year-round road access. Some may have seasonal road access to other communities, but these routes will not typically be available for evacuation or return planning purposes. The following are some planning considerations for ground transportation:

Access

  • If the community has road access, it may be a consideration for evacuation or return.

Bus availability and capacity

  • Commercial bus lines or school buses with qualified drivers within the community or in close proximity may be utilized.

Crew day/crew rest

  • Distance to the host community will be a major consideration given that driver/operators are limited in the number of driving hours in a day (13 hours) and the number of hours a driver must be off-duty in a day (10 hours).
  • Distance and regulated crew rest times limit the number of round trips that may be made in a day.
  • Time spent at a location waiting for passengers is included in the operator’s driving hours.

Availability of fuel

  • Another consideration will be the availability of fuel for vehicles at the host communities and the transportation hub (if in operation).

Weather

  • Weather conditions may affect ground transportation in terms of whether roads are safe to travel on because of winds, precipitation, etc.
  • The time of year will factor into ground transportation most often in terms of the weather’s effect on the roadways.

Real-time threat assessment

  • The timeliness of ground transportation will be a factor. Timeliness will be dependent on the real-time threat assessment in terms of the threat to the community and the urgency of the evacuation.

Distance

  • The distance to either the evacuating community or the transportation hub will affect the feasibility of ground transportation.

Transportation Hubs

Transportation hubs are places where passengers and cargo are exchanged between vehicles or modes of transportation. Transportation hubs may be air, ground, or a combination of both. In the context of this plan, transportation hubs are temporary locations established at aerodromes providing air to air or air to ground connections. Support for evacuees that are in transit within a transportation hub will in most cases be provided by the local municipality; however under certain circumstances it may be coordinated wholly or partially by the PEOC, AANDC, NGOs, or the participating airport authority. Transportation hubs may provide emergency social services and health services depending on the needs of the evacuees, the resources of the community, and the length of time evacuees will be in the hub.

The movement of large numbers of evacuees from communities in the far north may benefit from the establishment of one or more transportation hub(s). If the transportation hub model is being considered, then multiple hubs should be investigated and prepared. This will help hub facilities avoid becoming overwhelmed by the volume of flights and evacuees. Furthermore, weather, fuel supply, and personnel issues could close a transportation hub or limit its operation. Beyond the need to evacuate large numbers of people, other considerations in the employment of a hub include the following (in some cases, hubs may not be required at all):

  • the time to evacuate people is very short, as determined by the real-time threat assessment
  • multiple communities require evacuation
  • there are multiple host communities and/or the host communities are located far from the home community
  • more time is required to identify host communities or for them to prepare
  • there are limited air resources available
  • a staging area for resources is required
  • the capacity of a community to support a transportation hub may be limited in terms of personnel
  • there are limitations in regards to which airports may be utilized by available aircraft

The geographic location of the emergency may suggest that aerodromes in either Manitoba or Quebec could be an appropriate transportation hub.

Planning considerations for a transportation hub will differ from those for a host community. For instance, the transportation hub will host evacuees for a shorter period until onward transportation to a host community or a secondary hub is arranged.

The following are planning considerations that should be noted when establishing and utilizing transportation hubs:

Capacity of the aerodrome

  • The length and condition of the runway will limit the type and number of aircraft that can use the facility.
  • The capacity of the airfield to stage aircraft for the purposes of loading and off-loading.
  • Staging areas for ground transportation.
  • The impact of other operations at the aerodrome may also be a consideration.

Resources

  • Adequate support personnel to operate the transportation hub, including people from the community, neighbouring communities, non-governmental organizations, and other partners. Transportation operations may have extended hours.
  • Adequate fuelling facilities as well as support from vendors for additional fuel as needed.
  • Provision of supplies for supporting the transportation hub. Supplies may include bottled water, food, sanitary supplies, etc. Supplies may also need to be made available to flight or ground transportation crews to provide for evacuees while they are in transit.

Holding area

  • An appropriately sized area, such as an on-site hangar or aerodrome facility, should be available to accommodate evacuees with appropriate heating/cooling, washroom facilities, etc.
  • Where there is no facility available on-site, a similar facility should be sourced near the aerodrome. Temporary facilities may include tents.
  • Quiet areas may be established for evacuees feeling stressed or experiencing medical issues.

Hosting

  • It is advisable to hold some shelter capacity at the transportation hubs in the event scheduled flights are delayed or cancelled.
  • The overall capacity of the community should be considered if the community is also being requested to host evacuees

Ongoing communication is critical. Communication should be provided on the timing of flight and bus arrivals and departures, the number of people on flights and buses, any special assistance that may be required for evacuees in transit, etc.

Support for the following activities should be considered:

Reception and information:

  • The purpose is to greet evacuees, provide information regarding services provided within the hub and control access to the facility. Information services could include maps to show locations where evacuees will be hosted.
  • It may be advisable to provide registration services at a transportation hub, especially if services will be offered to the evacuees while they are in the care of the community supporting the transportation hub or if the evacuees are likely to remain at the transportation hub (i.e. not immediately continuing on their trip). Otherwise, evacuees may be checked against the manifest.
  • Translation services may be offered at the transportation hub.
  • A decision should be made on the most efficient means of identifying evacuees transiting the hub.
  • If the community is offering medical services or overnight shelter for delayed evacuees, then registration may be advisable. It may be sufficient to use the manifests provided from the evacuating community and the incoming flights.

Transportation:

  • Staff may need to coordinate ground transportation to host communities
  • Additional personnel may be needed to assist with luggage handling in order to speed loading and off-loading

Emergency Social Services:

  • Food may be provided to evacuees depending on length of layover.
  • It may be necessary to provide evacuees access to basic clothing
  • Personal services may be needed. For example: first aid; temporary care for unattended children; rest/quiet areas for seniors/elders; and/or emotional support for evacuees

Health Services

  • A temporary medical area with appropriately licensed personnel (doctors, nurses, paramedics) available to assess any new/special needs may be considered. This model could relieve congestion at medical facilities in the community neighbouring the transportation hub.

