National Emergencies: Canada's Fragile Front Lines

An Upgrade Strategy


Oshawa
Ontario

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

There are five questions in this questionnaire. The questions are underlined. The numbered statements do not have to be dealt with directly, but they should help structure your responses. Please skip-over any statement that does not apply.

1) Could you describe yourself and your community?

1.1       Who are you, and what work experience do you have that relates to emergency response co-ordination?

Fire Chief-Emergency Coordinator

1.2       How densely populated is your community (in square kilometres) and what are its dimensions? Is your community rural, urban, or mixed?

40 sq km.  Primarily urban, some Rural

1.3       Is your community near or does it include a major industrial facility, border crossing, port / airport, or transportation hub that could require a mass casualty response in an emergency?

Major G.M. Factory, between 2 nuclear plants

1.4       How often does your community experience an emergency or disaster? Can you provide some statistics?

Rare – once in last 30-40 years
Blackout Aug, 2003

2) What is your community’s risk assessment and response capability?

2.1       What are the main natural and man-made threats to your community?

Nuclear, Highway/Rail, Transp. Of Dangerous Goods

2.2       What is your organization’s assessment of local emergency preparedness and training at the present time?

Well prepared and trained

2.3       For your community, what is a major emergency? Would any of these examples qualify?

A train tanker-car that bursts and spills a hazardous chemical? Yes

The release into the local water supply or airspace of enough infectious biological agent to cause illness to 25 people a day for 7 days? How about 100 people a day for 7 days?

A flood that causes the evacuation of 100 people? How about 1, 000? How about 10, 000?

How large a fire and how severe an earthquake?

Large fire causing mass evac.

2.4       How prepared is your community to respond to a major emergency? Does it have the necessary plans, personnel and equipment ready?

Yes

2.5       For your community, what would be a successful response to a major emergency – resolving the crisis? Containing the crisis? Hanging on until provincial or federal help arrives?

2.6       Will your community rely on the provincial and / or federal governments to handle a cyber-attack or a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear disaster?

Somewhat

3) Are your assets sufficient to meet the threats you have?

3.1       What do you have in terms of money, people and equipment? Do you have back-up equipment and personnel?

Yes

3.2       How rapidly would your community’s emergency resources be depleted if one of the major emergencies anticipated in your operational plan took place? How long would it take for regional assistance to arrive, if available?

Resources well stocked

Regional assist. Avail. Immed.

3.3       Is your community satisfied with its local and regional command and communications structure? Does it require a more unified and centralized structure, and if so, why is this not in place?

Satisfied

3.4       Can your community interrupt local and national television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

Yes.

3.5       Would your community like tighter links with the relevant provincial and federal government agencies? 

No – sufficient at this time

4) Do you have programs in place to help prepare your community for the anticipated threats?

4.1       What advice have you provided to the public (i.e., homeowners, automobile operators and businesses) to help them prepare for an emergency?

Extensive info on website

4.2       Have you identified and warehoused the supplies needed to handle the various emergencies and disasters that could reasonably be expected to occur? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you elaborate?

large resource list up to date

<?> well stocked

List of human and physical resources

5) How much provincial and federal assistance do you expect in an emergency?

5.1       Which community emergency response improvements (for example, education, equipment, or money for rapid intervention teams) should be the provincial and federal government’s most immediate priorities?

5.2       Is your community satisfied with the funding it has received from the higher levels of government for training and exercising its emergency plan?

Very little received

5.3       In a major emergency, how much help will your community expect from the provincial government? How long would it take for this assistance to arrive and who would pay for it?

Depends on Emerg. Physical and financial assitance

With respect to the federal government:

Same

5.4       Will your community have to rely on federal support if a major emergency happens? Is this expectation based on an unwritten understanding and should this arrangement be formalized?

No

5.5       Is the main funding request process (the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program) helpful, or is it impeding your community’s efforts to improve emergency preparedness?

5.6       Are you satisfied with the national leadership and co-ordination provided by the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP)? Can you elaborate?

Yes – Good training base but needs to be updated – IE communication and technology

5.7       Are you confident that OCIPEP will be able to co-ordinate the national-level response to a major disaster or emergency? Please explain.

Yes

5.8       Health Canada informed the Committee that there are about 1, 600 emergency caches strategically located across Canada. Do you know of this program and have you seen a cache? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you given procedure information regarding the use of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you consulted on the usefulness of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you find a cache in your community and report on the usefulness of its contents?

No

5.9       Is the local Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent included in your emergency planning and preparedness organization? Are Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials included? How much help is anticipated from these departments?

No – no help anticipated

5.10    Is your emergency plan linked with the Department of National Defence (DND)? How much help is expected from DND in a major emergency?

No – not familiar with DND assistance

 

Oshawa
Ontario
(Revised)

In answer to question 3.4, we do not have the authority that I know of to take over the broadcasting but rely on very good cooperation from the media. I don't anticipate any problems if we need to transmit information but I suppose if the relationship wasn't good the authority would be necessary.

Question 5.3.
We haven't had a lot of experience with provincial help to date as it hasn't been required. EMO has now provided regional representatives that have provided information as required and would be of assistance in an emergency. Provincial assistance would be dependent upon whoever else was requesting at that time.

 

Gatineau
Québec

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

There are five questions in this questionnaire. The questions are underlined. The numbered statements do not have to be dealt with directly, but they should help structure your responses. Please skip over any statement that does not apply.

1.         Could you describe yourself and your community?

1.1       Who are you, and what work experience do you have that relates to emergency response co-ordination?

1.2       How densely populated is your community (in square kilometres) and what are its dimensions? Is your community rural, urban, or mixed?

1.3       Is your community near or does it include a major industrial facility, border crossing, port / airport, or transportation hub that could require a mass casualty response in an emergency?

1.4       How often does your community experience an emergency or disaster? Can you provide some statistics?

1.1       I am head of emergency preparedness planning for the City of Gatineau. I had occasion to act as co-ordinator of emergency measures during the 1998 ice storm.

1.2       The City of Gatineau is an urban municipality of 232,000 inhabitants                         spread over a territory of 339.37 square kilometres, with a population density of 641.21 persons per square kilometre.

1.3       There are four (4) pulp and paper industries and one chemical products plant in the city.

1.4       The City of Gatineau has been the theatre of 6 serious disasters since 1978.

2.  What is your community’s risk assessment and response capability?

2.1       What are the main natural and man-made threats to your community?

2.2       What is your organization’s assessment of local emergency preparedness and training at the present time?

2.3       For your community, what is a major emergency? Would any of these examples qualify?

·        A train tanker-car that bursts and spills a hazardous chemical?

·        The release into the local water supply or airspace of enough infectious biological agents to cause illness to 25 people a day for 7 days? How about 100 people a day for 7 days?

·        A flood that causes the evacuation of 100 people? How about 1, 000? How about 10, 000?

·        How large a fire and how severe an earthquake?                

2.4       How prepared is your community to respond to a major emergency?     Does it have the necessary plans, personnel and equipment ready?

2.5       For your community, what would be a successful response to a major emergency:  Resolving the crisis? Containing the crisis? Hanging on until provincial or federal help arrives?

2.6       Will your community rely on the provincial and/or federal governments to handle a cyber-attack or a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear disaster?

2.1       The main threat is the risk of flooding from the three (3) large rivers on the City’s territory.

2.2       The preparedness of our municipality is relatively good. We organize yearly training and preparedness exercises for members of the City’s emergency preparedness unit.

2.3       For our municipality, a major emergency would probably involve a flood forcing the evacuation of 10, 000 people.

2.4       The City of Gatineau has several specifically targeted emergency plans, including one for flooding.  It is therefore ready to handle an emergency.

2.5       The main response consists in evacuating or confining the population, depending on what type of major emergency takes place.

2.6       The City of Gatineau must count on assistance from the Quebec government to handle CBRNs, as its resources at that level are quite limited.

3.  Are your assets sufficient to meet the threats you have?

3.1       What do you have in terms of money, people and equipment? Do you have back-up equipment and personnel?

 3.2      How rapidly would your community’s emergency resources be depleted if one of the major emergencies anticipated in your operational plan took place? How long would it take for regional assistance to arrive, if available?

3.3       Is your community satisfied with its local and regional        command and communications structure? Does it require a more unified and centralized structure, and if so, why is this not in place?

3.4       Can your community interrupt local and national television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

3.5       Would your community like tighter links with the relevant provincial and federal government agencies?

3.1       The City of Gatineau has an overall annual budget of  $300M, 2000                      employees, and various types of equipment and material for response to             an emergency.

3.2       It is hard to say at exactly what moment the City would call on regional             or even provincial resources. That depends on the disaster, its             seriousness, the damage caused, etc.

3.3      

3.4       The City of Gatineau does not have the authority and powers required to             interrupt local or national television and radio broadcasts.

3.5       Very tight links are always desirable.

4.  Do you have programs in place to help prepare your community for the anticipated threats?

4.1 What advice have you provided to the public (i.e. homeowners, automobile operators and businesses) to help them prepare for an emergency?

4.2       Have you identified and warehoused the supplies needed to       handle the various emergencies and disasters that could reasonably be expected to occur?  Yes No. Could you elaborate?

4.1      The City has an Internet site dedicated to emergency preparedness.

            Practical advice and information are posted there for the whole                        population.  Articles are sometimes published in local newspapers and municipal publications as well.

4.2      We have no supplies warehoused.

5.  How much provincial and federal assistance do you expect in an emergency?

5.1       Which community emergency response improvements (for example, education, equipment, or money for rapid intervention teams) should be the provincial and federal governments most immediate priorities?

5.2       Is your community satisfied with the funding it has received from the higher levels of government for training and exercising its emergency plan?

5.3       In a major emergency, how much help will your community expect from the provincial government?  How long would it take for this assistance to arrive and who would pay for it?

The following questions have to do with assistance from the federal government.

5.4       Will your community have to rely on federal support if a major emergency happens?  Is this expectation based on an unwritten understanding and should this arrangement be formalized?

5.5       Is the main funding request process (the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program) helpful, or is it impeding your community’s efforts to improve emergency preparedness?

5.6       Are you satisfied with the national leadership and co-ordination provided by the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and    Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP)? Can you elaborate?

5.7       Are you confident the OCIPEP will be able to co-ordinate the national-level response to a major disaster or emergency?  Please explain.

5.8       Health Canada informed the Committee that there are about 1,600 emergency caches strategically located across Canada.  Do you know of this program and have you seen a cache?  Yes No   Were you given procedure information regarding the use of these caches?  Yes No. Could you find a cache in your community and report on the usefulness of the contents?

5.9       Is the local Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent includedin your emergency planning and preparedness organization? Are Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials included?  How much help is anticipated from these departments?

5.10    Is your emergency plan linked with the Department of National Defence (DND)? How much help is expected from DND in a major emergency? 

5.1

5.2      The City receives no credits for training or test exercises.

5.3

5.4

5.5       The joint public protection program is relevant. But, the sums allotted

             are patently inadequate and it takes much too long to receive them.

5.6

5.7

5.8        We are aware of the existence of Health Canada’s 1,600 centres caches.

              Three (3) of these centres are located on our territory.  However, we

              have no information concerning their use.

5.9         We know of no CISIS agent assigned to our municipality, nor do we

              know of any Customs and Revenue agents.

5.10       There is no link between our emergency preparedness plan and that

              of the DND.


Gatineau
(Revised)
Mr. Dawson,

Please find below the City of Gatineau’s answers to questions 3.4 to 5.3.

In the hope that you will find our answers satisfactory and useful, we wish you the best of the season.

3.4       (a)       Can your community interrupt local and national television andradio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions? If yes, please indicate whether this power was granted officially and by what means (provincial legislation).

The City of Gatineau does not  have the power to interrupt local television and radio broadcasts.

             (b)      If your municipality does not have the power to interrupt broadcasts unilaterally to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions, please indicate how you plan to inform the population in an emergency? Would you count on the cooperation of broadcasters?  Would it be helpful if your municipality had this power?

Our emergency preparedness plan states that we will issue press releases to inform the population, give instructions or make updates. We must thus count on the good will and collaboration of broadcasters for this. We could also have vehicles equipped with loud speakers drive around the city, especially in the sector            affected. It would obviously be an advantage if municipalities     did have the legal power to interrupt broadcasts in an emergency.

5.3       (a)       Judging from past experience, what assistance does your municipality expect to receive from the provincial government in a major emergency?  How long does it take this assistance to reach you?  Who pays for it?

In a major emergency or disaster, we expect the provincial government to rely first on its regional resources and then call on provincial resources, if needed. Depending on circumstances, this assistance can be available in a few hours or up to 48 hours later.  In major emergencies,  the costs of municipal             expenditures are shared with the provincial government which also assumes the  costs of government assistance.

             (b)      In a major emergency, how much help will your community expect from the provincial government?  How long would it take for this assistance to arrive and who would pay for it?

In a major emergency, our municipality will need all the help necessary to cope with the disaster.  Depending on the type of disaster, this assistance could come in the form of expert advisors, specialized teams, or any other useful form. It seems reasonable to hope that this assistance would reach us in 6 hours or less.  The costs should be assumed by the provincial and federal governments, given that coping with a major disaster exceeds the City’s capacity and it is unthinkable that local citizens could be expected to bear costs that sometimes amount to millions of dollars.

 

Saskatoon
Saskatchewan

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

There are five questions in this questionnaire. The questions are underlined. The numbered statements do not have to be dealt with directly, but they should help structure your responses. Please skip-over any statement that does not apply.

1) Could you describe yourself and your community?

1.1       Who are you, and what work experience do you have that relates to emergency response co-ordination?

1.2       How densely populated is your community (in square kilometres) and what are its dimensions? Is your community rural, urban, or mixed?

1.3       Is your community near or does it include a major industrial facility, border crossing, port / airport, or transportation hub that could require a mass casualty response in an emergency?

1.4       How often does your community experience an emergency or disaster? Can you provide some statistics?

1.1

My name is Ray Unrau, my work experiences includes 20 of service between firefighting, working as a paramedic and as a Fire Instructor.  I have been acting as the EMO coordinator while Alyson Edwards is on a leave and have recently completed the appropriate training for this position through OCIPEP.  Alyson’s background is in media as a television news anchor and reporter.            

1.2 Saskatoon is Saskatchewan’s largest city with a population of 213,607.  The city covers an area of 144 sq. kilometres that includes over 120 hectares of riverbank parklands.

1.3

Saskatchewan grows half of the entire quantity of Canada’s major export crops: wheat, oats, barley, rye, flaxseed and canola. Saskatoon is at the heart of this market, providing a variety of services and products to the farm sector. Mining is also an important part of the economy. The Saskatoon region is the world's largest exporter of uranium, and nearly two-thirds of the world's recoverable potash reserves are located in the Saskatoon region.

1.4

July 4, 1996: The Saskatoon, Maymont and Osler area was struck by a severe weather outbreak that produced an estimated 9 tornadoes, extremely strong plow winds and softball sized hail. Power lines were destroyed in the Maymont area by an F3 tornado, homes and property in the Osler area were damaged by tornadoes, wind and hail, while Saskatoon experienced severe winds which damaged many trees and properties, particularly in the east end. Winds gusts of 120 km/h and 141 km/h were measured by meteorological instruments in the Saskatoon area (Saskatoon airport and Kernan Farms respectively).

We have had other weather related emergencies, such as flooding in 1982. 

2) What is your community’s risk assessment and response capability?

2.1       What are the main natural and man-made threats to your community?

2.2       What is your organization’s assessment of local emergency preparedness and training at the present time?

2.3       For your community, what is a major emergency? Would any of these examples qualify?

A train tanker-car that bursts and spills a hazardous chemical?

The release into the local water supply or airspace of enough infectious biological agent to cause illness to 25 people a day for 7 days? How about 100 people a day for 7 days?

A flood that causes the evacuation of 100 people? How about 1, 000? How about 10, 000?

How large a fire and how severe an earthquake?

2.4       How prepared is your community to respond to a major emergency? Does it have the necessary plans, personnel and equipment ready?

2.5       For your community, what would be a successful response to a major emergency – resolving the crisis? Containing the crisis? Hanging on until provincial or federal help arrives?

2.6       Will your community rely on the provincial and / or federal governments to handle a cyber-attack or a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear disaster?

2.1

Saskatoon’s Hazard Analysis has identified 5 major areas of concern.  Severe weather, dangerous goods releases, aircraft crash, utility disruption, public health emergencies.

2.2

Based upon Saskatoon’s Hazard Analysis, we feel that our planning preparedness to date will serve us efficiently as a starting point when we need to activate our EOC.  However, more needs to be said from a training point of view(BEP, EOC, ESM).  In the past 3 years, 3 different individuals, including myself have occupied this position.  As an EMO coordinator for our area, it has been difficult to obtain timely training at a federal level in order to deliver needed training at our municipal level.  As a result of this, Saskatoon EMO has been unable to offer regular training in BEP or scenario type exercises.  We feel that more federal training should be available so as to help the municipal level folks operate efficiently.

2.3

Ex#1 – Yes a release of such a size, given the type of threat, explosion, toxic cloud as well as proximity to vital areas and atmospheric conditions and the time of day could constitute a major emergency.

Ex#2 - All of the examples would be major in our region

Ex#3 – My estimation of a major disaster here would be in the area of 500 – 1000 people that would be considered a major emergency

Ex#4 – Earthquakes are uncommon for the prairies.  A fire that threatened a high-rise apartment or one in which the toxic by-products would result in the need for a large evacuation would be considered major

2.4

Again, planning is in place, more frequent practise is needed, see 2.2

2.5

From my exposure to these issues to date, I feel that we would certainly need financial assistance and potentially manpower in terms of clean up and resumption of normal activities, I feel that our municipality would be much more efficient than merely ‘hanging on’ until outside assistance was available.

