The City of Toronto recognizes the important role that private sector organizations play in emergency management.

From conducting business continuity planning to supporting the City’s efforts to respond to and recover from events, private sector organizations are key partners in ensuring the readiness and resiliency of Toronto. Private sector organizations operate and maintain a portion of the City’s critical infrastructure, such as food, telecommunications systems and financial services – so it is especially important for these types of organizations to have systems and strategies in place to continue delivering their essential services during an emergency. Private sector organizations also play an important role in increasing the personal preparedness of their employees, such as encouraging staff to have an emergency plan for their families and to maintain an emergency kit.

Get Emergency Ready Guides

Toronto’s Office of Emergency has developed a series of Get Emergency Ready guides to support Torontonians to take steps to be prepared for emergencies. You can use these guides to help prepare your organization for an emergency, as well as to promote personal preparedness for your employees and volunteers.

Partners in Preparedness Newsletter for Private Sector Organizations

Toronto’s Office of Emergency Management launched the quarterly Partners in Preparedness newsletter for private sector partners in 2018.

Join the Distribution List

2020 Quarter 1 Combined Newsletter


Welcome to a new year and a new version of Partners in Preparedness!

Partners in Preparedness now combines our private sector and community-based newsletters into a single quarterly newsletter. We hope that this newsletter will help build a community of partners, from the private sector to community-based organizations to agencies across the public sector. We look forward to working together to help everyone across the City of Toronto prepare for emergencies.

In the News

Coronavirus Update

2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) continues to make news. Many people have questions about the virus and the role of the City of Toronto in preparing for and protecting the city from infectious diseases.

You can find current information here: Toronto Public Health Coronavirus Information.

In the News

Nuclear Alert Ready

On January 12, 2020, a test of the Province of Ontario’s nuclear alerting system accidentally went province-wide. The alert was sent by mistake during a daily, routine system test conducted by the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre.

There has never been a nuclear incident that posed a threat to human health at Pickering Nuclear Generation Station. Still, the false alert reminds us of the importance of making sure that everyone in Toronto has the information they need to be safe.

Although the risk of a nuclear power accident is very low, the City of Toronto has a detailed plan for this type of incident. The City of Toronto, Province of Ontario and Ontario Power Generation all work together to continually improve emergency plans.

Did you know?

Potassium Iodide (KI) helps block radioactive iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid gland. More than 40,000 orders for Potassium Iodide were placed on the Prepare to be Safe website in mid-January. In an average month, the site receives between 100 and 200 orders.

More about Nuclear Preparedness

The Province of Ontario is the lead organization for nuclear response, please see the Emergency Management Ontario Nuclear Website for more information.

For more information about Toronto’s plan, our partners and other helpful resources, please see Toronto Nuclear Preparedness.

An emergency can happen any place, any time

Get ready with a Workplace Emergency Kit.

It should include cash (bank machines may not work in an emergency), comfortable shoes, food, water, extra clothes and a flashlight. Start today by putting a flashlight in your desk. Then add some cash. And so on.

For more information see the “Get Emergency Ready At Work” guide.

News for Landlords and Tenants

Over the past year, the City has been working with its partners to improve how apartment building property owners and operators prepare for and respond to “vital service disruptions” like building fires. The City has developed new standards to protect the health and wellbeing of tenants during such an event.

Who do the new standards apply to?

These new standards apply to building owners and operators under the RentSafeTO Program. RentSafeTO covers buildings that are three or more storeys and contain ten or more units.

What do the new standards mean for landlords?

Changes have been made to Chapter 354 of the Toronto Municipal Code. Building owners and operators under the RentSafeTO program must now:

  • keep a voluntary contact list of tenants who voluntarily self-identify and who may need extra assistance during periods of evacuation or temporary interruption of vital services
  • develop and maintain a vital service disruption plan and provide the City with a copy of the plan, in the form provided by the City, when requested)

Building owner and operators who do not implement their established vital service disruption plan during a time of prolonged vital service disruption may be found guilty of an offence.

For more information: Visit the RentSafeTO program web page.

What is a vital service disruption?

Vital services are essential services that apartment building owners and operators must provide to keep tenants healthy and safe.

