Tag Archives: emergency management

New South Wales | Emergency management exercise register launched

Conducting well prepared and coordinated exercises, in addition to testing emergency plans and Standing Operating Procedures, leads to better mutual understanding and cooperation between the various components of the State’s emergency management structure.

Exercises are conducted at a region and state level and may be agency specific or multi-agency.

Multi-agency Emergency Management and Rescue Exercises in NSW scheduled for 2014 are now available on this website.

More on the Exercise Register

NZ | Civil Defence welcomes Statistics NZ preparedness data

Statistics New Zealand survey results released today confirm the trend of more and more households being prepared for emergencies but, overall, the total is still low.

The Director of Civil Defence Emergency Management, John Hamilton, said the Ministry’s annual preparedness survey carried out since 2006 shows the same pattern. The Ministry’s 2013 survey showed, nation-wide, 17 per cent of households were fully prepared (2006, 7 per cent).

The measures of preparedness and sampling methods used in the two surveys are similar but not identical. However, importantly, they show the same trend of slowly increasing preparedness over time.

“The message is we are getting improvements but we cannot be complacent, as the Canterbury, Cook Strait and Eketahuna earthquakes showed us.

“Importantly, it is not just earthquakes. Winter is coming, and not just on the TV show Game of Thrones! We will have storms, slips and floods, just like we do every year. They can cut roads, power, water and other services.

“Being fully prepared with enough stored food and water for three days or more, and having a plan for what we will do when some of us are at home and others at work, school or elsewhere helps in all civil defence emergencies.

“Being prepared means we and our loved ones will get thru better and recover faster.”

The percentage of people with emergency supplies at home is high, 85 per cent in the Ministry’s 2013 survey. It is people not having plans for what to do, especially when they are not at home, that drops the percentage described as fully prepared.

The Ministry, the regional Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups, and councils are continuing the national public education programme. This includes the Get Ready Get Thru campaign, What’s the Plan Stan? schools programme, Yellow pages advertising, and regional and local events and promotions.

To find out how to prepare and what to do before, during and after emergencies go to www.getthru.govt.nz

Ireland | Update from the National Coordination Group on Severe Weather

The National Coordination Group has been building up a picture of the damage and impact of the latest storm to hit the country today (12th Feb 2014).

With significant damage and disruption in the transport sector, Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar has attended the Group’s meeting. The storm has had major impact on transport, electricity and communication infrastructure and buildings, disrupting travel and communities. Rail services were disrupted and airports were closed for a period. Roads and traffic were disrupted by overturned lorries in a number of cases.

Met Eireann had issued a Status Red severe weather warning for Cork and Kerry initially but this was extended to Leinster, Munster & Connacht as damaging and dangerous winds travelled up across the country from the south-west. The storm is expected to clear the east coast later this evening.

Counties in the path of the storm were badly impacted as it moved across the country. Many buildings were damaged and in Killarney the 52 occupants of a nursing home were evacuated after its roof was damaged. In Kilkenny a major emergency was declared as the number of calls for assistance overwhelmed the response capacity.

The ESB has reported that power supply have been impacted to in excess of 200,000 properties.  ESB crews will be working through the night to restore as many lines as possible, because of the scale of damage  it may take some time to restore supply to all customers. Persons with specific medical concerns are advised to contact their medical practitioners for advice. People are asked to check on vulnerable neighbours in their community in areas without power. People should keep warm and take care with alternative forms of energy. ESB crews will also be prioritising power to infrastructure such as water treatment plants and pumping stations.

Local authorities are clearing fallen trees in all areas, but again this may take some time. All road users and pedestrians are being advised to exercise extreme caution this evening due to the dangerous conditions that exist. Commuters are advised that tomorrow will see ice in the morning, and they need to take account of local conditions in making travel plans.

The public have been reminded to continue to follow the weather warnings and to heed the safety messages of the authorities. People should also be mindful when using candles and open heating sources in the home.  All road users are advised to exercise extreme caution particularly on motorways, there is also danger from debris/fallen trees and icy roads in the morning. People should use public transport where available, allowing extra time for journeys and check details with their transport providers in advance of travel.