Emergency information

  • Consideration should be given to managing media that may congregate at the transportation hubs.

Activities described above may require the involvement of numerous agencies including, but not limited to the following:

Health/paramedic services:

  • A decision will be made among the parties as to whether a health assessment is done at the transportation hub or at the evacuation centre. This will impact the level of medical/paramedic service required (i.e. on hand for any incidental issues that arise during transit versus staffed to do a health review).
  • The Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), health units, hospitals, and MOHLTC should be involved in planning
  • Public health officials may need to inspect and monitor food services. Officials may also advise on washroom and waste disposal facilities.

Firefighters:

  • Fire officials will need to be advised of greater than normal activity at the aerodrome.

Security:

  • Security services will likely be required to control access to the transportation hub.
  • The local police service of jurisdiction may be able to advise on appropriate security services

Public works:

  • Public works personnel may be required to provide road closure signs and barricades. They may also be required to provide solid waste disposal facilities and temporary washroom facilities.

Emergency Social Services:

  • Delivery models differ between municipalities. Emergency social services staff may be drawn from social services, other departments, or NGOs
  • Personnel may be required to help provide for registration and inquiry services, and/or food, clothing, and personal services.
  • The Canadian Red Cross is experienced in registering, hosting, and tracing evacuees. Communities may have pre-established arrangements in place or wish to contact them when they are planning for the establishment of a transportation hub.
  • Other NGOs may also be available to assist in the operation of a transportation hub. For example, St. John Ambulance is experienced in providing first aid services and the Salvation Army is experienced in providing food services in emergencies.
  • A community may wish to engage local First Nation representatives or Friendship Centres, as they may be able to provide assistance in receiving and welcoming evacuees.

Transportation Planning

A joint transportation planning team approach is used to coordinate evacuation and return operations. The number of organizations involved in the planning team may vary based on the size of the evacuation/return, the urgency, and or the level of coordination required.

The joint transportation planning team may include the following organizations:

  • MNR is responsible for aviation services and coordinates activities through the Aviation Service Centre.
  • MTO is responsible for small community airports.
  • The PEOC monitors conditions within the province, liaises with communities, and coordinates provincial response when required.
  • Evacuating and receiving aerodromes
  • Transportation hub(s)
  • Evacuating and host communities
  • Canadian Forces and Public Safety Canada may be involved in the transportation planning if assistance from the federal government has been requested by the Government of Ontario. (Canadian Forces does not typically assist with returning evacuees to evacuated communities.)
  • AANDC may be involved in transportation planning if the evacuation involves a First Nation community.

The joint planning team should establish the number of people that can be moved with provincial resources as quickly as possible in order to alert PS of the shortfall between the numbers of people requiring evacuation and the number of people who can be accommodated. The Canadian Forces begins contingency planning as soon as they are alerted that there may be a need; however, their mandate is to assist when life safety is threatened. The Canadian Forces’ mission is to evacuate people from the community to a place of safety, which will not necessarily be the location in which the evacuees will be hosted. Onward transportation to host communities will need to be coordinated using provincial resources.

Host communities coordinate ground transportation based on the proposed air operations. Communities may request assistance from the PEOC. Communities should receive communications on the transportation plan as soon as available.

  • Note: Transportation planning may be undertaken in advance. However, the transportation plan cannot be finalized until the current day’s plan has been implemented, as it will need to reflect any delays or advancements.

When the transportation plan has been finalized, it should be communicated through established PEOC processes and its implementation monitored throughout the next day. Changes to the transportation plan throughout the operational day should be communicated to communities as soon as possible to allow communities to adjust their activities in support of the plan.

Coordination and integration is critical to the transportation planning cycle. It can be done through deployments or through teleconference. Typically, Canadian Forces will deploy staff to MNR’s Aviation Service Centre and to the PEOC to coordinate the military’s participation. MNR and MTO regularly staff positions in the PEOC. The PEOC may deploy staff to MNR to work within the MEOC and with the Aviation Service Centre.

Appropriate participation in transportation planning teleconferences is critical, as is keeping the calls as short as possible. Online document sharing sites can be utilized for working on the transportation plan.

In addition to the planning considerations noted for air and ground transportation, the following principles should be considered in transportation planning:

  • Transportation hubs should normally be situated as near as possible to the evacuated community in order to maximize the use of rescue aircraft and to ensure a speedy evacuation of the community.
  • Ideally, host communities will be located in close proximity to a primary transportation hub. However, if this is not the case then secondary hub(s) may be established.
  • Receiving aerodromes should be located as close to the host community as possible to minimize the length of ground transportation required; evacuees may have already travelled significant distances by air.
  • Community involvement in transportation planning is integral to the success of the transportation plan.
  • Communications on the air plan should be relayed as soon as is feasible, so corresponding ground transportation can be arranged and so that host communities have adequate time to prepare to receive evacuees.
  • The capacity of communities to support the implementation of the transportation plan is a factor in the successful implementation of the plan:

o Evacuating communities will need to arrange transportation for people to and from flights in addition to ensuring the ongoing operation of the aerodrome.

o Transportation hubs will need to be set up to receive evacuees and move them on to their next destination. This includes boarding, offloading, and turning around aircraft; caring for evacuees while they are in the transportation hub; maintaining contingency shelter capacity in case of transportation delays; and marshalling ground transportation.

o Host communities may be arranging ground transportation from the receiving aerodrome to the host facility or facilities. This is in addition to preparing for the hosting of evacuees.

  • The time needed for host communities and transportation hubs to be ready to receive evacuees.
  • Evacuees may be reluctant to travel at night.