They include things like:

  • hot or cold water
  • fuel
  • electricity
  • heat

Vital service disruptions happen when these services are unavailable to tenants because of an incident within the building.

Ask the Expert

Flood Plains in the City of Toronto

Have a question about flood plains? The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) has the answer.

The flood plain is the flat area along the shorelines of rivers and streams at risk of flooding. Mapping the flood plain is an important part of planning and emergency management.

This knowledge helps guide sensitive land use away from high-risk areas. It also helps identify ways to mitigate flood risk, to better protect people and property, and to make our urban areas more resilient.

Flooding is a shared responsibility between different agencies and individuals.

There are two main types of flooding: riverine flooding and urban flooding. Riverine flooding occurs when rivers and streams overflow into surrounding areas. The TRCA works to reduce riverine flood risks.

Riverine flooding is different from urban flooding.  Urban flooding occurs when local drainage systems overflow, flooding streets, basements and other low-lying areas. Visit Toronto Water Basement Flooding for more information about urban flooding.

TRCA has a developed a Flood Plain Map Viewer. Simply put your address in the search bar to see if you are within the regulatory flood plain.

Building? Renovating? Landscaping? Excavating? All these projects require a permit. Please use the Regulated search tool to determine if your property is within TRCA’s regulated area.

Do you live or operate a business in a Flood Plain? To learn more about the rules and regulations regarding development within TRCA’s regulated areas, please see TRCA’s Planning & Permits section.

Need to know more? See Frequently Asked Questions, at the bottom of the Flood Plain Viewer Page.

Live or work in the Jane-Wilson neighbourhood? Visit Jane-Wilson Flood Risk Area for information.

Director’s Corner

By Charles Jansen, Director, Office of Emergency Management

It’s been a busy and productive first few months as the new Director of the Office of Emergency Management for the City of Toronto. Through it all, I have reflected on the lessons I learned from my many years in the military.

I am always struck by how important it is to look at the big picture. It is easy to get distracted by the details. But getting lost in the details is a bit like putting your nose up to a tree and not realizing there’s a whole forest around you. You have to step back to see the whole picture.

Only when you have a holistic view of the incident can you begin to solve the problem. This is important, because it’s not just the immediate problem you have to solve. You have to think about the impacts of every action you take, including the second and third order effects that are the result of every action you take.

This can seem a bit overwhelming, but when it does, I fall back on another thing I’ve learned through experience. To solve a big problem, you have to break the problem into smaller, more achievable tasks.

It’s like the old joke: “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer is always: “One bite at a time.”

Exercise Exercise Exercise: TTC Tunnel Exercise

In the early hours of Sunday, January 12, 2020, the TTC conducted a test of its emergency readiness.

The exercise involved a mock fire on the TTC’s Line 1 between Finch Station and North York Centre Station. Power in the tunnel was cut and tunnel ventilation fans were activated. 280 passengers were then led off the train to track level to evacuate.

At the same time, TTC station staff conducted a mock evacuation of Finch Station and Transit Control Centre staff practiced procedures for implementing emergency turn-backs at Sheppard Station.

Role players for the event included members of the TTC’s Advisory Committee on Accessible Transit (ACAT) and volunteers from Spinal Cord Injury Ontario. Their participation was key as TTC and Toronto Fire Services were able to practice the mobilization of specialty apparatus to ensure that persons with accessibility needs could be evacuated in a safe and timely manner.

311, 211 or 911?

Make the Right Call!

311 provides easy access to all City of Toronto non-emergency services. Have a question about snow-removal or help finding the nearest flu clinic or other City services? Call 3-1-1.  You can email a question to , reach out to @311Toronto on Twitter or visit 311 information.

211 provides information and referral services to community and social services. If you need information about health support or a referral for employment services or help accessing over 20,000 other services, call 2-1-1. For more information visit 211 information.

911 is for use in an emergency, when seconds count. When police, fire or medical emergencies occur, call 9-1-1. For more information visit information about 911.

Who Do I Call for Help?

Sometimes it’s hard to know where to get help. If you or someone you love needs non-emergency mental health support, 211 can help you find the right service.

