Emergency Response Plans
EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLANS
Province of Ontario Emergency Response Plan (2008)
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The Province of Ontario Emergency Response Plan has been formulated pursuant to Section 8.1 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.E.9, and its associated Order in Council, O.C. 1492/2005 dated September 21, 2005.
The Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (the Act) includes the provision that the Minister, MCSCS may formulate emergency plans respecting types of emergencies other than those arising in connection with nuclear facilities. The Province of Ontario Emergency Response Plan, also referred to as the Provincial Emergency Response Plan (PERP), fulfils the above provision of the Act. It is an umbrella emergency response plan for the coordination of provincial response to any emergency.
The PERP describes the arrangements and measures that may be taken to safeguard the health, safety, welfare and property of the people of Ontario affected by an emergency. It sets out the basic mechanisms, organizational structures, responsibilities, and procedures to guide Ministers and their staff when involved in a coordinated provincial response to emergencies in Ontario. It also serves as the foundation for the development and coordination of provincial plans with those of municipalities, First Nations, and the Government of Canada and its agencies.
While the focus of this plan is on emergency response, it also recognizes the important link to prevention, mitigation, preparedness (plans, training, public education, exercises, and emergency information), and recovery, as proactive components that are critical elements in any emergency response.
Emergency Management Ontario (EMO) is the organization charged with responsibility to monitor, coordinate, and assist with the promotion, development, implementation and maintenance of emergency management programs in Ontario. EMO was also charged with the responsibility for writing the PERP, and it is an avenue through which to fulfil its mandate for emergency management across the province.
This edition of the PERP supersedes and replaces the Provincial Emergency Response Plan, dated December 2005.
1.1.1 Components of Emergency Management
An emergency is a situation or an impending situation that constitutes a danger of major proportions that could result in serious harm to persons or substantial damage to property and that is caused by the forces of nature, a disease or other health risk, an accident, or an act whether intentional or otherwise. These situations could threaten public safety, public health, the environment, property, critical infrastructure and economic stability.
Emergency management consists of organized programs and activities taken to deal with actual or potential emergencies or disasters. It is based on a risk management approach and includes the following five components:
Prevention refers to the actions taken to prevent the emergency itself and can greatly diminish the response and recovery activities required for certain emergencies. It may result in a long-term, cost-effective reduction of risk. Prevention measures are broadly classified as either structural or non-structural and include capital improvements, regulations, building codes and public education programs.
Mitigation refers to the actions taken to reduce or eliminate the effects of an emergency. It can also greatly diminish the response and recovery activities required for certain emergencies and may result in a long-term, cost-effective reduction of risk. Similar to prevention, mitigation measures are broadly classified as either structural or non-structural and include capital improvements, regulations, building codes and public education programs.
Preparedness refers to those measures taken prior to the emergency or disaster to ensure an effective response. Preparedness measures include plans, training, exercises, public education, alerting and notification systems, procedures, organization, infrastructure protection, and standards.
Response refers to measures taken to respond to an emergency. The aim of these measures is to ensure that a controlled, coordinated, and effective response is quickly undertaken at the outset of the emergency to minimize its impact on public safety. When an emergency occurs, the immediate focus of operations is on meeting the emergency needs of people, saving lives, and protecting property and the environment. This effort may last from a few hours to several days or longer, depending on the situation. As response activities begin to taper off, the operational focus begins to shift from response to recovery. The transition from response to recovery must be as smooth and as seamless as possible.
Recovery refers to those measures taken to recover from an emergency or disaster. The aim of these measures is to assist individuals, businesses and communities to return to a state of normalcy. Recovery measures include environmental clean-up, return of evacuees, emergency financial assistance, and critical incident stress counseling. Recovery activities usually begin almost as soon as the response begins and continue after the response activities cease.
1.1.2 General Emergency Management
Emergency Management Ontario (EMO) is the overall provincial emergency management organization, and is responsible for the promotion, development, implementation and maintenance of effective emergency management programs throughout Ontario, and for the coordination of these programs with the federal government. In fulfilling this special coordination role, EMO coordinates the provincial emergency response through the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre, when required; provides advice and assistance to communities and ministries in all areas of emergency management; and, maintains two provincial level emergency response plans – the Provincial Nuclear Emergency Response Plan, and the Provincial Emergency Response Plan (PERP).
The PERP is the plan that is used to coordinate overall provincial emergency response and outlines how EMO and the ministries respond to widespread or large-scale emergencies.
1.1.3 General Characteristics of Emergencies and their Impacts
Emergencies vary in intensity and complexity depending on factors such as time of occurrence, weather conditions, severity of impact, nature of the affected infrastructure and buildings, and demographics. In most instances, for emergencies outside the capability of the individual, families or businesses, communities1 manage emergencies. They do this either as a matter of routine by emergency responders (including police, fire and Emergency Medical Service (EMS)), or by implementing their emergency response plan, with or without declaring an emergency.
Occasionally, emergencies arise that overwhelm the capacity of community authorities to completely carry out the emergency response operations necessary to save lives and protect property. On these occasions, direct provincial government assistance may be necessary to support emergency response activities. Consequently, there is a need for a plan that provides the means by which the following can occur:
- The province can be made aware of the threat or onset of an emergency;
- Provincial resources can be coordinated and directed to assist communities;
- If necessary, the province can declare an emergency and directly control the commitment and application of provincial resources, and possibly those of affected and unaffected communities.
- Federal response support can be requested.
- Provincial response support can be provided to the Government of Canada in the event of a national emergency.
The aim of the PERP is to establish a framework for a systematic, coordinated and effective emergency response by the Province of Ontario to safeguard the health, safety, welfare and property of its citizens, as well as to protect the environment and economy of the area affected by an emergency, excluding nuclear emergencies.
The federal government, through Public Safety Canada (PS) is responsible for the national emergency response system. In the event of a national emergency, the federal government will implement its emergency response plans and, under the following legislation, will consult with the Province of Ontario.
a. Constitution Act, 1867
The Province has exclusive jurisdiction for matters of property and civil rights in the province and for all matters that affect the public health, safety and environment of the province, under this Act.
b. Emergency Management Act
i. The federal Governor in Council can declare a public welfare emergency, which includes an emergency caused by a real or imminent accident or pollution resulting in danger to life or property, social disruption or breakdown in the flow of essential goods and services, so serious as to be a national emergency.
ii. While a declaration of a public welfare emergency is in effect, the Governor in Council may make necessary orders or regulations that are necessary to deal with the emergency. The orders or regulations made by the Governor in Council should not unduly impair the ability of the province to take measures, under provincial legislation, for dealing with the emergency.
iii. The Governor in Council must consult the provinces that are affected by the emergency before issuing a declaration of public welfare emergency. However, where the effects of a public welfare emergency are confined to one province, the federal government will not issue a declaration of a public welfare emergency or take other steps unless the Lieutenant Governor of the province has indicated to the federal Governor in Council that the emergency exceeds the capacity of the province to deal with it.
c. First Nations Emergency Assistance Agreement
The federal government has also made arrangements with First Nations and with the province concerning emergency preparedness and response activities in Ontario under which the province agrees to provide assistance in emergency preparedness and response to First Nations communities. This assistance is provided on request from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) or a First Nations community.
d. Nishnawbe-Aski Nation Protocol Agreement
This is a protocol between the Nishnawbe-Aski Nation (NAN), INAC and the Government of Ontario by which NAN is responsible for emergency preparedness, planning and evacuation; the federal government provides support and funding; and the province of Ontario, through Emergency Management Ontario (EMO), provides liaison and coordination with provincial ministries.
The Ontario government is responsible for protecting public health and safety, property and the environment within its borders. The following sections outline the legislative and regulatory framework associated with this responsibility.
Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act
- The legal basis for emergency management in Ontario is the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act R.S.O. 1990, ChapterE.9, (hereafter referred to as the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act or the Act).
- The Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services (Minister, MCSCS) formulates the PERP under authority of subsection 8.1 of the Act. In that respect, this plan may be used for all types of emergencies other than those arising in connection with nuclear facilities.
- References in this plan to the Minister, MCSCS will refer to those powers vested in the Solicitor General by the Act2.
- Pursuant to section 6 of the Act, ministers of the crown presiding over a ministry of the Government of Ontario and agencies, boards, commissions or other branches of government designated by the Lieutenant Governor in Council shall formulate emergency plans for the type of emergency assigned by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
- Powers to declare an emergency are conferred upon the Lieutenant Governor in Council and the Premier of Ontario section 7.0.1 of the Act. Pursuant to this section the LGIC may declare a provincial emergency if the resources normally available to the government are considered insufficient to respond adequately to the crisis (please also see Declaration Criteria in s.3.4)
- Declaration of a provincial emergency may also be made by the Premier of Ontario, if the urgency of the situation requires that such a declaration be made immediately. Such emergency declaration is subject to the criteria set out in the legislation governing emergency declarations.
- Pursuant to section 7.0.2(4) of the Act, the LGIC has the power to make emergency orders to promote the public good by protecting the health, safety and welfare of the People of Ontario in times of declared emergencies in a manner that is subject to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and must be carried out in a manner that limits their intrusiveness. Subsection 7.0.2 (4) of the Act lays out the matters in respect of which orders may be made. These orders may only be made once a provincial declaration of emergency has been made.
- Pursuant to section 7.0.4(1) of the Act, the LGIC may delegate the emergency order making powers in clause vii to a Minister or to the Deputy Minister of Emergency Planning and Management/Commissioner of Emergency Management, hereinafter to be referred to as Deputy Minister of Emergency Planning and Management.3 Further, a Minister to whom these powers have been delegated may delegate them to the Deputy Minister of Emergency Planning and Management.
- Ministers’ emergency plans shall authorize Crown employees to take action under the emergency plans where an emergency exists but has not yet been declared to exist (section 9(a) of the Act).
- Ministers of the Crown and Crown employees are protected from personal liability for doing any act or neglecting to do any act in good faith in the implementation or intended implementation of emergency plans such as the PERP (subsection 11 (1) of the Act).
- Pursuant to section 14 of the Act, ministry emergency plans shall conform to the standards set out in regulations under the Act.
- Ontario Regulation 380/04
Ontario Regulation 380/04, which came into effect December 31, 2004, sets out the Ministry Standards for emergency management programs, which include ministry emergency response plans (MERPs) as well as continuity of operations plans.
Order in Council
Pursuant to subsection 6(1) of the Act, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may assign to a minister, the responsibility for the formulation of an emergency response plan to address a specific type of emergency. The current Order in Council (OIC) assigning responsibilities to ministers is included as Annex A.
Ontario municipalities possess legislated responsibilities to establish emergency management programs under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. The Act also defines the relationship between the Province and municipalities during actual emergencies. Some of the key provisions of the Act for municipalities are listed below:
- Adoption by By-Law. Pursuant to section 3 of the Act, municipalities shall formulate plans to respond to emergencies and adopt these plans by by-law.
- Services. Municipal plans should reflect the coordination of services provided by all levels of local government in a given community. Services provided by both upper and lower tiers, as well as municipal boards, should be included.
- Conformity with upper-tier plan. Pursuant to section 5 of the Act, the plans of lower-tier municipalities in an upper-tier municipality, excluding a county, shall conform to the plan of their upper-tier municipality.
- Authority to act prior to Declaration. Municipal emergency plans shall authorize municipal employees to take action under emergency plans where an emergency exists but has not yet been declared to exist (subsection 9. (a) of the Act).
- Protection from personal liability. Members of council and municipal employees are protected from personal liability for doing any act or neglecting to do any act in good faith in the implementation or intended implementation of emergency plans such as the PERP (subsection 11 (1) of the Act).
- Designating specific emergencies. Pursuant to subsection 3. (4) of the Act, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may designate a municipality to address a specific type of emergency in its emergency plans.
- Emergency Powers of the Premier. Pursuant to subsection 7.0.3(2) (a) of the Act, during a declared emergency, the Premier may direct and control the administration, facilities and equipment of the affected municipality.
- Assistance by Municipalities. Pursuant to subsection 7. 0.3(2) (b) of the Act, during a declared emergency the Premier, by order, may require any municipality to provide necessary assistance to an emergency area outside the jurisdiction of said municipality, and may also direct and control the provision of such assistance.
- County coordination. Counties, with the consent of their municipalities, may coordinate the emergency plans for their municipalities under subsection 3. (3) of the Act.
- Conformity to Standards. Pursuant to section 14 of the Act, municipal emergency response plans shall conform to the standards set by the Minister, MCSCS.
- Ontario Regulation 380/04. Ontario Regulation 380/04, which came into effect December 31, 2004, sets out the Municipal Standards for emergency management programs, which include municipal emergency response plans.
1.3.3 Unorganized Territories
Coordination of provincial response to emergencies that occur in the North and in unorganized territories is the responsibility of the ministry to which the type of emergency that has occurred has been assigned through the OIC. MNDM is only responsible for abandoned mine emergencies and for providing support to the primary ministries for all other types of incidents. If an emergency that has not been identified within the OIC occurs, MCSCS will be the primary ministry.
1.4.1 The PERP addresses the emergency situations and disasters likely to occur as a result of the hazards described in the Provincial Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) Report4.
1.4.2 The PERP reflects the provisions of the Act and its associated OIC that assigns specific provincial responsibilities for types of emergencies to specific ministers. These provisions also apply generally to agencies, boards and commissions (ABCs) designated by the Lieutenant Governor in Council5. The concepts and procedures for use by provincial and municipal officials in their respective emergency response plans are outlined in this plan.
1.4.3 Nuclear emergencies are dealt with separately in the Provincial Nuclear Emergency Response Plan (PNERP)6. It is accepted that a nuclear emergency may nevertheless require the simultaneous implementation of the PERP to address many non-nuclear outcomes of such an emergency. Also, the PERP may need to be implemented as a result of terrorist incidents. Provincial resources deployed to deal with a significant hazardous materials incident could fall under the Provincial Counter-Terrorism Plan (PCTP)7 and the Supporting Plan for Terrorism Consequence Management (SPTCM)8, should there be a subsequent determination that the incident is terrorist related.