Annex 7.1: Transportation Hub Checklist

For Use by Transportation Hubs

In contrast to host community facilities, transportation hubs are intended to be transitional facilities where evacuees stay for short periods. The following checklist is intended to provide a guide in setting up and operating a Transportation Hub. Transportation hubs may be air, ground, or both. The focus in this checklist is air with connecting transportation by air or ground.

Recommended Facility

  • Airport hangar/building suitable to accommodate evacuees while they are transiting through the hub
  • Consider whether it is possible to subdivide the facility into separate areas for reception, health screening, play areas, etc.
  • Ensure the aerodrome is able to accommodate the aircraft being used
  • The community is able to support the transportation hub and the aerodrome is able to accommodate the additional passengers (e.g. other events in the city that may reduce capacity at the aerodrome)
  • A staging area for buses is available (if connecting mode of transportation is bus). Ideally buses would drive up to the aircraft loading/unloading area
  • Heating/cooling ventilation system is available
  • Fixed or portable washrooms accessible to evacuees
  • Controlled storage area for luggage is available (can be temporary, such as vans, trucks, storage containers, or designated secure area)
  • Ensure there is sufficient space to provide temporary overnight accommodation in case of transportation delays

Logistics

  • Account for all costs incurred and provide to the Incident Management Team member responsible for finance
  • Luggage should be tagged at its origin. Have tags available and encourage their use if luggage is not already tagged
  • Identify vehicles (i.e. trucks, vans) to transport luggage to and from controlled storage area for luggage
  • Designate a refreshment area for evacuees and staff as required
  • Ensure the special dietary needs of evacuees are considered and culturally sensitive food is made available. This could include the selection of food suitable for diabetics, infants, children, and pregnant or nursing women. Speak with First Nation liaisons (community evacuation liaisons, First Nation leadership, or local First Nation representatives)
  • Provide tables and chairs for evacuees and a seated rest area for on-site staff/volunteers
  • Establish recreational areas if possible
  • Make contact with local First Nations communities, networks, or Friendship Centres who may be able to provide volunteers with cultural and social familiarity (i.e. language, background on social concerns, etc.)
  • If possible, provide a quiet room/area for evacuees experiencing increased levels of stress
  • Ensure sufficient fuel is available to support operations
  • Arrange for the personal needs of evacuees while in the transportation hub (e.g. clothing, personal supplies, etc.)
  • Provide briefings to staff regarding the evacuation and the evacuees that will be hosted
  • Schedule staff to clean washrooms, the transportation hub facility, and nearby areas according to the levels of use throughout the day
  • Ensure on-site staff has the ability to send and receive information (i.e. telephones, computers, printers, and fax machines are available for operational use)
  • Set-up tables and chairs for registration desks and/or creation of manifests
  • Designate staff to handle luggage and make arrangements for weighing luggage if not already done. Consider mass weighing of luggage for flights if feasible
  • Prepare a marshalling area for buses if evacuees will be travelling onward by ground transportation
  • Ensure buses are scheduled on a rotating basis to avoid clogging the staging area and maximize the drivers crew day
  • Ensure space to nurse and change babies

Health

The level of health services provided at a transportation hub may depend on the stage of evacuee using the facility and the resources of the community supporting the transportation hub. Additionally, people evacuating a community may require more services than when returning home. The needs of evacuees at a transportation hub should be reassessed and adjusted as needed.

  • Models of health service at transportation hubs vary and should be established based on the needs of the evacuees and the capacities of the community
  • Determine the level of health services needed and, if desirable, designate an on-site clinic/area with adequate facilities and supplies
  • Ensure there is collaboration between all appropriate health agencies including local LHINs, health units, the MOHLTC, and hospitals
  • Ensure appropriate medical staff and medical back-ups (e.g. paramedics, nurses, physicians, and other medical assistance)
  • Medical staff should be in place prior to the arrival of evacuees and should remain until the evacuees have moved on to their host or home community
  • Ensure consistency with recommendations made by the MOHLTC
  • Ensure the availability of urgent medical transportation
  • Ensure local hospitals, health service providers, and LHINs are advised early to prepare for a potential surge in health requirements for evacuees

Security

  • Limit and control access into the transportation hub and document those who leave the hub
  • The safety of evacuees and responders is of paramount importance with aircraft/trucks (luggage & fuel) and people in an area that they may be unfamiliar with
  • The police service of jurisdiction may be able to assist in identifying the level of security required
  • The home community police service may be able to provide guidance, support, and local knowledge of the evacuating population

On-site Management

  • Designate an Incident Management Team
  • Ensure that on-site staff can be identified as representatives of the agencies/services they are with (i.e. government identification, Red Cross vests, etc.)
  • Ensure flight/bus schedules are provided to on-site management for coordination purposes
  • Ensure critical positions and contact numbers have been provided to key people and positions, including the PEOC Duty Officer
  • Ensure liaisons are on-site or available (i.e. EMO, AANDC, MNR, etc.)
  • In a First Nation evacuation, AANDC should be consulted for extraordinary expenses not identified in the JEMS standard

Registration/Administration of Evacuees

Transportation hubs may wish to register evacuees that transit the facility, especially if the evacuee will be remaining in the care of the transportation hub for an extended period or if services are provided to the evacuee while they are at the transportation hub. In some situations, it may be more efficient to check evacuees against the manifest as they are transferred to their next means of transportation (flight to second hub or ground transportation to a host community).

