Emergency Management

The goal of emergency management, a risk management activity, is to create safe, secure and disaster-resilient communities through the implementation and maintenance of comprehensive risk-based emergency management programs and plans.

    Know the Risk Emergency PlanMake a Plan Emergency PreparednessGet a Kit Emergency Preparedness 72 Hour Emergency Guide  72 Hour Emergency Guide for Individuals with Disabilities/ Special Needs

 Hazards & Risk Assessment

 The core emergency management: knowing about the hazards and risks that could cause emergencies in our community. A hazard is an event or physical condition that has the potential to cause fatalities, injuries, property damage, infrastructure damage, agricultural loss, damage to the environment, interruption, of other types of harm or loss. 

Hazards in North Frontenac

Natural

  • Severe winter storms: heavy snow, strong winds, freezing rain.
  • Severe summer storms: heavy rain and flooding, strong winds, lightning, hail, tornadoes.
  • Extreme heat and cold waves.
  • Human disease and epidemic.

Technological

  • Inturruption to lifelines and utilities; especially power outages.
  • Structure fires.
  • Major industrial and/or transportation accident involving hazardous materials.

Human-caused

  • Human error, vandalism and terrorism.

Evolving Hazards in North Frontenac

  • Climate change is increasing the risk of weather extremes causing drought, flooding, heat waves, and severe storms.
  • Human health emergencies, including influenza pandemic, are increasing internationally.
  • Computer viruses are more common. 

Disaster Prevention & Mitigation 

Prevention and mitigation are the things we do to prevent an emergency from happening and, if it does, to reduce or eliminate the impact. Potential impacts can be structural (building reinforcement, infrastructure renewal) and non-structural measures (legislation, by-law and codes). 

The Importance of Prevention & Mitgation 

There is an internationl understanding that investment in prevention and mitigation before an emergency will reduce the cost of recovering. 

  • The International Federation of the Red Cross has estimated that if US $40 billion had been invested in mitigation measures in the 1990s, worldwide economic losses of US $280 billion (resulting from disasters) would have been avoided.
  • The World Bank has estimated that spending 1% of a structure’s value on vulnerability reduction measures can reduce probable maximum loss from hurricanes by one third (on average)

Municipal Disaster Mitigation Measures

Municipal Council adopted an Emergency Management Plan for North Frontenac that assigns responsibility for emeregncy preparedness to offices and groups, and establishes the framework for how they will manage situations.

Provincial Distaster Mitigation Measures

The Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act requires that all municipalities and the provincial government establish emergency management programs based on hazards and risks that the community may face. 

Ontario’s Critical Infrastructure Assurance Program is a collaborative process between Ontario ministries, Federal departments, communities, and representatives of the private sector. Nine sectors have been identified in which communities and provincial ministries will identify and assure critical infrastructure.

Additional provincial measures include: 

  • Infrastructure investments and capital works to reduce the threat and impact of a hazard
  • Regulations and standards, such as building codes, to reduce the impact of spills, floods, etc.
  • Land use planning legislation
  • The Ministry of Transportation plans routes for the transportation of dangerous goods (TDG) on provincial roads.

Disaster Mitigation Measures Everyone Can Take

  • Strengthen building structures and roofs
  • Install fire-resistant shingles
  • Install hail-resistant shingles
  • Install hurricane shutters
  • Install shatter-resistant window film
  • Install backup power sources
  • Install indoor sprinkler systems
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Install backflow valves to prevent toilet overflows when the household sewer system is infiltrated with floodwater
  • Anchor bookshelves and cabinets to walls
  • Anchor outdoor items that can become projectiles in high winds
  • Build storm shelters or safe rooms designed to withstand high winds associated with tornadoes using specified materials to pre-engineering specifications
  • Manage vegetation by removing fire-prone dry plant material from gutters and around residences and other buildings, or trimming tree limbs that overhang roofs to avoid roof damage during high winds
  • Clear drainage ways and streams
  • Test well water
  • Ensure that your home insurance includes the hazards that pose a risk to your community

Preparedness 

Emergency Preparedess

Emergencies can happen anywhere at any time with little to no warning. Your best protection in any emergency is to be prepared for the unexpected and know what to do. This will help you control the situation better and allow to recover more quickly. 