1.4.4 Subsection 6.1 of the Act mandates the Chief, EMO under the direction of the Minister, MCSCS, with co-ordinating emergency management programs under sections 2.1 (for municipalities) and 5.1 (for ministries). Such emergency management programs include emergency plans, and to that end the PERP outlines general coordination requirements that all provincial ministries and municipalities should incorporate, as appropriate, into their emergency plans. Those that have been assigned, under the OIC, the responsibility for a type of emergency, are expected to ensure that their emergency response plans are consistent with the PERP and coordinated in so far as possible with the emergency plans of other ministries.
1.4.5 Ministries whose ministers have been assigned responsibilities under the OIC are considered to be “Full Program Ministries”, and during an emergency that is assigned, the applicable ministry would be expected to act as the primary response ministry. In such a case, all other ministries would be expected to act in a supporting role, within their competencies. In addition, all Agencies, Boards and Commissions (ABCs) and any other branch of government would also be expected to provide a supporting role within their competencies.
1.4.6 Provincial officials with responsibilities reflected in this PERP are responsible for familiarizing themselves and their personnel with the contents of the plan, and for developing procedures for carrying out their responsibilities.
1.4.7 Provincial ministries and organizations engaged in outsourcing and/or contracting-out services should include provision for emergency preparedness and response activities as part of the overall service agreement. This would include, for example, provision for participation in emergency training and exercises.
1.4.8 The procedures for carrying out responsibilities, as set out in the PERP, should be incorporated into ministry and municipality plans. EMO will monitor, coordinate and assist with the development and maintenance of such plans.
1.5.1 The Chief, EMO, has the responsibility for monitoring, coordinating, and assisting in the development and implementation of municipal and provincial emergency management programs throughout Ontario. The Chief, EMO, is also charged with the responsibility “for ensuring that those programs are co-ordinated in so far as possible with emergency management programs and emergency plans of the Government of Canada and its agencies”.
The structure for, and relationships between Ontario’s Emergency Response Plans encompasses several elements (see Figure 1.1 below), as follows:
1.6.1 Provincial Master Plan
The PERP should be viewed as the provincial master plan. It describes both Ontario’s structure and processes for managing emergency responses, as well as the structure to be used by EMO in coordinating a provincial emergency response. It is designed to integrate the efforts and resources of the Province of Ontario, municipalities, the private sector, and other nongovernmental organizations. This plan includes planning assumptions, roles and responsibilities, concept of operations, and plan maintenance instructions.
1.6.2 Ministry Emergency Response Plans
Provincial ministries that are assigned a type of emergency by the OIC will produce emergency response plans according to their assigned type of emergency, to enable the Province of Ontario to respond effectively to each emergency. These MERPs will be expected to support provincial emergency response, and be supporting and complementary to the PERP. The number and size of MERPs will be as determined by each ministry.
1.6.3 Provincial Coordination Plans
These plans identify issues arising from provincial emergencies that require a broader response than a primary ministry’s response capabilities, and outline how inter-ministerial issues will be coordinated.
1.6.4 Municipal Emergency Response Plans
Municipal emergency response plans are mandated by the Act and regulations.
1.6.5 Municipal Police Service Emergency Response Plans
Under section 26(2) of Ontario Regulation 3/99 on “Adequacy and Effectiveness of Police Services”, made under the Police Services Act, the Chief of Police may adopt the municipality’s emergency plan as the police service’s emergency plan if it addresses the role and duties of the police service during an emergency, and the procedures to be followed by members of the police service during an emergency.
The PERP is effective for planning and for operational purposes to assure the coordination of provincial emergency responses in circumstances when:
a. An emergency/disaster occurs or is imminent, and requires a coordinated provincial response;
b. A declared municipal emergency requires a coordinated provincial response;
c. An emergency is declared by the LGIC or the Premier;
d. Directed by a Minister who has been designated by the Premier to exercise the Premier’s emergency powers;
e. A minister assigned a type of emergency requests assistance from the Minister, MCSCS;
f. Directed by the Deputy Minister of Emergency Planning and Management;
g. Directed by the Chief, EMO, or designate; or,
h. A federal emergency is declared.
ONTARIO’S EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLANS STRUCTURE and RELATIONSHIPS (NON-NUCLEAR EMERGENCIES)
The PERP is administered by the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.
Copies of the PERP will be distributed according to the PERP Distribution List attached.
1.8.4 Approval and Upkeep
a. Pursuant to section 8 of the EMCPA, the approval authority for the Provincial Emergency Response Plan (PERP) is the Minister, MCSCS.
b. The PERP shall be fully reviewed, amended and brought forward for Ministerial approval at least once every four years.
c. Technical amendments to the plan shall be made annually by EMO.
d. The review process for the PERP shall include appropriate consultations with stakeholders to ensure that the plan reflects current emergency response directives, changes to legislation and/or other changes to address best practice emergency management methodologies.
1.9.1 Under the provisions of the Act, every minister, Agency, Board and Commission as designated by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, and municipality shall conduct training programs and exercises to ensure the readiness of Crown and municipal employees, respectively, and other persons to act under their emergency response plan. Regulations mandate that the members of each Ministry Action Group (MAG) and Municipal Emergency Control Group (MECG) complete the annual training that is required by the Chief, EMO. Additionally, MAGs and MECGs must conduct an annual practice exercise for a simulated emergency incident in order to evaluate the respective ministry and municipal emergency response plan and their own procedures. (Section 3 (7), Regulation 380/04)
1.9.2 If determined necessary as a result of these evaluations, ministries and municipalities must revise their procedures and make recommendations to the minister and council as appropriate, for the revision of their respective emergency response plan. (Section 3 (8), Regulation 380/04)
1.9.3 The Chief, EMO will develop and deliver the provincial emergency management training program. The Chief, EMO may also provide advice and assistance to ministers and municipalities for the development of their emergency management training programs.
1.9.4 Additionally, the Chief, EMO shall coordinate a comprehensive provincial exercise program as follows:
a. It will consist of both doctrine and policy for developing an exercise program;
b. It will include the process for programming, planning, conducting, evaluating, and reporting on exercises, as well as a corrective action program; and
c. It will be risk-based and include a range of exercise activities of varying degrees of complexity and interaction.
1.10.1 The status of emergency response plans in all jurisdictions should be described according to the following phrases, which should appear on the cover and title pages, and could also appear at the top or bottom of each page of any emergency response plan.
1.10.2 Draft Plan
Denotes a plan which is in the process of development, is subject to change as a result of internal or external review, and is also still subject to various approvals. The plan description should include the term “Draft Plan”, as well as the date issued, e.g. Draft Plan, November 2004.
1.10.3 Interim Plan
Denotes a plan that has been extensively reviewed, which may or may not have been exercised or evaluated, and has yet to receive final approvals. An Interim Plan is considered a working document and would be used to respond to an actual emergency. The plan description should include the term Interim Plan and the date issued, e.g. Interim Plan - July 23, 1998.
1.10.4 Approved Plan
Denotes a plan which has completed the review process, has likely been exercised and evaluated, and has received all of the necessary approvals. Such a plan is considered “published”. The PERP requires the approval of the Minister, MCSCS. Ministry plans generally require their Minister’s approval whereas municipal non-nuclear plans require passage of a by-law by council. The plan description should include the term Approved Plan and the date approved for implementation, e.g. Approved Plan - July 23, 1998.
Note that these plans are sequential, i.e., an Interim Plan takes precedence over and replaces a Draft Plan, and an Approved Plan similarly takes precedence over and replaces an Interim Plan. Depending on how plan development and approvals proceed, it may not always be necessary to have an Interim Plan.
A number of key terms and names and their acronyms are used throughout the PERP. These are defined in the Provincial Glossary of Terms. A copy of the Provincial Glossary of Terms is included as Annex D, with a list of Acronyms at Appendix 1.
The PERP is one of several documents that provide a strategic, coherent and integrated approach to emergency management in Ontario, as per Figure 1.2 below:
2.1.1 Hazard Analysis and Planning
a. The Provincial Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) Report, which provides a methodology for analyzing hazards and assesses the province’s vulnerability to potential hazards, forms the basis for the PERP. Subsections 2.1 (3) and 5.1 (2) of the Act mandates every municipality and every minister of the Crown and designated ABCs or other branch of government, to conduct a HIRA on facilities and other infrastructure that they are responsible for.
b. Many responsibilities and functions performed during an emergency are not hazard-specific. Duplication and confusion can be kept to a minimum and the ability to conduct comprehensive, coordinated operations may be enhanced through the implementation of multi-disciplined actions that may be carried out irrespective of the hazard involved. In many cases, these multi-disciplined actions parallel the normal day-to-day responsibilities and functions of provincial ministries and communities.
2.1.2 Graduated Problem-Solving
a. A disaster can occur with little or no warning and can cause an extreme emergency condition in any area of the province.
b. Emergencies vary in scope and intensity, from small, localized incidents, with minimal damage, to multi-jurisdictional disasters with extensive devastation and loss of life. They can escalate more rapidly than individuals or community response organizations are able to handle.
c. Individuals/families are expected to be able to respond to an emergency and be self-sufficient for the first 72 hours.
d. Communities have capabilities, plans and procedures to provide for the safety of their citizens in a time of emergency. They will execute the initial response using community resources as well as resources through mutual aid/assistance agreements.
e. The Province of Ontario has emergency resources and expertise that may be used to satisfy emergency response needs that are beyond the capabilities of communities.
f. The province may provide emergency response assistance that is supplemental to, and not a substitute for, community resources.
g. Provincial assistance to communities is not dependent on a formal declaration of emergency by a community, except where prior agreements are in place.
h. Should the emergency exceed community capabilities, the LGIC or the Premier may declare a provincial emergency and the premier or a designated minister may coordinate all emergency responses.
i. Should the situation exceed the provincial capability the Premier or a designated minister may request emergency response assistance from the federal government.
Priorities when conducting emergency response operations are:
a. Saving lives by meeting the immediate emergency needs of people, including rescue, medical care, food, shelter, and clothing;
b. Protecting property and the environment from imminent threats;
c. Coordinating the restoration of critical infrastructure and services that are essential to the health, safety, and welfare of people (such as medical, sanitation, water, electricity, and emergency road repair); and
d. Mitigating hazards that pose further threat to life, property, the economy and the environment.
2.3.2 Normally, the response to an emergency begins with the individual/family, and may escalate successively to involve the affected community, mutual aid/assistance from neighbouring services/municipalities/communities, and from the county or region and associated services. Resources from the province or even the federal government may also be required, depending upon the nature and severity of the incident. This is Ontario’s graduated problem solving, or “bottom-up” approach to emergency response.
2.3.3 A situation occurring at the international or national level may reverse or otherwise change the normal “bottom-up” approach to response.
2.3.4 The province may become involved at an early stage by either monitoring and/or responding directly to the emergency (e.g. through resources provided by the Ontario Provincial Police, Spills Action Centre, or Ministry of Natural Resources). In responding to an emergency, a ministry may implement provisions from its ministry emergency response plan formulated for the type of emergency assigned to it.
2.3.5 Potential and actual emergencies should be reported promptly to the PEOC. These reports may come from many sources, including ministries specified in the OIC.
2.3.6 The PEOC will monitor the potential or actual emergency and the on-going response. Should an emergency require a coordinated provincial response or should a ministry require assistance in responding to the emergency, the necessary provisions of the PERP will be implemented. This could include augmenting PEOC staffing to an appropriate level.
2.3.7 As the emergency grows in size or complexity, the province will implement further provisions from the PERP as circumstances dictate. All provisions implemented will focus on enhancing a coordinated provincial response and resolving the emergency.
2.3.8 Community and/or ministry officials may begin responding immediately, without having to await a formal declaration of an emergency. All affected levels of government should remain fully engaged in the emergency response despite the involvement or declaration by other levels of government.
2.4.1 The provision of assistance from one level of government to another or one ministry to another does not in itself constitute a need to declare an emergency. When normal powers and procedures will suffice, an emergency need not be declared.
2.4.2 A declaration of emergency should be made at the lowest level of jurisdiction. Accordingly, it should seldom be necessary to declare a provincial or federal emergency even though resources from these jurisdictions will frequently be provided in support of an emergency declared by a municipality or a First Nation.
2.4.3 In declaring an emergency, the size of the emergency area to be designated should be sufficiently large to ensure public safety while also avoiding the unnecessary disruption of business and public and private activities.
Declaration and termination of emergencies are more fully covered in Chapter 3.
2.5.1 Normally, emergencies arise and are dealt with at the community level. In some cases, prior warning may come from outside organizations that have access to scientific methods of predicting floods, forest fires, and severe weather. Where reliable prediction is possible, action can be taken before the onset of an emergency.
2.5.2 In some situations, more than one community may be threatened, necessitating emergency responses by several communities simultaneously. In these situations, each community would be expected to respond using its resources in accordance with its own plan.
2.5.3 Where regional government is in place, regional authorities may implement the regional plan and directly control the application of resources under their jurisdiction. If they are well coordinated, the plans of a regional municipality and its area municipalities should be mutually supporting.
2.5.4 Where a county government is in place, county authorities may implement the county plan and directly control the application of resources under their jurisdiction. Counties may also, with the consent of their constituent municipalities, coordinate planning and response activities with those lower-tiers.
2.5.5 Provincial and federal resources may be provided in support of municipal or community emergency operations. However, the provision of resources alone from the provincial or federal government would not in itself necessitate any change in jurisdictional arrangements.
2.6.1 The Act requires each ministry or Agency, Board or Commission that has been assigned a type of emergency to formulate an emergency plan for the type of emergency assigned to it. These plans, governing the provision of necessary services, together with the procedures by which Crown employees and other persons are to respond, constitute the initial provincial emergency response.