  • Ensure a manifest is received/supplied for each incoming aircraft/motor coach, prior to arrival if possible
  • A system for identifying groupings (i.e. family, community, flight number) may be established; for example, providing each group with a coloured sheet of paper
  • Information that should be collected as part of the registration process include:

o All in-bound client information (first and last name, date of birth, age, sex)

o Place of origin

o People who have left the transportation hub either for offsite care or by choice (Emergency contact information should be collected)

o Return of people who had gone off-site for additional care

o Family member information

o Special needs

  • Copies of Registration lists should be provided to the PEOC, who should in turn send them to the following agencies:

o Ministry of Community and Social Services

o Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

o Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

o Health Canada

o Representatives of the evacuated community/First Nation

Out-bound Procedures and Manifests

  • The priority is to minimize travel time for evacuees without separating family groups
  • Create a manifest for the next phase of transportation. Include the first and last name of evacuees, date of birth, gender, age, family groupings, and special needs, etc. If possible, sort the list alphabetically
  • The group handling the luggage is to bring the tagged luggage to the plane or bus
  • Provide a copy of the manifest to the pilot/bus operator. Consider sending the manifest electronically after the flight has departed
  • Copies of manifests should be shared with the PEOC, who will send them to the following agencies:
  • Ministry of Community and Social Services
  • Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
  • Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
  • Health Canada
  • Representatives of the evacuated community/First Nation

Annex 8: Community-Specific Evacuation Plan Template

For Use by Home Community, Host Community, Transportation Hubs, Ministries, Federal Departments, and the PEOC

mmunity-Specific Evacuation Plan Template

Annex 9: Host Community Checklist

For Use by Host Communities

The following checklist is intended to provide a guide in acting as a Host Community14. Service delivery models vary depending on the community; therefore, this checklist is not intended to be exhaustive.

Emergency Shelter Facilities

  • Emergency shelter facilities provided by a community may include the following depending upon availability, accessibility, and the stage of evacuee being hosted (i.e. Stage 1 or 2):

o Arenas

o Gymnasiums

o Recreation centres

o Hotels/motels

o College/university dormitories

o Long-term care centres

o Camping facilities

  • The type of facility will influence the services and logistics needed. For example, if accommodations are in hotels, a dining area may be available and will not need to be set up
  • Communities may wish to establish a reception centre separate from shelter facilities to provide registration services
  • A staging area for buses is available

Logistics

  • Designate a dining area for evacuees and staff as required
  • Provide tables and chairs for evacuees and a seated rest area for on-site staff/volunteers
  • Set-up tables and chairs for registration desks and creation of manifests (for outgoing manifests)
  • Ensure the dietary needs of evacuees are considered and culturally sensitive food is made available. This could include the selection of food suitable for diabetics, infants, children and/or pregnant or nursing women. Speak with First Nation liaisons (community evacuation liaisons, First Nation leadership, or local First Nation representatives)
  • Determine the refreshment/meal schedule
  • Provide evacuees access to a telephone and/or provide phone cards
  • Establish recreation and entertainment areas/activities for evacuees
  • If possible, establish a computer room or set up Wi-Fi
  • Provide a room that may be used for community meetings and set up a speaker and microphone
  • Inform evacuees of the processes (e.g. contact number, sign-up sheets, etc.) to access community services
  • Account for all costs incurred and provide to the Incident Management Team member responsible for finance
  • Provide briefings to staff regarding the evacuation and the evacuees who will be hosted
  • Schedule cleaning staff according to the levels of use throughout the day
  • Ensure on-site staff has the ability to send and receive information (i.e. telephones, computers, printers, and fax machines are available for operational use)
  • Implement a mechanism for identification of evacuees (e.g. photo identification)
  • Designate staff to handle luggage
  • Consider the feasibility/desirability of mass weighing of luggage for return transportation
  • Determine if rental vehicles are needed, for what purpose, and who the operators will be
  • Is there space to accommodate pets and service animals
  • Is there space to nurse and change babies
  • Can information and valuables (registration records, manifests, bus tickets, taxi coupons, etc.) be securely stored on site
  • Provide bus tokens or local transportation within the community

Health

Models of health services in host communities vary and should be established based on the needs of the evacuees and the capacities of the community.

  • Ensure the availability of health services for evacuees. This may include first aid or paramedic services, referral to community health services, and/or transportation to hospitals or acute care facilities
  • Ensure there is collaboration between the appropriate health agencies including local LHINs, health units, the MOHLTC, clinics, hospitals, and the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC)
  • Designate a lead health liaison position for the incident and ensure communications amongst health partners
  • Ensure the Lead Health Liaison attends community Emergency Control Group meetings.
  • Alert community health services, pharmacies, and physicians of the population influx and ensure after hours availability
  • Notify and work closely with local public health when establishing and operating shelters
  • Ensure there are provisions made for local health professionals to access health records from the home health centre as required
  • Ensure there are provisions made for First Nations residents who do not have OHIP cards
  • Consider whether a coordinator is needed to ensure that people who leave the facility to access health care continue to receive the basic assistance provided by the host community

Support for Evacuees

  • Consider providing a quiet room where stressed evacuees may rest
  • Make contact with local First Nations groups/Friendship Centres who may be able to send volunteers with cultural and social familiarity (Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres)
  • Make contact with community/regional social services for specific supports that evacuees may require
  • Provide community information, including maps, to evacuees
  • Make arrangements for the personal needs of evacuees while being hosted by the community (e.g. extra clothing, personal supplies, etc.)

Security

  • The safety of evacuees is of paramount importance with people in an area that they may be unfamiliar
  • Determine the level of security or police support needed for the shelter facilities in cooperation with the Community Evacuation Liaison(s)
  • Evacuated community members may establish their own patrols to complement security (work with the Community Evacuation Liaison to discuss this possibility)
  • The home community police service may be able to provide guidance, support, and local knowledge of the evacuating population

On-site Operations

  • Designate an Incident Management Team
  • Ensure that on-site staff can be identified as representatives of the agencies/services they are with (i.e. government identification, Red Cross vests, etc.)
  • Ensure that emergency information on the hosting of evacuees is maintained with local media
  • Ensure flight/bus schedules are provided to on-site management for coordination purposes
  • Ensure critical positions and contact numbers have been provided to key people and positions, including the PEOC Duty Officer
  • Ensure liaisons are on-site or available (i.e. EMO, AANDC, MNR, etc.)
  • In a First Nation evacuation, AANDC should be consulted for extraordinary expenses not identified in the JEMS standard