2.6

As in 2.5, we have resources, in this case an NFPA rated technician level HAZMAT team to deal with the initial response of CBRN incidents.  However, if your use of the word  ‘handle’ in reference to mitigation of such events means from beginning (initial response) to end (cleanup and resumption of normality), funding for this team for training and equipment would have to be increased.

3) Are your assets sufficient to meet the threats you have?

3.1       What do you have in terms of money, people and equipment? Do you have back-up equipment and personnel?

3.2       How rapidly would your community’s emergency resources be depleted if one of the major emergencies anticipated in your operational plan took place? How long would it take for regional assistance to arrive, if available?

3.3       Is your community satisfied with its local and regional command and communications structure? Does it require a more unified and centralized structure, and if so, why is this not in place?

3.4       Can your community interrupt local and national television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

3.5       Would your community like tighter links with the relevant provincial and federal government agencies? 

3.1

For the technical areas like CBRN, we have no backups other than what can be gained through mutual aid from other major FD’s in the region or governmental agencies above the municipality level.

3.2

Manpower for non-technical help would be quickly in place.  Prolonged HAZMAT or CBRN type emergencies would rely, as stated from mutual aid.  The only other technician level HAZMAT team in our province is in Regina.  Such a response, once organized, would take at least 2 hours of travel time.  However, if the same type of events simultaneously affected those other municipalities, relief would not be available.  In those cases, once our manpower was depleted and the staff needed rehab, we would turn to a provincial or federal sources. We are currently involved in a committee process for refining mutual aid with the other major Fire Departments in Saskatchewan.  The committee is called the Saskatchewan major urban disasters mutual aid agreement.

3.3

We feel that our communications channels adequate.

3.4

We have 1 community TV station, 1 local broadcaster affiliated to CTV, 1 local broadcaster affiliated with Global and a CBC office linked to a Regina CBC affiliated broadcaster.  In addition, we have numerous radio stations available for use should the need arise

3.5

While I am unsure as to the politics of answering such a question and certainly don’t know the full meaning of your reference to the word ‘link’, improving partnerships would always be beneficial.

4) Do you have programs in place to help prepare your community for the anticipated threats?

4.1       What advice have you provided to the public (i.e., homeowners, automobile operators and businesses) to help them prepare for an emergency?

4.2       Have you identified and warehoused the supplies needed to handle the various emergencies and disasters that could reasonably be expected to occur? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you elaborate?

4.1

We have released shelter in place video’s, have messages to that effect in the telephone book and have information on our City of Saskatoon web page informing people of what to do in various emergencies.  We have begun preliminary discussions in the department to update the EMO web page with more information

4.2

This is in various states of progress.  COS inventories are complete and an inventory of NGO partners is ongoing.  Needless to say, this effort is not complete

5) How much provincial and federal assistance do you expect in an emergency?

5.1       Which community emergency response improvements (for example, education, equipment, or money for rapid intervention teams) should be the provincial and federal government’s most immediate priorities?

5.2       Is your community satisfied with the funding it has received from the higher levels of government for training and exercising its emergency plan?

5.3       In a major emergency, how much help will your community expect from the provincial government? How long would it take for this assistance to arrive and who would pay for it?

With respect to the federal government:

5.4       Will your community have to rely on federal support if a major emergency happens? Is this expectation based on an unwritten understanding and should this arrangement be formalized?

5.5       Is the main funding request process (the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program) helpful, or is it impeding your community’s efforts to improve emergency preparedness?

5.6       Are you satisfied with the national leadership and co-ordination provided by the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP)? Can you elaborate?

5.7       Are you confident that OCIPEP will be able to co-ordinate the national-level response to a major disaster or emergency? Please explain.

5.8       Health Canada informed the Committee that there are about 1, 600 emergency caches strategically located across Canada. Do you know of this program and have you seen a cache? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you given procedure information regarding the use of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you consulted on the usefulness of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you find a cache in your community and report on the usefulness of its contents?

5.9       Is the local Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent included in your emergency planning and preparedness organization? Are Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials included? How much help is anticipated from these departments?

5.10    Is your emergency plan linked with the Department of National Defence (DND)? How much help is expected from DND in a major emergency?

5.1

It appears difficult to effectively dole out federal dollars to municipal emergency response agencies when no method is available to accurately help both the municipalities and the federal government measure the current response and planning abilities. 

I believe a series of federally developed, funded and delivered exercises should be held across the country to test municipalities with various plausible events including CBRN with Mass Decontamination issues and Flu pandemics.  This would serve as a type of needs assessment to determine the levels of training that currently exist as well as identify training that is needed.  This approach would also provide the federal government a baseline from which to measure the equipment/training needs of the municipalities involved against these types of emergencies.  Such a baseline would not only help the feds incorporate consistency and compatibility between the municipalities across the country in terms of training, but also in terms of assessing equipment request priorities.  

It is important to emphasise that these practical based needs assessments should result in the delivery of money and opportunity to meet the training needs that will be identified.  Experts should be available to deliver train-the-trainer program(s) within geographically based regions if that is the only way that municipalities can participate.  The programs may last from only a few days to several weeks so the financial impact for small to medium sized municipalities sending staff for these types of programs may be prohibitive for some.  So, in addition to paying the experts, funding for the costs associated with seconding employees into this valuable new training, which at this point is well outside the scope of current training dollars, must be addressed.

While the other options given are desirable and important, I view a scenario based needs assessment with an eye on emphasising training spending, as top priority.

5.2

No, we could always use more.  See 5.1

5.3

The speed of this response is situation dependant; I do not know how to quantify it in terms of a specific time frame.  We have military bases within the province and some within the region so travel time wood not seem to be an issue. I believe that the province begins paying after we have spent past a certain limit. 

5.4

We have an Emergency Act which specifies what level of financial support we will receive and when we can expect to receive that support.

5.5

Yes we have accessed this program several times in the past few years.  Thankyou

5.6

I have very little experience with emergency planning and cannot be considered an authority.  Please refer back to point 5.1

5.7

I have very little experience with emergency planning and cannot be considered an authority

5.8

Q1 – have I seen a cache = no

Q2 – was I given a procedure on how to access the cache = no

Q3 – was I consulted on the caches usefulness = no

Q4 – could I find a cache = no

5.9

none of the agencies listed here are part of our planning as of now

5.10

Our plan for accessing the military is situation dependant.  We have no formal procedure or communications strategy, nor do we have predetermined expectations or agreements with this group.


Regina
Saskatchewan

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

There are five questions in this questionnaire. The questions are underlined. The numbered statements do not have to be dealt with directly, but they should help structure your responses. Please skip-over any statement that does not apply.

1) Could you describe yourself and your community?

1.1       Who are you, and what work experience do you have that relates to emergency response co-ordination?

1.2       How densely populated is your community (in square kilometres) and what are its dimensions? Is your community rural, urban, or mixed?

1.3       Is your community near or does it include a major industrial facility, border crossing, port / airport, or transportation hub that could require a mass casualty response in an emergency?

1.4       How often does your community experience an emergency or disaster? Can you provide some statistics?

My name is Ken Luciak.  I am the Director of Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region – EMS.  I have been the Co-ordinator of Emergency Planning for Regina EMS for the last ten years and I am currently grooming a replacement EPP co-ordinator that should be ready to act on his own this fall (2003).  I am also a co-trainer for the City of Regina ESM, EOC training program.

The entire RQHR is 26,663 sq. km.  Our population is 245,800.  Note: 220,000 of that population is located within the greater Regina area.  The remainder are  rural and sparsely located.

We are on the CPR mainline, a major natural gas corridor that feeds eastern Canada and the eastern U.S. seaboard, the Trans-Canada highway, and flight path 4 of the ISS (International Space Station).  We also have an international airport, a major farm chemical producer (Bayer/Aventis/Agrevo), and we are the western international telephone switching hub. Regina is also located in Saskatchewan’s tornado alley.

The last major emergency or disaster to have occurred in Regina would have been the Regina Riot of 1935 and the Regina Cylone before that (1912).  We did flood quite heavily in 1974 but so did many other communities in southern Saskatchewan. Since that time we have had a number of small Chemical (Hazmat) emergencies but none of which that were serious. 

2) What is your community’s risk assessment and response capability?

2.1       What are the main natural and man-made threats to your community?

2.2       What is your organization’s assessment of local emergency preparedness and training at the present time?

2.3       For your community, what is a major emergency? Would any of these examples qualify?

·        A train tanker-car that bursts and spills a hazardous chemical?

·        The release into the local water supply or airspace of enough infectious biological agent to cause illness to 25 people a day for 7 days? How about 100 people a day for 7 days?

·        A flood that causes the evacuation of 100 people? How about 1, 000? How about 10, 000?

·        How large a fire and how severe an earthquake?

2.4       How prepared is your community to respond to a major emergency? Does it have the necessary plans, personnel and equipment ready?

2.5       For your community, what would be a successful response to a major emergency – resolving the crisis? Containing the crisis? Hanging on until provincial or federal help arrives?

2.6       Will your community rely on the provincial and / or federal governments to handle a cyber-attack or a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear disaster?

2.1 Natural Gas corridor, CPR mainline, Trans-Canada highway, severe weather.

2.2 We are very well prepared within the confines of Regina.  Unfortunately, Rural RQHR (Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region) needs a lot of work with respect to planning.

2.3Today, a major emergency is any event that requires full use of our resources.  A disaster requires resources that are outside of our immediate jurisdiction. These resources are usually accessible via a mutual aid agreement.

2.4 Yes, the City of Regina is very well prepared.

2.5 Resolving crisis.

2.6 Yes. However, we can handle small scale events that do not tax our resources.  Note: some of our biological plans involve the province’s department of health.

3) Are your assets sufficient to meet the threats you have?

3.1       What do you have in terms of money, people and equipment? Do you have back-up equipment and personnel?

3.2       How rapidly would your community’s emergency resources be depleted if one of the major emergencies anticipated in your operational plan took place? How long would it take for regional assistance to arrive, if available?

3.3       Is your community satisfied with its local and regional command and communications structure? Does it require a more unified and centralized structure, and if so, why is this not in place?

3.4       Can your community interrupt local and national television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

3.5       Would your community like tighter links with the relevant provincial and federal government agencies? 

3.1 Within the RQHR we have 120 staff and 360 volunteer medical first responders.

3.2 We have 24 ambulances, one 10-patient multiple casualty transport vehicle, a logistical support unit that carries medical supplies for 150 casualties, and a three channel decontamination tent.  We also have mutual aid agreements with 19 ambulance services. Unfortunately, a tornado could wipe out our field medical supplies within 3 to 6 hours. Mutual aid is minimal, but can be onsite within 2 to 5 hours.

3.3 We are satisfied with each agency’s Incident Command structure as well as the collaborative ESM and EOC structures (as taught by OCIPEP, the province of Saskatchewan and the City of Regina).

3.4 No, to the best of my knowledge, we do have arrangements with local radio stations to get emergency messages out, but we do not have the ability to interrupt broadcasts.  I wish that we did.

3.5 I believe that the links to the province are quite strong.  We work with many of these departments on a day-to-day basis.

4) Do you have programs in place to help prepare your community for the anticipated threats?

4.1       What advice have you provided to the public (i.e., homeowners, automobile operators and businesses) to help them prepare for an emergency?

4.2       Have you identified and warehoused the supplies needed to handle the various emergencies and disasters that could reasonably be expected to occur? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you elaborate?

4.1 We have some folders, handouts and booklets on preparing for an emergency.

4.2 Yes.  We have MERV 1 (a logistical support unit) which has supplies on-board for 150 casualties. We do require more supplies for our medical equipment caches though.  I would be more comfortable if we had enough supplies for 150 casualties.  These supplies include: backboards, triangular bandages, pressure dressings, triage tags, oropharangeal airways, oxygen, medications (esp. for chemical and biological emergencies), and blankets.

5) How much provincial and federal assistance do you expect in an emergency?

5.1       Which community emergency response improvements (for example, education, equipment, or money for rapid intervention teams) should be the provincial and federal government’s most immediate priorities?

5.2       Is your community satisfied with the funding it has received from the higher levels of government for training and exercising its emergency plan?

5.3       In a major emergency, how much help will your community expect from the provincial government? How long would it take for this assistance to arrive and who would pay for it?

With respect to the federal government:

5.4       Will your community have to rely on federal support if a major emergency happens? Is this expectation based on an unwritten understanding and should this arrangement be formalized?

5.5       Is the main funding request process (the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program) helpful, or is it impeding your community’s efforts to improve emergency preparedness?

5.6       Are you satisfied with the national leadership and co-ordination provided by the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP)? Can you elaborate?

5.7       Are you confident that OCIPEP will be able to co-ordinate the national-level response to a major disaster or emergency? Please explain.

5.8       Health Canada informed the Committee that there are about 1, 600 emergency caches strategically located across Canada. Do you know of this program and have you seen a cache? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you given procedure information regarding the use of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you consulted on the usefulness of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you find a cache in your community and report on the usefulness of its contents?

5.9       Is the local Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent included in your emergency planning and preparedness organization? Are Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials included? How much help is anticipated from these departments?

5.10    Is your emergency plan linked with the Department of National Defence (DND)? How much help is expected from DND in a major emergency?

5.1 We could use help building 2 teams to serve the province (north and south) on HUSAR and CBRN emergencies.

5.2 We could use more support for HUSAR initiatives.  I am pleased with CBRN funding thus far.

5.3 We may want technical expertise for some biological emergencies (provincial lab).  This help is usually available within a couple of hours b/c we are in the same city as the lab.  I suspect that the municipality and the regional health authority would be expected to pay.

5.4 We will not likely require too much federal support within the first few hours (however, we may approach the RCMP training academy within the city in the event we need perimeter control). If the event becomes quite lengthy, we will likely may a request for relief to the federal government.

5.5It is helpful.

5.6 Sorry, but I have very little experience with OCIPEP beyond training and JEPP funding, therefore I can not answer this question.

5.7 I would hope so. However, I am not sure if they understand the maturity of each region’s planning, therefore co-ordination may become delayed during that steep leaning curve.

5.8 I have seen Regina’s emergency cache.  Our department of health and St. John Ambulance are responsible for maintenance and set up. We have been familiarized with the usefulness of these caches and I know who to call to get a cache made available.  Note: much of the equipment in the cache is very dated.

5.9 The local CSIS agent is not part of the EMS planning and preparedness.  Neither are the CCRA or Citizenship and Immigration Canada.  I could possibly use CSIS to help identify threats but have not.


Barrie
Ontario

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

There are five questions in this questionnaire. The questions are underlined. The numbered statements do not have to be dealt with directly, but they should help structure your responses. Please skip-over any statement that does not apply.

1) Could you describe yourself and your community?

1.1       Who are you, and what work experience do you have that relates to emergency response co-ordination?

1.2       How densely populated is your community (in square kilometres) and what are its dimensions? Is your community rural, urban, or mixed?

1.3       Is your community near or does it include a major industrial facility, border crossing, port / airport, or transportation hub that could require a mass casualty response in an emergency?

1.4       How often does your community experience an emergency or disaster? Can you provide some statistics?

– My name is Ron Hickey, Fire Chief and Community Emergency Management Co-ordinator (CEMC) for the City of Barrie Ontario. I have 20+ years in the Fire Service and 10+ years in Ambulance Service in Ontario. I have taken the old Emergency Measures Ontario Emergency Preparedness Program and the new CEMC course offered by Emergency Management Ontario (EMO). I have just rewritten the City’s Emergency Response Plan as required for the Essential Level of Emergency Preparedness by EMO.

The Corporation of the City of Barrie occupies 77 Sq. kilometres with a population of 115,000 in 2002 and growing at the rate of 5,000 per year. The City is close to build out and is urban in nature.

The City has a shared Airport 7 mile from the City (c/w point of entry and import duty services). Highway #400 transects the City and highway #407 is planned on the western boundary. Barrie lies on Lake Simcoe at the western end of Kempenfelt Bay. Our industry is mostly small to medium in the high tech. field. One Hazmat disposal Plant, One Cyanide Disposal Plan, One large hospital and many homes for the aged, nursing homes and highrise apartments.

The City of Barrie is located in the north eastern extend of Ontario’s tornado alley. We experienced Hurricane Hazel in 1954 and the severe tornado (causing extreme damage and death) in 1985. Both of these incidents required external assistance.  We have also had many large highway accidents (as many as 100+ cars and buses) on Hwy 400 a couple of explosions and hazmat situations but thesel have been handled with local resources.                    

2) What is your community’s risk assessment and response capability?

2.1       What are the main natural and man-made threats to your community?

2.2       What is your organization’s assessment of local emergency preparedness and training at the present time?

2.3       For your community, what is a major emergency? Would any of these examples qualify?

·        A train tanker-car that bursts and spills a hazardous chemical?

·        The release into the local water supply or airspace of enough infectious biological agent to cause illness to 25 people a day for 7 days? How about 100 people a day for 7 days?

·        A flood that causes the evacuation of 100 people? How about 1, 000? How about 10, 000?

·        How large a fire and how severe an earthquake?

2.4       How prepared is your community to respond to a major emergency? Does it have the necessary plans, personnel and equipment ready?

2.5       For your community, what would be a successful response to a major emergency – resolving the crisis? Containing the crisis? Hanging on until provincial or federal help arrives?

2.6       Will your community rely on the provincial and / or federal governments to handle a cyber-attack or a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear disaster?