2.6.2 In addition, the general responsibility of the Province to its citizens means that any minister and ministry, depending on the specific situation, may be called on to provide support during an emergency, whether or not they are designated as the primary response ministry.
2.6.3 Ministries assigned specific responsibilities will usually only deal with the effects of the emergency while the municipal government will retain its responsibilities. Once an emergency occurs, any ministry may be expected to provide assistance as needed. The most basic form of assistance is the provision of advice to a community. Assistance may expand to the provision of personnel, equipment and other resources to assist a community in dealing with the cause of an emergency. The matters that should be addressed by MERPs are included in Annex B.
2.6.4 If several ministries require a coordinated effort the PEOC will coordinate the joint response. This coordination may be supported, if necessary, by deploying specific EMO representatives and/or other provincial staff to work closely with the community to assist with coordination and liaison in the field.
2.6.5 Ministries’ emergency response plans should be coordinated with the PERP. These MERPs should identify the resources and the procedures that are necessary to recognize, contain and then resolve the cause of any emergency that falls within their assigned type of emergency. These plans should provide for:
a. Management of the emergency in accordance with the provincial Incident Management System (IMS).
b. Early commitment of locally held resources in response to a request for emergency assistance from a community;
c. Prompt reporting of all such requests to senior officials within their ministry and to the PEOC;
d. Fulfillment of the special responsibilities of a minister and the commitment of the resources and control arrangements that are necessary to deal with the emergency;
e. Correlation of actions to be taken by other entities involved for the various levels of emergency response, as well as, procedures to respond to an emergency declared by the community; and
f. When appropriate, actions to be taken upon the declaration of an emergency by the LGIC or the Premier.
The Chief, EMO is responsible for monitoring, coordinating, and assisting with the promotion, development, maintenance, and, through the PEOC, the implementation of these plans. This does not imply that ministries should not deal with municipalities, First Nations communities or the federal government within their ministries’ emergency response plans, but that the overall coordinating authority for plans is the Chief, EMO.
Under certain circumstances, it may be necessary to enhance the coordination of provincial emergency response by implementing provisions from this plan. This will be done by the PEOC when:
i. An incident requires a coordinated provincial response;
ii. A declared municipal emergency requires a coordinated response;
iii. A provincial emergency is declared; or,
iv. A national emergency is declared.
v. This plan may also be implemented in conjunction with other emergency response plans that address specific hazards.
2.7.1 Municipal authorities (council) are responsible for:
a. Developing and maintaining municipal emergency response plans, that are based on the Act, regulations and guidelines provided by EMO;
b. Providing a copy of their most current emergency plans to the Chief, EMO under subsection 6.2 of the Act.
c. Establishing a procedure in their plans for informing the PEOC of an emergency and possible requirements for assistance;
d. Directing the municipality’s emergency response in an emergency, including the implementation of the municipality’s emergency response plans
e. Making use of all available municipal, mutual aid, and mutual assistance resources;
f. If the situation warrants, declaring that a municipal emergency exists under section 4 of the Act; and
g. Requesting assistance if necessary, in accordance with this PERP and established guidelines.
2.7.2 Ministers are responsible for:
a. Developing and maintaining provincial emergency response plans for their assigned type of emergency;
b. Providing a copy of their most current emergency plans to the Chief, EMO under subsection 6.2 of the Act;
c. Responding directly to their assigned emergencies in accordance with the ministry emergency response plan; and
d. Supporting a coordinated provincial emergency response in accordance with this plan and the ministry emergency response plan for the types of emergencies assigned to other ministers.
2.7.3 EMO is responsible for:
a. Maintaining the PERP;
b. Coordinating assistance when municipalities/communities request provincial resources or when the emergency is beyond the capability of the municipal authority;
c. Implementing plans for a coordinated provincial response to emergencies, including mutual aid and mutual assistance arrangements;
d. Coordinating the emergency response when the LGIC or the Premier has declared that an emergency exists throughout Ontario or in any part thereof under section 7 of the Act;
e. Coordinating the provision of assistance from and to the federal government; and
f. Supporting emergency response operations of First Nations communities, the Nishnawbe-Aski Nation, or in other federal jurisdictions, if requested.
While the requirements of the Act and Ontario Regulation 380/04 are not mandatory for First Nations communities, it is recommended that they develop emergency response plans for their jurisdictions. EMO is available to assist in the development of such plans for First Nations, and to assist in emergency response operations pursuant to agreement with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC).
3.1.1 Effective emergency response depends on receiving and sharing information on a regular basis and in a timely manner. This exchange should include information on potential as well as actual emergencies.
3.1.2 As the PEOC is responsible for monitoring emergency situations, all information regarding emergencies should be passed to the PEOC by the fastest means, using whatever facilities are available. Communities should advise the PEOC when an emergency occurs or if an emergency seems imminent.
3.1.3 Emergencies or potential emergencies should be reported to the Duty Officer at the PEOC via the fastest means.
3.1.4 The PEOC will disseminate any emergency information received. This sharing of emergency information will facilitate a more rapid emergency response and will reduce planning time. Figure 3.1 depicts the normal two-way flow of emergency information between communities, ministries, other organizations and the PEOC.
3.2.1 Most emergencies begin at and are addressed at the community level.
3.2.2 Where a head of council declares an emergency, the Minister, MCSCS must be informed as per subsection 4. (3) of the Act. This should be done through the PEOC.
3.2.3 In most emergencies, the province supports communities by providing advice and assistance.
3.2.4 The scale and scope of the advice and assistance provided depends on the nature of the emergency, its duration, and the degree of provincial support that is appropriate to the circumstances.
3.3.1 During a declared emergency or significant incident, an EMO representative may be deployed by EMO to a community to act as a liaison and to provide emergency management advice to council and senior staff.
3.3.2 Other provincial staff may be deployed to provide additional advice, assistance, and services, under the coordination of EMO.
The LGIC has the authority to declare a provincial emergency.
If the urgency of the situation requires that declaration of a provincial emergency be made immediately such a declaration may also be made by the Premier. Such emergency declaration is subject to the criteria set out in the Act. Figure 3.2 illustrates the process and key steps.
3.4.2 Declaration Criteria
There are two criteria that must be met to declare a provincial emergency:
1. The emergency requires immediate action to prevent, reduce or mitigate the dangers posed by the emergency. Therefore, an emergency could be declared if operational information indicates that immediate action is needed because of danger to individuals or property.
2. The second criterion establishes a threefold test:
2.2 The resources normally available to the government may be insufficiently effective to address the emergency; or
2.3 It is not possible, without the risk of serious delay, to ascertain whether the resources normally available can be relied upon.
Therefore, an emergency could be declared if operational information indicates that existing government resources and legislative powers are insufficient to address the emergency.
3.4.3 Process for Recommending a Declaration of Emergency
The process leading to a provincial declaration of emergency will vary depending on the situation. However, the following steps will typically precede a declaration:
1. The ministry responsible for a specific type of hazard as assigned by Order in Council # 1492/2005 typically notifies the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) of the severity of the situation.
2. The Deputy Minister of Emergency Planning and Management and/or the minister responsible (as applicable) provide recommendations to the Cabinet Committee on Emergency Management regarding the situation.
3. Cabinet decides whether an emergency declaration needs to be made. These discussions can take place via teleconferences, electronic mail, meetings etc.
4. A provincial declaration of emergency is made by Order in Council.
Each emergency incident varies in severity. These recommendations are not meant to cover every emergency situation.
When a provincial declaration of emergency is made, the Premier (or minister designated to exercise the powers conferred on the Premier by the Act,) will ensure that the federal government is informed. The declaration notification is passed to the PEOC, which will in turn inform the Regional Director, PS, of the emergency declaration.
3.4.4 Declaration Termination
i A declaration lasts for 14 days unless terminated. This declaration can be renewed for one further period of 14 days given that it meets the test of the declared emergency.
ii The Legislative Assembly may by resolution extend the length of an emergency for additional periods of no more than 28 days for as many times as required.
iii An emergency declaration made by the Premier lapses after 72 hours unless confirmed by the LGIC.
Once a provincial declaration of emergency has been made the LGIC has the power to make emergency orders and may delegate these powers to a Minister or to the Deputy Minister of Emergency Planning and Management. All emergency orders must be consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
A Minister to whom powers have been delegated may delegate any of his or her powers to the Deputy Minister of Emergency Planning and Management.
These orders are only made if they are necessary and essential, would alleviate harm or damage, and are a reasonable alternative to other measures. The orders must only apply to the areas where it is necessary and should be effective for only as long as is necessary.
3.5.1 Emergency Orders Criteria
The EMCPA permits emergency orders to be made if:
a. They are “necessary and essential.”
The decision maker must believe orders are both “necessary” and “essential” in the circumstances. The use of both terms indicates a fairly high threshold for making orders. The determination that orders are “necessary and essential” is based on the belief of the decision maker, and involves the decision-maker determining that the emergency order is needed and required in the circumstances.
b. The “harm or damage will be alleviated by the order.”
The decision-maker must determine whether it is reasonable to believe that the order will alleviate harm or damage. Thus the order made must relate to the harm or damage it seeks to address.
c. “Making an order is a reasonable alternative to other measures that might be taken to address the emergency.”
The decision-maker must believe the order represents a reasonable alternative to other measures that are available to address the emergency.
This part of the test requires the consideration of options that may be available before an emergency order is made. For example, if the matter could be addressed by an order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA), the availability of the HPPA order should be considered to determine whether an emergency order is a reasonable alternative to address the emergency.
The order must apply only to the areas where it is necessary and should be effective only for as long as necessary.
Orders generally prevail over all Ontario statutes and regulations, with limited exceptions (E.g. Occupational Health and Safety Act and Human Rights Code).
It is important to note that this criterion does not require that all other alternatives be attempted prior to making an emergency order. In other words, it does not require that an emergency order is the only alternative available. Rather, it merely requires that the decision-maker give consideration to the reasonableness of an emergency order in relation to other options that may be available.
3.5.2 Types of Emergency Orders
Orders may be made in respect of many matters, including, but not limited to: regulating or prohibiting travel or movement to or from a specified area; evacuating individuals and animals and removing personal property from a specified area; establishing facilities for the care, welfare, safety and shelter of individuals; constructing works and restoring necessary facilities; procuring necessary goods, services and resources; fixing of prices for necessary goods, services and resources and prohibiting charging unconscionable prices for such goods, services and resources; authorizing, but not requiring, any person to render services of a type the person is qualified to render; requiring that any person collect, use or disclose necessary information.
3.5.3 Emergency Orders- Timelines
An order made by the LGIC or a Minister is revoked 14 days after it is made unless revoked sooner. An order made by the Deputy Minister of Emergency Planning and Management/Commissioner of Emergency Management is revoked at the end of the second full day following its making unless it is confirmed before that time by order of the LGIC, the Premier or the Minister who delegated the power to make the order. Orders may continue after the termination of the declared provincial emergency. Refer to Figure 3.2
A provincial emergency declaration may include the Province of Ontario in its entirety or any portion or area thereof.
3.6.1 Reporting During An Emergency
During an emergency, the Premier, or a Minister to whom the Premier delegates the responsibility, is required to regularly report to the public with respect to the emergency.
3.6.2 Reporting After Termination of Emergency
The Premier is required to submit a report in respect of the emergency in the Assembly within 120 days after the termination of an emergency. If the Assembly is not in session, the Premier is required to submit the report within 7 days of the Assembly reconvening.
(b)Deputy Minister of Emergency Planning and Management
The Deputy Minister of Emergency Planning and Management is required to make a report to the Premier in respect of any orders that he made, within 90 days after the termination of an emergency, for the Premier to include in his report.
FIGURE 3.1EMERGENCY INTERCOMMUNICATION
4.1.1 Ontario uses the Incident Management System (IMS) – a standardized and coordinated approach to managing incidents that provides a functional interoperability at all levels of emergency management.
4.1.2 IMS provides:
a. Common response terminology amongst all response organizations in Ontario;
b. Organizational structures for incident management, including the provision for common response functions - Command, Operations, Planning, Logistics, and Finance and Administration.
c. Processes to formulate a common Incident Action Plan; and,
d. Standardized processes for resource management.
The basic structure established for the response to a provincial emergency, following the IMS model, is illustrated in Figure 4.1.
4.2.1 LGIC and Premier
The LGIC and the Premier of Ontario provide overall direction to the management of the emergency response.
4.2.2 Cabinet Committee on Emergency Management
The mandate of the Cabinet Committee on Emergency Management (CCEM) is to ensure that the province is prepared to address emergency situations and assume other responsibilities, as Cabinet deems appropriate. The Cabinet Office supports the CCEM and acts as a link to the Premier’s Office. The CCEM is the only Cabinet Committee for which membership has been specified by portfolio.
This Committee works in conjunction with the Premier’s Office, Cabinet Office, other affected ministries and Emergency Management Ontario to develop detailed plans for continued operations and constitutional governance in Ontario in the event of emergencies that could affect Ontario – regionally or provincially.
The Committee’s main roles and responsibilities during an emergency can be summarized as follows:
a. Develop the overall provincial emergency management response strategy of the Government of Ontario.
b. Conduct high-level briefings and discussions of strategic issues with appropriate ministries.
c. Ensure strategic issues management, and;
d. Ensure the continuity of critical government operations and services.
Permanent Cabinet membership of this committee is comprised of:
a. Premier (Chair)
b. Minister of Government Services (Vice Chair)
c. Attorney General
d. Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
e. Minister of Energy
f. Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
g. Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
4.2.3 Deputy Minister of Emergency Planning and Management/Commissioner of Emergency Management
The Deputy Minister of Emergency Planning and Management/Commissioner of Emergency Management, during an emergency or pending emergency situation, will serve as the direct link between the CCEM and the PEOC. In this role, the Deputy Minister will ensure information and decisions are relayed between the CCEM and the PEOC, and vice versa in a timely and effective manner.