Registration/Administration of Evacuees

  • If multiple flights are inbound or outbound, it may be advisable to establish a system for quickly identifying groups (family, community, flight/bus), such as providing each group with a coloured sheet of paper
  • Information that should be collected as part of the registration process include:

o All in-bound client information (first and last name, date of birth, age, sex)

o Place of origin

o People who have left the care of the host community (Emergency contact information should be collected)

o People who have gone offsite for additional care

o Return of people who had gone off-site for additional care

o Family member information

o Special needs

  • Consent to share the registration record with other agencies providing services to the evacuee
  • Copies of Registration lists should be provided to the PEOC which will then forward them to the following agencies:

o Ministry of Community and Social Services

o Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

o Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

o Health Canada

o Representatives of the evacuated community/First Nation

Out-bound Procedures and Manifests

  • Priority of return of evacuees is established by the community leadership with the assistance of the Community Evacuation Liaison(s) in the host community. Typically, evacuees are returned in the reverse order of evacuation (i.e. Stage 2 before Stage 1)
  • Host community staff will typically create a manifest based on the direction of the evacuated community leadership and liaison
  • Manifests should be posted in advance to facilitate a smooth transition from the shelter to buses
  • Luggage should be tagged and laid out. The group handling the luggage should bring the luggage to the plane or bus after it has been identified by the client
  • It may be advisable to utilize bulk weighing of evacuee’s luggage to expedite return transportation
  • Provide a copy of the manifest to the pilot or bus driver. To expedite the process, consider sending the manifest electronically after the flight/bus has departed
  • Ensure buses are scheduled on a rotating basis to avoid clogging the staging area and maximize the drivers crew day
  • Manifests should be shared with the PEOC, which will send them to the following agencies:

o Ministry of Community and Social Services

o Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

o Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

o Health Canada

o Representatives of the evacuated community/First Nation

Other Considerations

  • Ensure availability of back-up staff
  • Make arrangements for First Nation evacuees to receive Status cards if needed
  • Provide communications to local vendors regarding the use of Status cards if they are not often presented in the community

Annex 10: Community-Specific Return Plan Template

For Use by the Home Community, Host Community(s), Transportation Hub(s), Partner Ministries and Federal Departments, and the PEOC

mmunity-Specific Return Plan Template

Annex 11: Return Information for Evacuees

For Use by Communities15

turn Information for Evacuees

Annex 12: Termination of a Declaration of Emergency

For Use by Municipalities and First Nations

This document should be produced on Municipal or First Nation letterhead where possible

Termination of Emergency

(I)(We)____________________________________________ declare that the emergency related

(Mayor or Elected Head of Council or First Nations Chief)

to __________________________________ is terminated in accordance with the Emergency

(State the general description of the declared emergency)

Management and Civil Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990.

Signed ________________________________________

Title __________________________________________

This ______day of _______ 20___ at _______A.M./P.M.

In the Municipality or First Nation of

Send to Provincial Emergency Operations Centre Duty Officer @ 416-314-0474 or operations.emo@ontario.ca when completed. Contact the PEOC Duty Officer to confirm receipt of the termination.

Annex 13: Far North Risk Assessment

Introduction

A hazard can be defined as ‘a phenomenon, substance, human activity, or condition that may cause loss of life, injury or other health impacts, property damage, loss of livelihoods and services, social and economic disruption, or environmental damage. These may include natural, technological or human-caused incidents or some combination of these’ (EMO Glossary of Terms, 2011).

Communities in the far north of Ontario have experienced evacuations due to hazards in the past and are likely to do so in the future. This annex will assist in identifying the hazards most likely to necessitate an evacuation in the far north.

Hazards that are unlikely to result in a mass evacuation, but may still result in an internal evacuation of one section of a community to another section of that same community are noted but are not described in detail. The contents of this annex are based on the historical record of hazard events, past evacuations, and scientific studies.

Vulnerabilities of Far North Communities

The majority of the communities in the far north are fly-in communities with either no road access or seasonal road access during the winter months. As a result, these communities face an increased vulnerability since the lack of a road transportation network prevents community members from being able to self-evacuate, increases dependence on outside sources for evacuation transportation, and may result in a delay in the delivery of critical supplies and services, such as vital repairs to critical infrastructure. The remote locations of some of these communities has the potential to further slow the delivery of supplies and can slow the evacuation process since aircraft must make a longer trip to deliver evacuees to their destination before returning to the community to assist more evacuees.

The demographics of the communities in the far north reveal that many of these communities have a large percentage of their population under the age of nineteen. Children are considered a vulnerable group since they require adult supervision and assistance during the evacuation and subsequent stay in a host community.

Identified Hazards

The hazards identified as having occurred in the past, having the potential to occur in the future, and/or having the potential to significantly impact the province of Ontario were listed in the 2012 Ontario Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment. Of these 39 hazards, 14 were identified as having the potential to trigger a mass evacuation in the far north. (Note: This list is not exhaustive; new hazards may emerge, known hazards may evolve, or changes in vulnerability may lead to other hazards potentially having the ability to trigger a mass evacuation.)

The hazards listed below are divided into natural and technological hazards. Natural hazards are those that are caused by forces of nature (sometimes referred to as ‘Acts of God’). Technological hazards are hazards that ‘results from failure or misuse of technology, either intentional or unintentional, such as a power outage, cyber-attack, etc. (EMO Glossary of Terms, 2011).

Natural Hazards

Drinking Water Emergencies

Many of the communities in the far north are remote, and require supplies and equipment to be flown in. In the event that the water supply is not drinkable, the community will likely require bottled water and/or equipment to fix the problem to be flown in. This can result in a delay in obtaining drinking water. Other complications, such as poor weather conditions, can also delay the arrival of water supplies.

Flood

Many of the communities along the James Bay Coast are situated beside rivers or major tributaries and are often on land that is low in elevation. Adding to the flood risk for these communities is that the rivers flow northwards into the James Bay, increasing the likelihood of spring flooding. Buildings that have experienced water damage may have future mould growth problems.