If the situation is an emergency, please call 9-1-1.

But imagine that you are on the street and you see someone you don’t know in obvious distress. How do you know who to call?

If the person appears to be an immediate threat to themselves or others, please call 9-1-1. If the person is not a threat, but is in distress or seems to need help, call 3-1-1. 311 will arrange for the appropriate City service to send help without tying up emergency services.

Upcoming Dates and Events

How to subscribe:

If you know of an organization who would like to subscribe, they can sign-up to receive the newsletter here. The OEM will also continue to post the newsletter on its Partners in Preparedness website.

Contact Us:

By email at

By phone 416-392-4554

On twitter@TorontoOEM

October 2019 Edition – Print Version


The City of Toronto’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) launched the Partners in Preparedness newsletter for private sector partners in 2018. In 2019, the OEM added a second newsletter covering topics of interest for community-based organizations.

Starting in 2020, the OEM will combine its newsletters into one. As a single quarterly newsletter, Partners in Preparedness will continue to help our private sector partners, community-based organizations and broader public sector agencies to prepare for emergencies and find ways to work together to serve the people of Toronto.

If you have already signed up to receive the private sector or community-based Partners in Preparedness newsletter, you will be added to the distribution list for the new newsletter. Organizations can sign-up to receive the newsletter here. The OEM will continue to post the newsletter on its Partners in Preparedness website.

Family Information Support Centre Exercise

When an emergency causes a lot of injuries or death, our healthcare system is often heavily impacted. Healthcare facilities can also become a gathering place for loved ones looking for friends and family. To prepare for these stressful situations, hospitals practice the activation and operation of their Family Information Support Centres (FISC). A FISC becomes a place for family and friends to gather while they wait for news of a loved one that is being treated in the hospital. In a large emergency, a FISC may also become a place where family and friends can reunite with loved ones who were previously unidentified or missing.

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, the largest trauma centre in Canada, recently held a FISC exercise to test this process. 95 participants came together as FISC workers and volunteer actors posing as concerned family and friends to simulate a mass casualty event where the public was starting to converge at the hospital. The scenario involved an explosion at a nearby college with very little additional information given to the participants on the impacts or the number of injured victims admitted to the hospital.

During the exercise, the FISC workers were able to test the process for registering family and friends, receiving and hosting these loved ones on site, and managing communications. During a debrief, participants shared positive feedback from their experiences as workers and simulated family and friends. Sunnybrook’s emergency preparedness staff will use the information gathered from the exercise to better lead the planning for a Toronto-wide mass casualty exercise scheduled for November 2019, which will include participants from many local hospitals and other organizations.

Toronto Hydro’s Emergency Hacks

With winter rapidly approaching and extreme weather events becoming more frequent, emergency preparedness has never been more critical. To help prepare for the unexpected, Toronto Hydro encourages every household to assemble an emergency kit to help you get through at least 72 hours without essential services such as power, running water and transportation.

Some of the key items you should include in your kit are:

  • bottled water (the average person requires at least four litres a day)
  • non-perishable food items like canned meats and produce, granola bars, and dehydrated foods
  • flashlights
  • batteries

Don’t have an emergency kit? Toronto Hydro has created a series of Emergency Preparedness Hack videos to help you get through a power outage using everyday items. Visit its YouTube channel to find instructions on how to open a can without an opener, how to make an emergency lamp out of a plastic jug, and a flashlight, and more.

Partner Spotlight: Let’s Go to the Ex

Approximately 1.5 million people go to the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) for its 18-day run each year. Ever wonder what kind of security measures are in place to ensure a great time is had by all?

Similar to planning for other major events like parades and festivals, the CNE operates under a unified command structure. The command post looks like an Emergency Operations Centre with around 60 cameras providing various views of the fair and seats at the table for about 30 staff. The command post is available should a major incident that needs coordination from multiple agencies take place. The command post was most recently opened on a weekend night of the fair this year where higher-than-normal attendance was anticipated.

Morning briefings are an opportunity to review the safety and security incidents from the day before. These are attended by members of emergency services, the various security agencies employed to work the fair, other operational staff and guests.