4.2.4 Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC)
- The PEOC provides overall coordination of the provincial response, based on the strategic direction from the Deputy Minister and CCEM.
- The Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) provides timely support, information and analysis to the Deputy Minister of Emergency Planning and Management/Commissioner of Emergency Management to coordinate the provincial emergency response;
- The PEOC will assist communities in responding to a major emergency by providing advice, assistance and support in coordinating the provision of additional resources, and may deploy either an EMO representative and/or other provincial staff to the community to assist in coordinating provincial emergency response assistance.
- During all stages of response, EMO (through the Deputy Minister of Emergency Planning and Management) will ensure that both the Cabinet Committee on Emergency Management (CCEM) is kept fully informed of the emergency situation and receive current assessments and updates on which to base operational decisions.
- When a provincial declaration of emergency is made, the PEOC adopts the ‘Activation’ response level (if not already activated), becomes fully operational, and coordinates the provincial response. The PEOC is responsible for implementing and monitoring the operational strategy decided on by the Cabinet Committee on Emergency Management. Depending on the nature, duration and magnitude of the emergency, EMO may add members of its own staff to the PEOC Duty Team and/or call on the support of appropriate ministries, federal departments, or industry specialists in accordance with the levels of operational response as outlined later in this chapter.
- The PEOC coordinates with the primary ministry to ensure that there is no duplication of effort, and that the operation runs smoothly. While the primary ministry executes its ministry emergency response plan for the type of emergency assigned to it based on the existing emergency, the PEOC will operate as the provincial coordinator, with a focus on coordination issues outside of the scope of the primary ministry.
- Decisions regarding operational emergency response requirements will be conveyed by the PEOC to those Ministry EOCs and community EOCs that are involved in the emergency response. These EOCs will then implement their portion of the emergency response through their own and/or assigned resources. The communication link will be through EMO representatives and/or other provincial staff dispatched to the other EOCs, or in the case of ministries or federal departments, via the federal and provincial ministry representatives sitting in the PEOC.
- EMO shall develop the PEOC procedures in which the detailed organization, staffing and operational procedures shall be set out. A brief summary of the major components of the PEOC and their core functions, follows:
4.2.5 Command Section
The role of the Command Section, led by the Duty Commander, is to:
- Identify and resolve operational issues and approve Incident Action Plan;
- Identify unresolved issues to be addressed by the Deputy Minister and the Cabinet Committee on Emergency Management;
- Provide advice, assistance and recommendations to the Deputy Minister and the Cabinet Committee on Emergency Management;
- Implement the emergency response decisions made by the Deputy Minister and the Cabinet Committee on Emergency Management;
- Issue operational directives and guidance to include advisories and Emergency Bulletins;
- Consult with Commanders of Emergency Operations Centres (e.g. MEOCs, CEOCs, REOCs) and Ministry Actions Groups (MAGs); and
- Provide command and control of allocated emergency response resources.
The Command Section is supported by the following:
- Safety staff will be responsible for monitoring, tracking and ensuring the safety of all personnel working at the PEOC. Safety staff will also pass along critical information received from Command staff that will directly and indirectly impact the overall safety of the emergency response efforts.
- Liaison staff will serve as the link between the Command Section and other organizations involved in emergency response management, but not within the organizational structure of this plan or the PEOC (e.g., other provinces and states).
- Information Staff acts as the link between Command and the Emergency Information section that is responsible for the development and implementation of the provincial communications plan. Information must flow in both directions to ensure that Command-identified emergency information issues are incorporated into the emergency information messaging and that the PEOC is made aware of the communication plan, plan amendments, or issues that may affect the overall response.
4.2.6 Operations Section
The Operations Section, led by the Operations Section Chief, will:
a. Implement the Incident Action Plan.
b. Provide operational input to the decision-making process, implement operational decisions by issuing advice or direction as appropriate, and identify and coordinate the operational requirements of the response operation. The staff will coordinate resources and ensure that actions taken by other ministries and organizations are complementary, to fulfill emergency management requirements. Staff will share information between all elements as required.
c. Ensure coordination between representatives from other ministries, the federal government, and other organizations with whom the provincial emergency response must be coordinated. Permanent members include representatives of ministries assigned special responsibilities by Order in Council, the Regional Director, Public Safety Canada, and a staff officer from the Department of National Defence. Representatives from other ministries, federal departments, contiguous provinces, and states and individuals, such as a Critical Incident Stress Coordinator, may also be present. Members of this group provide liaison with their organizations and ensure an appropriate emergency response by coordinating their actions through the Operations Section Chief.
d. Deploy appropriate provincial staff as required near the site of an emergency to provide advice and assistance to community officials. The exact team composition and leadership will depend upon the type of emergency and the resources required, but may include EMO staff and other provincial personnel. The team also ensures that critical information is exchanged between the PEOC and municipalities. EMO staff will be deployed according to the PEOC Procedures.
e. Monitor and coordinate deployed provincial resources.
4.2.7 Planning Section
The Planning Section, led by the Planning Section Chief, will:
- Oversee all incident-related data gathering and analysis regarding incident operations and assigned resources, conduct planning meetings, and prepare the Incident Action Plans (IAP) for each operational period.
- Prepare and document incident maps.
- Gather and disseminate information and intelligence critical to the incident.
4.2.8 Logistics Section
The Logistics Section, under the direction of the Logistic Section Chief, will arrange for and coordinate all material, personnel services, equipment and resources required to manage and resolve the emergency.
4.2.9 Finance & Administration Section
The Finance & Administration Section, under the direction of the Finance and Administration Chief, will perform administrative, financial and staffing duties specific to the emergency. This may include the capture of incident-related costs, maintenance and scheduling of support personnel, maintenance of appropriate support records, and administering procurement contracts as necessary.
4.2.10 Scientific Section
A Scientific Section may be formed to provide technical input to the decision-making process by gathering, collating and analyzing technical data. Staff consists, as required, of highly specialized scientific and technical experts, including a federal liaison officer. The exact composition of this group will depend on the nature of the emergency and the expertise required.
4.2.11 Federal Government Operations Centre
The federal Government Operations Centre coordinates federal activities in support of the PEOC or activities relating to areas of federal jurisdiction. This may include liaison with any other potentially affected provinces, the United States, any other country, and international agencies.
4.2.12 Traffic Control
On an ad hoc basis, a centre may be established in response to any emergency to control the emergency flow of traffic in the affected area. Such a centre could be comprised of the OPP, community police services, community public works, MTO and other representatives as necessary.
4.2.13 Emergency Information Centre
Emergency Information Centres may be set up in each ministry and community to provide timely and consistent information to the media and public. Refer to chapter 6 for more details on emergency information.
4.2.14 Ministry Emergency Operations Centre and Ministry Action Group
The PEOC will not function in isolation during a provincial emergency. In response to an emergency, ministries will set up their Emergency Operations Centre (MEOC) under the direction of their Ministry Action Group (MAG). They will carry out ministry responsibilities and direct and coordinate ministry actions (including those of their Regional/Area offices covering the affected area) according to the PERP, the relevant ministry plan, and the directions of the PEOC.
Ministry plans should reflect the composition and tasks of their MAG in accordance with the regulatory requirements.
The provincial IMS document presents a basic IMS structure and identifies key components that should be common across ministries to ensure that multi-level inter-operability is achieved. Ministries will define the specific make-up of their MEOC but should ensure that the core competencies of the provincial IMS are met.
4.2.15 Community Emergency Operations Centre and Emergency Control Group
Ontario regulation 380/04 sets out the requirements for municipalities to have a Community Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) operating under the direction of the Municipal Emergency Control Group (MECG) during an emergency.
The organization of the municipal structure for undertaking emergency response operations should be set out in municipal emergency response plans. This organizational structure may include the following centres, as required:
a. Community Emergency Operation Centre
A facility where the Control Group assembles to manage an emergency. It must have appropriate technological and telecommunications systems to ensure effective communication in an emergency.
b. Reception Centre
Reception Centres are normally located outside the impact zone of the emergency. They are a place to which evacuees can go to register, receive assistance for basic needs, information and referral to a shelter if required.
c. Evacuee Centre
A facility to provide shelter, food and other services to a group of people who have been evacuated from an area.
d. Emergency Information Centre
This is the primary source for providing information on the emergency to the media and the public. The composition of the emergency control group should be in accordance with the guidance provided in regulation. During an emergency the PEOC may deploy an EMO representative and/or other provincial staff to the municipal EOC to act as a link between the two centres. Emergency information, and in some cases emergency coordination directions may be conveyed through EMO Field Officers and/or other provincial staff. The EIC should function as a Joint EIC, as necessary.
The PEOC will monitor and respond to emergencies or potential emergencies according to three levels of operational response. The level of operational response adopted by the PEOC will depend upon the severity of the emergency and the appropriate type and level of staffing required to monitor and/or respond. Assistance and augmentation from ministries will be requested as circumstances dictate. The three levels are:
a. Routine Monitoring
The PEOC continually monitors the province for potential or actual emergencies. If an incident warrants close attention, the EMO Duty Operations Chief will monitor it. The appropriate EMO representative and/or other provincial staff will be advised of a situation as soon as practicable. The Communications Branch, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services may also be notified.
b. Enhanced Monitoring
At this operational response level, a Duty Team from EMO will continually assess a developing situation from the PEOC. Appropriate ministries will be notified, as required. Other ministries and organizations will be updated through the PEOC Daily Emergency Situation Report.
The PEOC will be appropriately staffed/fully staffed (internal/other ministry/industry) as necessary to carry out assessments of the situation, to initiate response activities and to coordinate the ongoing provincial response. Appropriate ministries and organizations will be notified and called upon, as required.
An information team will be assigned from the Communications Branch of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.
An EMO representative may be deployed and any other provisions in this emergency response plan may be implemented. Updates on the situation will be conveyed to all participating ministries and organizations and those not yet directly involved in the response should make preparations.
The responsibilities of groups and individuals in the PEOC under each operational response level and the protocol for invoking each will be described in PEOC Procedures.
EMO shall formulate, update, and maintain PEOC Procedures.
5.1.1 The LGIC or the Premier of Ontario may
• Declare that a provincial emergency exists; and
• Designate the area in which the emergency exists.
5.1.2 The Cabinet Committee on Emergency Management
The Cabinet Committee on Emergency Management shall ensure that the province is prepared to address emergency situations.
Specifically, the duties of the Cabinet Committee on Emergency Management include:
• Developing the overall provincial emergency response strategy of the Government of Ontario;
• Conducts high-level briefings and discussions of strategic issues with appropriate ministries;
• Ensures strategic issues management; and
• Ensures the continuity of critical government operations and services.
5.1.3 The Deputy Minister of Emergency Planning and Management
The Deputy Minister of Emergency Planning and Management will work closely with stakeholders at the federal, provincial and municipal levels and with his/her international counterparts to maintain and enhance the physical and economic security of Ontario.
Specifically, the duties of Deputy Minister of Emergency Planning and Management include:
• Providing expert advice and guidance to the Premier and the LGIC, through the Cabinet Committee on Emergency Management on policy, procedures and legislation for provincial emergencies, security and other crises;
• Overseeing the coordination of emergency management initiatives across all levels of government within Ontario.
5.1.4 The Chief, EMO will:
- Monitor and assess potential and/or actual situations;
- Operate the PEOC continuously at the appropriate level for emergency response;
- Maintain a duty system for receiving reports and requests for assistance;
- Notify provincial officials when a serious community / municipal emergency situation is reported or declared, or if a request for assistance is received;
- Liaise with community officials to offer advice, assistance and obtain information on an on-going basis;
- Brief senior provincial officials whenever there is a significant change in the emergency situation;
- When warranted, bring emergency staff and resources to a higher state of readiness;
- Review emergency response plans;
- When directed, implement the PERP to the extent necessary;
- Deploy provincial emergency response and liaison staff;
- Monitor response operations and provide direction and resources to provincial response staff;
- Maintain liaison on an ongoing basis with federal departments and agencies, other provinces and contiguous states for the purpose of sharing information and resources for emergency response; and
- Provide situation reports and make recommendations to the Deputy Minister of Emergency Planning and Management.
5.1.5 Ministers Assigned a Type of Emergency will:
- Develop and maintain emergency response plans that fulfill their responsibilities for the type of emergency assigned by Order in Council. Annex B sets out in greater detail the matters that are expected to be addressed in such plans;
- Assign staff and resources to emergencies as required;
- Coordinate their efforts with others, where appropriate, in accordance with their emergency response plans and the PERP.
5.2.1 The community’s officials controlling the emergency response will be responsible for the conduct of emergency operations within its jurisdiction. In the initial stages of an emergency, the PEOC will communicate directly with community officials to offer advice and assistance.
5.2.2 In less complex emergencies an EMO representative may be deployed to a community to provide advice and assistance. The representative will neither direct community activity nor direct that assistance be provided to the community. Rather, advice and assistance at this level involves the EMO representative as a facilitator and could involve:
a. Facilitating contact with ministry offices where normal community/provincial linkages are not available (for example outside of normal business hours);
b. Initiating a request for provincial assistance; or,
c. Canvassing other communities to identify resources that might be made available.
5.2.3 If an emergency becomes more complex, the scale and scope of advice and assistance may change, and an enhanced coordination mechanism that can direct and control provincial and federal support to affected communities will be put in place. This would entail the activation of the PEOC and may include the deployment of appropriate provincial staff.
5.2.4 Once a team of provincial staff is in place, the PEOC will normally communicate with the community through the team.
5.2.5 Emergency Management Ontario will coordinate the efforts of deployed provincial resources.
5.3.1 A widespread emergency is one that impacts a large geographic area and affects a large number of jurisdictions simultaneously, e.g., a significant forest fire or extreme ice storm. Such an emergency could be further complicated if it is of extended duration.