2.1 Natural – High winds, tornados, severe winter storms, hail and ice storms. The threat of pandemic/epidemic are growing with SARS and West Nile. 

Manmade – MVCs, Hazmat spills both industrial and highway. The potential for Terrorism and violent activism are growing as elsewhere. Our downtown core is extremely old and posses a threat of block long fire devastation.

2.2 In my opinion Barrie is reasonable well prepared - training of emergency services is at a high level (police, fire, ambulance) – training of other city responders including the Community Control Group could be improved and is planned in 2003/4. Local support agencies are well organized and trained – Red Cross, St. John, Salvation Army, ARES, District Health Unit etc. Even with all of this a lot of work remains in order to have a truly comprehensive plan which  will include mitigation, prevention, response and rehabilitation planning and processes.

2.3– I believe all of those items mentioned would warrant, at their middle or extreme degree, the declaration of a disaster under Provincial Legislation.

– The City has an Emergency Response Plan in place complete with a Community Control Group and Emergency Operations Center. Barrie ahs just received its award of the Essential Level of Partnerships for Safer Communities and is implementing the Community Emergency Response Volunteer (CERV) program.  We have contracted a consultant to bring our Emergency Response Plan and all associated aspects of planning, programming and training in line with the new Emergency Management Act. I believe we are two items, of eleven, away from achieving Essential level of overall Emergency Preparedness Planning. There is always room for improvement and I expect there is need for a full time Emergency Planner position in the not to distant future.

I would like to resolve all crisis but understand that is a physical and economic impossibility and therefore feel that we should be able to contain and hold the situation pending arrival of Provincial and Federal help. Even contain and hold in a costly and time consuming goal to achieve.

Yes we would have to rely on external Provincial and Federal help to resolve such crisis. Both the Province and Feds need to put a lot more money into Municipalities as well as their own programs to achieve a reasonable, reliable and viable interdependent system.  

3) Are your assets sufficient to meet the threats you have?

3.1       What do you have in terms of money, people and equipment? Do you have back-up equipment and personnel?

3.2       How rapidly would your community’s emergency resources be depleted if one of the major emergencies anticipated in your operational plan took place? How long would it take for regional assistance to arrive, if available?

3.3       Is your community satisfied with its local and regional command and communications structure? Does it require a more unified and centralized structure, and if so, why is this not in place?

3.4       Can your community interrupt local and national television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

3.5       Would your community like tighter links with the relevant provincial and federal government agencies? 

4) Do you have programs in place to help prepare your community for the anticipated threats?

4.1       What advice have you provided to the public (i.e., homeowners, automobile operators and businesses) to help them prepare for an emergency?

4.2       Have you identified and warehoused the supplies needed to handle the various emergencies and disasters that could reasonably be expected to occur? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you elaborate?

4.1 This year our commitment to participated in Emergency Preparedness Week was stronger than ever before. The CERV co-ordinating group and their staff put a large display in a local Mall for 5 days. An EMO representative along with myself did a one hour talk and Q&A on local TV and many pamphlets from OCIPEP, Red Cross and EMO have been made available. Part of the additional work to complete in our emergency response programming is to formalize a more comprehensive public education and training program.

4.2 We have a response plan, shelters, EOC, CEMC, Community Emergency Response Group and created an emergency equipment resource list of suppliers. This resource list requires more work and we have not yet had the opportunity to consider stockpiling.      

5) How much provincial and federal assistance do you expect in an emergency?

5.1       Which community emergency response improvements (for example, education, equipment, or money for rapid intervention teams) should be the provincial and federal government’s most immediate priorities?

5.2       Is your community satisfied with the funding it has received from the higher levels of government for training and exercising its emergency plan?

5.3       In a major emergency, how much help will your community expect from the provincial government? How long would it take for this assistance to arrive and who would pay for it?

With respect to the federal government:

5.4       Will your community have to rely on federal support if a major emergency happens? Is this expectation based on an unwritten understanding and should this arrangement be formalized?

5.5       Is the main funding request process (the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program) helpful, or is it impeding your community’s efforts to improve emergency preparedness?

5.6       Are you satisfied with the national leadership and co-ordination provided by the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP)? Can you elaborate?

5.7       Are you confident that OCIPEP will be able to co-ordinate the national-level response to a major disaster or emergency? Please explain.

5.8       Health Canada informed the Committee that there are about 1, 600 emergency caches strategically located across Canada. Do you know of this program and have you seen a cache? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you given procedure information regarding the use of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you consulted on the usefulness of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you find a cache in your community and report on the usefulness of its contents?

5.9       Is the local Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent included in your emergency planning and preparedness organization? Are Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials included? How much help is anticipated from these departments?

5.10    Is your emergency plan linked with the Department of National Defence (DND)? How much help is expected from DND in a major emergency?

5.1 – Federal and Provincial agencies (jointly) should be providing training, equipment and funding for reasonably expected large scale incidents (This should also include funding emergency services for training on off duty days – O/T. Significant exposures across the Province and Canada include Urban Search and Rescue, Confined Space Operations, Hazmat Operations. Funding training and equipment should be for teams of the contain and hold nature at the Local Level, mitigation teams at the County or Regional Level, Sustained event support and relief team capability at the Provincial and National Level.

5.2 – No. Much more could be done with funded emergency planning personnel and with staff and funding made available for large scale exercises. Much of the problem lies around few if any committed staff  locally to prepare plans and exercises.

5.3 – In a large scale event where and emergency has been “declared” I expect major support from the Province from any Ministry that may appropriately be involved. EMO support is necessary through the Provincial Operations Center and EMO Staff. Support from the Province could take from 2 to 8 hours to deploy with various agencies responding at various times throughout that period.         

I would expect that under the Emergency Management Act the Province would pay based on after event assessments.

With respect to Federal assistance as stated earlier I believe that DND should play a major role in large scale disasters. They have, or should have, large human, material and financial resources committed disaster mitigation and access to these resources should be formalized and documented. The City of Barrie has Base Borden 15 kms. away and I can only access their help after a disaster is declared and through the Provincial Operations Center.

5.4 – Yes – We should be able to rely on Base Borden DND resources. Only informal arrangements exist implying we can ask but they are not sure they can respond and what costs might be billed afterwards therefore there is significant reluctance to call upon them. Formalized assistance should be established.

5.5 – JEPP is helpful and we have received some assistance in the past and again in 2003. Funds seems to be quite limited based upon percentages that are not adequate, approvals take a very long time to process and funding periods are out of sink with Municipal budget years.

5.6,– I am very unfamiliar with OCIPEP, they do not seem to make their presence  or services or goals/function well known.

5.7– Due to my unfamiliarity with OCIPEP I can not comment.

5.8 – I was not aware and have not seen one. No knowledge of the caches therefore no consultation or information. There has been no consultation in my memory. I wouldn’t know where to look without some information. I expect this resource might be at Base Borden?

5.9 – They are not integrated in our Plan and I have no information how they might relate locally or how much help they might be.

5.10 – Our plan is not linked with DND other than perhaps through EMO. I would like to see a lot of help but really don’t know how much we might expect locally as no formal information or inter-relationship structure seems to be available.  


Barrie
Ontario
(Revised)

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

3.4       (a) Does your community have the unilateral ability to interrupt on command (i.e., interrupting programming for urgent special announcements) local television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?  If yes, please indicate if the authority to interrupt is officially granted to your community and through which mechanism  (e.g., provincial legislation).

            (b) If your community does not have the unilateral ability to interrupt on command, please indicate how you plan to inform the population in the event of an emergency. Are you counting on the cooperation of broadcasters to do so? Would your community benefit from officially having the authority to interrupt broadcasts on command to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

5.3       (a) Based on past experience, how much help has your community come to expect from the provincial government during a major emergency?  How long does it take for this help to arrive?  Who pays for it?

(b) In the event of a future major emergency, how much help would your community need from the provincial government?  What would be a reasonable time limit for this help to arrive?  Who should pay for it?

In response to your questions:

3.4 (a) – No, to the best of my knowledge, we do not have the unilateral ability, on command to interrupt television or radio programming for emergency messages.

3.4 (b) – We have relied upon and had no problem with local radio or television stations in securing their cooperation for such messages. It would be difficult to imagine a media/news outlet not cooperating with breaking emergency news. We do count on their cooperation and have had no problem. We have had particularly good cooperation with those outlets with emergency power availability.

5.3 (a) – We expect a good deal of help from the Ontario Provincial Government through Emergency Management Ontario and the Provincial Operations Center during a major emergency where the municipality has “declared an emergency” or where our municipality may require support for a CBRN incident through the Provincial Operations Center and the Ontario Fire Marshals Office. Due to our close proximity to Toronto Provincial assistance can be expected within hours. Fortunately the municipality’s last experience was during the Tornado of 1985. The Provincial Government should pay for this assistance as the munipality will already have exceed its own resource capability.

5.5 (b) – In the event of a “Declared Emergency”, by definition we would require a significant amount of help from the provincial government and the provincial government should be responsible and pay for this type of large scale emergency assistance. 

 

Sherbrooke
Québec

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

There are five questions in this questionnaire. The questions are underlined. The numbered statements do not have to be dealt with directly, but they should help structure your responses. Please skip over any statement that does not apply.

1.  Could you describe yourself and your community?

1.1       Who are you, and what work experience do you have that relates to emergency response co-ordination?

Co-ordinator of emergency preparedness Academic training and 20 years of experience on the ground

1.2       How densely populated is your community (in square kilometres) and what are its dimensions? Is your community rural, urban, or mixed?

400 square kilometres

Mixed composition

1.3       Is your community near or does it include a major industrial facility, border crossing, port / airport, or transportation hub that could require a mass casualty response in an emergency?

Yes.

1.4       How often does your community experience an emergency or disaster? Can you provide some statistics?

Floods twice a year

Major fire

Biogas leak

2.  What is your community’s risk assessment and response capability?

2.1       What are the main natural and man-made threats to your community?

Floods, hazardous materials [transported] by road and rail

2.2       What is your organization’s assessment of local emergency preparedness and training at the present time?

Annual evaluation with pre-determined scenario

2.3       For your community, what is a major emergency? Would any of these examples qualify?

·        A train tanker-car that bursts and spills a hazardous chemical?

·        The release into the local water supply or airspace of enough infectious biological agent to cause illness to 25 people a day for 7 days? How about 100 people a day for 7 days?

·        A flood that causes the evacuation of 100 people? How about 1, 000? How about 10, 000?

·        How large a fire and how severe an earthquake?

2.4       How prepared is your community to respond to a major emergency?     Does it have the necessary plans, personnel and equipment ready?

            Yes.

2.5       For your community, what would be a successful response to a major emergency:  Resolving the crisis? Containing the crisis? Hanging on until provincial or federal help arrives?

Included in the emergency preparedness plan

2.6       Will your community rely on the provincial and / or federal governments to handle a cyber-attack or a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear disaster?

Yes.

3.  Are your assets sufficient to meet the threats you have?

3.1       What do you have in terms of money, people and equipment? Do you have back-up equipment and personnel?

Normal resources expected for a municipality of 145, 000 inhabitants.

3.2       How rapidly would your community’s emergency resources be depleted if one of the major emergencies anticipated in your operational plan took place? How long would it take for regional assistance to arrive, if available?

When financial, human, and material resources would run out.

3.3       Is your community satisfied with its local and regional command and communications structure? Does it require a more unified and centralized structure, and if so, why is this not in place?

Yes.

3.4       Can your community interrupt local and national television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

No.

3.5       Would your community like tighter links with the relevant provincial and federal government agencies?

Yes.

4.  Do you have programs in place to help prepare your community for the anticipated threats?

4.1       What advice have you provided to the public (i.e. homeowners, automobile operators and businesses) to help them prepare for an emergency?

General information for citizens published in local newspapers.

4.2       Have you identified and warehoused the supplies needed to handle the various emergencies and disasters that could reasonably be expected to occur?  Yes  No.  Could you elaborate?

No.

5.  How much provincial and federal assistance do you expect in an emergency?

5.1       Which community emergency response improvements  (for example, education, equipment, or money for rapid intervention teams) should be the provincial and federal governments most immediate priorities?

More information needed about credits available and procedure for obtaining them.

5.2       Is  your community satisfied with the funding it has received from the higher levels of government for training and exercising its emergency plan?

No.

5.3       In a major emergency, how much help will your community expect from the provincial government?  How long would it take for this assistance to arrive and who would pay for it?

As rapidly as possible: <30 days

The following questions have to do with assistance from the federal government.

5.4       Will your community have to rely on federal support if a majoremergency happens?  Is this expectation based on an unwritten understanding and should this arrangement be formalized?

Yes.

5.5       Is the main funding request process (the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program) helpful, or is it impeding your community’s efforts to improve  emergency  preparedness?

Very helpful.

5.6       Are you satisfied with the national leadership and co-ordination provided by the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP)? Can you elaborate?

Unknown.

5.7       Are you confident the OCIPEP will be able to co-ordinate the national-level response to a major disaster or emergency?  Please explain.

Yes, to my knowledge.

5.8       Health Canada informed the Committee that there are about        1,600 emergency caches strategically located across Canada.  Do you know of this program and have you seen a cache?  Yes     No Were you given procedure information regarding the use of these caches?  Yes  No. Could you find a cache      in your community and report on the usefulness of the contents?

Yes.

5.9       Is the local Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent included in your emergency planning and preparedness organization? Are Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials included?  How much help is anticipated from these departments?

No, I don’t know what their mission is in a catastrophe.

5.10    Is your emergency plan linked with the Department of National Defence (DND)? How much help is expected from DND in a major emergency?  

The Quebec Ministry of Public Security is expected to take care of linkage and requisitions.


St. John’s
Newfoundland and Labrador

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

1) Could you describe yourself and your community?

The City of St. John’s is the capital city for the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. 

St. John’s is located on the eastern most point of the Avalon Peninsula and shares borders with a number of smaller towns and the City of Mt. Pearl, forming the St. John’s Metropolitan Area (CMA).

The City of St. John’s is 480 sq. km. in area with directional dimensions of 31 km east to west and 32 km north to south.

The City is comprised of a densely populated downtown area, expanding into typical urban development, with urban/rural mix and rural on the outskirts of the City.

The most recent census information provides a population base of 99,181 persons for the City of St. John’s and 172,918 for the St. John’s CMA.

The City of St. John’s plays host to the majority of provincial and federal government offices and as well contains international sea and air ports.

The City of St. John’s has adopted an Emergency Preparedness Plan which includes as partner members; provincial government offices representing the local Police, Health Care, Human Resources and Employment, and Health and Community Services.

As well, communication links with the Provincial Emergency Measures Organization and the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness have been well established.

Fortunately the City of St. John’s has not experienced an emergency which would be classified as a disaster in many years.

The City is however subject to threat of natural disasters such as major snow, ice, wind and rain storms.  In recent years the City as experienced severe damage due to flooding.

Another likely threat to the City of St. John’s is fire, particularly in the downtown area where the majority of structures are of wood frame construction, primarily residential and small commercial circa 1900-1940.

2) What is your community’s risk assessment and response capability?

From a training perspective most members holding key positions in the City’s Emergency Plan have undergone various levels of training in emergency preparedness, however, this training requires continued updating to ensure consistent application of the plan.  Also given the nature of the plan, there are often new members requiring training.

The City of St. John’s would classify the following events as major emergencies:

severe weather related emergency fire threatening the downtown core a major chemical/biological spill or release of volatile product into the City’s densely populated areas or underground infrastructure.

contamination of the water supply a commercial airline crash in a populated area 

The City of St. John’s is reasonably well prepared to respond to most emergencies with the assistance of its primary partners.

Exercises have been carried out in conjunction with both Federal and Provincial Governments and the City of St. John’s coordinated the local response to the September 11th tragedy which resulted in the diversion of several thousand passengers to St. John’s.  

An emergency requiring the evacuation and housing of large numbers of citizens would certainly provide a challenge especially during winter months, as well, a sustained loss of power throughout the City during poor weather periods would also provide significant challenges.

In all cases the City would follow established protocol whereby City forces would be deployed as first responders to assess and address each challenge.  Depending upon the scope, complexity and diversity of he event the City may request Provincial assistance who in turn would determine the need in consultation with the City to involve Federal assistance.

The City of St. John’s has trained staff to address mattes of a chemical and biological nature, however, radiological and/or nuclear response would be the responsibility of the Federal Government.  In all cases however the City of St. John’s would provide a supportive role as required.

3) Are your assets sufficient to meet the threats you have?

In response to the series of suggested questions for this category, the City of St. John’s is well equipped to handle most likely emergencies and as well play a major role in emergencies considered a disaster.

As previously stated the City and its Provincial counterparts work together to provide a coordinated response to emergencies.

Effectively we have the resources of the largest municipality and the Provincial Government at our disposal.

Further with the established Federal linkages, access to Federal agencies is readily available.  I hesitate to comment on Federal response capability in this area.

Communications systems and communications protocol always raise concern.

A coordinated system and communications structure is needed and requires immediate attention.  In this area all three major players, Municipal, Provincial and Federal agencies need to work together to identify areas of concern and implement changes where necessary.  This would include both hardware issues as well as information sharing between agencies.

With respect to emergency broadcasting the City of St. John’s does not have the capability to interrupt local radio or television broadcasts, instead we work with the local providers to get the message out.

4) Do you have programs in place to help prepare your community for the anticipated threats?

Public information is generally provided through printed and electronic media during an event or,  where known, preceding an event.

General information and contact information is available through agency web sites and is provided in printed forms from some government offices and community service agencies.

In general the City of St. John’s does not stock-pile or warehouse supplies specifically for emergency purposes outside of those required for emergency repair to infrastructure.

