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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. This includes structural (e.g. building reinforcement, infrastructure renewal) and non-structural measures (e.g. legislation, by-laws, and codes).
Why is prevention & mitigation important?
There is international agreement that investment in prevention and mitigation before an emergency will reduce the cost of recovering afterwards.
- Australia has estimated that every dollar spent on disaster mitigation saves at least three dollars in economic and social recovery.
- 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 by spending one percent of a structure’s value on vulnerability reduction measures can reduce probable maximum loss from hurricanes on average, by a third.
Disaster mitigation measures you 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
Disaster mitigation measures the City of Barrie is taking
City of Barrie By-Law 2007-121 adopts an Emergency Management Program and Emergency Plan for the City of Barrie that assigns responsibility for emergency preparedness to offices and groups and establishes the framework how they will manage emergency situations.
Fire Prevention Programs are sponsored and conducted by the Barrie Fire and Emergency Services.
Crime Prevention and Safety Programs are sponsored and conducted by the Barrie Police Service.
Disaster mitigation measures the Province is taking
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 Regulation 280/04 sets the standards for the emergency management programs that municipalities must establish.
Ontario’s Critical Infrastructure Assurance Program is a collaborative process between Ontario ministries, Federal departments, communities, and representatives of the private sector. The process has four broad aims: to reduce the probability of an adverse event occurring; to reduce, eliminate, or transfer risk impact before an event; to control, contain, and reduce impact during an event; and to restore and recover after the event.
Nine sectors have been identified in which communities and provincial ministries will identify and assure critical infrastructure.
- Continuity of government services
- Financial institutions
- Food and water
- Gas, oil and chemical industries
- Health Care
- Public safety and security
- Communications systems
Some additional 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.