Municipal Preparedness 

North Frontenac Emergency Response Plan established an emergency management structure and emergency response guidelines for the Township, and related emergency agencies, in the event of a major emergency that is beyond the normal response capabilities of the Township. The plan provides for the exatraordinary arrangements and measures that may be required to protect the health, safety, welfare, environment and economyc health or North Frontenac residents, businesses and visitors when faced with an emergency. 

Response 

Communities Respond First

Most emergencies are resolved at the community level as emergency response organizations (including police, fire, emergency health services, and public works) routinely deal with them. If a major emergency occurs, the Community Emergency Control Group will meet in the Community Emergency Operations Centre to implement the emergency response plan.

Emergency Declarations

The Mayor may declare an emergency if required (the Acting Mayor may assume all his/her powers and duties for the emergency in the Mayor's absence). The Mayor, Council, or Premier may declare an emergency is terminated. Assistance agreements with neighbouring communities and other agencies ensure that backup for police, fire and other support is readily available in an emergency.  If additional supplies, equipment or other resources are required, they may be requested from the Province through Emergency Management Ontario.

Province Steps In

When an incident is reported via Emergency Management Ontario, it is monitored and the duty team remains in direct communication with the affected community. If a higher level of response is required, appropriate provincial ministries and federal departments will be notified. In very serious emergencies, the Premier or a Minister may assume overall control of the situation, including the declaration of a provincial emergency.

Federal Government Assistance

The federal government intervenes only when requested or when the emergency clearly impacts areas of federal jurisdiction, such as a war emergency.

Communication During an Emergency

During an emergency, warnings/updates/information may be broadcasted on local radio and television stations, delivered personally by emergency personnel, or telephoned by automated dialing equipment.

A crank-operated or a battery-powered radio with a supply of fresh batteries is an essential item during a power outage or evacuation. Weather information can be obtained on the television Weather Channel or the Weatheradio network at 162.4 MHz (requires special VHF-FM radio).

Alert Broadcasts

In addition to broadcasting weather information, the Weather Network will assist in warning communities about non-weather related threats and hazards in their communities. When a community advises the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre about a local situation and requests that an alert be broadcast for their community, an alert will be sent to the Weather Channel for immediate broadcast after confirmation there is an imminent threat to life or security of a community, or whenever a community is endangered. Warning messages can be targeted to any geographic region in Ontario deemed to be at risk and repeated for as long as the emergency situation exists.

Possible Responses

Evacuation

Evacuation is a protective action that may be ordered by emergency officials when there is a significant threat posed to people in a specific area or community. Evacuation could be caused by natural, accidental or human-caused disasters such as a hazardous material release, nuclear incident or severe weather. If ordered to evacuate:

  • Follow your Emergency Plan
  • Provide your out-of-town contact with details of your situation and when and where you are going.
  • If you have time, leave a note indicating when you left and where you are.
  • Shut off water, gas, and electricity only if officials tell you to.
  • Lock your home.

Recovery 

Disaster recovery is joint cooperation amongst government agencies, voluntary organizations, and the private sector to provide assistance and support. Initially efforts focus on meeting the immediate needs of those affected for housing, food and water. As homes and businesses are repaired, people return to work and communities continue with cleanup and rebuilding.

Disaster Effects

The effects of a disaster depend on the type, severity and duration of the event. Common effects include:

Social

  • Stress and psychological trauma
  • Focus on the short-term, foregoing long-term goals and opportunities
  • Delay of programs that serve long-standing social needs
  • Gaps in community economic classes tend to widen

Economic

  • loss of businesses
  • loss of jobs
  • reduced cash flow within the community

Physical

  • Damage to buildings, commercial structures, and community facilities
  • Alteration of landscape as in landslides and floods
  • Environmental contamination from chemicals or pollutants

Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing operates Ontario's Disaster Relief Assistance Program(ODRAP), which is intended to help municipalities, individuals, farmers, small business, and non-profit organizations get back on their feet by covering the costs of returning essential items to pre-disaster condition for the people who have suffered damage within designated disaster areas. ODRAP is not intended to be an alternative or a substitute for adequate insurance coverage.