Under our emergency plan however, our partner agencies, such as Human Resources and Employment (a provincial department) deal with issues of supplies such as food, clothing, bedding materials, etc.

We would rely on the local supply network to access materials, food and shelter which would be in excess of our current supplies.

5) How much provincial and federal assistance do you expect in an emergency?

For the City of St. John’s priority has to be given to education and training for emergency response teams.  Equipment must be renewed and kept up to date through continued life cycle replacement programming and should from part of each agency’s operating budget.

Additional funding for training and exercise is required to adequately test the plan. We are presently discussing a major training exercise with OCIPEP and the Provincial EMO offices. This exercise will require substantial funding for planning and implementation however at this time it is unknown if Federal assistance will be made available.

In the event of a major emergency it is expected that assistance will be required from both Provincial and Federal Governments, whether it is by direct resource deployment or financial assistance.  Again established protocol exists for such assistance.

With respect to JEPP funding, the City of St. John’s would be more receptive to direct access to Federal funding as the present process requires Provincial approval yet the process does not provide any assistance from the Province of Newfoundland. All projects have been subject to the Municipality providing the full 50% share of the funding required yet the Province has final say on the approval. I t is felt that the needs of the capital region should not be in competition with Provincial demands for Federal funding.

The City of St. John’s has a good working relationship with the local office of OCIPEP however it is felt that a greater leadership role should be established through OCIPEP in the areas of  education, training and emergency preparedness awareness.  Additionally national programs such as critical infrastructure identification and protection should involve the municipality.

With respect to emergency caches , I am aware of their existence and contents in general, however, I have not seen them nor have I been given any information on accessing the contents.

Federal Departments such as Canada Customs, Citizenship and Immigration are identified as agency contacts, however most involvement with these and agencies such as CSIS, Transport Canada, DND would be coordinated through EMO or OCIPEP.

It is anticipated that the appropriate response would be provided from Federal agencies in the event of an emergency and that this will be carried out in a coordinated manner with direction coming from the Federal Emergency operations Center.

I hope this information will be of assistance.

Should you require additional information please feel free to contact the undersigned by phone: (709) 576-8701; fax: (709) 576-8160 or email: dblackmore@stjohns.ca.

David Blackmore, R.P.A.   
Director of Building & Property Management
City of St. John’s

 

Trois Rivières
Québec

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

There are five questions in this questionnaire. The questions are underlined. The numbered statements do not have to be dealt with directly, but they should help structure your responses. Please skip over any statement that does not apply.

1.  Could you describe yourself and your community?

1.1       Who are you, and what work experience do you have that relates to emergency response co-ordination?

1.2       How densely populated is your community (in square kilometres) and what are its dimensions? Is your community rural, urban, or mixed?

1.3       Is your community near or does it include a major industrial facility, border crossing, port / airport, or transportation hub that could require a mass casualty response in an emergency?

1.4       How often does your community experience an emergency or disaster? Can you provide some statistics?

1.1       Assistant to the Public Security Director and to the co-ordinator of emergency preparedness for the City of Trois Rivières.  Thirty-two years with the

Sûreté du Québec, twenty-five of these years as a deputy officer and officer and one year as Director of the Public Security Department for Trois-Rivières-Ouest, more than two years as assistant to the director of the new city of Trois-Rivières.  Example:  October 1970 crisis, Oka crisis, ice storm.

1.2       Population 126,454.  332 square km.  of territory. New city of Trois-Rivières: rural-urban—810 km of streets to patrol.

1.3       A port and an airport whose activities are not crucial to the survival of our region: St. Lawrence River and Saint-Maurice river.

1.4       No major catastrophe has been brought to my attention in decades.

2.  What is your community’s risk assessment and response capability?

2.1       What are the main natural and man-made threats to your community?

2.2       What is your organization’s assessment of local emergency preparedness and training at the present time?

2.3       For your community, what is a major emergency? Would any of these examples qualify?

·        A train tanker-car that bursts and spills a hazardous chemical?

·        The release into the local water supply or airspace of enough infectious biological agent to cause illness to 25 people a day for 7 days? How about 100 people a day for 7 days?

·        A flood that causes the evacuation of 100 people? How about 1, 000? How about 10, 000?

·        How large a fire and how severe an earthquake?

2.4       How prepared is your community to respond to a major emergency?  Does     it have the necessary plans, personnel and equipment ready?

2.5       For your community, what would be a successful response to a major             emergency:  Resolving the crisis? Containing the crisis? Hanging on until      provincial or federal help arrives?

2.6       Will your community rely on the provincial and / or federal governments to handle a cyber-attack or a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear disaster?

2.1       Gouin dam north of la Tuque and Gentilly nuclear facility.

2.2       In collaboration with Public Security, the Sûreté du Québec as well as a response plan prepared for that purpose.

2.3       Biological agent infecting 100 persons per day for 7 days.  Flood forcing the evacuation of 10,000 persons.

2.4       We are currently engaged in identifying all potential risks and an expert hired a year ago is elaborating the new EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PLAN.

2.5       Call up its personnel: 174 members of the police and firefighters; 75 volunteer firefighters, more than 600 city employees. Call on assistance of Public Security and the Sûreté du Québec.

2.6       Yes

3. Are your assets sufficient to meet the threats you have?

3.1       What do you have in terms of money, people and equipment? Do you have back-up equipment and personnel?

 3.2      How rapidly would your community’s emergency resources be depleted if one of the major emergencies anticipated in your operational plan took place? How long would it take for regional assistance to arrive, if available?

3.3       Is your community satisfied with its local and regional        command and communications structure? Does it require a more unified and centralized structure, and if so, why is this not in place?

3.4       Can your community interrupt local and national television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

3.5       Would your community like tighter links with the relevant provincial and federal government agencies? 

3.1       Yes, the city has a budge of more than $127 million and various pieces of

            equipment for use until any outside help needed could arrive.

3.2       Hard to answer  without a definite scenario.  However, I can point out that        we are working in close collaboration with  Public Security and various     provincial organizations.

3.3       Yes.

3.4       No.  However, existing collaboration is excellent.

3.5       We are always interested in establishing links with the different levels of government, in order to facilitate and improve our city’s public security.

4.  Do you have programs in place to help prepare your community for the anticipated threats?

4.1       What advice have you provided to the public (i.e. homeowners,automobile operators and businesses) to help them prepare for an emergency?

4.2       Have you identified and warehoused the supplies needed to handle the various emergencies and disasters that could reasonably be expected to occur?  Yes    No       . Could you elaborate?

4.1       Elaboration of a new emergency measures plan following the merger of six villages and elaboration of coverage of the pattern of risks.

4.2       Yes, with regard to nuclear power.  We are in the process of distributing iodine tables for citizens to use in case of an alert.

5.  How much provincial and federal assistance do you expect in an emergency?

5.1       Which community emergency  response improvements  (for example, education, equipment, or money for rapid  intervention teams) should be  the provincial and federal governments most immediate priorities?

5.2       Is your community satisfied with the funding it has received from the higher levels of government for training and exercising its emergency plan?

5.3       In a major emergency, how much help will your community expect from the provincial government?  How long would it take for this assistance to arrive and who would pay for it?

The following questions have to do with assistance from the federal government.

5.4       Will your community have to rely on federal support if a major emergency happens?  Is this expectation based on an unwritten understanding and should this arrangement be formalized?

5.5       Is the main funding request process (the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program) helpful, or is it impeding your community’s efforts to improve  emergency  preparedness?

5.6       Are you satisfied with the national leadership and co-ordination provided by the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP)? Can you elaborate?

5.7       Are you confident the OCIPEP will be able to co-ordinate the national-level response to a major disaster or emergency?  Please explain.

5.8       Health Canada informed the Committee that there are about 1,600 emergency caches strategically located across Canada.  Do you know of this program and have you seen a cache?  Yes     No Were you given procedure information regarding the use of these caches?  Yes  No. Could you find a cache in your community and report on the usefulness of the contents?

5.9       Is the local Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent included in your emergency planning and preparedness organization? Are Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials included?  How much help is anticipated from these departments?

5.10    Is your emergency plan linked with the Department of National Defence (DND)? How much help is expected from DND in a major emergency? 

5.1       Meet costs and pay for training required.

5.2       Not really, since we have no grant to mention in that respect.

5.3       Human resources, material, and financial support

5.4       In the current political context, it is premature to count on federal           assistance without knowing the nature of the disaster (hypothetical             question).  There       has never been any understanding with regard to        such support from the federal government but there should be.

5.5       I can’t answer this question, because I have never been involved in this            procedure.

5.6       Unfortunately, I am not familiar with either the orientation or national status

            of the OCIPEP.

5.7       The same as for 5.6

5.8       The same as for 5.6.  I have no idea where these caches are located and I     have never received any information on that subject.

5.9       If this agent belongs to the intervention team, I don’t know him.

5.10    The current plans of the six former cities establish no links with the DND. As already pointed out, a new emergency preparednes plan is being elaborated.

 

Langley
British Columbia

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

There are five questions in this questionnaire. The questions are underlined. The numbered statements do not have to be dealt with directly, but they should help structure your responses. Please skip-over any statement that does not apply.

1) Could you describe yourself and your community?

1.1       Who are you, and what work experience do you have that relates to emergency response co-ordination?

Sheena Vivian, fulltime Emergency Planner for the City & Township of Langley.  I have been in this position for nearly 8 years and I have a Post Graduate Diploma in Risk Crisis and Disaster Management and I am currently finishing my MSc. in the same.

1.2       How densely populated is your community (in square kilometres) and what are its dimensions? Is your community rural, urban, or mixed?

There are two jurisdictions with the name Langley.  Langley City has a population of 25,000 and the Township of Langley has a population of 90,000 and combined they occupy an area of just over 300 square kilometres.  The Township of Langley surrounds the City of Langley on three of four sides, with the City of Surrey bounding the City on the west.

1.3       Is your community near or does it include a major industrial facility, border crossing, port / airport, or transportation hub that could require a mass casualty response in an emergency?

Both communities have major industrial areas with significant chemical hazards such as chlorine & ammonia.  The Township of Langley shares a border with the Whatcom County in the US.  The Township has a small but active airport with the largest population of helicopters anywhere in BC.  The largest aircraft that flies out of Langley Municipal Airport would be a Twin Otter (16 passengers).  The CN/CP main rail line runs through the main commercial area of the City & Township and the Township’s population is bisected by the Trans-Canada Highway.

1.4       How often does your community experience an emergency or disaster? Can you provide some statistics?

The Township of Langley sits on the South bank of the Fraser river, which has a history of freshet related flooding every 50 years or so with major  historic events occurring in 1898 and 1949 respectively.  Much work has been done in the past 50 years to mitigate against the flood threat however the potential though diminished, still exists.  Other threats are less easily quantified.  Our communities have responded to two major storms, in the past seven years.  The first was the heavy snowfall experienced by the all of south-west British Columbia during Christmas of 1996.  The second was a major windstorm which left 40,000 residents of Langley without power for up to five days in December of1998.  The two Langleys have experienced four apartment fires in the past two years and a major train derailment just prior to Christmas 2002. In December of 1998 the Township dealt with a transportation accident involving methane, as well as a number of small static or plant based incidents in the past few years. 

2) What is your community’s risk assessment and response capability?

2.1       What are the main natural and man-made threats to your community?

The primary environmental hazard is likely spring flooding, with our main technological hazard being transportation or static hazardous material incident.

What is your organization’s assessment of local emergency preparedness and training at the present time?

The City & Township of Langley have been steadily progressing in the area of emergency planning for nearly eight years.  We have an emergency plan and emergency management bylaws for both communities, and as well we have identified our primary and back up sites for our Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).  The EOC is equipped with permanent phone lines, a satellite phone, fax capability and computers with access to the major software programs (e.g. GIS) and information sources to better manage an emergency incident.  Having determined who has what responsibilities in the EOC and how many need to be trained in order to sustain a long term event (24/7, for three weeks), we have an ongoing training and exercise program for those staff. 

We have several active & trained volunteer emergency teams:  Emergency Social Services (ESS) nearly 100 in number, responsible for human services delivery (food, clothing & shelter) in disaster.  In addition agreements are in place with more than twenty facilities which could act as Reception Centres for the public, ten of which are equipped with the necessary supplies and forms; Emergency Call Centre (ECC) volunteers, which currently number 60 +, have the responsibility for staffing a pre-established phone bank to communicate with the public;  Amateur Radio (a component of our ESS team) specialize in two way radio communications on the amateur bands;  Emergency Building Inspection, a team of 30 responsible for the post seismic inspection of public and private buildings required for response, after a major earthquake.  These volunteers also take part in regular exercises in conjunction with other responders and an ongoing training program that ensures they have the knowledge and skills to respond in support of a population at risk.

2.3       For your community, what is a major emergency? Would any of these examples qualify?

A train tanker-car that bursts and spills a hazardous chemical?

The release into the local water supply or airspace of enough infectious biological agent to cause illness to 25 people a day for 7 days? How about 100 people a day for 7 days?

A flood that causes the evacuation of 100 people? How about 1, 000? How about 10, 000?

How large a fire and how severe an earthquake?

Beyond what would be called a routine emergency (or day to day emergency response) Langley would class a major emergency as one, to which we would still be capable of responding with our own resources and the mutual aid assistance of our immediate neighbouring communities, as opposed to a disaster which would see us exhausting or overloading our own resources and requiring outside assistance.  Clearly the assessment of capability would vary based on the incident.  Virtually any incident requiring the evacuation of large numbers of people (in excess of 3000) where life safety and property were at risk for a long period of time, would tax our community beyond it’s own immediate resource and require us to seek additional assistance.  We would however always expect to be responsible for the management of our own incident, based on our current plans and emergency management structure regardless of the support received by other levels of government. 

In February 2001 the Township experienced vandalism to one of the water reservoirs serving 8,000 residents.  The reservoir hood security was breeched and we were unable to determine without testing whether the water system had been contaminated.  This led us to undertake a major public information response to ensure that residents and businesses in the affected area were aware of the concern.  The response was to issue a ‘do not use’ order to the residents and supply them with bottled water for a period of 5 days until test results returned (nothing ever showed up) and the supply system had been drained and thoroughly flushed and cleaned.  The event demonstrated that while our response to the crisis was effective, we clearly needed work in the area of media relations.  Lessons were learned, the plan was modified to reflect the learning and the necessary training was undertaken by all senior managers.

2.4       How prepared is your community to respond to a major emergency? Does it have the necessary plans, personnel and equipment ready?

As discussed in 2.2 both Langley’s have had an emergency plan in place since 1996.  The plan is revised annually with the appendices review at least every six months and more often if needed when personnel or resource changes occur.  The communities also just completed revising their emergency bylaws in the past year.  All staff with emergency response functions are listed to an emergency callout list which can be activated at the direction of the Incident Commander, Emergency Planner or CAO.  The watch commander for the Langley RCMP detachment is responsible for facilitating the call-out.  Aside from those resources directly owned by the City and Township, the Emergency Program relies on current vendor agreements which are created within the purchasing department as part of their emergency role.  Some agreements have also be established for scares or special resources by the Emergency Program, e.g Helicopter for reconnaissance.  

2.5       For your community, what would be a successful response to a major emergency – resolving the crisis? Containing the crisis? Hanging on until provincial or federal help arrives?

Our planning and training call for an effective response which minimizes the potential for injury and where possible prevents or mitigates the potential for loss of life, as well as socio-economic losses to our communities by utilizing all available resources.  It would then be our goal to assist the affected area of our community in moving toward long term recovery as early as possible.

2.6       Will your community rely on the provincial and / or federal governments to handle a cyber-attack or a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear disaster?

As discussed earlier Langley Township shares a border crossing with Whatcom County it is at this location we feel there may be the greatest potential for a CBRN incident to occur.  Though not directly related to CBRN our shared border crossing has experienced a number of small hazardous materials incidents, and as a result we are signatory partners to the Cross Border HazMat Plan signed in 1997.  Langley does not have a dedicated hazardous materials unit and thus we contract with Surrey for mutual aid assistance.  Because our Fire Departments is trained to a limited operational response for containment and confinement, our role would be in planning, logistics and public information areas of a response not operations.

Particularly because of our location, the confirmed release of a chemical or biological agent into our airspace or water supply would be complicate, requiring a multi-jurisdictional, multi-agency response, and would likely be coordinated by the feds.  Langley, the same as the majority of other North American communities, would be ill equipped to respond as we have little training in the area of CBRN as we perceive our risk is minimal (if this isn’t the case, then someone isn’t sharing their information).  Our response would be to limit access and limit exposure and communicate with those who have the expertise.  It is our feeling that even if funds were to be made available, those funds should be directed to the communities and organizations (Surrey, Vancouver) who maintain hazardous material response units and with whom we contract for spill response.  To attempt anything more than awareness and limit operational response with organizations like ours would require massive funding, not only for specialized response equipment but also to support an ongoing long term commitment for training and exercises.

3) Are your assets sufficient to meet the threats you have?

3.1       What do you have in terms of money, people and equipment? Do you have back-up equipment and personnel?

In the event of a localized event the Langleys would have sufficient resources, human and equipment to respond and recover.  The Emergency Program has an annual budget of just over $120,000. for the management of the program, but would submit its response and recovery cost after an incident to the province for reimbursement, as we do not budgeted funds for major emergency or disaster response and recovery. 

Langley has undertaken to identify emergency roles for most senior and middle management.  We are also in the process of training a minimum of three alternates for all those emergency positions.  We would also be inclined to bring back retired staff with emergency management experience if the situation warrants.  As mention earlier, mutual aid agreements would be activated as required and have been demonstrated to be an effective way of amassing resources, human and material when necessary.