Preparation for this event is a year-round process. Along with taking in any lessons learned and applying them to the following year’s plans, the group also participates in an annual tabletop exercise in June to play through potential scenarios.

Thanks to these established partnerships, the CNE is renowned for its long-running tradition of family fun in a safe environment.

Did You Know?

After taking a brief hiatus, the Toronto Emergency Management Symposium is returning in April 2020 for the 12th time. The Toronto Police Service leads the planning for the Symposium, which aims to provide critical infrastructure partners and other professionals working in the field of emergency management with information, knowledge and networking opportunities. Stay tuned for more details.

In Case of an Emergency Information Sheet

Toronto Paramedic Services has developed an In Case of Emergency (ICE) information sheet to help people to share important medical details with paramedics and other health care providers in an emergency should they not be able to speak for themselves or remember important information.

Presently available in 18 languages, everyone should complete an ICE information sheet before a medical emergency. Paramedics can use the information on the sheet – such as a person’s medical history, medications, and allergies – to assess a patient’s condition and begin treatment faster. This information can also be used by someone calling 911 for help during a medical emergency, which will assist the emergency medical call taker in providing instructions on how to help the patient before paramedics arrive.

Help Your Event Weather the Storm

Uncertainty about high winds, precipitation, or electrical storms can jeopardize the enjoyment and safety of your special event. Fortunately, now more than ever, technology is helping event planners stay one step ahead of Mother Nature.

There are many applications on the market that predict when inclement weather will hit. These apps, ranging from general weather overviews to minute-by-minute forecasts of individual elements, can help your team plan a day that is safe and fun.

We surveyed event planners for some of their favourite weather forecast apps. The list below is not an endorsement but provides a sample of available apps to get you started in your search for the technology that fits your organization’s needs.

OEM has a New Director

Mr. Charles Jansen started his new role as Director of the City of Toronto’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) on October 15, 2019.

Charles joins the OEM following a long and successful career as an emergency management and response professional with the Canadian Armed Forces where he earned the rank of Lt. Colonel and most recently served as the Director, 4th Canadian Division Headquarters.

Charles’ experience includes serving as the Chief Planner for Joint Task Force Central where he planned and led the response to a number of national and international events including the G8/G20 summits in 2010, multiple tours by the Royal Family and the 2015 Pan American Games. He also led the response to numerous emergencies including northern Ontario fire evacuations, the Highway 402 stranded motorist rescue in 2010 and natural disasters such as an F5 tornado and earthquake.

Charles is excited about working with Toronto’s critical infrastructure partners to strengthen our city’s readiness and resilience. He looks forward to hearing from you about ways that we can build partnerships based on effective collaboration, coordination and communication. You can reach Charles at

July 2019 Edition – Print Version

New Preparedness Resources

The City of Toronto’s Office of Emergency Management recently launched its Partners in Preparedness website with links to tools, resources and information to support organizations in preparing their employees, volunteers, services and facilities for emergencies.

In addition to sending out the Partners in Preparedness newsletters to people that have signed-up to receive them, the Office of Emergency Management also posts each issue on this website.

The website also includes links to the Office of Emergency Management’s new emergency preparedness videos. This video series aims to support Torontonians to take steps to be prepared for emergencies. There are five videos in total, covering the following topics:

You can continue to check out the Partners in Preparedness website for the links to the latest resources and information from the Office of Emergency Management.

City of Toronto releases its first Resilience Strategy

Cities—similar to any individual or organization—are faced with two types of challenges: shocks and stresses. Shocks are sudden events that are immediate threats to wellbeing like natural disasters or loss of essential services. Stresses are chronic problems like economic inequality and housing shortages. To be resilient, we need to prepare to weather shocks and overcome stresses.

This year, the City of Toronto released Toronto’s first ever Resilience Strategy. The strategy is designed to help our city become a more equitable, liveable, prosperous and resilient place where every Torontonian can thrive. Actions in the Resilience Strategy are organized into three focus areas:

  • People & Neighbourhoods
  • Infrastructure
  • Leading a Resilient City.