Forest Fire

Forest fires are part of the natural cycle of the forest and some level of forest fire activity occurs each year. Fires can become a significant threat if they encroach upon the community or if thick smoke results in a severe decline of air quality. Smoke from the fire can also slow the evacuation process by hindering air transportation.

Freezing Rain

The weight of ice accumulation from a prolonged period of freezing rain can cause damage to buildings and tree limbs. The secondary hazards associated with freezing rain are more likely to trigger an evacuation than the primary hazard. Freezing rain can result in critical infrastructure failures such as power outages and can negatively impact transportation and may delay the arrival of supplies in a community.

Human Health Emergency

Whether a community would be evacuated due to a human health emergency greatly depends on the specifics of the emergency, including the type of health problem, transmission routes, treatment and management procedures, etc. Many communities in the far north rely on small local clinics for health care which may be overwhelmed in the event of a human health emergency or which may require additional supplies.

Landslide

The majority of landslides are localized. However, a landslide that results in significant damage to community infrastructure and triggers secondary hazards, such as critical infrastructure failures, may require evacuation.

Natural Space Object Crash (e.g. Asteroid)

This hazard is very unlikely since it occurs rarely and even if one should occur, it is still very unlikely that a community would be impacted due to the vast distances between communities in the far north. That said, this hazard is capable of triggering a mass evacuation, depending on factors such as the size of the object and the location of impact.

Tornado

Although they are primarily considered a southern Ontario hazard, tornadoes do occasionally occur in the far north. The lack of available sheltering options in most communities in the far north could result in an evacuation.

Windstorm

The effects of a strong windstorm can be similar to that of a tornado and may result in a need for sheltering options.

Technological Hazards

Building/Structural Collapse

This hazard on its own is unlikely to result in an evacuation, however, if the building or structure is a critical part of the community’s infrastructure (such as a wastewater treatment plant) and if it results in a critical infrastructure failure, an evacuation may be considered.

Critical Infrastructure Failure

Critical Infrastructure failures often occur as a secondary hazard, although in some instances (such as an equipment malfunction), they can be the primary hazard. In the event of a critical infrastructure failure, equipment and supplies may need to be flown to the community. Depending on the particular situation, obtaining the parts and the specific equipment may result in a delay in restoring the infrastructure. In the interim, supplies (such as generators in the case of a power outage) would need to be flown into the community.

Explosion/Fire

Remote communities in the far north may not have the equipment to suppress a fire or respond to an explosion. The loss of buildings from a fire may require sheltering. Depending on the number of buildings damaged or destroyed, an evacuation may be needed in order to shelter those affected.

Hazardous Materials Incident

Most communities have some form of hazardous materials on site. A hazardous material spill or release may threaten life and safety and may result in an area not being habitable until clean-up is completed.

Human-Made Space Object Crash (e.g. satellite)

This hazard is very unlikely to impact a community for reasons similar to natural space object crashes. However, should one occur it may result in damage and subsequently, the need for shelter. A human-made space object emergency may also have a hazardous materials component due to surviving fuel or radiological hazards.

Hazards and Declared Emergencies

The top hazards resulting in declared emergencies in the far north of Ontario (2006 – 2012), with the exception of declarations due to becoming a host community, include the following:

  • Forest Fire
  • Flood
  • Windstorm
  • Drinking Water Emergency
  • Hazardous Materials Incident
  • Explosion/Fire
  • Human Health Emergency
  • Tornado

Hazards and Evacuations

The hazards most likely to result in the evacuation of at least one hundred people in the far north based on past evacuations are:

  • Forest Fire
  • Flood
  • Hazardous Materials Incident
  • Drinking Water Emergency

According to the available data, forest fires and floods alone account for approximately 94% of all evacuations of greater than 100 people in the far north.

Summary

Communities in the far north of Ontario are vulnerable to many of the same hazards faced by southern communities. However, due to the geography, hydrology, ecology, and the remoteness of this region, communities in the far north are more likely to experience an evacuation of their entire community than communities farther south. Historically the main triggers for evacuations of greater than 100 people or the evacuations of several different communities in the far north have been forest fires and floods.

Annex 14: Far North Profile

tario's Far North

tario's Far North Travel Times

Annex 15: Evacuation Planning Assumptions

Real-time Threat Assessment

Real-time threat assessments help inform the decision to evacuate, the timing of evacuations, prioritization of resources, when it is safe to return, etc. The assessments must be informed by up-to-date information and be shared with those involved in the evacuation.

Optimization of Resources

Every effort must be made to optimize use of resources to expedite the evacuation. Resources include people, aircraft, trains, buses and other equipment and supplies. Time delays affect the pace at which communities can be evacuated.

Communication and information sharing

Communication is crucial to the success of any response operation. All partners should share information and the PEOC should ensure that information is collated and widely disseminated. Teleconferences should include those who have a need to know and be kept as short as is reasonable.

Liaison

Organizations should be prepared to deploy staff to affected communities, the PEOC, and other locations to support information sharing, and provide advice and assistance as required.

Maintaining Family and Community Unity

Family and community unity during an evacuation is critical. Evacuating communities, particularly families, should travel and be kept together whenever it is possible. Where it is not feasible to host communities together, efforts must be made to ensure that families are hosted together. This is integral for maintaining community cohesion and support services.

Annex 16: Liaison

Deployment of Staff to the Field

Decisions on the deployment of provincial and federal government representatives will depend on each organization’s decision-making processes. The general guidelines for deploying representatives are:

  • when a community requests assistance
  • when a community declares an emergency
  • when the real-time threat assessment indicates the need
  • when the organization needs to secure information on an ongoing basis.

Provincial staff, including staff from EMO, MNR, and/or MMAH, may be deployed to provide advice and assistance to an evacuating or host community, or a transportation hub.