3.2       How rapidly would your community’s emergency resources be depleted if one of the major emergencies anticipated in your operational plan took place? How long would it take for regional assistance to arrive, if available?

As discussed earlier, for the purpose of a major emergency we are confident in the depth of staff identified and trained for response, as well as our ability to call on mutual aid and we would not expect to require anything other than specialized assistance from the province or feds.   Our concern would result from a wide scale disaster, e.g. major earthquake, flooding or wildland interface fire where there may be a scarcity of resources and the event cycle is much longer, and we are unable to access mutual aid as the communities around us are also dealing with the same problems.

3.3       Is your community satisfied with its local and regional command and communications structure? Does it require a more unified and centralized structure, and if so, why is this not in place?

Though the province of B.C. has mandated the use of the British Columbia Emergency Response Management System (BCERMS) a form of Incident Command, there is no regional command and communications structure, as the primary responsibility for emergency planning and response lies with the municipalities (Provincial Emergency Program Act 1996).  There have been only limited attempts at plan coordination and certainly we are no where near the ideal of integrated emergency management.  In the event of a major disaster incident it will be difficult for the 20+ local authorities in the Vancouver area to coordinate their responses effectively, we see this as a  major short coming in our efforts to date.  However this is unlikely to change in the immediate future as integrated emergency management requires a complete change in how politicians and senior bureaucrats at all levels of government view emergency management.  Currently emergency management is under funded at all levels, and until the mind set moves from that of emergency management being an ‘insurance policy’ to sustainable activities directed at developing disaster resistant communities, this will not change.

3.4       Can your community interrupt local and national television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

We don’t have the ability to interrupt programming, but we have an agreement with our local cable company to activate emergency information crawlers (24 hours) along the bottom of the screen on all channels, directing the public to the cable channel where information can be made available.

3.5       Would your community like tighter links with the relevant provincial and federal government agencies?

As a municipal emergency planner I already have links with relevant provincial and federal agencies.  We (myself and other municipal emergency planners) meet monthly with emergency planners from PEP, other provincial ministries, OCIPEP, the Greater Vancouver Regional District, the Health Board, and emergency management personnel from transportation and utilities.  What we lack, as mentioned in 3.3 is the political support and the resources to take our individual emergency plans and fully integrate them with the necessary stakeholders.

4) Do you have programs in place to help prepare your community for the anticipated threats?

4.1       What advice have you provided to the public (i.e., homeowners, automobile operators and businesses) to help them prepare for an emergency?

Langley has an ongoing and active public education speakers program, but we have not yet started with a comprehensive neighbourhood preparedness model.  We provide businesses with information on what they can expect from the community’s response as well as what we expect of them.  In addition, on a fee for service basis we will conduct seminars for local businesses in general preparedness.  For business continuity planning we recommend they contact someone from that discipline directly.

4.2       Have you identified and warehoused the supplies needed to handle the various emergencies and disasters that could reasonably be expected to occur? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you elaborate?

Yes to a certain extent.  We have agreements in place with grocery chains as well as with a company whose food distribution warehouses is located in our community.  As mention earlier, we have agreements in place for some specialized resources, but in general with ‘Just-in-Time’ manufacturing and distribution it will depend greatly on the nature of the event.  If the event has cut off supply routes (e.g. snow storm) then resources will dwindle quickly and additional resources may be difficult to access.

5) How much provincial and federal assistance do you expect in an emergency?

5.1       Which community emergency response improvements (for example, education, equipment, or money for rapid intervention teams) should be the provincial and federal government’s most immediate priorities?

We would like to see an end to cuts of the already thin emergency management program at the provincial level.  We would like the province to expand its emergency management training programs and promise to continue to provide the 72 hour emergency support for victims of major emergency or disaster.  We would like to see the federal government support all of its ministries and departments in developing solid emergency response and recovery plans which establish clear areas of responsibility.  It would also be of value to have those plans communicated by the ministry or department responsible, directly to the province and municipalities. 

We do not wish to see Canada take 10 paces backwards the way the US has done by channelling the majority of its resources to deal with one single type of threat.  Emergency Management must remain as an all hazard program based on best practices, arrived at through research and not knee jerk responses.

We would like antiquated programs such as the Health Canada emergency supplies program to be reviewed, allowing us input into better ways of achieving the end goal. 

5.2       Is your community satisfied with the funding it has received from the higher levels of government for training and exercising its emergency plan?

The City & Township of Langley receive no funding (except for special projects under JEPP) from other levels of government.  Where the province currently funds some training, current fiscal constraints have the province considering cuts to emergency management in BC, when they should be doing more, not less.  Case in point, this years fire season in BC has clearly indicated the serious lack of depth in trained personnel at the provincial and municipal levels.  After six weeks, staff are exhausted and personnel untrained in emergency management have had to be used to sustain the response and recovery effort.

5.3       In a major emergency, how much help will your community expect from the provincial government? How long would it take for this assistance to arrive and who would pay for it?

With respect to the federal government:

In a major emergency or disaster we will look to the province and feds to assist us in obtaining and coordinating outside resources.  How much time is needed for them to respond will have to do with the nature and scope of the incident.

5.4       Will your community have to rely on federal support if a major emergency happens? Is this expectation based on an unwritten understanding and should this arrangement be formalized?

Langley would not expect federal support in a major emergency but would certainly expect federal support in a disaster.  Our expectations would come from a formal agreement between the province and federal governments on Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA).  Based on a pre-existing funding agreement the province must incur costs totalling $3.5 million (per capita dollars) in any given disaster before the federal government steps in to support the response and recovery costs on a sliding scale.

5.5       Is the main funding request process (the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program) helpful, or is it impeding your community’s efforts to improve emergency preparedness?

We have participated twice in JEPP funding grants and yes they have been helpful but they are far from the serious funding required to move emergency management forward in Canada.

5.6       Are you satisfied with the national leadership and co-ordination provided by the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP)? Can you elaborate?

We are not satisfied with national leadership and coordination provided by OCIPEP.  One only need look at the two major national disasters this year being SARS and the BSE crisis to see the conspicuous absence of leadership from OCIPEP or Health Canada.  Again this indicates that there is not a mindset for sustained emergency management at any level.

5.7       Are you confident that OCIPEP will be able to co-ordinate the national-level response to a major disaster or emergency? Please explain.

We are not confident that OCIPEP will be able to co-ordinate the national-level response to a major disaster or emergency, as it has never been adequately tested and it’s doubtful whether other federal agencies have the confidence in OCIPEP to follow any lead they may try to provide.

5.8       Health Canada informed the Committee that there are about 1,600 emergency caches strategically located across Canada. Do you know of this program and have you seen a cache? Yes. Were you given procedure information regarding the use of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you consulted on the usefulness of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you find a cache in your community and report on the usefulness of its contents?

Our emergency management community is well aware of the location and contents of all the different types of kits located in our region.  We are also aware that the majority of these kits contain outdated supplies.  Where contents are still in tact, their value is questionable as they require special training to unload and set up, and few if any medical staff have received this training in the past eight years.  Langley has two kits in our area:1 each, 200 bed hospital stored at the Sig/Comms CFB Aldergrove and 1 each, Casualty Collecting Unit in the basement of the Langley Memorial Hospital.  Neither is of any value to us in its current state and we would be happy to submit a proposal to Health Canada for an equipment exchange that would better serve our needs.

5.9       Is the local Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent included in your emergency planning and preparedness organization? Are Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials included? How much help is anticipated from these departments?

We are unaware that we have a local Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent, so it’s safe to say they do not appear in our plan.  Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada have been involved in some of our cross border planning and we would expect their assistance and cooperation, but to what degree is unclear and may again be incident dependent.

5.10    Is your emergency plan linked with the Department of National Defence (DND)? How much help is expected from DND in a major emergency?

We have done exercises with DND in the past and have participated in their discussion, but there isn’t a base in our area and currently reservists who do live in our area have been directed that they must report to their HQ (in New Westminster) in the event of a disaster, not local municipalities.  Clearly this will delay any assistance they may be able to provide us with.

 

Langley
British Columbia
(Revised)

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

3.4       (a) Does your community have the unilateral ability to interrupt on command (i.e., interrupting programming for urgent special announcements) local television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?  If yes, please indicate if the authority to interrupt is officially granted to your community and through which mechanism  (e.g., provincial legislation).

The City and Township of Langley do not have the unilateral authority to interrupt programming on command on their radio or television.

            (b) If your community does not have the unilateral ability to interrupt on command, please indicate how you plan to inform the population in the event of an emergency. Are you counting on the cooperation of broadcasters to do so? Would your community benefit from officially having the authority to interrupt broadcasts on command to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

We have recently started discussions locally with the cable service provider Shaw Cable who has been very cooperative.  As well at the regional level committee is being developed to look at a number of issues related to public information.  From our preliminary discussions there are only two ways to interrupt programming on command.  The first would see the cable apply a static text display over top of all programming and would effectively block access to any channels.  This option is less than desirable in that it blocks the media as potentially valuable sources of information to the public.  The second option entails the use of a device called a Crawl Generator (cost of $7,500 each) a deviced already employed for news purposes by most TV stations.  The crawl generator permits a station to put a crawler along the bottom of each channel directing them to the cable channel for immediate emergency instructions.  This method would allow us to provide the public with emergency direction but would also allow programming to continue and news provided to both the affected and non-affected populations.  It is conceivable that the Province of BC and the Provincial Emergency program could order broadcasters to comply and carry this information but the order must be issued in the preparedness phase of disaster because without advanced coordination the effort would be time consuming and cumbersome when time is of the essence.   

I think this power should be located at the provincial level.  If an event is regional in nature (severe weather, earthquake, flooding etc.) then the Province already has the coordination function and the thought of having twenty-one local authorities attempting to exercise programming interruption on command with nine local TV stations and at least six major market radio stations would likely result in a worst case scenario involving chaos and confusion.  If an event is localized such as a hazardous materials incident then as a local authority we may still request the province to activate this function on our behalf.  The key will be all players being familiar with the resource how to access it and its limitations. 

5.3       (a) Based on past experience, how much help has your community come to expect from the provincial government during a major emergency?  How long does it take for this help to arrive?  Who pays for it? 

The Langleys’ will, in a major emergency expect  to manage the incident on our own with any necessary assistance coming from the adjacent local authorities.  We may ask for coordination assistance from the Province, likely that would be all that would be needed.  We would request that the province support both our response and recovery costs over and above our day to day operational costs for resources both human and material.  

(b) In the event of a future major emergency, how much help would your community need from the provincial government?  What would be a reasonable time limit for this help to arrive?  Who should pay for it?

The arrangements are adequate for the management of a major emergency now or in the future as discussed in part ‘A’ of this question.  However I think the question should be directed at the Province’s role in a ‘Disaster’ as opposed to a ‘Major Emergency’ the difference relates to scope of the incident and a disaster by our most widely accepted definition overwhelms a communities resources, in which case additional support and coordination would be required.  With the BC’s worst fire season in our immediate hindsight the province lacked the depth to support response and recovery efforts with qualified, trained staff.  By the end of the  nearly six week response provincial staff were exhausted.  The province must gear up to provide more depth in order to fulfill it’s obligation during a major disaster event.

As for who should pay, local authorities are a creation of the Provincial government which has the responsibility for emergency planning and response.  That responsibility is delegated through legislation (in BC) which requires local authorities to develop plans relating to all phases of disaster at their expense.  When disaster does strike and liability is not a factor then the cost for response and recovery should be born by the tax base as a whole as opposed to an individual or group of local authorities.  Thus the current arrangement between the province and feds for a shared funding formula based on per capita dollar allocations for major disasters would seem reasonable way  to ensure that funding is available for response and recovery to disaster.

Unsolicited Comment Regarding the Announcement of the new Ministry for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

While I am happy that emergency planning will receive higher priority and visibility when connected to the deputy Prime Minister, I am concerned that there are some striking similarities between this new ministry and the US Department of Homeland Security.  The evolution of emergency management recognizes all phases of disaster (preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery) as well as that emergency planning is an ‘all hazard’ discipline and that all emergency planning  must be integrated across all levels from the individual homeowner and private business to each level of government.  If we follow the US’s lead, our emergency management planning will lean toward terrorism as the predominant and overriding hazard (which it is not) and set back the gains we’ve made in emergency management to date in Canada,  which has been the  very unfortunate result in the US. 

 

Chicoutimi
Québec

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

There are five questions in this questionnaire. The questions are underlined. The numbered statements do not have to be dealt with directly, but they should help structure your responses. Please skip over any statement that does not apply.

1.  Could you describe yourself and your community?

1.1       Who are you, and what work experience do you have that relates to emergency response co-ordination?

1.1       Director of fire department and public security advisor for the City of Saguenay. Responsible for the emergency preparedness plan and the emergency operations centre.

Director of public security for the City of Chicoutimi for 14 years.

1.2       How densely populated is your community (in square        kilometres) and what are its dimensions? Is your community rural, urban, or mixed?

1.2       6,276 square km 150,854 urban and rural inhabitants

1.3       Is your community near or does it include a major industrial facility, border crossing, port / airport, or transportation hub that could require a mass casualty response in an emergency?

1.3       All the items enumerated above.

1.4       How often does your community experience an emergency or disaster? Can you provide some statistics?

1.4       Landslides at St-Jean Vianney in 1970

            Earthquake in 1988

            Flood in 1996

            Plane crashes  near  the Bagotville military base  and a plane in the     Saguenay River.

2.  What is your community’s risk assessment and response capability?

2.1       What are the main natural and man-made threats to your community?

2.1       Dams and seaports.

2.2       What is your organization’s assessment of local emergency preparedness and training at the present time?

2.2       Real expertise based on experience and training scheduled in February 2004 for all the agents in the emergency operations centre + emergency plan in place  + transportation of hazardous materials in our cities.

2.3       For your community, what is a major emergency? Would any of these examples qualify?

·        A train tanker-car that bursts and spills a hazardous chemical?

·        The release into the local water supply or airspace of enough infectious biological agent to cause illness to 25 people a day for 7 days? How about 100 people a day for 7 days?

·        A flood that causes the evacuation of 100 people? How about 1, 000? How about 10, 000?

·        How large a fire and how severe an earthquake?

2.4       How prepared is your community to respond to a major emergency?  Does     it have the necessary plans, personnel and equipment ready?

2.4       Yes, with various organizations and industries; with response plans ready;      with the 1,500 employee of our city  + the Bagotville military base.

2.5       For your community, what would be a successful response to a major emergency:  Resolving the crisis? Containing the crisis? Hanging on until provincial or federal help arrives?

2.5       Use the emergency plans already set up; call on regional public protection, the Red Cross, and all agents directly or indirectly involved in the event.

2.6       Will your community rely on the provincial and / or federal governments to handle a cyber-attack or a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear disaster?

2.6       Yes.

3.  Are your assets sufficient to meet the threats you have?

3.1       What do you have in terms of money, people and equipment? Do you have back-up equipment and personnel?

3.1       The municipality’s existing resources and support from regional public protection + the Bagotville military base.

 3.2      How rapidly would your community’s emergency resources be depleted if one of the major emergencies anticipated in your operational plan took place? How long would it take for regional assistance to arrive, if available?

3.2       From the outset of operations there is follow-up with regional public security. 

3.3       Is your community satisfied with its local and regional command and communications structure? Does it require a more unified and centralized structure, and if so, why is this not in place?

3.3       The city’s existing structure  is suitable and communication is immediately established with the province’s regional public security services, since this agency is part of our emergency preparedness plan.

3.4       Can your community interrupt local and national television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

3.4       Yes, through collaboration now being negotiated with the media.

3.5       Would your community like tighter links with the relevant provincial and federal government agencies? 

3.5       Yes, rapid delivery of needed information and support speeds up the resolution of problems.

4.  Do you have programs in place to help prepare your community for the anticipated threats?

4.1       What advice have you provided to the public (i.e. homeowners, automobile operators and businesses) to help them prepare for an emergency?

4.1       Our department disseminates information through school boards; local industries have hired outside experts to fill in their emergency plan; and we were called in when this plan was unveiled by these experts.

4.2       Have you identified and warehoused the supplies needed to handle       the various emergencies and disasters that could reasonably be          expected to occur?  Yes    No. Could you elaborate?

4.2       Understanding with the City of Sherbrooke concerning equipment and personnel available for use in an emergency  + the Bagotville base.

5.  How much provincial and federal assistance do you expect in an emergency?

5.1       Which community emergency  response improvements  (for example ,education, equipment, or money for rapid  intervention teams) should be  the provincial and federal governments most immediate priorities?

5.1       Closer training link with public security and information on the equipment available at the regional, provincial, and federal levels.

5.2       Is your community satisfied with the funding it has received from the higher levels of government for training and exercising its emergency plan?

5.2       No, we have to pay for this training and these test exercises.  There should be federal and provincial assistance for all the emergency equipment we need.

5.3       In a major emergency, how much help will your community expect from the provincial government?  How long would it take for this assistance to arrive and who would pay for it?

5.3       Assistance should come as rapidly as possible.  The provincial government should supply this assistance in equipment and money.

The following questions have to do with assistance from the federal government.

5.4       Will your community have to rely on federal support if a majoremergency happens?  Is this expectation based on an unwritten understanding and should this arrangement be formalized?

5.4       Yes, experience with various catastrophes has proven that federal       assistance was very important.

5.5       Is the main funding request process (the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program) helpful, or is it impeding your community’s efforts to improve emergency preparedness?

5.5       Does not apply to us.

5.6       Are you satisfied with the national leadership  and co-ordination  provided by the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP)? Can you elaborate?