The National Co-ordination Group will continue to monitor the situation in conjunction with the local authorities, An Garda Siochana and HSE.

Weather Warnings are presented in three categories:

  1. STATUS YELLOW- Weather Alert – Be Aware

    The concept behind YELLOW level weather alerts is to notify those who are at risk because of their location and/or activity, and to allow them to take preventative action. It is implicit that YELLOW level weather alerts are for weather conditions that do not pose an immediate threat to the general population, but only to those exposed to risk by nature of their location and/or activity.

  2. STATUS ORANGE- Weather Warning – Be Prepared

    This category of ORANGE level weather warnings is for weather conditions which have the capacity to impact significantly on people in the affected areas. The issue of an Orange level weather warning implies that all recipients in the affected areas should prepare themselves in an appropriate way for the anticipated conditions.

  3. STATUS RED- Severe Weather Warning – Take Action

    The issue of RED level severe weather warnings should be a comparatively rare event and implies that recipients take action to protect themselves and/or their properties; this could be by moving their families out of the danger zone temporarily; by staying indoors; or by other specific actions aimed at mitigating the effects of the weather conditions.

VIC | SES embraces local knowledge for emergency planning

With the launch of its Local Knowledge Policy, Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) is committed to embracing information from people on the ground to a greater extent than ever before.

Reviews of past emergencies demonstrate the value of incorporating local knowledge. The 2011 Victorian Floods Review showed examples of local knowledge being used to good effect to inform decision making during the 2010-11 floods, as well as where a lack of local knowledge hurt the response.

SES is implementing local knowledge initiatives by:

  • - Identifying and working with existing networks that are a source of local knowledge
  • - Identifying community observers to provide information and observations during emergencies
  • - Identifying community observers within relevant emergency plans including Municipal Flood Emergency Plans
  • - Establishing command and control arrangements with other emergency service providers

SES acknowledges and appreciates the contributions of all community members, other emergency service agencies and stakeholders thus far to its local knowledge initiatives and looks forward to continuing to work closely with them in the future.

For further information, including how you can get involved, read the Local Knowledge Factsheet.pdf (256 KB)

WA | Community safety scholarships offered to Aboriginal students

A new scholarship program has been developed by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) to support Aboriginal university students studying units related to emergency management.
The Commissioner’s Aboriginal Scholarship Program will offer two scholarships annually of up to $5,000 each to undergraduate and post graduate Aboriginal students in Western Australia.
Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Wayne Gregson said the program demonstrates the commitment of DFES to work with Aboriginal people to ensure they are armed with the knowledge to prepare for, respond to and recover from a diverse range of emergencies.
“Aboriginal students will be given the opportunity to apply for the scholarships if they are studying a field that contributes to building more resilient communities,” Commissioner Gregson said.
“The program aims to provide students with the necessary tools to assist them with employment, volunteering and inclusion in decision making for the benefit of developing and maintaining safer communities.
“At DFES we value the importance of education and recognise the opportunity a tertiary qualification provides Aboriginal people when applying for a job.
“In the long term we want to see increased employment of Aboriginal people in the public sector and it is through programs like this that we hope to achieve that.”
The scholarships can be used to pay unit fees, for sundry expenses or course materials.
Applications are now being received and close at 5pm on Thursday 1 May 2014.
Application instructions and further information can be found in this Application Document.
Alternatively, contact the DFES Senior Equity and Diversity Consultant on 9395 9300 or email workforce.planning@dfes.wa.gov.au.

Maine | Bruce Fitzgerald nominated to serve as Director of MEMA

Governor Paul R. LePage announced today that he has selected Bruce Fitzgerald of South China to serve as the director of the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).

“Bruce has distinguished himself as an expert in the emergency management field through his many years at MEMA, and I am pleased to nominate him as the director,” said Governor LePage. “Bruce is the right man to manage the agency in times of emergency.”

