The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) helps the City and its residents prepare for and deal with major emergencies. OEM staff work closely with Toronto's emergency responders and key City divisions to prepare for and manage emergency situations.
In order to be ready for any emergency, it is critical that City staff have a sound understanding and ability to execute their emergency response and recovery roles. This is achieved by careful planning, consistent training and holding frequent exercises to test the essential components of emergency preparedness.
In October 2011, approximately 60 City staff participated in Exercise Compass Rose, a full-day exercise to test the City's Emergency Plan. The exercise scenario involved a number of hypothetical emergencies at multiple locations across Toronto, indicating possible terrorist activities. Throughout the day, participants were provided with numerous pieces of information designed to simulate how an actual event might unfold. The purpose was not to test individuals, but to test the processes in place that help the City deal with significant crises.
In addition to preparing the Toronto Public Service, the OEM's public education program helps residents 'Get Emergency Ready' with tips and information on how they can prepare for themselves and their families.