Each focus area contains a series of goals and specific actions, which are the most critical projects Toronto must undertake to achieve resilience. Specific priority actions are things like retrofitting apartment towers, making investments to combat flooding, and providing support and tools to residents to make their homes and communities more resilient.

You can learn more about resilience, the City of Toronto’s new Resilience Strategy, and what you can do to help your community thrive at

Planning for a Championship

During the Raptors versus Golden State playoff series, many of the City’s departments, Boards and Commissions worked behind the scenes with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) on safety and security considerations for both home and away games. During the process, many synergies were identified and collaboration amongst both internal and external partners were both formed and tested. This assisted the planning teams with operational plan adjustments, and with information exchange to maintain situational awareness despite the changing dynamics of the game outcomes themselves.

To ensure business continuity throughout the city during the playoffs, resources were strategically placed downtown, while others were excluded from the downtown core to maintain business continuity. An Incident Management System (IMS) structure was formed, and daily briefing cycle briefings were held to confirm logistics surrounding road closures, public messaging, area impacts and resource deployments. Throughout the experience, plans were executed, reviewed and adapted to meet operational demands. The network of partnerships involved worked together to help keep Toronto safe, both for those attending the celebrations and for those visiting the city during this monumental event.

The Incident Management System

The Ontario Incident Management System (IMS) is a response system. It was created to give organizations a common framework so they can cooperate, communicate and coordinate their work during an incident.

An incident is often an emergency, but it can also be a planned event such as a parade. Whether an incident is small or large, IMS can help organizations work more effectively.

IMS includes guidance for all aspects of coordinating a response including:

  • Support to the site or overall incident response
  • Coordination of incident response efforts
  • Command of response efforts
  • Communication

It can be used at an incident site, an emergency operations centre (EOC) or wherever incident coordination and support takes place.

IMS is for:

  • All levels of government, Indigenous partners, NGOs and private sector partners.
  • Everyone involved in managing an incident including:
    • Responders and others at the site of an incident who use the IMS site management system. This includes first responders such as paramedics but also includes social services and public works.
    • Leadership, staff and volunteers who help support sites or coordinate a non-site based incident through Emergency Operation Centres and Control Groups.
    • Those involved in creating and sharing official communications. This includes everything from press conferences to social media.
    • People who manage resources such as emergency shelters.

Did You Know…

The Province offers a free on-line course on an Introduction to the Incident Management System. This course is designed to teach you the basic functions, concepts and principles of the IMS.

Building on Best Practices – Emergency Management for Client Properties and Facilities

City of Toronto Corporate Security is conducting research into the delivery of emergency management programs at client properties. We are looking for municipalities and property management groups to participate in benchmarking surveys and discussions.

Information of interest includes what types of properties your organization is responsible for, what the emergency management program for those properties looks like, and details regarding emergency exercises at those properties.

Are you interested in participating?  We will be happy to share our findings. Please contact Michael Tippett at

TFS – Familiarization Tours

Did you know that you can request Toronto Fire Services Operations crews to attend your building/complex to conduct a familiarization tour. This provide crews with a better idea of the layout of the building/complex including fire safety equipment, locations of standpipes, etc.

These tours assist the fire crews in case an emergency were to ever occur in these buildings/complexes.

To request a building familiarization tour you can call the on duty Toronto Fire Services Platoon Chief who will arrange this.

There are four Platoon Chiefs on duty each day located in the north, east, west and south parts of Toronto.

For buildings/complexes located in the:

North part of Toronto call 416-338-9010.

East part of Toronto call 416-338-9020.

West part of Toronto call 416-338-9040.

South part of Toronto call 416-338-9030.

Watches and Warnings – Do You Know Your Weather?

This summer, forecasters will be on the lookout for more outbreaks of severe weather, and when extreme weather looms in Canada, there is a progression of statements, watches and warnings issued to inform and protect the public.

Here is a guide to those alerts.

When active weather is expected or occurring, but there’s no current indication that conditions will be severe or extreme, Environment Canada issues a Special Weather Statement.

This is a text statement, giving forecasters a chance to explain unusual conditions or weather of concern that a region may soon experience – heavy rainfall, thunderstorms, strong winds, and/or high humidex values.