Fitzgerald joined the MEMA staff in 2003, beginning as a program manager for Homeland Security grants, progressing to the Homeland Division Director and then serving as acting director. He served at MEMA through numerous state emergencies and Presidentially declared disasters, notably during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the St. Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day and Patriot’s Day storms in 2007 and, more recently, during Hurricanes Irene and Sandy. He holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Maine.

“I’m pleased and honored to have been selected by the Governor for this position. I look forward to continued service with MEMA leading this important agency,” said Fitzgerald. “I am confident that the professionals of the Maine Emergency Management Agency will continue to provide the high level of service to Maine’s citizens to which we have all become accustomed.”

The MEMA Director reports to The Commissioner of Defense, Veterans’, and Emergency Management (DVEM) and directly to the Governor during times of emergency.

Fitzgerald’s nomination is subject to final confirmation by the Maine Senate.

New Brunswick | Ice storm update – Warming centers remain on standby

The Department of Public Safety’s Emergency Measures Organization issued the following prolonged cold weather advisory today:

The provincial emergency operations centre remains activated. There, the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization continues to co-ordinate its emergency response through its regional co-ordinators.

Warming centres / shelters remain on standby and if you need assistance you should call the Canadian Red Cross at 1-800-222-9597.

There is also help for persons running low on supplies such as fire wood or kerosene. Contact the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization toll-free at 1-800-561-4034.

The New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization is co-ordinating with NB Power to identify priority areas and to arrange for equipment to help crews reach difficult areas. Crews continue to work to restore power as soon as possible. For updates on power outages, visit the NB Power website.

Department of Social Development

For clients in affected areas who are running out of food, the Department of Social Development is encouraging them to contact their case managers. Non-clients in emergency situations may contact the department and will be assessed case-by-case.

Telephone contacts:

●    Daytime: Saint John region, from Sussex to St. Stephen: 1-866-441-4340.
●    Daytime: McAdam and Harvey Station: 1-866-444-8838.
●    After-hours: 1-800-442-9799.

The Department of Health (public health branch) advises that all perishable food left in refrigerators more than 24 hours without electricity should be discarded. Frozen foods left in a freezer will stay frozen for a few days without electricity if the door is kept shut. These products can be refrozen if ice crystals are still present.

Environment Canada is forecasting temperatures to remain very cold for the next few days. Extreme wind chill warnings remain in effect for parts of the province. During the prolonged cold, the EMO is encouraging people to check on their neighbours, especially anyone who might be vulnerable. Pets should be brought indoors.

The public is advised to monitor future forecasts and warnings. A list of weather warnings is available from Environment Canada online.

For information about what to do during and immediately after a power outage, visit the Get Prepared website.

LINKS:

●    Get Prepared
●    NB Power
●    Environment Canada (public alerts)

New York | Emergency planning calendar mailed to residents near nuclear power plants

The 2014 edition of the Oswego County “Public Emergency Response Information” calendar has been mailed to residents in the 10-mile emergency planning zone near the nuclear power plants in Scriba, Terry Bennett, Emergency Services Program Coordinator of the Oswego County Emergency Management Office, announced today.

The calendar is a joint effort of Constellation Energy Nuclear Group, Entergy, the Oswego County Emergency Management Office, and the New York State Office of Emergency Management. It contains guidelines for public response to radiological and other types of emergencies for people that live within ten miles of Nine Mile Point. The calendar features stunning photographs of landscape and outdoor scenes throughout Oswego County. Contributors for the 2014 calendar include Julie Valentine, Sue Bertsch, Sylvia Fields, Annette Syrell, Celia Potter, Bob Kester, Roger Beck, Chad Whelsky, Paige Gray, and David Hertzler.

“This year, we highlighted photos that have been submitted to us in past years, because we’ve received so many outstanding ones in the years we’ve published the calendar,” said Bennett. “We appreciate the talented photographers who allowed us to use their artwork.”