5.6       Does not apply to us.

5.7       Are you confident the OCIPEP will be able to co-ordinate  the national-level response to a major disaster or emergency?  Please explain.

5.7       I don’t know

5.8       Health Canada informed the Committee that there are about 1,600 emergency caches strategically located across Canada.  Do you know of this program and have you seen a cache?  Yes     No  x  Were you given procedure information regarding the use of these caches?  Yes No x.  Could you find a cache in your community and report on the usefulness of the contents?

5.8       No.

5.9       Is the local Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent included in your emergency planning and preparedness organization? Are Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials included?  How much help is anticipated from these departments?

5.9       No to first question. No to second question. Don’t know in response to third question.

5.10    Is your emergency plan linked with the Department of National Defence (DND)? How much help is expected from DND in a major emergency? 

5.10    No, but by mutual aid, considering the 1996 flood when the DND gave the region adequate assistance in equipment and personnel.

 

Kelowna
British Columbia

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

There are five questions in this questionnaire. The questions are underlined. The numbered statements do not have to be dealt with directly, but they should help structure your responses. Please skip-over any statement that does not apply.

1) Could you describe yourself and your community?

1.1       Who are you, and what work experience do you have that relates to emergency response co-ordination?

I am an Assistant Fire Chief with the City of Kelowna Fire Department. I have been in the Fire Department for 29 years and an Assistant Chief for 12 years. I have been responsible for the Regional District of Central Okanagan’s Disaster program since 1995.

1.2       How densely populated is your community (in square kilometres) and what are its dimensions? Is your community rural, urban, or mixed?

Our Regional District consists of 3 municipalities (Kelowna, Peachland and Lake Country) totalling 150,000 people. We have urban, mixed and rural areas (mainly electoral areas of the Regional District) and some area with virtually no population. The largest centre is Kelowna with 100,000 people. The Regional District of Central Okanagan (including the three municipalities) is 2950.6 square kilometres; it is roughly 65 kilometres by 45 kilometres wide.

1.3       Is your community near or does it include a major industrial facility, border crossing, port / airport, or transportation hub that could require a mass casualty response in an emergency?

We have the Kelowna International Airport within our Regional District.

1.4       How often does your community experience an emergency or disaster? Can you provide some statistics?

The only times we have opened our Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) were for flooding and interface forest fires. Flooding seems to occur once every five years and interface fires can occur yearly.

2) What is your community’s risk assessment and response capability?

2.1       What are the main natural and man-made threats to your community?

Floods, interface fires, earthquake, aircraft accident, hazardous materials incident, landslide, storms and civil disturbance.

2.2       What is your organization’s assessment of local emergency preparedness and training at the present time?

We are currently adapting to the ICS modelling of the British Columbia emergency response management system. We have so far trained the main staff of the emergency plan and next will be the alternates. We appear to have a lot of apathy within our population when it comes to disaster planning but we meet with our volunteer response groups often and they are well trained and ready to respond. On the whole I think we are well trained and well organized to meet most disasters although some would be beyond our response capabilities.

2.3       For your community, what is a major emergency? Would any of these examples qualify?

A train tanker-car that bursts and spills a hazardous chemical?

The release into the local water supply or airspace of enough infectious biological agent to cause illness to 25 people a day for 7 days? How about 100 people a day for 7 days?

A flood that causes the evacuation of 100 people? How about 1, 000? How about 10, 000?

How large a fire and how severe an earthquake?

The infectious biological agent would be severe until we got a handle on it and the public notified also depends which of the many reservoirs are attacked. Floods are usually slow and give us ample time to plan but evacuation over 100 would be a major task. A forest fire that consumes houses and causes the destruction of other family items and the evacuation of residents is a horror story to those it affects and we will be drawn into the scenario which will cause the activation of our EOC. We have had and felt earthquakes in the past within our Region but none have caused damage. I think that any earthquake within our area that causes destruction of buildings, bridges or death would be severe.

2.4       How prepared is your community to respond to a major emergency? Does it have the necessary plans, personnel and equipment ready?

We are prepared and do have plans, personnel and equipment ready fro a short term disaster that is not above our resource level.

2.5       For your community, what would be a successful response to a major emergency – resolving the crisis? Containing the crisis? Hanging on until provincial or federal help arrives?

Containing the crisis would be a successful response.

2.6       Will your community rely on the provincial and / or federal governments to handle a cyber-attack or a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear disaster?

Provincial assistance will be necessary and in turn they (the province) would request federal assistance.

3) Are your assets sufficient to meet the threats you have?

3.1       What do you have in terms of money, people and equipment? Do you have back-up equipment and personnel?

Our financial aid would come from the Province; our people involved with our plan are from many agencies and organizations and would be enough for most scenarios. Our equipment would be provided by the agencies or private business if we require more (there seems to be enough).

3.2       How rapidly would your community’s emergency resources be depleted if one of the major emergencies anticipated in your operational plan took place? How long would it take for regional assistance to arrive, if available?

It would take a widespread disaster to reduce our resources to the point that the Province would send other resources from other Regional Districts. What is more likely is in the fringe areas of our Regional District other assistance would come from outside to the close proximity of the equipment and provided the Province would approve requesting the (other region’s) equipment.

3.3       Is your community satisfied with its local and regional command and communications structure? Does it require a more unified and centralized structure, and if so, why is this not in place?

I am satisfied that the new structure we are working on will fit our needs for any disaster.

3.4       Can your community interrupt local and national television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

Only the local television and radio broadcasts could be interrupted.

3.5       Would your community like tighter links with the relevant provincial and federal government agencies? 

We have a tight link with the Provincial Emergency Program (PEP British Columbia) and we cannot ask for federal aid from federal agencies without going through the PEP Provincial Regional Emergency Operations Centre (PREOC in Kamloops).

4) Do you have programs in place to help prepare your community for the anticipated threats?

4.1       What advice have you provided to the public (i.e., homeowners, automobile operators and businesses) to help them prepare for an emergency?

We have gone to malls, given public talks, set up a group within our Emergency Social Services Volunteers to provide Neighbourhood Emergency planning. We have posted notices in the paper and delivered door to door in the past and gone on talk shows at the radio and TV stations.

4.2       Have you identified and warehoused the supplies needed to handle the various emergencies and disasters that could reasonably be expected to occur? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you elaborate?

No, we have not warehoused any supplies but we know where supplies can be found. We do have a mobile kitchen facility for about 100 people stored at one of our fire stations.

5) How much provincial and federal assistance do you expect in an emergency?

5.1       Which community emergency response improvements (for example, education, equipment, or money for rapid intervention teams) should be the provincial and federal government’s most immediate priorities?

Education modelled after the ICS program would be first. Supplies for response to major disasters would be second.

5.2       Is your community satisfied with the funding it has received from the higher levels of government for training and exercising its emergency plan?

We apply for funding through the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program (JEPP) and have been fairly successful with this funding although most funding comes from within our Region.

5.3       In a major emergency, how much help will your community expect from the provincial government? How long would it take for this assistance to arrive and who would pay for it?

With respect to the federal government:

I expect the Province would be the major provider of assistance to us in both equipment and backup personnel. Costs for assistance from the Province will be borne by the Province and would be available anywhere from shortly after a disaster to within 72 hours of the disaster occurring.

5.4       Will your community have to rely on federal support if a major emergency happens? Is this expectation based on an unwritten understanding and should this arrangement be formalized?

As stated before, any assistance from the Federal Government will come as a request from the Province through our requests to them depleting their available resources.

5.5       Is the main funding request process (the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program) helpful, or is it impeding your community’s efforts to improve emergency preparedness?

Very helpful but more dollars, if available should be spent and a higher level of funding instead of 50-50 on some items would be helpful.

5.6       Are you satisfied with the national leadership and co-ordination provided by the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP)? Can you elaborate?

No, I do not know anything about this office.

5.7       Are you confident that OCIPEP will be able to co-ordinate the national-level response to a major disaster or emergency? Please explain.

I cannot answer this question because I do not have any dealing with this office and do not know its’ response capabilities.

5.8       Health Canada informed the Committee that there are about 1, 600 emergency caches strategically located across Canada. Do you know of this program and have you seen a cache? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you given procedure information regarding the use of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you consulted on the usefulness of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you find a cache in your community and report on the usefulness of its contents?

Yes I know of the mobile kitchen cache and that Vernon has a mobile (outdated supposedly) hospital but I have not seen any procedure information and have not been consulted on the use of the caches. Yes I could find the mobile kitchen cache in our community and know it would be useful but may require some updating.

5.9       Is the local Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent included in your emergency planning and preparedness organization? Are Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials included? How much help is anticipated from these departments?

The Personnel Plan within our Emergency Plan lists use of the Human resources Control Centre during a disaster. This office would basically screen and assign volunteer workers to perform emergency response duties as needed and may provide a liaison officer to assess certain situations that are occurring.

5.10    Is your emergency plan linked with the Department of National Defence (DND)? How much help is expected from DND in a major emergency?

Our Emergency plan is not linked to DND at this time; currently use of the local DND must be requested through the Province.

 

Kelowna
British Columbia
(Revised)

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

3.4       (a) Does your community have the unilateral ability to interrupt on command (i.e., interrupting programming for urgent special announcements) local television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?  If yes, please indicate if the authority to interrupt is officially granted to your community and through which mechanism  (e.g., provincial legislation).

No, we do not have a unilateral ability to interrupt.

            (b) If your community does not have the unilateral ability to interrupt on command, please indicate how you plan to inform the population in the event of an emergency. Are you counting on the cooperation of broadcasters to do so? Would your community benefit from officially having the authority to interrupt broadcasts on command to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

 We have an excellent working relationship with our local broadcasters and would expect them to comply with a request. Some locations in Canada may require authority which, I imagine, could be done through parliament or the CRTC.

5.3       (a) Based on past experience, how much help has your community come to expect from the provincial government during a major emergency?  How long does it take for this help to arrive?  Who pays for it?

Whenever our Emergency Operations Centre is opened the Province opens a Provincial Regional Emergency Operations Centre (PREOC) in Kamloops and opens the Emergency Coordination Centre in Victoria. The centre in Kamloops is set up to support our centre and we are setup to support site operations among other things. Victoria supports the PREOC. We do require and expect the support we receive from the Province. A request for help and when the help arrives depends on the type of help requested. Most things we require in the way of equipment or special knowledge are available locally and can be attained quickly while other items may take 2 to 5 hours to arrive if they must come from Kamloops or the coast. If the request is part of the emergency response and we have a PEP task number the Province usually pays (within the DFA guidelines, which in my opinion require revisions).

(b) In the event of a future major emergency, how much help would your community need from the provincial government?  What would be a reasonable time limit for this help to arrive?  Who should pay for it?

I think the Province did well assisting us with the wildfires this summer and if that is an example then the assistance with any disaster will be needed in the future. The assistance from the other fire departments in the Province or from the Military can take from hours to days to assemble. The cost should be covered within the DFA guidelines and through the support from the PREOC.

Sid LeBeau
Assistant Chief
Kelowna Fire Department
E-mail slebeau@city.kelowna.bc.ca
Phone 250-860-6419
Fax 250-862-3571

 

Kingston
Ontario

City of Kingston – Response to 
the Standing Committee on National Security and Defence

Q 1.1   Who are you, and what work experience do you have that relates to emergency response co-ordination?

My name is John Cross and I am the Community Emergency Management Coordinator (C.E.M.C.) for the City of Kingston, Ontario. I have been in this capacity for 30 months and have completed emergency management training sessions conducted by the Office of Critical Infrastructure Planning & Emergency Preparedness, Office of the Fire Marshall, and Emergency Management Ontario. During my tenure as the C.E.M.C., the City of Kingston declared an official emergency during the provincial blackout in August 2003 and has been impacted by SARS, 9/11, white powder incidents, extreme temperatures, etc.

I work in the Office of the Commissioner in the Department of Community Services. My primary responsibilities as Manager of Policy & Support Services include managing the City’s emergency management program, leading major project teams, researching, preparing and presenting Reports to Council on public policy issues, and representing the Corporation on internal and external committees. These skills are very transferable to working with diverse groups and individuals in the emergency planning, prevention, response and recovery phases.

Q 1.2   How densely populated is your community (in square kilometres) and what are its dimensions? Is your community rural, urban, or mixed?

The total area of the City of Kingston is 528 square kms. Approx. 22% of the land base (9,559 hectares) is urban and approx. 78% is rural. The total population is 114,195 based on 2001 Census data.

Q 1.3   Is your community near or does it include a major industrial facility, border crossing, port / airport, or transportation hub that could require a mass casualty response in an emergency?

The City of Kingston has many major transportation routes (City airport, Highway 401, rail lines, pipelines, and waterways – Rideau Canal, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River) within our boundaries. We are in close proximity to international border crossings just beyond our municipal boundaries and have considerable potential mass casualty sites – CFB Kingston/DND, Queen’s University, Royal Military College, St. Lawrence College, large hospitals and regional institutions that service South-eastern Ontario, major industrial sites, and many Corrections Canada facilities, etc.

Q 1.4   How often does your community experience an emergency or disaster? Can you provide some statistics?

National research confirms the frequency and severity of emergencies are increasing across Canada. Kingston declared an official emergency during the provincial power blackout in August 2003 and the major ice storm in January 1998.  The City has dealt with “white powder incidents post 9-11, SARS, winter power outages, extreme temperatures, etc. – that while not official declared emergencies have nevertheless required a local coordinated response. 

Q2.1 What are the main natural and man-made threats to your community?

The major natural threats are weather related extreme temperature events. In such cases, the local and/or provincial power supply may be significantly affected thereby creating the potential for a declared emergency.  Major man-made threats include risks due to a major accident or intentional act involving the transport of dangerous goods and/or hazardous materials. As noted in response to Question 1.3 above, there are many man-made risks in our community.  Dangerous goods are routinely transported on our roads, rail lines, and pipelines.

Q2.2 What is your organization’s assessment of local emergency preparedness and training     at the present time?

The new Corporation of the City of Kingston was created in January 1998 and is in its formative stages.  A major reorganization was undertaken in 2000 and many departments/divisions are in transition and are slowly and steadily enhancing their emergency response capacity within time and budget constraints.  Although there has been much progress to date, there is considerable work to be completed as threats to the community and the public’s expectations continue to increase over time.  Progress will continue at a pace driven directly by funding and resource availability.

In 2003, approximately fifty City staff received training in evacuation centre management and family reunification and a comprehensive training program is being developed and will be implemented in late 2004 and 2005 subject to available resources.

Significant resources beyond current allocations are required if the City is to achieve and sustain the comprehensive level standards mandated under the new provincial Emergency Management Act (Bill 148).

Q2.3 For your community, what is a major emergency?

All of the examples listed in your question are potential major emergencies. Whether or not the incident requires a full or partial activation of the municipal emergency plan depends upon the scope and severity of the threat(s) and the real or potential impacts on our citizens, local infrastructure, and the environment and the ability of our local responders to respond effectively.

Q2.4 How prepared is your community to respond to a major emergency? Does it have the necessary plans, personnel and equipment ready?

City Council approved the new Emergency Response Plan dated November 4, 2003. This plan is a standard all hazards response plan which identifies the key individuals and their roles and responsibilities during a real or impending emergency. Incremental steps are being taken to enhance the emergency response capacity and procure essential equipment and supplies.  Major gaps exist in the community’s ability to respond effectively to large scale hazardous materials incidents, CBRN incidents, prolonged widespread power blackouts, and other events affecting large numbers of people. There is a definite lack of surge capacity and a shortage of trained staff and equipment to sustain a long-term response to an increased demand for emergency and medical services during a major emergency. 

Q 2.5 For your community, what would be a successful response to a major emergency – resolving the crisis? Containing the crisis? Hanging on until provincial or federal help arrives?

A response is successful if the impacts are appropriately mitigated to the greatest extent possible under the circumstances.

Q2.6 Will your community rely on the provincial and / or federal governments to handle a cyber-attack or a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear disaster?

The City of Kingston, Kingston Fire & Rescue Services, Kingston Police Services, local hospitals and emergency services do not have the necessary equipment and training to handle CBRN incidents and, thus, will rely heavily upon the provincial and federal government and CBRN response teams.

3) Are your assets sufficient to meet the threats you have?

Q3.1 What do you have in terms of money, people and equipment? Do you   have back-up equipment and personnel?

The City of Kingston has a very modest emergency management budget of approximately $100,000 per year including salary & benefits. External funding sources, such as JEPP, are being utilized along with municipal reserve funds to retrofit and equip a stand alone primary Emergency Operations Centre. The City has recently purchased evacuation centre kits, child care kits, cots, and other essential supplies towards the creation of a basic emergency inventory.  This is an important first step towards developing a minimal or basic emergency response capacity. 

Q3.2 How rapidly would your community’s emergency resources be depleted if one of the major emergencies anticipated in your operational plan took place? How long would it take for regional assistance to arrive, if available?

As noted previously, there are serious surge capacity issues and major gaps in emergency response capabilities, especially in dealing with CBRN incidents and prolonged power outages.  Resources would likely be quickly depleted. Depending on the emergency and weather conditions, etc., there may be multiple requests for resources and/or delays in obtaining resources from the federal and provincial governments.  For example, CBRN and HUSAR teams may already be deployed or directed to remain in major centres – Windsor, Toronto, and Ottawa. 

During the declared emergency in August 2003, the City of Kingston received very timely and professional assistance from CFB Kingston and Emergency Management Ontario.

Q3.3    Is your community satisfied with its local and regional command and communications structure? Does it require a more unified and centralized structure, and if so, why is this not in place?