5.3.2 Given that many jurisdictions are affected simultaneously, it may not be possible to deploy the necessary number of provincial staff to deal directly with each individual community. Where an upper tier exists, the provincial staff will normally be deployed to the upper tier municipality. These teams will coordinate directly with the upper tier for those emergency responsibilities that fall within the upper tier mandate, using the upper tier as a conduit to identify priority requirements among lower tier communities. The provincial staff may encourage the establishment of an upper tier coordination group to exchange information and share resources. When one or two communities are clearly affected more than others, the Provincial staff could deploy directly to those communities most severely impacted by the disaster.
5.3.3 In order to deploy and if necessary sustain sufficient provincial staff during a widespread emergency, EMO representatives may need to be augmented. An augmentation procedure will be maintained which identifies sources for augmenting the PEOC and provincial staff in the following priority:
1. Staff from the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, e.g., representatives from the Office of the Fire Marshal, who have been trained in emergency preparedness and response;
2. Staff from other ministries, e.g., representatives of the Ministry of Natural Resources who have been trained in emergency preparedness and response; and
3. Municipal emergency management coordinators from areas not affected by the emergency.
5.3.4 Communities normally depend on mutual aid/assistance from adjacent communities to augment their emergency response. One unique aspect of widespread emergencies is the disruption of these mutual aid/assistance arrangements as adjacent communities are also impacted. Mutual aid/assistance may not be possible at a time when there is a much larger demand for emergency resources. In addition to their normal mutual assistance arrangements with their neighbours, communities should put in place partnership or twinning agreements with communities that are well outside their geographic area (at least 200 kilometres away) so that there is less likelihood that both communities will be affected by the same event.
5.4.1 Communities experiencing an emergency may require personnel, services, equipment and/or material from non-profit/voluntary organizations and other communities. As part of their planning process, communities should determine their own needs from external agencies, for example, registration and inquiry staff, first aid workers, public works employees from a twinned community or mutual assistance neighbour, and amateur radio operators.
5.4.2 To the extent possible, service delivery arrangements with outside agencies and mutual assistance agreements with other municipalities should be finalized, setting out the duties, obligations, and expectations of each party. Among the issues that might be covered by the agreement are, the assistance to be provided, mechanisms to engage the assistance, how costs are to be handled, liabilities, labour issues, and indemnification.
5.4.3 Where a municipality or provincial ministry engages an unaffiliated volunteer (excluding a volunteer firefighter) during a declared emergency, such a person is considered to be a “worker” under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, S.O. 1997, Chapter 16, Schedule A. Further, the municipality (or the Provincial ministry) that engages a volunteer during a declared emergency is considered to be the employer of that volunteer.
5.4.4 Municipalities and provincial ministries should carefully consider their need for, and the capabilities of, unaffiliated volunteer assistance during an emergency and systematically register all those who participate in the emergency response.
5.5.1 Donations Management is the management of donations (funds, volunteers, material) to best address the needs of victims of an emergency.
5.5.2 Communities, as the first line of response to an emergency, must make arrangements to identify the need for certain types of donations and then put in place a mechanism to obtain and manage them. This may be accomplished by setting up a special team as part of the community’s emergency response organization.
5.5.3 Generally, the donation of money is preferable to the donation of goods or material as this provides greater flexibility for emergency responders.
5.5.4 Communities, in emergency response, should work with community organizations whose mandate and expertise involves some aspect of Donations Management.
5.5.5 The PEOC will coordinate the provincial assistance to community and volunteer organizations to manage emergency donations. In the case of an emergency eligible for provincial assistance under the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) will work with the community and donor organizations to direct financial donations to the Disaster Relief Committee.
5.5.6 EMO will maintain a link with donor organizations and provincial ministries to keep the issue of donations management up-to-date relative to changes in the emergency so as to ensure a coordinated provincial response.
5.6.1 Municipal Emergency Response Plans should make provisions for the protection and care of all animals. Any emergency that affects humans will affect their animals whether they are raised for food production, kept as companion animals or for other purposes, such as in zoos.
5.6.2 The plans should anticipate the care of companion animals brought to an emergency reception/evacuation centre, animals left behind and those animals that may require evacuation as well as people who refuse to evacuate without their animals. If there is a declared provincial emergency, the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, 7.0.2. (4) provides that provincial evacuation orders can include animals.
5.6.3 The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) has a mandate to protect all animals in Ontario. The OSPCA should be consulted in the development of Municipal Emergency Response Plans to assist any municipalities in planning for the protection and care of animals in their jurisdiction.
5.6.4 OMAFRA has the provincial lead with respect to farm animal disease (OIC 1492/2005) and can be consulted in planning for this type of emergency. The Ministry of Natural Resources has the lead for issues pertaining to wildlife.
5.6.5 If provincial assistance is required during an emergency for the protection and care of animals, the PEOC will ensure a coordinated response by maintaining linkages with the municipality, the OSPCA, via the MCSCS Emergency Management and Security Coordinator and in consultation with the MCSCS Animals Welfare Program area, and OMAFRA, as required.
5.7.1 Both provincial and municipal emergency response plans should make provision for the protection and care of persons with disabilities, as vulnerable populations may be directly affected by an emergency, including an evacuation and will require special care and attention. Plans should also articulate the short and long-term strategic planning issues relating to those individuals brought to an emergency reception/evacuation centre.
5.7.2 Assistance with the planning of emergency arrangements can be requested from the Ministry of Community and Social Services, as this ministry has the lead with respect to persons with disabilities and sheltering. .
5.8.1 Psycho-social intervention before, during and after an emergency may be necessary for emergency responders, children, the ‘worried-well’ (i.e., persons who are worried but are otherwise well), and those who may have diagnosable symptoms as a result of stress. The type of stress being experienced has to be identified in order that the appropriate psychosocial intervention may be applied from options including community mental health, Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM), psychiatry, psychology, community counselling groups, primary health care services, and Employee Assistance Programs. The MCSS and MOHLTC are engaged in mental health matters dealing with the assessment of psychosocial intervention.
5.8.2 EMO will facilitate any necessary assistance for psychosocial intervention prior to, during and/or after an emergency.
5.9.1 The PEOC will be responsible for liaison, on a routine basis, with the staff of the Ontario office of Public Safety Canada (PS) regarding the emergency situation in the province.
5.9.2 If a municipal or provincial emergency occurs that requires assistance from federal authorities, the PEOC will be responsible for coordinating the response and for keeping the Regional staff of PS informed of the situation. For further details, refer to Chapter 8.
5.9.3 In certain situations, the federal government may request other provincial staff to assist in a federal emergency. In such instances, the PEOC will dispatch those provincial officers to which other ministries may be required to contribute members depending upon the nature of the emergency. The team would be named the “Ontario Liaison Team” to identify its relationship to the federal emergency response organization.
5.9.4 The PS representative to the PEOC will normally be the Federal Coordination Officer (FCO). The FCO will normally make reports at PEOC briefings on behalf of all federal departments. Some provincial ministries may have established additional working arrangements with their federal counterparts in the event of emergencies.
5.9.5 The FCO may be used to coordinate requests from other jurisdictions for provincial support.
5.9.6 Procedures for emergency situations of a terrorist nature are addressed in the Terrorism Consequence Management Supporting Plan.
5.10.1 EMO maintains a close relationship with Joint Task Force Central (JTFC), the military headquarters responsible for ‘domestic operations’ in Ontario. This headquarters provides direct access to the Department of National Defence HQ and the Canadian Forces.
5.10.2 Requests for military assistance from communities or ministries shall be directed to the PEOC. These requests must specify the need for military assistance and clearly indicate that no other suitable resources are available to perform the task being requested of the military.
5.10.3 Upon confirmation that no other suitable resources are available, the PEOC will request assistance from the military. While the request initially can be made verbally, a formal letter of agreement that describes in detail the arrangements for military assistance must follow. The Public Safety Canada Regional Office will be informed of the transaction.
5.10.4 When military assistance is provided as part of a range of federal support to the province during an emergency, the FCO remains the federal coordinator for all federal support.
5.10.5 As military assistance is being provided to the province, detailed coordination of the military’s response will normally be done by the PEOC and/or other provincial staff that have been dispatched to the affected area. Usually prior to a request being made, the PEOC will have preliminary discussions with the military in which a forecast of anticipated requirements will have been provided.
5.10.6 In exceptional circumstances, e.g., a widespread emergency in which the military have been tasked to assist a number of communities, responsibility for detailed coordination may be delegated to respective municipalities, provided that the assistance is consistent with the letter of agreement between the province and the military. The PEOC and JTFC shall establish the precise configuration of the coordinating framework based on a thorough analysis of the emergency. The joint analysis addresses:
5.10.7 The tasks or potential tasks that the military can perform are:
• The assignment of military elements to these tasks, taking into account the number of personnel and specialized capabilities required; and,
• The grouping of military headquarters and task elements to reflect community boundaries, e.g., assigning a military unit to support a specific municipality.
5.10.8 Military involvement will cease as soon as the emergency situation no longer requires the assistance of the military as stated in the letter of agreement.
5.10.9 The above procedures do not preclude military commanders, e.g., the commander of a Canadian Forces Base, from responding immediately to a life-threatening situation. Such military commanders are able to enter into mutual assistance agreements with neighbouring municipalities for either party to assist the other, e.g., in the provision of fire or ambulance services.
5.10.10 The arrangements described in this section do not normally over-ride arrangements in place whereby provincial and municipal police deal directly with the military on exclusively law enforcement issues. Routine matters, such as the provision of facilities for explosives disposal training, are arranged directly between the police service and the military commander. Provision of operational support or assistance generally must have a higher level of approval, and could require a formal request from the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. Armed assistance shall be requested in accordance with the National Defence Act. The PEOC will only be involved in this process if an emergency declaration has been made or is likely to be made.
5.11.1 Planning Stage
From the onset of an emergency, the Planning Section in the PEOC will compile and analyze damage information. Initially, this is required to assist in determining if damages are sufficient to justify the request for a provincial emergency declaration.
MMAH coordinates a Provincial Disaster Assessment Team (PDAT), made up of representatives from a variety of ministries plus, if required, outside experts such as insurance adjusters. The PDAT gathers information about the level of impact and types of recovery assistance required.
5.11.3 Shift of Operational Focus to Recovery
Damage assessment is both part of the response as well as the recovery phases of an emergency. The recovery phase will begin when the volume of response-oriented actions has decreased or is in the process of decreasing and the volume of recovery-oriented activities has become or is in the process of becoming the primary focus of PEOC operations. From the damage assessment information gathered from communities, provincial ministries and others, the appropriate ministries will initiate recovery activities.
6.1.1 This chapter outlines the arrangements for the dissemination of emergency information to the media and public when the “Activation” level of operational response is adopted by the PEOC.
6.1.2 Emergency information is expected to only include information on the emergency and the provincial actions taken. The collection, distribution and use of emergency information must abide by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
6.1.3 Emergency situations quickly become the centre of local, national and international attention and often achieve significant media status. It is extremely important that emergency information is accurate and timely.
6.1.4 The Director of Communications, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, shall develop and maintain the Provincial Emergency Information Plan, which describes the emergency information procedures for a provincial emergency.
6.1.5 Every minister and municipality is required to designate an employee of the respective ministry/municipality, as its emergency information officer (Regulation 380/04, sections 5 and 14).
6.1.6 The Emergency Information Officer shall act as the primary media and public contact for the ministry/municipality in an emergency.
6.2.1 The guiding principle for emergency information operations shall be to provide to the general public and to the news media prompt, accurate and timely information on the status of the emergency, the measures being taken to deal with it, and actions to be taken by the public in response.
6.2.2 Typically, emergencies commence and are declared at the municipal/First Nation community level, resulting in emergency information being issued to the media and public by municipal/First Nation community officials. If provincial emergency information is required, the primary ministry will coordinate it. Under the primary ministry’s emergency response plan, the ministry’s Director of Communications, becomes the Provincial Chief Emergency Information Officer (PCEIO), and responds to requests for emergency information.
6.2.3 When a broader emergency information response is required, the Director of Communications for the primary ministry should be prepared to act as the PCEIO.
6.2.4 The PCEIO will either be the Director of Communications from the primary ministry or the Director of Communications from MCSCS if the emergency is not assigned to any Minister.
6.2.5 The Emergency Information Section (EIS) may be staffed by representatives from all ministries. The EIS is responsible for the coordination, approval and distribution of emergency information to the media and public, and for providing feedback to the PEOC Command Section. Where a local Emergency Information Centre is set up, the Director of Emergency Information may provide staff to ensure an appropriate level of coordination of emergency information. The main functions of the EIS are as follows:
a. Coordinate news conferences on behalf of the province, and ensure that emergency information is disseminated as soon as the need for it arises;
b. Issue news releases on behalf of the province to the media and provide information on the emergency, and on measures the province is taking to deal with it;
c. Monitor the media and public’s perceptions of, and reaction to, the situation and keep the Command Section (of the PEOC) and the local Emergency Information Centre informed;
d. Provide information on the emergency, and the province’s response to it, to ministries not directly involved in the emergency response.
6.2.6 Within the PEOC there will be an Emergency Information Officer to support the Command Section and to act as the link between the EIS, Command Section and the Provincial Call Centres.
6.2.7 During an emergency the province must speak with one voice. Therefore, it is essential that effective relationships be established between each ministry’s emergency information officer and the PCEIO within the EIS to ensure that the information being developed and disseminated is consistent and coordinated.
6.2.8 Emergency Information Centre
a. The community emergency information centre (EIC) concept has been developed to support all emergencies. This concept will be suitable for the emergencies anticipated or identified in a community’s emergency plan.
b. The main responsibilities of the EIC can be summarized as follows:
• Issue news releases to the media and provide information to media representatives on the emergency and the measures being taken to deal with it;
• Keep the PEOC informed on local media and public perceptions, rumours and reactions, which it will monitor;
• Assist media covering the emergency; and
• Monitor media to ensure that local news is being correctly transmitted to the public, and confirm this with the PEOC.