Where provincial representatives are deployed will depend on the resources available, the needs of the communities, and the threat that has prompted the evacuation.

Consideration should be given to identifying a senior provincial official to coordinate deployed provincial assets and be the single point of provincial contact for deployed partners (federal, municipal, NGO, etc.). The senior provincial official may also be involved in the operation of a transportation hub as part as a unified command, depending on the command structure established locally.

If the evacuating community is not a First Nations community (when it is an evacuation of an unorganized territory or a municipality), MMAH may be in contact with evacuating and host communities to advise the community on the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program (ODRAP).

Representatives of the federal government may also deploy to support the evacuation according to their organizational mandate. For example, when the evacuation involves a First Nations community, AANDC may deploy staff to the evacuating First Nation community at the request of the First Nation leadership. AANDC will also send staff to transportation hubs and host communities to work with the Chief and Council, and/or community evacuation liaisons. AANDC representatives may also provide advice and assistance to the host community’s Emergency Control Group. The Canadian Forces may deploy staff to evacuating communities or transportation hubs to support their air operations. In addition, CF staff may assist in loading and off-loading planes if they are available. CF utilizes Canadian Rangers16 whenever possible, though they also maintain a number of regional liaison officers who may also be deployed.

Consideration should be given to pre-positioning representatives from partner organizations. In some situations, EMO may pre-deploy staff based on a known or recurrent threat (e.g. spring ice break-up on the James Bay coast, forest fire danger to populated areas). Though a community may not request a liaison, conditions may rapidly change. It is recommended that representatives are mobilized as soon as possible.

First Nation communities assign a community evacuation liaison, or liaisons, for each host community. These liaisons are instrumental in working with the host community’s Emergency Control Group, liaising with partner organizations, and working with their own community members. These community evacuation liaisons should be involved in planning for the return of evacuees. Municipalities that may be forced to evacuate are encouraged to follow the same model of assigning a community evacuation liaison.

The support provided by deployed staff depends on where and when they may be deployed. Supports may include the following:

  • coordinating emergency management (in terms of advice, established policies, procedures, responsibilities, agreements, resources available, etc.)
  • providing communications to the PEOC for provincial coordination purposes and to assist in maintaining situational awareness
  • participating in the after action process

In addition, specialized support may be requested of deployed staff from partner organizations as below:

Evacuating communities:

  • preparing manifests
  • loading aircraft
  • receiving information on the nature and characteristics of the threat

Transportation hubs:

  • setting up and operating a transportation hub
  • information on the transportation plan
  • assistance in providing services to the evacuees while they are in transit
  • logistics

Host communities:

  • services for evacuees
  • information on the implementation of the transportation plan
  • logistics

Prior to deployment, staff should receive a thorough situational briefing including information on their role. Changes in the situation or the role should be communicated as soon as possible.

The goal is for each evacuating and host community, and transportation hub to have a liaison. This involves communication between the partner agencies and the PEOC. Every effort should be made to coordinate communications among organization’s deployed staff in the community and between the deployed staff and the PEOC. The PEOC’s Field Coordination desk may be used to assist in this coordination.

Deployment of Staff to the PEOC

To effectively coordinate evacuations from Ontario’s far north, many partners work together. The PEOC is Ontario’s central point of coordination among all partners and should have representation from partners, including provincial ministries and federal departments, reflecting the nature of the emergency. If the evacuation involves First Nations communities, AANDC should be represented within the PEOC. The provincial MAA does not typically deploy to the PEOC, but may be available to provide assistance.

Individuals at the PEOC represent their organizations and facilitate communications and coordination between the PEOC and their organization. This information exchange is integral to a successful evacuation.

Responsibilities of organizational representatives may include the following:

  • Attending briefings and participating in the operational planning process.
  • Determining specific resource/information requirements for their organization.
  • Providing information on their organization’s resources, capabilities, and restrictions on use.
  • Anticipating and identifying future resource needs.
  • Committing their organization’s resources to specific undertakings.
  • Reviewing and coordinating policies, procedures, and agreements.
  • Liaising with other organizations.
  • Reporting to their home organization.
  • Participating in the after action process.

In prolonged or wide-scale emergencies, EMO may request assistance from other provinces and territories according to the provinces and territories Memorandum of Understanding for Inter-jurisdictional Emergency Management Assistance.

Annex 17: Finance and Administration

Financial authority and direction for an evacuation will be established early in the operation and communicated as early as possible to partners through the PEOC. This may be reassessed as required. Detailed tracking of expenses should be maintained by all partners supporting the evacuation and reconciled during or shortly after the demobilization process.

Within the Government of Ontario, MMAH coordinates extraordinary emergency-related expenditures. MMAH will be alerted early in the process by PEOC.

The financial authority for First Nation evacuations rests with the Government of Canada through AANDC. Information on eligible expenditures is detailed in the Joint Emergency Management Steering Committee Service Level Evacuation Standards.

If an evacuation involves a municipality, the municipality will be responsible for costs incurred for the evacuation. The municipality may contact the MMAH for information on the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program (ODRAP).

The provincial response to emergencies in unorganized territories lies with the relevant OIC ministry. If there is no appropriate OIC ministry, MCSCS will be the primary ministry through the PEOC.

In the case of evacuations involving private operations, such as mining operations or fly-in lodges, those entities will be responsible for bearing the costs of the evacuation.

Annex 18: Command Structure

It is recommended that the Incident Management System (IMS), which is used routinely by the PEOC and all provincial ministries, as well as many other organizations at the federal, local and NGO levels, be used by all parties. For more information about IMS, please go to (www.ontario.ca/ims).

The recommended approach is to establish a unified command structure that supports input by all impacted jurisdictions. The specifics of how such organizations will collaborate are situational and therefore dependent on the scenario and requirements at the time of an incident that leads to an evacuation.