The City of Kingston is a single tier separated municipality and therefore is not part of a regional communications structure. 

In 2004/2005, the City will be purchasing a new Police & Fire radio system that will include an emergency management tactical channel to enable Kingston Police, Kingston Fire & Rescue, and the City of Kingston’s Department of Operations to communicate during emergency situations. Provincial common radio channels also enable communications across Frontenac, Lennox & Addington and the balance of the province.

It is recommended that an upper tier mutual aid coordination planning process be developed to centralize the emergency planning process in counties, districts and regions. A municipally owned and operated emergency operations centre has been established in the Kingston Fire & Rescue Headquarters and it has the potential over time to possibly become a regional EOC facility.

Q3.4    Does your community have the unilateral ability to interrupt on command local and national television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions? If not, would your community benefit from officially having the authority to interrupt broadcasts on command to transit emergency updates or instructions?

The City of Kingston does not have the unilateral authority to interrupt on command local and national television and radio broadcasts. Local media are supportive in transmitting messages, but are often significantly impacted during prolonged power outage emergencies. Reduced staffing schedules after hours and on weekends, especially at local radio stations, impact the ability to deliver emergency updates. The City of Kingston’s Communications Division is working with the local media to develop emergency communications plans and the City of Kingston can directly input emergency messages on the local cable channel broadcasts.

All communities would benefit from having the unilateral authority to interrupt local and national radio and television broadcasts for emergency messaging purposes.

Q3.5    Would your community like tighter links with the relevant provincial and federal government agencies? 

Yes. There needs to be more sharing of information, plans, protocols, procedures, resources and a stronger commitment by all levels of government to develop the appropriate plans and obtain the resources necessary to establish a legitimate emergency response capacity. To do otherwise encourages “fantasy planning” which only leaves communities vulnerable to all types of disasters and legal liabilities.  

4) Do you have programs in place to help prepare your community for the anticipated threats?

Q 4.1   What advice have you provided to the public (i.e., homeowners, automobile operators and businesses) to help them prepare for an emergency?

Emergency Management tips, contacts and general information are available on the City of Kingston’s website www.cityofkingston.ca. and information brochures are available at City Hall and some other municipal sites. As time and resources permit, there will be a greater emphasis placed on public awareness and education.

Q4.2    Have you identified and warehoused the supplies needed to handle the various emergencies and disasters that could reasonably be expected to occur? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you elaborate?

As indicated in question 3.1, the City of Kingston is slowly acquiring some basic equipment and supplies. These supplies, for example, enable us to open an evacuation centre but by no means are sufficient enough to continuously operate a centre for several days, weeks or months.

5) How much provincial and federal assistance do you expect in an emergency?

Q 5.1   Which community emergency response improvements (for example, education, equipment, or money for rapid intervention teams) should be the provincial and federal government’s most immediate priorities?

In 2003, the Province of Ontario passed a new Emergency Management Act requiring all municipalities to achieve comprehensive emergency standards. Unfortunately, the province has not provided any direct funding to help municipalities to achieve these standards.

The senior levels of government need to make emergency management a major priority within the provincial ministries and federal departments. Training and resources to deal with CBRN incidents should be a top priority. Municipalities cannot realistically be expected to fund these programs off the local tax base.

Q 5.2   Is your community satisfied with the funding it has received from the higher levels of government for training and exercising its emergency plan?

Although the City of Kingston has received some modest funding under the JEPP (Joint Emergency Preparedness Program), the funding currently available from the senior levels of government is insufficient to address the identified gaps in training and equipment.

Q 5.3   In a major emergency, how much help will your community expect from the provincial government? How long would it take for this assistance to arrive and who would pay for it?

The type and scope of the emergency often dictates the level of help and financial support required from the provincial government.  Only the province can provide accurate data on estimated response times for provincial help to arrive. 

Financial assistance parameters are less certain. For example, the Ontario government advised municipalities in August 2003 to record expenses incurred as a result of the blackout for potential reimbursement by the province. To date, municipalities have received no claim forms or directions on how to claim expenses.

With respect to the federal government:

Q.5.4 Will your community have to rely on federal support if a major emergency happens? Is this expectation based on an unwritten understanding and should this arrangement be formalized?

Federal support may be required, especially in areas of federal jurisdiction. For example, there are numerous federal penitentiaries, federal buildings, and a military base that may be impacted by or be the site of a major emergency. It is anticipated that over time more formal arrangements will be developed.

Q 5.5 Is the main funding request process (the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program) helpful, or is it impeding your community’s efforts to improve emergency preparedness?

It is recommended that the JEPP funding limits be re-examined. The upper funding limits  are insufficient and do not adequately support the costs of purchasing vehicles such as mobile command centres.  The $10,000 maximum for generators, for example, does not come close to covering the 45% federal share of the cost of purchasing a large generator to power up evacuation and emergency operations centres.

Q 5.6 Are you satisfied with the national leadership and co-ordination provided by the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP)? Can you elaborate?

I attended emergency training at the former Emergency Preparedness Canada site in Arnprior, Ontario and was very impressed by the calibre of the staff and training.  I do not have any direct experience with other OCIPEP endeavours and cannot comment on its national leadership strengths and weaknesses.

Q 5.7 Are you confident that OCIPEP will be able to co-ordinate the national-level  response to a major disaster or emergency? Please explain.

I am not able to assess this fairly. Articles published recently in the media suggest OCIPEP may be challenged given its existing resources to effectively coordinate a national response.

Q 5.8 Health Canada informed the Committee that there are about 1, 600 emergency  caches strategically located across Canada. Do you know of this program and have you seen a cache? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you given procedure information regarding the use of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you consulted on the usefulness of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you find a cache in your community and report on the usefulness of its contents?

Health Canada has not consulted nor provided me with any information to date regarding emergency caches. I have not seen a cache nor been consulted on the usefulness of these caches. It is my understanding that our local Medical Officer of Health has discussed these issues with Health Canada.

Q 5.9   Is the local Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent included in your emergency planning and preparedness organization? Are Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials included? How much help is anticipated from these departments?

The Chief of the Kingston Police is a member of the City of Kingston’s Municipal Control Group and is responsible under the City of Kingston’s emergency plan to liaise with the RCMP, CSIS, OPP, etc. as required.  Depending on the emergency, representatives from CSIS, Canada Customs and Revenue, Canadian Coast Guard, Corrections Canada, etc. may be required to perform lead and/or supporting roles.

Q 5.10 Is your emergency plan linked with the Department of National Defence (DND)? How much help is expected from DND in a major emergency?

The City of Kingston has an excellent relationship with the staff and employees of the Department of National Defence/Canadian Forces Base Kingston, Canadian Land Forces College, Royal Military College, and is very well served by their presence in our community. 

All requests for military assistance must follow the protocols established by Emergency Management Ontario.  Depending on the scope of the emergency, requests may be made for the purpose of aid to civil powers or aid to civil authority.

 

Guelph
Ontario

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

There are five questions in this questionnaire. The questions are underlined. The numbered statements do not have to be dealt with directly, but they should help structure your responses. Please skip-over any statement that does not apply.

1) Could you describe yourself and your community?

1.1       Who are you, and what work experience do you have that relates to emergency response co-ordination?

1.2       How densely populated is your community (in square kilometres) and what are its dimensions? Is your community rural, urban, or mixed?

1.3       Is your community near or does it include a major industrial facility, border crossing, port / airport, or transportation hub that could require a mass casualty response in an emergency?

1.4       How often does your community experience an emergency or disaster? Can you provide some statistics?

– My name is Harry Dunning and I am the City of Guelph’s designated Community Emergency Management Coordinator (CEMC). I am a retired Guelph Police Service S/Sgt. and have been involved in emergency response and management for thirty years. I have attended courses relating to emergency management at the Canadian Police College, Canadian Emergency Preparedness College and Emergency Management Ontario. While a police officer I managed actual emergencies and was involved in community planning efforts. In the past two years I have done the community planning, education and training. 

– The population of our community is approximately 109,000. It is primarily urban with a small number of farms. The community takes up approximately 88.27 square kilometres.

– We do have major industries, a busy rail line and busy roads, any of which could cause a major casualty situation.

– We have had two in the last five years (a tornado and a chemical fire).

2) What is your community’s risk assessment and response capability?

2.1       What are the main natural and man-made threats to your community?

2.2       What is your organization’s assessment of local emergency preparedness and training at the present time?

2.3       For your community, what is a major emergency? Would any of these examples qualify?

A train tanker-car that bursts and spills a hazardous chemical?

The release into the local water supply or airspace of enough infectious biological agent to cause illness to 25 people a day for 7 days? How about 100 people a day for 7 days?

A flood that causes the evacuation of 100 people? How about 1, 000? How about 10, 000?

How large a fire and how severe an earthquake?

2.4       How prepared is your community to respond to a major emergency? Does it have the necessary plans, personnel and equipment ready?

2.5       For your community, what would be a successful response to a major emergency – resolving the crisis? Containing the crisis? Hanging on until provincial or federal help arrives?

2.6       Will your community rely on the provincial and / or federal governments to handle a cyber-attack or a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear disaster?

2.1 – Under our 2002 emergency plan we list flood, hazardous material incident, storm, transportation incidents, civil unrest, tornado, drought, fire, earthquake and terrorist incident. We are currently doing a Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment under Emergency Management Ontario (EMO) guidelines and I expect some of these hazards to drop off the list.

2.2 – As compared to many communities in our sector we are in good shape. We are constantly improving and as CEMC I can see many activities still to be done.

2.3 – Any of your list could cause the Emergency Operations Control Group (EOCG) to assemble and be briefed on the issue. The group may then determine that the situation is being adequately handled by a particular group (e.g. – Fire, Police) or it may decide to manage the issue. The EOCG has managed a chemical plant fire, met and come up with a protocol to deal with the anthrax situation, met and discussed only, the SARS situation. The EOCG would not normally be called out for a fire or other situation that could be adequately handled on a day to day basis by an individual emergency service.

2.4 – We believe we are well prepared. We do have plans, equipment and personnel. In a major emergency we may not have enough resources and would seek assistance from volunteers, neighbouring communities and other levels of government. During the 9/11 event it was obvious that even a community as large as New York City could not conceive of every emergency and needed to seek assistance.

2.5 – A successful response would be returning the community to its pre-emergency condition. Having said that I think we realize that depending on the size of the emergency we may have to manage it and seek additional assistance.

2.6 – We are well placed to deal with a cyber-attack. We have a dedicated data service business continuity plan. We encourage the same within any entity we deal with.

For a CBRN issue we would request assistance through Emergency Management Ontario (EMO) and expect to see one of the newly formed CBRN teams. In the interim our emergency responders and EOCG would manage the situation to the best of their ability hoping to minimize any threat to our community.

3) Are your assets sufficient to meet the threats you have?

3.1       What do you have in terms of money, people and equipment? Do you have back-up equipment and personnel?

3.2       How rapidly would your community’s emergency resources be depleted if one of the major emergencies anticipated in your operational plan took place? How long would it take for regional assistance to arrive, if available?

3.3       Is your community satisfied with its local and regional command and communications structure? Does it require a more unified and centralized structure, and if so, why is this not in place?

3.4       Can your community interrupt local and national television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

3.5       Would your community like tighter links with the relevant provincial and federal government agencies? 

3.1 – We have a budget in place for myself (CEMC), training, public education and business continuity planning. Other City departments are expected to budget adequately to fully cover their responsibilities.

We have a primary and secondary Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), properly equipped. We have a mobile emergency operations command post for the use of our site manager. We are prepared to use land line and cellular telephones, radio (and amateur radio) and computer networks to communicate.

We have identified our emergency management personnel and their back-ups to allow continuous coverage of staff. Having said that can you ever have enough personnel?

3.2 – A major emergency would deplete our on duty and called out staff very quickly. We have some mutual aid/assistance agreements in place and our goal would be to augment staff prior to the end of the first shift if necessary.

3.3 – I think we have a good command and communication structure. We have been striving to enhance information flow within our EOC and to that end are in the process of installing a new dedicated computer system.

3.4 – Local radio and the local cable T.V. stations can assist us. Rogers Cable T.V. will not run banners for us on all their active stations. They indicate they have contracts which prohibit them from adding content. This is an area that the Federal government could assist with (some type of enabling legislation empowering Cable T.V. networks to assist us). Notifying the public in the early stages of an emergency is always a major concern.

3.5 – Better links would be great! They have been improving with EMO. We hear nothing from the Federal government except what we seek out ourselves or what EMO chooses to tell us. I have learned at least one thing I didn’t know just by doing this questionnaire.

4) Do you have programs in place to help prepare your community for the anticipated threats?

4.1       What advice have you provided to the public (i.e., homeowners, automobile operators and businesses) to help them prepare for an emergency?

4.2       Have you identified and warehoused the supplies needed to handle the various emergencies and disasters that could reasonably be expected to occur? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you elaborate?

4.1 – We have placed self-help information in our libraries and have created an emergency preparedness section on our website (www.city.guelph.on.ca). We hold an annual emergency preparedness day which is attended by students from our school boards. We do lectures for groups that request them.

4.2 – We have regular meetings with volunteer groups such as Red Cross, Salvation Army, Mennonite Disaster Relief, etc. and know what they have to offer. We have canvassed industry and developed a resource list for everything from bulldozers to first aid kits. In conjunction with our EMO program requirements we are currently developing a new resource list.

5) How much provincial and federal assistance do you expect in an emergency?

5.1       Which community emergency response improvements (for example, education, equipment, or money for rapid intervention teams) should be the provincial and federal government’s most immediate priorities?

5.2       Is your community satisfied with the funding it has received from the higher levels of government for training and exercising its emergency plan?

5.3       In a major emergency, how much help will your community expect from the provincial government? How long would it take for this assistance to arrive and who would pay for it?

With respect to the federal government:

5.4       Will your community have to rely on federal support if a major emergency happens? Is this expectation based on an unwritten understanding and should this arrangement be formalized?

5.5       Is the main funding request process (the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program) helpful, or is it impeding your community’s efforts to improve emergency preparedness?

5.6       Are you satisfied with the national leadership and co-ordination provided by the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP)? Can you elaborate?

5.7       Are you confident that OCIPEP will be able to co-ordinate the national-level response to a major disaster or emergency? Please explain.

5.8       Health Canada informed the Committee that there are about 1, 600 emergency caches strategically located across Canada. Do you know of this program and have you seen a cache? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you given procedure information regarding the use of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you consulted on the usefulness of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you find a cache in your community and report on the usefulness of its contents?

5.9       Is the local Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent included in your emergency planning and preparedness organization? Are Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials included? How much help is anticipated from these departments?

5.10    Is your emergency plan linked with the Department of National Defence (DND)? How much help is expected from DND in a major emergency?

5.1 – I believe training should be a priority. It would be a huge benefit if some of the current CEPC courses could be done locally so our people would still be available to the community during training.

JEPP should be doing a better job. We were supposed to hear on our 2003 requests by April 1st (the joke was on us!). We still haven’t heard and nobody will give us any answers. It’s ridiculous!

JEPP should make HazMat teams a priority. A lot of communities rely on private contractors with unknown abilities and indeterminate response times for this service.

We should be able to utilize our local Military reserves in certain agreed upon circumstances without having to wait long periods of time for permission. They live in the community also and want to help.

5.2 – This is adequate.

5.3 – We would hope that any applicable ministries would assist (e.g. – Ministry of Environment) to the extent of their ability as their mandate requires. We would access CBRN and HUSAR teams if needed. Hopefully assistance could arrive starting as little as 1-2 hours after notification. We would pay what we were required to pay and they would pay what they are required to.

5.4 – CEPC (through OCIPEP) and EMO have always taught that Federal assistance is available in a declared emergency by having the EOCG make a request through EMO. I can see us requesting assisting for use of the Military reserve unit in our community, Military CBRN team, environmental personnel, CANUTEC, transport safety board, etc. Is it not in their mandate to provide this assistance?

5.5 – Answered in 5.1. Needs improvement. Valuable program.

5.6 – At a local level we don’t see leadership and coordination from OCIPEP. My only contacts are through EMO and the OCIPEP website. The website (unlike FEMA’s) is not made to assist local CEMC’s.

Perhaps a secure portion of the OCIPEP website could be made available to designated CEMC’s (info provided to OCIPEP by the Provinces) which would allow them access to tools and information which would assist them to do their jobs.

In this country planning is driven to the lowest level and there is much repetitive work being done in Municipalities. For instance every community in Ontario is currently required to re-do their Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment. While everyone has certain similar risks (e.g. – water plant, waste water treatment) every community has to research these items, gather histories and write plans. We all are required to do a new resource list. Why am I searching the Web for information on Federal and Provincial ministries? Why could this not be supplied to all communities and help us to not squander our valuable resources?

Everything we are doing is valuable. Surely some of the common issues could be addressed at a Federal and Provincial level in a manner that would benefit everyone with a little fine tuning. We in the larger communities are much better placed than the small ones. Some of them are staggering under the weight of new emergency management responsibilities.

5.7 – I hope so. I haven’t the exposure to OCIPEP to know. I’m sure everyone will do their best.

I have doubts when I see things like federally driven Pandemic plans circulating through local health units for years without being completed. These could be easily expanded to be beneficial during events like the SARS situation. Whatever happened to diary dating projects?

5.8 – Didn’t know there were cache’s. Wasn’t told anything about them. Now that I have been told I will try to find out. (Sent a message to our Health Unit and they weren’t aware of them either.) Another example of how we could be better informed!

5.9 – We have all Provincial and Federal ministries listed in our resource list. Don’t specifically have CSIS listed but I will. Hopefully any agency we contact will be helpful. Some are limited in what they will tell us.