The calendar also includes a schedule for testing the county’s prompt notification system, including the sirens and tone-alert weather radios. If a radiological emergency occurs, people should turn to an Oswego County Emergency Alert System (EAS) radio or television station for information.

The publication also contains:

” Maps, bus pick-up points and evacuation routes in the emergency response planning areas;

” Examples of protective actions that people could be asked to take during a radiological emergency;

” A list of EAS stations;

” Instructions for people who need special assistance;

” Directions to the reception center at the New York State Fairgrounds; and

” Instructions for people in schools, hospitals and nursing homes.

People in the 10-mile emergency planning zone who might need special assistance are asked to fill out and return the detachable, postage-paid postcard on the back cover of the calendar.

“We ask people with special needs to register with the Emergency Management Office,” said Bennett. “We want to make sure we have current information so that appropriate arrangements can be made for necessary assistance. Anyone who knows someone who may need special assistance during an emergency may return a postcard on his or her behalf.”

 

Ontario | City of Toronto #icestorm update to Dec 28 2013

The City of Toronto is continuing to provide updated information on ongoing impacts and the City’s response to the ice storm. Toronto’s Emergency Operations Centre continues to support the ongoing response efforts.

Hydro Update
Toronto Hydro is reporting that approximately 18,000 customers are now without power.

Hydro crews are continuing to work around the clock to restore service. It is expected to take several more days to fully restore power to all the affected areas. Personnel from Sault Ste Marie, Windsor, Ottawa and Manitoba are assisting with the restoration efforts. Crews are currently focusing on neighbourhoods and individual homes still affected by outages. The utility is closely monitoring the weather. If winds pick up this could trigger more outages.

In situations where the homeowner is required to make repairs before the power can be restored, the homeowner will need to provide Hydro with the ESA inspection certificate number and customer contact information. Homeowners are advised to call 416-542-8000 with this information so that Hydro can initiate a work order.

The City’s Emergency Operations Centre has been working closely with Toronto Police Services, Toronto Hydro, the TTC and TCHC through door-to-door canvassing to identify vulnerable residents that require special assistance.

There are currently 50 Forestry crews and 15 staff in single vehicles triaging calls and working closely with Toronto Hydro. The Forestry crews work to clear downed trees and fallen branches and facilitate access for hydro crews to work on power restoration. There are also 13 forestry crews from Ottawa and London that are assisting Toronto’s forestry staff with debris removal.

All motorists, especially truck drivers, are reminded to watch for low hanging wires particularly on residential streets.

Members of the public are urged to be aware of their surroundings. Rising temperatures are causing falling ice. Residents are urged to exercise caution around buildings, large structures (such as cranes), and vehicles, particularly around large trucks. Residents are also urged to exercise extreme caution and avoid walking under trees that are covered in ice, particularly in parks, wooded valleys, and near playgrounds.

Toronto Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
Call volumes continue to be higher, but are approaching normal levels for both Toronto EMS and Toronto Fire Services.

Residents are urged to not operate propane, natural gas or charcoal barbecues indoors as they can create a dangerous carbon monoxide poisoning hazard if not properly vented. Also, do not use a stove or camping gear for heating your home, as they can similarly create a carbon monoxide poisoning and burn hazard. Ensure battery backup is operating for carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Exercise extreme caution when using candles.
When power does return to your home, check all appliances and ensure they are running properly.

The Ontario Provincial Police and Toronto Police Services have been canvassing door-to-door in neighbourhoods where power outages continue. Residents are asked to please check on seniors and vulnerable residents.

Community Care Access Centre Clients
Community Care Access Centre clients who use home oxygen and have concerns can call 310-2222 (no area code required) for assistance. All others are asked to contact their oxygen supplier for assistance.

Trees, Debris and Removal
Residents are urged to exercise extreme caution and avoid walking under trees that are covered in ice, particularly in parks, wooded valleys, and near playgrounds.