7.1.1 An effective emergency response by the Province of Ontario will depend on receiving and sharing timely information among many organizations including provincial ministries, communities, the federal government, and other supporting organizations and individuals.
7.1.2 The passage of timely information among various organizations and individuals must be supported by effective and robust systems, such as fixed and mobile telephones, facsimile, radios, access to the Internet, and e-mail.
7.1.3 All ministries and municipalities are required to have an emergency operations centre that has appropriate technological and telecommunications systems to ensure effective communication in an emergency (sections 4 and 13 of Regulation 380/04).
7.1.4 When an emergency requires a coordinated provincial response, the maintenance of communications with critical organizations and individuals becomes a provincial responsibility and will be achieved through a variety of means.
7.2.1 All ministries and municipalities should have available computers with common software that is current, industry supported and will allow users to read, write and share word-processing, spreadsheet, presentation and database information.
7.2.2 All ministries and communities should have at least one computer with e-mail and Internet access powered by an adequate alternate power supply in the event of main power failure.
7.2.3 All ministries and communities should back up and store all data/information in a secure and alternate location.
7.3.1 During the activation of the PEOC, its telecommunications resources will be put at the disposal of participating ministries, communities and other organizations, as required. Other provincial assets may also supplement the telecommunications equipment in the PEOC.
7.3.2 Trained amateur radio operators from the Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) will provide backup telecommunications at the PEOC when this service is required. EMO maintains an amateur radio station (VA3 EMO) for that purpose.
To help ensure the safety and security of the individual and preservation of the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of the nation, the Government of Canada has enacted the Emergency Management Act and the Emergencies Act. These acts are intended to complement all other federal legislation; therefore selected aspects are only invoked when normal measures are inappropriate.
8.1.1 The Emergency Management Act
a. The Emergency Management Act (EMA) sets out clear roles and responsibilities for all federal ministers across the full spectrum of emergency management. This includes prevention/mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery, and critical infrastructure protection.
b. The Act is an important step forward in the Government of Canada’s efforts to strengthen emergency management in Canada. The Act reinforces efforts to ensure that Canada is well prepared to mitigate, prepare for, respond to and recover from natural and human-induced risks to the safety and security of Canadians.
c. The Act:
• Gives responsibility to the Minister of Public Safety to provide national leadership and set a clear direction for emergency management and critical infrastructure protection for the Government of Canada;
• Clearly establishes the roles and responsibilities of federal Ministers and enhances the Government of Canada’s readiness to respond to all types of emergencies;
• Enhances collaborative emergency management and improves information sharing with other levels of government as well as the private sector; and
• Gives authority to the Minister of Public Safety, in consultation with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, to coordinate Canada’s response to an emergency in the United States.
8.1.2 Emergencies Act
The Emergencies Act was developed to ensure that the Government of Canada can invoke exceptional – yet incident-specific – powers to deal with emergencies. It replaced the War Measures Act. The four types of emergencies covered under the Act are:
a. Public Welfare Emergencies: Severe natural disasters or major accidents affecting public welfare, which are beyond the capacity or authority of a province or territory to handle.
b. Public Order Emergencies: Security threats that are beyond the capacity or authority of a province or territory to handle.
c. International Emergencies: Intimidation, coercion or the use of serious force or violence that threatens the sovereignty, security or territorial integrity of Canada or any of its allies.
d. War Emergencies: War or other armed conflict, real or imminent, involving Canada or any of its allies.
e. The Emergencies Act guarantees Parliament’s right to review and, if necessary, revoke emergency powers. It ensures that the Government is accountable to Parliament for its use of such powers. It also offers full protection for the fundamental rights and freedoms of Canadians during national emergencies.
8.2.1 The Minister may, with the approval of the Governor in Council, enter into an agreement with the government of any province respecting civil emergency plans. The Minister is also responsible for:
• Coordinating or supporting, as required, the provision of assistance, other than financial assistance, to a province during or after a provincial emergency; and
• Providing financial assistance to a province when authorized pursuant to the Emergencies Act.
8.2.2 The Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of the Minister, make orders or regulations:
• Declaring a provincial emergency to be of concern to the federal government; and
• Authorizing the provision of assistance, including financial assistance, to a province when a provincial emergency in the province has been declared to be of concern to the federal government and the province has requested assistance.
8.2.3 Every Minister accountable to the Parliament of Canada for the administration or affairs of a government institution is responsible for developing a civil emergency plan pursuant to subsection (1) that shall, as appropriate:
• Provide for assistance and advice to provincial governments and, through provincial governments, to local authorities; and
• Provide for federal-provincial regional plans
8.2.4 Where the implementation of all or any part of a civil emergency plan developed pursuant to paragraph (1)(a) would be in response to a provincial emergency, that plan or part shall not be implemented unless the government of the province has requested assistance or an agreement between the Minister and the province requires or permits implementation.
8.3.1 Public Safety (PS) was created by the federal government to encourage and support provincial preparedness for emergencies, to monitor emergencies and report them to the federal government, and to coordinate or support as required, the implementation of civil emergency plans by federal institutions.
8.3.2 The Minister designated by the Governor in Council is the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada. PS is governed by the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Act and the Emergencies Act and the Emergency Management Act.
8.3.3 Provincial legislation vests authority for the conclusion of standing agreements to obtain emergency federal resources, in the Ontario Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.
8.3.4 To obtain federal resources, which are not part of a standing pre-arrangement, the initial request is made to EMO via the PEOC. Once EMO has determined that the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services wishes to access the resources, the request is submitted to the Regional Director, Public Safety Canada who makes arrangements with the supplying federal institutions.
8.3.5 For types of federal resources where issues of certification, licensing, and indemnification may be a problem, ministries/communities may wish to consider standing arrangements as a better option than on a contingency basis.
See Chapter 5 for the procedure to request military assistance.
8.4.1 Staffing requirements for federal support vary widely depending on whether the support has been arranged on a standing basis or on a contingency basis.
8.4.2 In the case of standing arrangements, the federal institution providing the support maintains a duty roster, provides a point of contact to support provincial organizations and responds to that organization’s notification procedures.
8.4.3 In the case of contingency arrangements, the federal institution likely to provide the support provides the Regional Director, Public Safety Canada with a contact point and responds to that Director’s notification of provincial requests. All are advised once the support has been authorized and the province wishes to access the support. Subsequently, the federal institution maintains a duty roster and provides a point of contact to support provincial organizations.
Federal institutions maintain public communications responsibilities with respect to their departmental activities unless otherwise directed by Privy Council office. Usually a federal lead department will be designated to be the federal spokesperson for the total federal support effort. While the federal lead department has the authority to release emergency information about their department’s response, the bulk of day-to-day emergency information will emanate from the community emergency information centre (EIC). However, the community EIC will be supported by the Emergency Information Section, which is under the control of the PEOC and staffed by provincial and federal emergency information staff.
1.1 All provincial ministers have the following emergency response responsibilities:
1.1.1 Have a Ministry Action Group (MAG) to direct the ministry’s response in an emergency.
1.1.2 Have an available ministry emergency response contact on a 24/7 basis.
1.1.3 Establish an emergency operations centre to be used by the MAG in an emergency.
1.1.4 Designate a ministry emergency information officer.
1.1.5 Formulate a ministry continuity of operations (COOP) plan. Although this is not a provincial emergency response plan per se, COOP generally is part of the overall provincial emergency response.
1.1.6 Be prepared, if designated by the Premier, to exercise the powers conferred on the Premier Additionally, all ministers are expected to be prepared to:
1.2.1 Provide a ministry representative in the PEOC if required by the nature of the emergency.
1.2.2 Provide on-site personnel to advise and assist local authorities, where appropriate.
1.2.3 Provide services, resources and personnel to support the emergency operations of other ministries, if required.
1.2.4 Formulate, annually review, and update as required, ministry emergency response plans.
2.1 As a result of the type of emergency assigned under the OIC (Annex A), ministers are asked to consider including in their ministry emergency response plans, some specific emergency response actions that are considered necessary for provincial coordination during an emergency. These recommendations are contained in the following appendices to this Annex.
- Appendix 1 Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
- Appendix 2 The Attorney General
- Appendix 3 Minister of Community and Social Services
- Appendix 4 Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
- Appendix 5 Minister of Energy
- Appendix 6 Minister of the Environment
- Appendix 7 Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
- Appendix 8 Minister of Labour
- Appendix 9 Ministry of Government Services
- Appendix 10 Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
- Appendix 11 Minister of Natural Resources
- Appendix 12 Minister of Northern Development and Mines
- Appendix 13 Minister of Transportation
3.1 All municipalities have the following emergency response responsibilities:
3.1.1 Have a Municipal Emergency Control Group (MECG) to direct the municipality’s response in an emergency.
3.1.2 Establish an emergency operations centre to be used by the MECG in an emergency.
3.1.3 Designate a municipal emergency information officer.
3.1.4 Formulate, annually review, and update as required, a municipal emergency response plan.
3.2 To facilitate provincial coordination when necessary during an emergency, municipalities are expected to provide early notification and updates to the PEOC of any potential emergency situation.
OIC assigned emergency:
“Farm animal disease; food contamination; agricultural plant disease and pest infestation”.
Recommended emergency response actions that are considered necessary for provincial coordination during an emergency.
1.1 Execute the ministry emergency response plan, which could include among other things the actions outlined below.
1.2 Coordinate with other government agencies and private organization to combat foreign animal disease.
1.3 Provide information and advice to food producers, including the preparation of advisories covering different situations.
1.3 Collect and delivers food and agricultural samples, if required, according to current procedures.
1.4 Establish contact and maintains liaison with agricultural and food facilities, producers, marketing organizations, etc. who are involved in emergency response.
1.5 Coordinate with CFIA and other agencies to provide current information on the status of farms, food crops, food processors and distributors, and other agricultural data.
1.6 Provide inspection services during a disaster to ensure wholesomeness of farm products, and other commodities for injurious contamination within processing and distribution areas.
1.7 Act as the main agency to protect the public from adulterated food through the implementation of food and agriculture control measures (less water control) in coordination with other agencies and local jurisdictions.
1.8 Provide animal and plant science specialties.
1.9 Provide veterinary inspection services, as required.
1.10 Manage emergency livestock feeding services, as required.
1.11 Provide current information on the disposal of contaminated crops and dead livestock.
1.12 Provide technical advice and assistance in the use and disposal of pesticides.
1.13 Manage a critical pest infestation response when required.
OIC assigned emergency:
“Any emergency related to the administration of justice including the operation of the courts; and provision of legal services to government in any emergency”.
Recommended emergency response actions that are considered necessary for provincial coordination during an emergency.
1.1 Execute the ministry emergency response plan, which could include among other things the actions outlined below.
1.2 Ensure that the administration of public affairs is in accordance with the law, regardless of the nature of the emergency.
1.3 Ensure the continuation of the administration of the courts during an emergency.
1.4 Ensure judicial independence is respected even under emergency situations.
1.5 Oversee that all emergency response emergency legislative enactments are in accordance with principles of natural justice and civil rights.
1.6 Advise on the constitutionality and legality of emergency response emergency legislation.
OIC assigned emergency:
“Any emergency that requires emergency shelter, clothing and food; victim registration and inquiry services; personal services”.
Recommended emergency response actions that are considered necessary for provincial coordination during an emergency.
1.1 Execute the ministry emergency response plan, which could include among other things the actions outlined below.
1.2 Assist affected municipalities in the delivery of emergency social services.
1.3 When requested, assist municipalities in meeting the needs of disaster victims by providing or arranging for:
1.3.1. emergency shelter, food and clothing,
1.3.2. victim registration and inquiry services, and
1.3.3. personal services.
1.4 Liaise with private social service organizations, including the Red Cross, during an emergency and act as the link between them and the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre.
1.5 Provide assessments of the impacts of emergencies on the delivery of essential social services, including an evaluation of the need for special assistance to meet unique human service demands.
1.6 Provide psychological supports during an emergency.
OIC assigned emergency:
“ Any emergency that requires the coordination of provincial emergency management;
- Nuclear and radiological;
- Severe Weather;
- War and international;
- Any other peacetime emergency not listed herein;
- Building structural collapse;
- Explosion and structural fire;
- Space object crash;
- Terrorism; and
- Civil disorder.”
1.1 Assist local authorities in emergency response operations, including law enforcement operations and the evacuation of persons and property.
1.2 Coordinate and maintain liaison with the provincial ministries and other bodies for use of their available personnel and equipment for augmentation and special assignments, if necessary
1.3 Liaise with Government of Canada agencies for emergency resources, except for that assistance required for forest fire fighting or in a situation in which a police agency has primary jurisdiction
1.4 Develop provincial emergency response plans for the types of emergencies assigned above.
1.5 Provide support to health and medical services with the identification of human remains.
1.6 Emergency Management Ontario
1.6.1. EMO will spearhead emergency response in the following cases from the above list:
a. Any emergency that requires the coordination of provincial emergency management;
b. Nuclear and radiological;
c. Severe Weather;
d. War and international; and
e. Any other peacetime emergency not listed herein.
1.6.2. The PEOC Commander will elevate the level of response of the PEOC commensurate with the actual or impending emergency situation.
1.6.3. The PEOC will coordinate the government response to emergencies.
1.6.4. Provide recommendations to government regarding the declaration of an emergency.
1.6.5. Prepare, coordinate and distribute government situation reports.
1.7 Provincial Chief Emergency Information Officer
1.7.1. Provide, in conjunction with a primary ministry, a coordinated emergency information plan for the government response to an emergency.
1.7.2. Coordinate the release of information on response activities from all involved ministries and agencies to the public, media and elected officials.
1.7.3. Establish and operate a Joint Information Centre, as required.
1.7.4. Support emergency information activities in the PEOC.
1.7.5. Assist local authorities to prepare and plan emergency communications.
1.7.6. Assist local authorities to communicate messages to the public and media.
1.8 Policing Services Division
1.8.1. Facilitate communication between the Ministry and municipal police services in the event of an emergency as well as to provide policy direction, advice and support to police services in Ontario.