Beyond weather of concern, there are times when the forecast indicates that conditions are favourable for severe weather, but it has not yet developed.

In order to alert the public of this potential, while at the same time ensuring that they do not cause unwarranted alarm, a Watch is issued.

When conditions advance past simply having the potential for severe weather, and severe weather is actually developing or occurring, forecasters issue a Warning.

Getting the message out.

When Environment and Climate Change Canada alerts Canadians to risky conditions, The Weather Network distributes those warnings on this website, on television, on smartphones through our apps, by text messages and to other broadcasters through the Alert Ready public-safety messaging system.

Floods, Fires – How We dentify Risk

The Province’s Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM) has just released two updated Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) products.  The new products include:

  • Hazard Identification Report 2019: Provides a comprehensive overview for each identified hazard that impacts or has the potential to impact Ontario.
  • Methodology Guidelines 2019: Provides a recommended method for conducting hazard identification and risk assessments. This is a new addition to HIRA products.

Toronto’s Office of Emergency Management will be looking to adopt the new guidelines to its existing HIRA process. The HIRA is designed to help the City of Toronto and partner agencies identify, understand, and evaluate the key hazards that have the potential to result in an emergency that would negatively impact residents, services and critical infrastructure.

Both products are available at

April 2019 Edition – Print Version

The Yonge Street Van Attack: One Year Later

April 23, 2019 marked the one year anniversary of the Yonge Street van attack. 10 people were killed and 16 were injured after a rented van was deliberately driven onto the sidewalk, striking numerous pedestrians on a sunny Toronto afternoon.

Immediately following the attack, many Yonge Street businesses opened their doors to the public and emergency responders to support the response efforts.

In the face of the tragedy, day-to-day business on that strip of Yonge Street was forced to return to normal almost immediately. Months later, some say a deeper sense of community has taken root because of the shared trauma and the necessity to move forward.

For many in the community, the hardest part was in the days that followed — returning to a daily routine after what had happened.

In response to this tragic event the City of Toronto continues to revise our plans and procedures for dealing with potential mass casualty events. Our Partners in Preparedness initiative was launched shortly after the attack to engage both the private sector and critical infrastructure owners. Our membership has grown to over 300 partners and it is our goal to strengthen these relationships in planning for, responding to, and recovering from extreme events.

Emergency Preparedness Week – Are you Ready?

Emergency Preparedness Week is an annual event encouraging Canadians to be prepared to protect themselves and their families during emergencies. This year, Emergency Preparedness Week runs from May 5 – 11.

While governments at all levels are working hard to keep Canada safe, everyone has a role to play in being prepared for an emergency; and being prepared means having the knowledge and equipment necessary to better cope during an emergency.

Emergency Preparedness Week encourages all Canadians to take three simple steps: know the risks, make a plan and prepare an emergency kit.

Emergency Preparedness Week is also a great opportunity for companies and organizations to ensure they are ready for an emergency. Your organization can use this event as an opportunity to kick start your emergency management program.

If you already have a program, you can work with your employees to find ways to improve your organization’s emergency readiness. For example, you can take some time during Emergency Preparedness Week to review your plan to make sure it’s up-to-date, provide training to help staff get familiar with your organization’s emergency procedures or hold a drill to give everyone a chance to practice using the response procedures.

Here are some materials that you can use to promote Emergency Preparedness Week in your organization:

Stop the Bleed

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is Canada’s home for Stop the Bleed, a training program that provides people with the tools and knowledge to stop life-threatening bleeding.

Massive bleeding can result from a workplace injury, road collision or violent incident. A person can bleed to death in four to five minutes, so it is important to provide quick and appropriate support. Bystanders are often the first responders during an emergency — and the help given by an immediate responder can make the difference between life and death, even before professional first responders arrive on scene.

Stop the Bleed is an initiative of the American College of Surgeons, started in 2015 in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting. It aims to encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives.

In 2017, Sunnybrook became the first hospital in Canada to offer the training. So far, Sunnybrook has trained 1500 people, including the general public, high school students and people that work in major public venues and landmarks. Interest in the program continues to grow, especially after recent mass casualty events in Toronto.