City staff from Transportation, Forestry and Solid Waste Management are working together to address tree debris. Clearing of debris is well underway on major roadways, with a priority on public safety. Crews are currently pushing tree debris to the side of the roads to make them safe and passable, and will focus on residential streets in the coming days. Work to clear all tree debris is expected to begin January 3rd and it will continue for approximately eight weeks, weather permitting.

Tree branches that have fallen on private property and are of a manageable size that can be dragged to the City’s right-of-way (i.e., to the curb) will be picked up. Please do not place debris on the sidewalk or in the roadway. Please keep it on the boulevard, or on your property. You need to provide at least one meter of clearance to ensure those with mobility issues can safely pass.

Large limb or stem (body) wood from private trees that have fallen on private property should not be taken to the curb. Property owners should contact a private contractor to remove this material.

Homeowners do not require a City permit to remove damaged or downed trees that are hazardous. Tree removal may not be needed. Some trees can be saved with proper care and maintenance. Trees may be pruned to remove damaged branches. Please use a professional arborist to ensure safety.

City crews cannot go onto private property to clear private trees that have fallen on private property.

For residents that live in the Asian long-horned beetle quarantine area in Etobicoke, the City crews and private contractors will dispose of this debris in the prescribed manner. Do not take this wood out of the Federal quarantine area. See more information at www.toronto.ca/trees

Toronto Roads and Traffic
The number of signalized intersections without power continues to decrease. An estimated 70 to 80 traffic signals remain without power. Transportation Services expects that number will decrease further today. The City is working closely with Toronto Police to provide point-duty at intersections that require it. Motorists are reminded to treat any intersection without functioning signal lights as an all-way stop.

There are more than 40 Transportation crews currently addressing debris management, and there are more than 40 crews focused on repairing potholes.

Truck drivers are asked to watch for low hanging wires on residential streets.

Parking consideration will be provided for residents who park on the street beyond posted times due to limited access to icy driveways.

Food, Water, Warmth and Rest
The City continues to operate locations across the city where vulnerable residents and those who need assistance can access food, water, warmth and rest. Pets are welcome. Approximately 258 people were accommodated last night.

Here is an amended list of Toronto Community Centre locations:

Dennis R Timbrell Community Centre, 29 St. Denis Dr. (Eglinton/Don Mills)
Malvern Community Centre, 30 Sewells Rd. (Neilson/Finch)
Driftwood Community Centre, 4401 Jane St. (between Finch and Steeles)
Mitchell Field Community Centre, 89 Church Ave. (Yonge/Finch)
Joseph P Piccininni Community Centre, 1369 St Clair Ave. W. (St Clair/Keele)
Matty Eckler Community Centre, 953 Gerrard St. E. (Pape/Gerrard) – replacing East York Collegiate Institute
Lawrence Heights Community Centre, 5 Replin Road – replacing Lawrence Heights Middle School
Edithvale Community Centre, 131 Finch Ave. W. (between Bathurst and Yonge)
Pleasantview Community Centre, 545 Van Horne Ave. (between Edmonton and Brian)
McGregor Park Community Centre, 2231 Lawrence Ave. E. (Lawrence/Kennedy)

In addition, 13 Toronto Police Service facilities have been identified as having community rooms available for use 24/7 as warming centres:

Division 11 – 2054 Davenport Road (Davenport/Osler)
Division 12 – 200 Trethewey Drive (Trethewey/Black Creek)
Division 14 – 350 Dovercourt Road (College/Dovercourt)
Division 22 – 3699 Bloor Street West (Bloor West/Dundas West)
Division 23 – 5230 Finch Avenue West (Kipling/Finch)
Division 31 – 40 Norfinch Road (Norfinch/Finch West)
Division 33 – 50 Upjohn Road (York Mills/Don Mills)
Division 42 – 242 Milner Avenue (Milner/Markham)
Division 43 – 4331 Lawrence Ave. E (Lawrence Ave. E/ Kingston Road)
Division 51 – 51 Parliament Street (Front/Parliament)
Division 52 – 255 Dundas Street West (LOBBY ONLY)
Toronto Police Service College – 70 Birmingham Street (Birmingham/Fifth)
Toronto Police Service Headquarters – 40 College Street (College/Bay)