1.9 Ontario Provincial Police:
1.9.1. Coordinate law enforcement and traffic control throughout the province including participation in any joint traffic control plans.
1.9.2. Provide personnel to reinforce police services of municipalities, upon request.
1.9.3. Facilitate requests for Canadian Forces assets and resources by municipal police services.
1.9.4. Provide technical advice to the PEOC.
1.9.5. Develop public order plans for events of a provincial nature.
1.10 Office of the Fire Marshal:
1.10.1. Coordinate disaster firefighting and suppression resources available through the mutual fire aid system.
1.10.2. Provide personnel and equipment to support communication, hazardous materials operation, transportation and search and rescue as required through partnership agreements with community providers.
1.11 Correctional Services Division
1.11.1. Ensure continuity of care and protective measures for correctional institutions and persons under custody of the division.
OIC assigned emergency:
1.2 Implement, in coordination with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), electricity transmission and local distribution companies, petroleum and natural gas utility companies, the ministry’s energy supply emergency response plans to ensure the safety, reliability and security of Ontario’s energy supply.
1.3 Maintain liaison with the Ontario Energy Board especially with respect to any necessary emergency deviations from established regulatory policies or guidelines.
1.4 Provide emergency information to the PEOC through coordination with the IESO, petroleum and natural gas utility companies.
1.5 Provide professional expertise in all matters related to energy sources and energy.
1.6 Advise the PEOC when conditions exist which may warrant the declaration of a provincial energy supply emergency.
1.7 Serve as primary contact for energy availability and distribution issues during an emergency.
1.8 Provide advice and assistance regarding and, if necessary, control of the distribution of energy supplies.
1.9 Assist the Ministry of Environment in the management of pollution problems related to the petroleum-producing industry.
1.10 When requested, provide Ministry staff to be part of any Provincial Liaison Team who may be assembled and deployed to an emergency area.
OIC assigned emergency:
“- Spills of pollutants to the natural environment including fixed site and transportation spills.
- Drinking water”.
1.2 Provide meteorological and hydrological data and forecasts to the PEOC.
1.3 Provide emergency environmental technical advise to the PEOC.
1.4 Monitor provincial waters suspected of contamination due to an emergency
1.5 Implement drinking water control measures, as required.
1.6 Provide technical assistance for groundwater, hydrology and sewage problems
1.7 Serve as a primary provincial ministry for emergency environment pollution response and cause investigation
1.8 Manage air, water and land pollution monitoring, reporting and clean-up activities
1.9 Serve as a primary provincial ministry for hazardous materials or wastes, including suspect substances
1.10 Coordinate and manage the overall provincial effort to detect, identify, contain, cleanup, and dispose of or minimize releases of oil or hazardous materials,
1.11 Manage, with the assistance of the Ministry of Energy, pollution problems related to the petroleum-producing industry
1.12 Provide disaster damage assessments, as required
1.13 Provide emergency personnel, materials and services.
OIC assigned emergency:
“Human health, disease and epidemics;
health services during an emergency”.
1.1 Execute the ministry emergency response plan, which could include, among other things, the actions outlined below.
1.2 Carry out operational coordination of health care resources across sectors in order to meet the requirements of the emergency, in coordination with the PEOC and other ministries and stakeholders where required. The Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care have statutory authority over public health resources.
1.3 Ensure continuity of essential health-care services.
1.4 Maintain a list of appropriate data on patients hospitalized for casualties or diseases related to the emergency.
1.5 Provide and coordinate comprehensive assessments of the health impact of emergencies and the ability to continue providing essential health services.
1.6 Provide liaison with the Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response and the Center for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, Health Canada; the Public Health Agency of Canada; provincial counterparts; and other jurisdictions as potential sources for consultation and/or direct assistance.
1.7 Assist local medical officers of health and local health officials, and public and private health care institutions with the identification, treatment, and control of communicable diseases and non-communicable disease risks, which threaten public health
1.8 Assist local health care agencies and medical officers of health to determine the need for additional health care providers, equipment, and supplies during an emergency
1.9 Advise and assist local Public Health Units in the regulation and inspection of food and food productions at their point of consumption in areas affected by the emergency.
1.10 Advise and assist local Public Health Units in the regulation and inspection of domestic water supplies affected by the emergency
1.11 Advise and assist local Public Health Units in dealing with public health issues concerning the sanitary control, handling, and disposal of solid waste and other refuse during an emergency, consistent with all applicable laws, including the Health Protection and Promotion Act and its regulations.
1.12 Provide advice to local Public Health Units on the public health aspects of the identification, processing, storage, movement, and disposition of the deceased.
1.13 Provide technological assessment, toxicological analysis, and other support services to local authorities in emergencies, as required.
1.14 Work with healthcare providers and institutions to manage/redeploy health resources (people, supplies and equipment) as required by the emergency.
OIC assigned emergency:
“Any emergency that affects worker health and safety”.
1.2 Ensure that employers meet their obligations concerning health and safety of workers during an emergency.
1.3 Provide emergency worker safety support according to MOL emergency response plans
1.4 Provide occupational health and safety advice for workers deployed to emergency sites.
1.5 Provide radiation analyses of samples, interpretations and recommendations for public safety actions in support of other Ministries and to local agencies during a nuclear or radiation emergency through the Ministry's Radiation Protection Service.
OIC assigned emergency:
“Any emergency that requires the continuity of provincial government services”.
1.1 Execute the ministry emergency response plan, which could include among other things, the actions outlined below.
1.2 Ensure the Corporate Response Centre (CRC) is activated to respond to emergencies that affect the OPS and provides information directly to Cabinet Office regarding emergency situations.
1.3 Maintain communications with Ministry Action Groups to receive & provide information and provide direction on COOP issues.
1.4 Provide emergency purchasing services to support emergency response efforts (i.e. emergency relief supplies, space, office supplies and equipment, contracting services, telecommunication, communications, and other emergency equipment).
1.5 Provide initial damage assessment and estimates on provincially owned and/or occupied buildings and Crown facilities.
1.6 Coordinate relocation of ministry offices and acquisition of new office space when necessary during an emergency.
1.7 Provide engineering, architectural contract, and administrative support to emergency construction projects.
1.8 Provide provincial ministries, agencies, boards, commissions and other branches, advice on liability and other related issues.
1.9 Provide accommodations, communications and other necessities for the continuity of Cabinet and associated committees.
1.10 Arrange for the physical safety of Ministers and Legislative Assembly staff.
1.11 Provide language interpretation and translation services within the capabilities of the ministry as required.
1.12 Assist in the seconding of government employees to emergency response organizations and activities.
1.13 Provide continued information and technology services including telecommunications to government during emergencies.
1.14 Ensure the continuity of government services by ensuring ministries develop their continuity of operations plans (COOP).
OIC assigned emergency:
“Any emergency that requires the coordination of extraordinary provincial expenditures”.
1.1 Provide recommendations regarding assistance to individuals or municipalities affected by an emergency and the sharing of costs.
1.2 Assist individuals and municipalities by providing early emergency financial assistance to meet immediate needs incurred in responding to an emergency.
1.3 Coordinate and monitor extraordinary provincial expenditures related to the emergency.
1.4 Facilitate liaison with local authorities and, if required, recommend the appointment of an official administrator to act as council.
1.5 Coordinate a multi-ministry Provincial Disaster Assessment Team to assess level and nature of impacts and make recommendations about the types of assistance required.
1.6 If called upon, support the provision of shelter and accommodation for evacuated people who cannot return to their homes for some time due to radiological contamination, etc. by supporting:
1.6.1. Municipalities, in providing short and long term shelter and housing.
1.6.2. MCSS, having the lead role in arranging shelter.
1.6.3. Provision of advice to assist in the determination of appropriate options for longer-term emergency housing, when required.
OIC assigned emergency:
“- Forest fires,
- Drought/low water,
- Dam failures,
- Crude oil and natural gas exploration and production, natural gas and hydrocarbon underground storage and salt solution mining emergencies,
- Erosion, and
- Soil and bedrock instability”.
1.2 Evacuate and close Provincial Parks as required or if requested by the PEOC.
1.3 Provide ministry facilities to be used as assembly, relocation, and dispatch areas for emergency response operations, and temporary emergency care and accommodation.
1.4 Manage and coordinate operations for control and suppression of wildfires
1.5 Coordinate or conduct debris removal, land reclamation, and road reconstruction necessary to support emergency response operations on Crown lands in respect of the types of emergency assigned.
1.6 Coordinate the acquisition of bulldozers, trucks, and other heavy equipment, for its assigned hazard responsibilities or if requested by the PEOC.
1.7 Coordinate the provision of air transportation for emergency personnel and equipment, for its assigned hazard responsibilities or if requested by the PEOC.
1.8 Provide flood and water flow forecasting services and management of flood control operations with Conservation Authorities where they exist.
1.9 Implement water control measures as required or if requested by the PEOC.
1.10 Provide aircraft, telecommunications, and other resources, if requested by the PEOC.
1.11 Provide aerial reconnaissance for its assigned hazard responsibilities or if requested by the PEOC.
1.12 Advise on the restriction of consumption of contaminated food from fisheries or wildlife habitats.
1.13 Provide GIS support if requested by the PEOC.
1.14 Where an emergency is within an unincorporated/unorganized community and that community is unable to respond, the ministry will respond to the emergency as outlined in the ministry emergency response plan, for its assigned emergency responsibilities.
1.15 Provide emergency response to First Nations communities as outlined in the First Nation Emergency Assistance Agreement and the Nishnawbe-Aski Nation Protocol Agreement, primarily for incidents related to forest fire and flood.
OIC assigned emergency:
“- Abandoned mine hazards,
- Any emergency that requires the support of provincial emergency management in Northern Ontario”.
1.2 Support emergency response operations in Northern Ontario, whether coordinated by the PEOC or another ministry that has been assigned lead responsibility.
1.3 Provide intelligence, including geo-science information and data, to the PEOC and other ministries, as appropriate.
1.4 Assist in communicating information and government messages to northern communities.
1.5 Assist with communications between local emergency response units, the PEOC and other ministries, as appropriate.
1.6 Provide personnel, equipment and material to support emergency response operations in Northern Ontario, as required and available.
1.7 Provide scientific information in geology in the PEOC; including geological factors on a local to regional scale that affect earthquakes, natural concentrations of metal concentrations, sources of groundwater, buffering capacity of rocks and near surface geological materials.
1.8 Provide emergency inorganic material analysis; supervise the design and quality assessment of 3rd party laboratory tests of inorganic materials, and other laboratory support services to local authorities or the PEOC.
1.9 Provide expert scientific information on the nature of the surficial materials and their geochemistry to help determine impact on groundwater, anthropogenic or natural sources of possible inorganic elements contaminants, or transport and migration of groundwater and inorganic elements contaminants through the near surface and subsurface geological environment.
1.10 Supervise the application of 3rd party remote sensed (geophysical) techniques capable of detecting location of contaminated groundwater, hydrocarbon leaks, and weak, water-filled faults subject to earthquakes, and distribution of radioactive plumes (natural, reactor or "dirty bomb"-related).
OIC assigned emergency:
1.2 Assist in traffic control and evacuation planning that may be undertaken by ministries assigned special responsibility and/or communities, if required.
1.3 Coordinate transportation activities on provincially controlled routes, assisting with the implementation of emergency highway traffic control measures in conjunction with the Ontario Provincial Police.
1.4 Conduct damage assessment to the provincial transportation system and facilities.
1.5 Inform the PEOC immediately upon the closing of any provincial roadways (and municipal roads if known) that are necessary for emergency response operations, such as evacuation routes, and suggested alternative reroutes.
1.6 Give priority to maintaining and keeping open provincially controlled roads, and assisting in keeping open municipal roads if possible, that are necessary to support emergency operations.
1.7 Coordinate the mobilization of contractor equipment/personnel and engineering expertise to keep open provincial roadways, and to assist the OPP in traffic management issues in an emergency.
1.8 Provide assistance to expedite issuing permits for transportation companies to engage in common or contract carrier operations related to the emergency.
There is a need for common terminology that would be jointly understood by the public and private sectors. The following definitions and explanations will be helpful during the development and implementation process. The below definitions come from various sources including the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, National Fire Protection Association, etc.
Acceptable Down Time - The period of time a function or activity can be disrupted without significant impact to essential services, production, customer service, revenue, or public confidence. Each municipal and business activity must develop its individual Maximum Allowable Down Time. Also referred to as Maximum Allowable Recovery Time.
Activation – Actions taken to implement a plan or a procedure.
Approved – Acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction.
Authority Having Jurisdiction - The organization, office, or individual responsible for approving equipment, materials, a facility, or a procedure.
Biological Agents - These are living organisms that cause disease, sickness and mortality in humans. Anthrax and Ebola are examples of biological agents.
Buffer Zones - These zones are intended to separate the public and other facilities from the consequences of an incident involving hazardous materials. These zones describe the allowable land uses around a hazardous facility. The exclusion zone designates that no other land use is allowed adjacent to the facility. The extent of the exclusion zone is determined by the chemical and physical properties of the hazardous materials and the inventory quantities present in the facility. The next zone would allow for manufacturing, warehouses, and open space (parkland, golf courses, etc). Then there would be a zone allowing commercial offices, and low-density residential. The final zone, farthest from the facility, would carry the designation of unrestricted land use and would allow all other uses including institutions and high-density residential.
Business Continuity Program - An ongoing process supported by senior management and funded to ensure that necessary steps are taken to identify the impact of potential losses, maintain viable recovery strategies and recovery plans, and ensure continuity of services through staff training, plan testing, and maintenance.
Business Resumption - See Recovery.
Catastrophic – A momentous, destructive and/or tragic event usually sudden and widespread.
CBRN: Chemical, Biological, Radioactive and Nuclear
Community – a generic term referring to groups of residents at the local level, and includes municipalities, First Nations communities and groups of people in unorganized territories.
