Emergency Planning Facts
What is an Emergency?
A situation or an impending situation that constitutes a danger of major proportions that could result in serious harm to persons or substantial damage to property and that is caused by the forces of nature, a disease or other health risk, an accident or an act whether intentional or otherwise.
Some emergencies, such as fires and explosions, happen frequently with localized impact. Others, such as tornadoes and ice storms, are more rare but have severe consequences on the community and the environment. Some emergencies, such as hurricanes, are predictable and offer time to prepare; while others, such as major traffic accidents and spills of hazardous material are unexpected and give no warning.
The number, intensity and consequences both in terms of people affected and financial costs of emergencies and disasters are increasing.
What is Emergency Management?
Emergency management is a risk management activity the goal of which is to create safe, secure and disaster resilient communities through the implementation and maintenance of comprehensive risk-based emergency management programs and plans.
The core elements of Emergency Management are: prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.
The foundation of emergency management is the identification and assessment of the hazards and risks to public safety that could cause emergencies.
How does Emergency Management work?
Emergency management starts with individuals being responsible for their own safety, and the well-being of their families, and progresses through the levels of community as the magnitude of emergencies and the resources required to deal with them expands.
What is a Community Emergency Management Program?
A Community Emergency Management Program is a provincial requirement of all municipalities and is a partnership among City departments, local first response agencies, businesses and the community at large working to develop and implement programs and plans to protect our community during emergencies.
Community Emergency Management Program activities include:
- Having emergency plans that govern how necessary services will be provided during an emergency and how employees of the municipality and others will respond to the emergency
- Conducting training programs and exercises to ensure the readiness of people to act under the plan
- Carrying out public awareness and education programs on the risks to public safety and the importance of public preparedness for emergencies.