New! Warming centres open until midnight:
Heron Park Community Centre, 292 Manse Road (Kingston/Lawrence)
Don Montgomery Community Centre, 2467 Eglinton Ave. E. (Eglinton/Midland)

Holiday Waste Pickup
Residents are reminded that next week, curbside collection on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will move forward one day. This means that Wednesday collection moves to Thursday, Thursday collection moves to Friday, and Friday collection moves to Saturday. Changes are reflected in the residential collection calendar. Due to downed trees and hydro wires, collection vehicles are not able to reach some areas. There may also be delays. Residents should leave their materials out until they are collected. If required, additional collection crews will work on Monday (not a regularly scheduled collection day).

Food Waste
If you have organic material (food waste) that cannot fit in the Green Bin, please set it out in a clear plastic bag. Food waste will be collected on your regularly scheduled collection day.

Food Safety
Residents who have been without power, or recently had their power restored, are advised to reduce the risk of a food borne illness:
• If you have been without power for 24 hours or longer, all food in the fridge should be thrown out.
• During a power outage of 48 hours or longer, all food in the freezer should be thrown out.
• Any leftover cooked food that cannot be reheated or stored in a working refrigerator or freezer should be thrown out.
Never eat food that looks or smells strange – when in doubt, throw it out.
More food safety tips are available at http://bitly.com/Jxt79e.

Preventing Frozen Pipes
If you don’t have heat for your home and the temperature drops to well below freezing, consider leaving a tap open enough for a trickle of water so there is some movement of water in pipes that might be vulnerable to freezing.

If you are leaving your home because of no heat, you can shut off the main service valve in your basement and open your lowest tap to drain the water out of your plumbing lines to prevent them from freezing.

TTC
Please check www.ttc.ca for schedule details and service alerts.

GO Transit
Please check www.gotransit.com for schedule details and service updates.

Outdoor Skating Rinks
For current information and status updates, please see www.toronto.ca/skate.

Toronto Public Libraries
You are cordially invited to visit our warm and welcoming spaces: we offer wifi and internet workstations as well as great books, magazines and more. Call your local branch or check www.torontopubliclibrary.ca for details.

Thank You
The City of Toronto would like to extend a sincere thank you to the many partners who have helped in the aftermath of this storm. This includes the Province of Ontario and other municipalities that have sent hydro and forestry crews. The City would also like to thank residents who have assisted our crews by moving tree branches off the roads and onto the boulevards.

Emergency Preparedness
Information and advice about emergency preparedness are available at http://www.toronto.ca/oem.

Social Media Updates
For updates during an emergency event and other City of Toronto information, follow @TorontoComms on Twitter. The City will be using #citystorm when providing updates on the storm.

Ontario | Provincial govt response to ice storm – Updated Dec 28 2013

Ontario is continuing to work around the clock to respond to the ice storm that is still affecting parts of the province.

Significant progress has been made in restoring power to residents across Ontario. Hydro One is working with Toronto Hydro to add more resources to their effort. 56 additional Hydro One staff will begin work in Toronto today.

Efforts are also being made to help people replace food they may have lost as a result of the storm. The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management is working with its Supply Chain Alliance partners to obtain and distribute food to these Ontarians. Details of the food distribution efforts are being worked out with municipal and community officials and more precise information will be made available within the next 48 hours.

The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management is coordinating resources across government and working closely with our partners to help restore power and services to all affected communities and keep people safe.

POWER RESTORATION

At the start of the ice storm, over 600,000 customers were without power.

Progress has been made but significant work remains to be done to bring the remaining impacted customers back online. Updates on power outages caused by the storm can be found on most local utility websites or at http://www.ontario.ca/warning.