Command and control in an evacuation will need to focus on two aspects of the emergency:

  • managing the hazard
  • managing the evacuation

Considerations may be given to the feasibility of combining the management of the two into one structure or keeping them separate. Again, this will be situation-dependent.

A key requirement and outcome for command and control is to ensure that there is coordination among all activated components, organizations, and plans.

Annex 19: References

This annex provides the references and related standards that have influences the development of the plan. Where documents are available on the internet, links have been provided.

Acknowledgements

The Ontario Mass Evacuation Plan Part 1: Far North was produced as part of Ontario’s efforts to continuously improve its emergency management programs. The development of this plan was sponsored by the Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief of Emergency Management Ontario; spearheaded by Emergency Management Ontario; and supported by communities, ministries, federal departments, and non-governmental organizations.

EMO gratefully acknowledges the generous contributions made by our partners, including:

  • Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
  • Canadian Forces
  • Canadian Red Cross
  • City of Dryden
  • City of Ottawa
  • City of Thunder Bay
  • City of Toronto
  • City of Windsor
  • County of Wellington
  • Environment Canada
  • Municipality of Greenstone
  • Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs
  • Ministry of Children and Youth Services
  • Ministry of Community and Social Services
  • Ministry of the Environment
  • Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
  • Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
  • Ministry of Natural Resources
  • Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
  • Ministry of Transportation
  • Ontario Motor Coach Association
  • Nishnawbe Aski Nation
  • Public Safety Canada
  • Region of Peel
  • Region of Waterloo
  • Town of Kapuskasing
  • Town of Smiths Falls
  • Township of Wellington North
  • United Counties of Leeds and Grenville
  • York Region

Acronym List

AANDC Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

ASC Aviation Service Centre

CCAC Community Care Access Centre

CF Canadian Forces

CRC Canadian Red Cross

EC Environment Canada

EMCPA Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act

EOC Emergency Operations Centre

EMO Emergency Management Ontario

GOC Government [of Canada] Operations Centre

HC Health Canada

HIRA Hazard Identification Risk Assessment

IMS Incident Management System

JEIC Joint Emergency Information Centre

JEMS Joint Emergency Management Steering Committee

LHIN Local Health Integration Network

MAA Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs

MCSCS Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services

MCSS Ministry of Community and Social Services

MEOC Ministry Emergency Operations Centre

MOE Ministry of the Environment

MOHLTC Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

MMAH Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

MNR Ministry of Natural Resources

MTO Ministry of Transportation

NGO Non-governmental Organization

NRCAN Natural Resources Canada

ODRAP Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program

OHIP Ontario Health Insurance Plan

OIC Order in Council

OMEP Ontario Mass Evacuation Plan

OPP Ontario Provincial Police

OW Ontario Works

PEOC Provincial Emergency Operations Centre

PERP Provincial Emergency Response Plan

PS Public Safety Canada

SA Salvation Army

SJA St. John’s Ambulance

1 A set of standards for hosting First Nations community members in the event of an evacuation is in place. Known as the JEMS Service Level Evacuation Standards, they were created by the Joint Emergency Management Steering Committee (JEMS). The Standards provide guidance on allowable expenditures, hosting arrangements, feeding and personal services, health services, family reunification, among other things.

2 An unorganized territory (area) is a geographic region that does not form part of a municipality or First Nation (Municipal Act, 2001). The lowest level of government is provincial. District Social Services Administration Boards are formed to administer social services (e.g. Ontario Works) and Local Service Boards may be formed to provide some municipal services (e.g. garbage pick-up, fire response, etc.) (Northern Services Boards Act, 1990).

3 As mining initiatives in Ontario’s far north develop (in a zone also referred to as the Ring of Fire), this plan will be reviewed and adjusted accordingly.

4 This plan is written for the Far North; however, elements may also apply to evacuations in other areas of the province (e.g. the fly-in/ferry community of Pelee Island in south-western Ontario).

5 In the context of the OMEP1, an authorized entity may be a person delegated the responsibility of Head of Council or First Nation Chief in their absence. If the community is an unorganized territory, the authorized entity is typically a provincial official with the ministry having jurisdiction of the hazard that has precipitated the evacuation.

6 Emergency social services may include emergency shelter, food and clothing, registration and inquiry services, and personal services. Municipal delivery models of emergency social services vary in terms of departments involved, level of government involvement (e.g. upper or lower tier), or whether the municipality contracts the service to another provider (e.g. NGO).

7 Transportation hubs are places where passengers and cargo are exchanged between vehicles or modes of transportation. Transportation hubs may be air, ground, or combined depending on the incoming and outgoing modes being used.

* Indicates information that may, in whole or in part, be compiled prior to an emergency

9 An aerodrome is a location from which aircraft flight operations take place (Transport Canada, 2012). A water aerodrome is an area of open water used regularly by seaplanes or amphibious aircraft for landing and taking off. Aerodromes include small general aviation airfields, large commercial airports, and military airbases.

10 Shelter-in-place refers to the process of taking shelter in a location and sealing the location from outside contaminants (e.g. smoke).

11 Refer to the current Standard for any updates.

12 The JEMS Standard outlines the reunification process for families that become separated during an evacuation of a First Nation. An inquiry service may also be established wherein evacuees can trace family and community members and make contact with them (e.g. CRC Inquiry services)

13 An aerodrome is a location from which aircraft flight operations take place (Transport Canada, 2012). A water aerodrome is an area of open water used regularly by seaplanes or amphibious aircraft for landing and taking off. Aerodromes include small general aviation airfields, large commercial airports, and military airbases.

14 The Joint Emergency Management Steering Committee Service Level Evacuation Standards were established to set out responsibilities during an evacuation of a First Nation community. This standard can also serve to guide an evacuation of a municipality or unorganized territory

15 Return Information Sheet is also available in Cree, Ojibwe, and Oji-Cree.

16 Canadian Rangers are members of the Canadian Forces reserve. Patrols are maintained across northern Ontario. Members are often member of First Nations and maintain strong linkages in the communities they serve.