5.10 – Our plan is filed with EMO and that is it (Perhaps they share with DND, I don’t know).  As we can only access the Military through channels we don’t have much contact. We do involve our local reserves in our educational activities and would love to have a closer relationship.


Guelph
Ontario
(Revised)

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

3.4       (a) Does your community have the unilateral ability to interrupt on command (i.e., interrupting programming for urgent special announcements) local television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?  If yes, please indicate if the authority to interrupt is officially granted to your community and through which mechanism  (e.g., provincial legislation).

No

            (b) If your community does not have the unilateral ability to interrupt on command, please indicate how you plan to inform the population in the event of an emergency. Are you counting on the cooperation of broadcasters to do so? Would your community benefit from officially having the authority to interrupt broadcasts on command to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

We depend on our local media outlets, primarily radio. It would be great if we had official authority to interrupt broadcasts and to have the local cable TV outlet run emergency banners on all station signals they broadcast. Cable TV has indicated they cannot do this due to contractual arrangements with TV stations.

5.3       (a) Based on past experience, how much help has your community come to expect from the provincial government during a major emergency?  How long does it take for this help to arrive?  Who pays for it?

We of course notify the Province if we activate our EOC. We haven’t needed assistance from the Province yet. What we do often need from them is information and sometimes this is difficult to receive. (e.g. – During the Provincial electrical emergency in August of this year the Premier requested the Municipalities do certain things. We picked these requests up through the media. Nobody informed us of the Provincial emergency declaration, etc.)

(b) In the event of a future major emergency, how much help would your community need from the provincial government?  What would be a reasonable time limit for this help to arrive?  Who should pay for it?

It’s hard to say how much help we would need. It depends on the situation. It is quite conceivable that we would need assistance from entities such as the Heavy Urban Search and Rescue team or the Provincial Emergency Response Team. Hopefully the Province would assist financially with extraordinary resources as we have helped other communities in the past. Time is often of the essence when dealing with an emergency. We are near to Toronto and as such would expect aid in a timely fashion.

 

Cape Breton
Nova Scotia

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

There are five questions in this questionnaire. The questions are underlined. The numbered statements do not have to be dealt with directly, but they should help structure your responses. Please skip-over any statement that does not apply.

1) Could you describe yourself and your community?

1.1       Who are you, and what work experience do you have that relates to emergency response co-ordination?

1.2       How densely populated is your community (in square kilometres) and what are its dimensions? Is your community rural, urban, or mixed?

1.3       Is your community near or does it include a major industrial facility, border crossing, port / airport, or transportation hub that could require a mass casualty response in an emergency?

1.4       How often does your community experience an emergency or disaster? Can you provide some statistics?

 My name is John Dilny, Emergency Measures Coordinator for the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. I have been the coordinator for the municipality since 1997 and prior to that Emergency Planner for the municipality police service since 1993. I have been trained in Basic Emergency Preparedness, Emergency Operations Center Course, Emergency Site Management, Exercise Design and Emergency Public Information at the Canadian Emergency Preparedness College, Arnprior, Ontario.

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) was created on August 1, 1995, through the amalgamation of eight former municipal units (the City of Sydney, the Towns of Glace Bay, New Waterford, North Sydney, Sydney Mines, Louisbourg, Dominion and the County of Cape Breton).  The Municipality is located on the Island of Cape Breton.  Cape Breton Island is perched at the north-eastern tip of Nova Scotia on Canada’s eastern seaboard.

CBRM is one of five municipal units on Cape Breton Island and has an area of 2,473 km².  It is second to Halifax as the largest municipality in terms of land area in Atlantic Canada.  There are 1,967 km of public streets and roads within the CBRM.  The CBRM has approximately 835 km of coastline on the Atlantic Ocean and 415 km of shoreline on the salt water Bras d’Or Lakes. Two First Nation Communities form part of the 110,000 population. 

Cape Breton's harbour system is located at the centre of Atlantic coast trade routes and on the Great Circle Route. The harbour system offers a deep, Y-shaped area that caters to year-round shipping activities and can accommodate panamax size vessels. Docking facilities are available at the Sydney Government Wharf, Sydport Industrial Park, North Sydney, DEVCO International Pier, and the Sysco dock. The International Pier is one of the most advanced bulk-loading facilities in the world. The Sydney Government Wharf accepts approximately 40 cruise ships during the tourist season. The best harbour on the rugged south coast of the region is at Louisbourg.  Louisbourg is considered an ice-free port whereas Sydney requires ice-breaking service most winters.  

For over 100 years Marine Atlantic with a terminal in North Sydney operates 3 spacious passenger ferries along two routes - the traditional, year-round North Sydney to Port aux Basques, NL route and the additional summer season North Sydney to Argentia route.

Commercial air services are available at the Sydney Airport, which is currently served by Air Canada, Jetsgo, Air Saint Pierre and Royal Air Charters. The airport is centrally located and offers flights and connections to major centres in Atlantic Canada, central Canada and the northeastern U.S. with connections to other North American and international destinations.

The municipality has experienced such incidents as a chemical release from a tractor trailer at Marine Atlantic, an ammonia release from a fish plant in Glace Bay, assist the cruise ship industry with a vessel that needed to be towed into the harbour, as well answer several calls with an unknown powder incidents (suspected anthrax) as well as weather events that have affected the area over the last several years.  

2) What is your community’s risk assessment and response capability?

2.1       What are the main natural and man-made threats to your community?

2.2       What is your organization’s assessment of local emergency preparedness and training at the present time?

2.3       For your community, what is a major emergency? Would any of these examples qualify?

A train tanker-car that bursts and spills a hazardous chemical?

The release into the local water supply or airspace of enough infectious biological agent to cause illness to 25 people a day for 7 days? How about 100 people a day for 7 days?

A flood that causes the evacuation of 100 people? How about 1, 000? How about 10, 000?

How large a fire and how severe an earthquake?

2.4       How prepared is your community to respond to a major emergency? Does it have the necessary plans, personnel and equipment ready?

2.5       For your community, what would be a successful response to a major emergency – resolving the crisis? Containing the crisis? Hanging on until provincial or federal help arrives?

2.6       Will your community rely on the provincial and / or federal governments to handle a cyber-attack or a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear disaster?

The most likely types of emergencies that may occur in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality include:

Natural disasters: flash floods, communicable diseases, major snowstorm, ice storm,

Man-induced disasters: transportation or on-site accidents involving hazardous materials, vehicles, air or rail crashes, toxic or flammable gas leaks, electrical power blackouts, uncontrollable fires, offshore marine incidents, international acts, terrorists acts, or any combination thereof.

All municipal planning committee members are trained in Basic Emergency Preparedness with eleven of the fifteen members trained in Emergency Operations Center Course as well. Fire and police have personnel trained to be Emergency Site Managers.

A major emergency for the Cape Breton Regional Municipality would be in the event of an incident, or threat of an incident, direction, control and coordination of emergency operations would continue to be the responsibility of the Local First Response Department.  A major emergency exists when:

The response is for an incident of moderate to high community impact.

Citizens’ protection is threatened.

The response is for an incident expected to be long in duration.

There is area wide impact crossing the boundaries of (or impacts a large part of) two or more former municipalities.

Requires extraordinary actions or expenditures of money by one or more Regional Services.

Events or incidents that would be classified as major emergencies would include Blizzard/Major Snowstorm, Rural Forest Fire, Freezing Ice Storm and/or Dangerous Goods Incident.

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality has an Emergency Plan, which is a multi-hazard emergency plan that outlines the framework for the management of an emergency response management system and to ensure that the objectives of that system are met. Through actual events and testing of the plan shows the municipality Emergency Plan structure works and that all key positions are filled and have designated alternates as well. Organizations and agencies have equipment ready to respond and/or agreements with other organizations to obtain equipment.

An emergency may be considered over when the threat to life and property no longer exists, and the Municipality has returned to a pre-emergency state.  This means that residents evacuated have returned to their homes, or if their homes were badly damaged or destroyed, that temporary shelter has been found.

If services provided to residents, e.g., sewer, water, hydro, etc., were damaged, the emergency is not over until services are restored either on an improvised short-term or a permanent basis.

Incidents regarding the ability to handle cyber-attacks or a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear disasters usually have National/International connections. Therefore, we need to know what are the clear lines of governance responsibilities.  Governments think inherently and decisions are made independently. This causes faulty assumptions to be made in that other governments are responsible for certain roles and responsibilities and that they will appropriately put the resources into that.  We need to know clearly what are government’s roles and responsibilities; and we need to be included in those discussions, not just small meetings making assumptions. 

Although our community has a Hazmat Team, a question needs to be answered by all levels of government as to what the role of other levels of governments are to ensure each community is prepared for CBRN incidents. A big question in relation to Hazmat Teams in this province is sustainability?

3) Are your assets sufficient to meet the threats you have?

3.1       What do you have in terms of money, people and equipment? Do you have back-up equipment and personnel?

3.2       How rapidly would your community’s emergency resources be depleted if one of the major emergencies anticipated in your operational plan took place? How long would it take for regional assistance to arrive, if available?

3.3       Is your community satisfied with its local and regional command and communications structure? Does it require a more unified and centralized structure, and if so, why is this not in place?

3.4       Can your community interrupt local and national television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

3.5       Would your community like tighter links with the relevant provincial and federal government agencies? 

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality does not allocate funds to departments specifically for emergency preparedness and response. Departments are expected to absorb those costs from within their operational budgets. Should a Disaster Financial Assistance Program be approved following the emergency or disaster, the program may reimburse departmental costs beyond normal operating costs.

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality has developed an appreciation of the emergency supplies available in the community. All municipal agencies have designated a representative and there is an alternate for each representative. Specialized equipment necessary to deal with identified hazards is available within the municipality or is available in a reasonable time by mutual aid agreement or service contract. Given the worst-case scenario, the municipality could be sustainable for four to seven days before additional resources outside of the community are needed. 

The Emergency Plan for the municipality has a unified command structure for both the Emergency Site and the Emergency Operations Center. Part of the municipal Emergency Plan is a Telecommunications Plan that has been exercised involving many stakeholders. The regional municipality’s Public Service Answering Point Center, Mobile Command Post, and telecommunications room in the Emergency Operations Center assists with the coordination of communications and unified command.  A problem that does exist would be our limited ability to keep up with the new Information Technology that would enable us to improve Communication, Command and Control over our Resources.

The community has three AM and one FM radio broadcast stations and one television sub-station and two cable TV companies. Part of our Public Information Plan is the contact names for these stations during operations and after hours.

The community would like to have tighter links with relevant provincial and federal government agencies to understand the common operational polices, plans and procedures and to understand respective operational roles and capabilities of the various government departments and agencies. A development of a Regional/Provincial/ Federal Emergency Management Organization and an all-hazards emergency management plan and support procedures would help facilitate a better understanding of various governments.

4) Do you have programs in place to help prepare your community for the anticipated threats?

4.1       What advice have you provided to the public (i.e., homeowners, automobile operators and businesses) to help them prepare for an emergency?

4.2       Have you identified and warehoused the supplies needed to handle the various emergencies and disasters that could reasonably be expected to occur? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you elaborate?

The public have been advised on how to prepare for an emergency mostly through the distribution of Emergency Preparedness Canada pamphlets at public displays. These displays are held through out the year by our first responders and the Canadian Red Cross. Our municipal web site is to be updated with the appropriate information on how to prepare for an emergency as well.

As stated earlier the municipality has developed an appreciation of the emergency supplies available in the community. Specialized equipment necessary to deal with identified hazards is available within the municipality and is available in a reasonable time by mutual aid agreements or service contracts. Some small items like portable generators, emergency lighting, sandbags, blankets, cots, etc. are stockpiled.    

5) How much provincial and federal assistance do you expect in an emergency?

5.1       Which community emergency response improvements (for example, education, equipment, or money for rapid intervention teams) should be the provincial and federal government’s most immediate priorities?

5.2       Is your community satisfied with the funding it has received from the higher levels of government for training and exercising its emergency plan?

5.3       In a major emergency, how much help will your community expect from the provincial government? How long would it take for this assistance to arrive and who would pay for it?

With respect to the federal government:

5.4       Will your community have to rely on federal support if a major emergency happens? Is this expectation based on an unwritten understanding and should this arrangement be formalized?

5.5       Is the main funding request process (the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program) helpful, or is it impeding your community’s efforts to improve emergency preparedness?

5.6       Are you satisfied with the national leadership and co-ordination provided by the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP)? Can you elaborate?

5.7       Are you confident that OCIPEP will be able to co-ordinate the national-level response to a major disaster or emergency? Please explain.

5.8       Health Canada informed the Committee that there are about 1, 600 emergency caches strategically located across Canada. Do you know of this program and have you seen a cache? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you given procedure information regarding the use of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you consulted on the usefulness of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you find a cache in your community and report on the usefulness of its contents?

5.9       Is the local Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent included in your emergency planning and preparedness organization? Are Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials included? How much help is anticipated from these departments?

5.10    Is your emergency plan linked with the Department of National Defence (DND)? How much help is expected from DND in a major emergency?

Although the municipality conducts routine emergency management training and bi-annual exercises, more joint training exercises among various governments is encouraged. With respect to rapid intervention teams, if the community and surrounding communities lack a certain resources (i.e. Hazmat Team) and other specialized teams there is a need for money from higher levels of government in order to maintain it’s sustainability.

Money is not received from the Province for training and exercising of the community Emergency Plan. The Federal Government makes money available through the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program however, the Provincial Polices does not allow for this.

In a Major Emergency, the community expects the Provincial and Federal Government to provide support planning and operational coordination. The municipal Emergency Plan is written so that we can survive the first 72 hours before we need Provincial and/or Federal support. Depending on the type of Major Emergency, the emergency may fall under the jurisdiction of a Provincial/Federal Department or the Municipality and therefore the response cost fall under that jurisdiction as well. The Disaster Financial Assistance Program should be maintained to offset costs in Major Emergencies. Any sharing of resources and costs associated with that resource should be formalized in a written agreement.

The main funding process for Joint Emergency Preparedness Program is hampered by the fact requests must be made at the beginning of each fiscal year as opposed to maybe two times a year. The Provincial Policies also limits what can be applied for under the program, such as the $10,000 cap on a generator for the emergency operations center this impedes the community’s emergency preparedness. 

The Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP) in relation to defining the roles and responsibilities of individuals and governments in the Canadian Emergency Management System, the administration of financial assistance programs to enhance the level of response and recovery capabilities and the self help advice brochures show national leadership and co-ordination. However, the provincial polices on the financial assistance programs limited the ability to enhance the level of response and recovery.

The Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP) ability to co-ordinate the national-level response to a major disaster or emergency needs to formalize a federal regional emergency management organization. This organization should include an Executive Group with operational linkages with all federal departments and provincial authorities. The Executive Group should meet early during emergency situations to select/confirm a lead federal department and to develop joint response objectives and priorities with the provincial partners, and to establish a joint communication strategy.

Health Canada does have an emergency cache located in this community. The cache is located at our Public Works main warehouse. The community was not consulted on its usefulness and the cache needs to be updated, as it has not been taken care of over the last number of decades.

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality has a formalized agreement with Human Resource Department Canada. The agreement clearly outlines what can be anticipated from this department. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service forms part of the police service Emergency Sub-Plan. No other agreements exist with other federal departments and what is expected from these departments would be at best a guess.

The municipality has a Department of National Defence Armoury located in its community. We have had talks with DND and based on the conversation we cannot link our plan with DND due to the fact that their resources maybe deployed elsewhere. The community understands that DND service both National and International interest and therefore the resources may not be available locally. It is also understood that the request for federal resources may be made through the Provincial Emergency Measures Organization.


Cape Breton
Nova Scotia
(Revised)

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

3.4       (a) Does your community have the unilateral ability to interrupt on command (i.e., interrupting programming for urgent special announcements) local television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?  If yes, please indicate if the authority to interrupt is officially granted to your community and through which mechanism  (e.g., provincial legislation).

            (b) If your community does not have the unilateral ability to interrupt on command, please indicate how you plan to inform the population in the event of an emergency. Are you counting on the cooperation of broadcasters to do so? Would your community benefit from officially having the authority to interrupt broadcasts on command to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

5.3       (a) Based on past experience, how much help has your community come to expect from the provincial government during a major emergency?  How long does it take for this help to arrive?  Who pays for it?

(b) In the event of a future major emergency, how much help would your community need from the provincial government?  What would be a reasonable time limit for this help to arrive?  Who should pay for it?

Answer: Question 3

Our community does not have the unilateral ability to interrupt on command local television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions. Our plan to inform the public in the event of an emergency is mainly through the use of radio broadcasting and we also count on the cooperation of the broadcasters to do so. However the same cannot be said for television broadcast. I am not aware of any legislation, which gives the community the authority to interrupt local television, and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions. Some type of legislation would certainly help along with the responsible by the local television and radio stations to inform the community of contact inform 24/7. Local television and radio stations are not man after certain hours and therefore they should keep the community informed of the contact information.

Answer: Question 5

Based on past experience, the community views the role of the Provincial Government to support the municipalities, the use of specialized resources and expertise, and enforcement and investigation. The provincial resources that are located in our community form part of our emergency plan and are therefore deployed relatively quick as they are part of our fanout system. Resources that are not in our community but are located elsewhere within the province are deployed within a reasonable amount of time. The province has covered the costs for these services in the past. The municipality would cover any extra ordinary costs associated with the emergency.

An importation question here is what resources can the province make available during emergency situations. I have asked this questioned but failed to get a proper answer. 


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