Seasonal Tips 

Severe Summer Weather Tips

Summer Day

 Keep an eye on the weather

Every morning before leaving you leave the house check the weather report for the day.  If the forecast indicates the possibility of foul weather check the weather reports throughout the day and watch the sky for signs that a storm may be coming and take appropriate action if you feel threatened.  In the end, you are responsible for your own safety.

Monitor the local media 

Listen to local radio and television and monitor local internet and social media sites for information and advice.  Environment Canada will issue severe thunderstorm or tornado watches and warnings if heavy rain, high winds, tornadoes or large hail are possible or expected or happening. A watch is a heads up that conditions are favourable for severe weather and there may be several hours to prepare. A warning is an alert when severe weather is imminent or occurring and that it is time to take shelter and put into action your safety plan.

Have a plan 

Don't be unprepared; make sure you have a plan and know in advance what to do if severe weather strikes. Choose a shelter or meeting place in the event you get separated.

Shelter

Look for safe places at the cottage or campground well before strong winds or tornadoes threaten.  Make sure your family is aware of them.  If no substantial shelter is available, leave trailers and lie in a low sheltered spot away from large trees, but be aware of flooding.  As a last resort, take shelter in a grove of small low trees.

Thunder & Lightning 

When you hear thunder, immediately take shelter; and remain sheltered for 30 minutes after you hear the last rumble of thunder. Stay away from fences and open areas such as golf courses and fields when lightening is in the area.  Avoid being near tall objects such as trees, hilltops and telephone poles.  Don't use metal objects such as golf clubs or fishing rods. Get out of the water and off small boats. Stop tractor work and lift metal equipment out of the ground. 

 Tornadoes

Tornadoes are relatively common in Canada, but only in specific regions: southern Alberta; Manitoba and Saskatchewan; southern Ontario; southern Quebec; the interior of British Columbia; and western New Brunswick. Tornado season extends from April to September with peak months in June and July, but they can occur at any time of year. 

Winter Weather Tips

Snow on Trees

 Add supplies to your disaster supplies kit
 Add the following supplies to your disaster supplies kit:
  • Rock salt to melt ice on walkways
  • Sand to improve traction
  • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment
Prepare your home and family 
  • Prepare for possible isolation in your home by having sufficient heating fuel; regular fuel sources may be cut off. For example, store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
  • Winterize your home to extend the life of your fuel supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic.
  • Winterize your house, barn, shed or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbours, livestock or equipment. Clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm.
  • Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing.
  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
  • Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
  • Know ahead of time what you should do to help elderly or disabled friends, neighbours or employees.
  • Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow - or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.
Prepare your car 
  • Check or have a mechanic check the following items on your car:
  • Antifreeze levels: ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.
  • Battery and ignition system: should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean.
  • Brakes: check for wear and fluid levels.
  • Exhaust system: check for leaks and crimped pipes and repair or replace as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning.
  • Fuel and air filters: replace and keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining a full tank of gas.
  • Heater and defroster: ensure they work properly.
  • Lights and flashing hazard lights: check for serviceability.
  • Oil: check for level and weight. Heavier oils congeal more at low temperatures and do not lubricate as well.
  • Thermostat: ensure it works properly.
  • Windshield wiper equipment: repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level.
  • Install good winter tires. Make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some jurisdictions require that to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.
  • Maintain at least a half tank of gas during the winter season.         
  • Place a winter emergency kit in each car that includes: 
    • a shovel 
    • windshield scraper & small broom 
    • flashlight 
    • battery powered radio 
    • extra batteries 
    • water 
    • snack food 
    • matches 
    • extra hats, socks & mittens 
    • First aid kit with pocket knife 
    • necessary medications 
    • blanket(s) 
    • tow chain or rope 
    • road salt and sand 
    • booster cables 
    • emergency flares 
    • fluorescent distress flag 
Dress for the weather 
Wear several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves. Wear a hat. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.

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