Emergency Management and Preparedness
Disasters come in many forms. In Guelph we have two rivers, major road and rail links and normal Canadian weather. We have identified as our major community risks:
- Hazardous material release from a fixed or mobile site
- Severe weather including tornadoes and ice storms
- Human health emergencies
We could also be affected by a major fire or a flood. Since the events of 2001 in New York City or 2005 in London we must also consider the potential for acts of terrorism.
For most people, the possibility of being involved in a disaster may seem remote. The Canadian and Ontario governments clearly state that each individual is responsible for his or her safety, and the well-being of their family. Knowing what to do in an emergency can help you better control the situation and be in a position to recover faster.
The City of Guelph has been involved in emergency planning for decades and is prepared to meet the challenges posed by disasters. In partnership with local first responders, health organizations, social services, utilities and volunteer groups, the City constantly strives to improve its level of preparedness.
The City has an Emergency Plan which has been formally adopted by Guelph City Council. Its emergency planning initiatives are overseen by the Emergency Operations Control Group.
Did you know:
As part of the City of Guelph’s Emergency Management Program Standards, Emergency Services has moved beyond the mandatory requirements in their goal to make Guelph more ‘disaster resilient’.
- Various training programs are provided by the Community Emergency Management Coordinator including mandatory training for members of the Emergency Operations Control Group (EOCG).
- Our Annual Emergency Exercise to test our plans, train our staff and become more familiar with unusual issues not encountered on a day to day basis.
- Our Annual Emergency Preparedness Day featuring exhibitor displays with up to forty of our emergency management partners.
- Extensive information on Guelph.ca and in library branches for use by residents.
- ‘Your Personal Preparedness Guide’ handbook is available online.
- Personal Preparedness presentations are conducted on request.
Emergency Plan and Emergency Program review Including the Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment and Critical Infrastructure list. Guelph is currently and has always been ‘compliant’ with all Emergency Management Ontario requirements.
Ongoing Monitoring of emergencies in Ontario and around the world.
We receive daily situation reports from Emergency Management Ontario.This allows us to react to serious situations as they are developing.
Severe Weather – Get Advance Warning!
- Weatheradio Canada is operated by Environment Canada’s Meteorological Service and broadcasts weather and environmental information 24 hours a day. This permits the transmission of a tone ahead of a warning message that will activate a Weatheradio receiver and alert you to an incoming important message. Geoff Coulson, Warning Preparedness Meteorologist from Environment Canada says, “If the radio is properly configured…it will emit a piercing tone when we issue our warnings and this will wake most people up out of a sound slumber and allow them to take appropriate action in advance of the storm system”. Many businesses that sell electronics stock inexpensive Weatheradio’s. Consider purchasing one for your home and/or businesses so you can know when severe weather is approaching….at any hour of the day or night. If severe weather threatens, public safety experts agree that seconds count to save lives. For more information visit Environment Canada – What is Weatheradio?
- Emergency Management Ontario now has a subscriber service that allows you to receive weather warnings by e-mail or text message. Sign up for this free service.
Other initiatives include important work on issues such as interoperability to enhance communication with our emergency management partners during emergencies. We co-hosted an interoperability conference in Guelph on February 23rd, 2010 with the Canadian Interoperability Technology Interest Group. Representatives from municipal, provincial and federal governments attended as well as research and volunteer groups.