Community Emergency Management Program Committee - The community emergency management program committee is the critical management team that oversees the development, implementation and maintenance of a community emergency management program.
Communications – Advisories, directives, information and messages that are communicated.
Consequence – The outcome of an event or situation expressed qualitatively or quantitatively, being a loss, injury, disadvantage or gain.
Critical Incident – A situation, which causes individuals to experience strong emotional reactions, which have the potential to interfere with their ability to function either at the scene or later (Jeffrey T. Mitchell).
Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) – A comprehensive, systematic and multi-component approach for the reduction and control of harmful aspects of stress.
Critical Infrastructure - Interdependent, interactive, interconnected networks of institutions, services, systems and processes that meet vital human needs, sustain the economy, (protect public safety and security), and maintain continuity of and confidence in government.
Damage Assessment - An appraisal or determination of the effects of a disaster on human, physical, economic, and natural resources.
Declared Emergency - A signed declaration made in writing by the Head of Council or the Premier of Ontario in accordance with the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. This declaration is usually based on a situation or an impending situation that threatens public safety, public health, the environment, critical infrastructure, property, and/or economic stability and exceeds the scope of routine community activity.
Disaster – A widespread or severe emergency that seriously incapacitates a community.
Disaster Area - A geographic area within which a disaster has occurred.
Emergency - A situation or an impending situation that constitutes a danger of major proportions that could result in serious harm to persons or substantial damage to property and that is caused by the forces of nature, a disease or other health risk, an accident or an act whether intentional or otherwise; these situations could threaten public safety, public health, the environment, property, critical infrastructure and economic stability. Three categories of emergencies: Human-Caused, Natural and Technological.
Emergency Information - Information about an emergency, which is, communicated broadly to the community and other stakeholders.
Emergency Management – Organized, comprehensive programs and activities taken to deal with actual or potential emergencies or disasters. These include mitigation against, preparedness for, response to and recovery from emergencies or disasters.
Emergency Management Ontario (EMO) – EMO is a government organization within the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Province of Ontario. EMO is responsible for monitoring, coordinating and assisting in the development and implementation of emergency management programs in Ontario.
Emergency Management Program – A comprehensive program that is based on a hazard identification and risk assessment process (HIRA) and includes the four core components of mitigation/prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.
Emergency Management Program Committee – A management team to oversee the development, implementation and maintenance of an emergency management program.
Emergency Management Program Standards – Common criteria used to develop, implement and maintain an emergency management program in accordance with the recommended best practices.
Emergency Response Plan - A risk-based plan developed and maintained to respond to an emergency.
Emergency Response Organization - Group or organization with staff trained in emergency response that are prepared and may be called upon to respond as part of the coordinated response to an emergency situation.
Emergency Site Manager/Incident Commander - Public sector official (usually fire, police, EMS or public works) at the site, in charge of coordinating resources and developing actions to resolve the emergency situation.
Emergency Response - Coordinated public and private response to an emergency
EMO – Emergency Management Ontario
Epidemic – A widespread occurrence of a disease in a community at a particular time.
Evacuee Centre – A facility to provide shelter, food and other services to a group of people who have been evacuated from an area.
Evacuee Registration – A process to account for displaced persons. (See reception centre)
Exercise – A simulated drill or sequence of events to evaluate plans and procedures. An exercise is a focused practice activity that places participants in a simulated situation requiring them to function in the capacity that would be expected of them in a real event. There are 4 main types of exercises and various sub-types.
Types of Exercises
A drill is a coordinated, supervised exercise activity, normally used to evaluate a specific operation or function (can include notification, telecommunications etc.).
A tabletop exercise is a facilitated analysis of an emergency situation in an informal, stress-free environment (can include Case Study and Paper Exercise).
A functional exercise is a fully simulated interactive exercise that evaluates capability of an organization(s) to respond to a simulated event (can include computer simulation exercises).
Full-Scale or Field Exercise:
A full-scale exercise simulates a real event and is designed to evaluate the operational capability of emergency management systems in a highly stressful environment that simulates actual response conditions.
A model or set of circumstances used for imitating real or hypothetical conditions in training situations.
Framework – The “Framework for Community Emergency Management Programs” and “The Framework for Provincial Emergency Management Programs” documents.
Functional Exercises - Limited involvement or simulation by field operations to test communication, preparedness, and deployment of operational resources.
Hazard (1) - A risk that is a threat.
Hazard (2) – An event or physical condition that has the potential to cause fatalities, injuries, property damage, infrastructure damage, agricultural loss, damage to the environment, interruption of business, or other types of harm or loss.
Hazard Identification - The process of defining and describing a hazard, including its physical characteristics, magnitude and severity, probability and frequency, causative factors, and locations/areas affected.
Hazardous Material - A substance (gas, liquid or solid) capable of creating harm to people, property and the environment, e.g. materials which are flammable, toxic, etc.
Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) - The capability of responding to incidents involving serious damage to structures or other infrastructure, to locate and extricate casualties. Generally performed by specially trained and equipped teams of municipal emergency responders
Incident Management System - The combination of facilities, equipment, staff, operating procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational structure with responsibility for the management of assigned resources to effectively respond to an incident or emergency/disaster.
Maximum Allowable Recovery Time - See Acceptable Down Time
Mitigation - Actions taken to reduce or eliminate the effects of an emergency or disaster.
Mitigation Plan - Based on the community risk assessment, each community should implement a strategy and plan to eliminate hazards or mitigate the effects of hazards that cannot be eliminated. A mitigation plan should contain details on activities planned to eliminate or reduce the degree of risk to life, property, and environment from the identified hazards.
Municipality – A geographic area whose inhabitants are incorporated. A political body/organization, within a defined boundary, having authority to adopt and enforce by-laws and provides services and leadership to its residents. This term includes upper and lower tier municipalities.
Municipal Emergency Control Group (MECG) - The Municipal Emergency Control Group operating from the municipal Emergency Operations Centre is responsible for coordinating municipal emergency response and recovery activities. The Municipal Emergency Control Group usually includes leading community officials, emergency management representatives and other relevant staff.
Municipal Emergency Management Program Coordinator (MEMPC) – An individual officially designated by a municipality who is responsible and accountable for the municipality’s emergency management program. The Municipal Emergency Management Program Coordinator must be, by definition, a municipal employee, as per regulations.
Mutual Aid Agreements - An agreement developed between two or more emergency services to render aid to the parties of the agreement. These types of agreements can include the private sector emergency services when appropriate.
Mutual Assistance Agreement - An agreement developed between two or more jurisdictions to render assistance to the parties of the agreement. Jurisdictions covered with these types of agreements could include neighbouring, cities, regions, provinces or nations.
Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program (ODRAP) – a provincial financial assistance program intended to alleviate the hardship suffered by private homeowners, farmers, small business enterprises and non-profit organizations, whose essential property has been damaged in a sudden and unexpected natural disaster, such as a severe windstorm, tornado, flood, forest fire or ice storm.
Ontario Emergency Response Team (OERT) – An emergency response team that is dispatched to a contiguous state or province to coordinate emergency response and mutual assistance.
Partnerships Toward Safer Communities (PTSC) Program – A program developed and implemented by Emergency Management Ontario and the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs for joint community/industry emergency management program cooperation and integration where hazardous facilities exist.
PNERP - The Provincial Nuclear Emergency Response Plan
Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) - The PEOC is a facility where the Community Control Group assembles to manage an emergency.
Preparedness - Actions taken prior to an emergency or disaster to ensure an effective response. These actions include the formulation of an emergency response plan, a business continuity plan, training, exercises, and public awareness and education
Prevention - Actions taken to prevent an emergency or disaster.
Private Sector - A business or industry not owned or managed by any level of government.
Probability – The likelihood of something happening.
Provincial Disaster Assessment Team (PDAT) – A recovery response team that is dispatched to a community to assess damage following a disaster event and to recommend on a financial disaster assistance program for recovery.
Public Awareness Program - Provides generic information to the broader public to raise awareness about emergency management and suggests ways to reduce the risk of loss of life and property damage in the event of an emergency.
Public Education Program - Provides focused information to a target audience to educate about protective actions to reduce the risk of life and property damage, in the event of an emergency. For example, for communities located in a high-risk flood area, the public should know what measures should be taken in the event of a flood.
Public Sector - A particular element or component of government, i.e. police, fire, public works, of a municipal, provincial or federal government.
Reception Centre – Usually located outside the impact zone of the emergency, the reception centre is a place to which evacuees can go to register, receive assistance for basic needs, information and referral to a shelter if required.
Recovery - Actions taken to recover from an emergency or disaster.
Recovery Plan – A risk-based emergency plan that is developed and maintained to recover from an emergency or disaster.
Response - Actions taken to respond to an emergency or disaster.
Response Organization – Group or organization with personnel trained in local emergency response, who are prepared and may be called upon to respond as part of the coordinated response to an emergency situation. This will include municipal emergency responders such as police, fire and EMS, public works, but will also include supporting organizations such as industrial teams or social service agencies.
Risk - A chance or possibility of danger, loss, injury, or other adverse consequences.
Risk Assessment - Identification of risks to public safety, public health, the environment, property, critical infrastructure and economic stability from natural, human-caused and technological sources/activities, and evaluation of the importance of the activity to the continued operation of the community. The vulnerability of the community to each activity should also be evaluated.
Shall - Indicates a mandatory requirement.
Should - Indicates a recommendation or that which is advised but not required.
Standard - Common criteria used to measure performance.
Telecommunications - The transmission or reception of signs, images, sound or intelligence of any kind over, wires, by radio waves or other technical systems (Industry Canada).
Terrorism – The unlawful and intentional use of force against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, a civilian population or any segment thereof, in the furtherance of political or social objectives.
Threat - Any event that has the potential to disrupt or destroy critical infrastructure, or any element thereof. Threat includes accidents, natural hazards as well as deliberate attacks.
Vulnerability – The degree of susceptibility and resilience of the community and environment to hazards, the characteristics of a community or system in terms of its capacity to anticipate, cope with and recover from events.
- ABC Agencies, Boards, Commissions
- ADM Assistant Deputy Minister
- CBRN Chemical Biological, Radiological, Nuclear
- CEOC County Emergency Operation Centre
- CFIA Canadian Food Inspection Agency
- CISM Critical Incident Stress Management
- COOP Continuity of Operations
- CRC Corporate Response Centre
- DM Deputy Minister
- EI Emergency Information
- EIC Emergency Information Centre
- EIS Emergency Information Section
- EMCC Emergency Management Coordination Committee
- EMO Emergency Management Ontario
- EMS Emergency Medical Service
- ENERGY Ministry of Energy
- FCO Federal Coordination Officer
- HIRA Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment
- IC Incident Commander
- IESO Independent Electricity System Operator
- IMS Incident Management System
- JTCC Joint Traffic Control Centre
- LFCA Land Forces Central Area
- MAG Ministry Action Group
- MAG Ministry of the Attorney General
- MCSS Ministry of Community and Social Services
- MCSCS Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
- MECG Municipal Emergency Control Group
- MEOC Ministry Emergency Operations Centre
- MERP Ministry Emergency Response Plan
- MGS Ministry of Government Services
- MMAH Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
- MNDM Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
- MNR Ministry of Natural Resources
- MOE Ministry of the Environment
- MOHLTC Ministry of Health and Long Term Care
- MOL Ministry of Labour
- MTO Ministry of Transportation
- OEC Operations Executive Committee
- OIC Order in Council
- OMAFRA Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
- OPP Ontario Provincial Police
- OPS Ontario Public Service
- OSPCA Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
- PAD Public Action Directive
- PCTP Provincial Counter-Terrorism Plan
- PEMAC Provincial Emergency Management Advisory Council
- PEOC Provincial Emergency Operations Centre
- PERP Provincial Emergency Response Plan
- PNERP Provincial Nuclear Emergency Response Plan
- PS Public Safety Canada
- REOC Region Emergency Operation Centre
- Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
- Ministry of the Attorney General
- Ministry of Children and Youth Services
- Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
- Ministry of Community and Social Services
- Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
- Minister’s Office
- Deputy Minister’s Office
- Deputy Minister of Emergency Planning and Management
- Communications Branch
- Corporate Policy Branch
- Legal Services Branch
- Office of the Chief Coroner
- Facilities, Emergency Management and Security Branch
- Emergency Management Ontario
- Policing Services Division
- Office of the Fire Marshal
- Ontario Provincial Police
- Ministry of Culture
- Ministry of Economic Development and Trade
- Ministry of Education
- Ministry of Energy
- Ministry of Environment
- Ministry of Finance
- Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
- Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
- Ministry of Health Promotion
- Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs
- Ministry of Labour
- Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
- Ministry of Natural Resources
- Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
- Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal
- Ministry of Research and Innovation
- Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities
- Ministry of Tourism
- Ministry of Transportation
- Public Safety Canada
- Ontario Region Office
- Department of National Defense
- Joint Task Force Central
- Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
- Canadian Coast Guard
- Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
- Canadian Red Cross, Ontario Zone
- Salvation Army (Greater Toronto Area Division)
- St. John Ambulance – Ontario Council
- Amateur Radio Emergency Services
- CISM Advisory Council
1 In this plan, the term “communities” is a generic term referring to groups of residents at the local level, and includes municipalities, First Nations and groups of people in unorganized territories.
2 By Order in Council approved November 24, 2003, the powers and duties of the Solicitor General were transferred to the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.
3 The Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) established the position of Commissioner of Emergency Management. The Deputy Minister, Emergency Planning and Management, fulfils this function.
4 The provincial HIRA is produced and maintained by EMO, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.
5 As at the approval date of this plan, no ABC had been designated by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, for a type of emergency. If and when such a designation is made, it will be made an annex to this plan by way of an appropriate amendment.
6 The PNERP is developed by EMO, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, and approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council (section 8 of the Act,).
7 The PCTP is administered by the Policing Services Division, Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.
8 The SPTCM is administered by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.