Hydro utilities in impacted areas are working to get the power back on as soon as possible. In addition, hydro crews from less affected areas of the province and utilities that have completed their restoration efforts are being brought in as they become available to help restore power as quickly as possible.

Customers still without power:

Several hundred Hydro One customers affected by the original outage remain without power. Some communities have experienced other seasonally typical outages, and Hydro One crews are also working to restore power in those cases.

Toronto Hydro: 23,870 customers (300,000 at peak)

Other utilities:

  • Brampton (Hydro One Brampton): 500 customers
  • York Region (Power Stream): 500 customers

**Please note that information comes from a variety of sources and is subject to frequent change as restoration efforts progress and weather develops.

The Province is grateful to local electricity distribution companies across the province who have supported power restoration efforts in a number of different ways.

Toronto Hydro is receiving support from Hydro One crews from Kingston, EnWin, Ottawa Hydro, Sault Ste Marie PUC, Manitoba Hydro, Horizon Utilities and Sudbury Hydro.

Hydro One continues to receive the support of local distribution companies (LDC) from across the province including Peterborough PUC, Newmarket Hydro, Sudbury Hydro, North Bay Hydro, Orangeville Hydro, Orillia Hydro, Midland Hydro and Haldimand Hydro.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Several warming centres are open to give people a respite from the cold – 12 in the City of Toronto, in addition to thirteen Toronto Police Service facilities that have community rooms available for use 24/7 as warming centres.

VaughanMarkhamPickering, Mississauga, Burlington, Brampton and the Town of Halton Hills are also operating warming centres. Ontario has placed provincial buildings on standby in case there is an overflow from city warming and reception centres.

The health system across the GTA has stabilized and hospitals are open and currently able to meet patient needs. The Emergency Medical Action Team (EMAT) has now been fully deactivated.  The EMAT was proactively deployed to Sunnybrook hospital on Dec 23rd;  it offered additional  hospital supports across the GTA in coordination with Toronto Emergency Medical Services and Community Care Access Centres.The team is working with Toronto EMS and Community Care Access Centres to assist with flow and patient management.

The Ontario government is also working with municipalities and volunteer organizations to coordinate visits to seniors and other vulnerable individuals to ensure they are safe.

TRANSPORTATION

In Toronto, all TTC service is running.

Across the Greater Toronto Area and beyond, GO Transit reports all trains running on schedule.

STAYING SAFE

  • Ice is melting and falling off trees and tall buildings as a result of warmer temperatures. People should avoid walking under trees and be extremely vigilant while outdoors.
  • The Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) constantly monitors evolving situations inside and outside of Ontario. It coordinates the government’s response to major emergencies and is staffed at all times.
  • Steer clear of downed power lines. They could still be live and deadly even if they show no active danger signs.
  • If hydro wires connected to your home appear damaged, do not touch them, even if you believe the power is off. Do not attempt the repairs yourself; instead, call a licensed electrical contractor to do the job. The Electrical Safety Authority has contact information for more than 7,000 licensed contractors at 1-877-372-7233 and www.esasafe.com. Or consult your local telephone directory.
  • Carbon monoxide goes undetected and is deadly. Do not heat your homes with devices that are designed for outdoor use, particularly barbecues and outdoor generators. If you are using an outdoor generator, ensure that the exhaust fumes do not enter your home.
  • Electrically connected smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms do not work when the power is out unless they have battery back-up, so make sure your home has battery-operated smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Do not leave candles unattended and keep them away from children and loose fabrics. If possible, use flashlights instead of candles.
  • Unplug all unnecessary appliances to protect them from potential power surges as hydro crews work to restore electricity. And make sure the stove is off. Leave on only select lights to let you know that you’re back up and running.
  • Keep a few taps turned on to a trickle to prevent pipes from freezing.
  • You can make the most of your cellphone battery by turning down the screen brightness and turning off functions such as Bluetooth, WiFi and location services.
  • Take a moment to check on elderly neighbours and people with mobility issues.