Sunnybrook offers the course onsite at its Bayview campus on the fourth Tuesday of almost every month. Sunnybrook also offers private courses for companies, organizations and high school students. All courses are taught by regulated health care professionals. For more information on how to get trained, visit Sunnybrook’s Stop the Bleed website.

Fire Safety

Toronto Fire Services provides information for building supervisory staff regarding and their responsibilities as it relates to fire safety and the Ontario Fire Code. This includes but is not limited to the following information:

  • prevention – tips to prevent fires that begin as a result of unattended cooking, candles and smoking
  • detection – regular maintenance of fire alarm systems, sprinklers and smoke and carbon alarms in units
  • escape – ensuring exits are clear, procedures are in place, door closers are functional, and regular fire drills are held

The Importance of Powerline Safety

As extreme weather increases in frequency, it’s more important than ever to ensure Torontonians are prepared to handle the resulting dangers of severe storms. With Powerline Safety Week taking place May 13-17, Toronto Hydro, in partnership with the City of Toronto’s Office of Emergency Management, Toronto Police Service and the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), are educating the public about the dangers posed by downed powerlines, poles and trees.

Between April and September in 2018, five major storms swept through Toronto and the GTA causing downed trees and powerlines and leaving a combined total of 175,000 customers without power. As a result, approximately 1,215 downed wires and 354 downed poles were reported last year.

While extreme weather events are becoming more frequent, research shows public awareness about powerline safety has decreased. In a recent survey conducted by Toronto Hydro, only 35% of people correctly identified the minimum safe distance to keep back from a downed wire – which is 10 metres, or the length of a school bus.

It’s critical for the public to know that every downed wire should be treated as a live wire that can electrify the ground. If a downed powerline is encountered, it should be immediately reported to Toronto Hydro at 416-542-8000 and to 9-1-1. To raise awareness and educate people about powerline safety, Toronto Hydro trucks and TTC buses will be wrapped with eye-catching graphics as part of a new campaign called Downed Lines are Deadly. For more information about powerline safety, visit

New Personal Preparedness Video

The Office of Emergency is excited to announce the release of a new personal preparedness video. This video provides tips on how to prepare for emergencies, such a making a plan and preparing a kit. Stay tuned as the Office of Emergency Management launches more videos on important preparedness topics over the next few months.

Partner Highlight

Since 2009, PATHcomm has been providing “real time” emergency communications to over 30 private sector properties and emergency services partners, helping to enhance security awareness in the City’s busiest area while increasing effective management and coordinated responses during emergencies. By leveraging a functional, two-way, interoperable communication platform, PATHcomm members are able to heighten their “situational awareness” so that resource deployment and decision making can be based on timely, accurate and reliable information. PATHcomm’s continued growth and success is a testament to its commitment to public/private partnerships and has been recognized as a best practice by law enforcement partners and industry experts including international security management organization ASIS.

Business Continuity Awareness Week – May 13-17, 2019

Business continuity planning is the product of three simple questions:

  1. What could go wrong?
  2. If something were to go wrong, how would it affect business operations?
  3. If business operations were affected, how would services continue or be restored?

Disruptions impacting a business can occur in many forms; they may be planned or completely unexpected. By assessing your business’ risks and dependencies, you can have strategies in place before a disruption. Such assessments and strategies, known respectively as business impact assessments (BIAs) and business continuity plans (BCPs), are critical to your organization’s long-term health and viability.

Disruptions will occur and you can’t plan for everything. But a robust and adaptable business continuity program is key to preserving corporate reputation by ensuring your organization can remain resilient and operational in an increasingly interdependent world.

Upcoming Events Calendar

Date Event Name
2019-05-05 Toronto Marathon
2019-05-11 Meagan’s Walk
2019-05-12 Sporting Life 10k
2019-06-02 Ride for Heart – DVP, Gardiner & Exhibition Place
2019-06-09 Aga Khan Foundation Canada – World Partnership Walk
2019-06-14 2019 Taste of Little Italy – College Street
2019-06-14 NXNE Festival Village – Yonge-Dundas Square
2019-06-15 Toronto Waterfront 10K
2019-06-16 Yorkville Exotic Car Show
2019-06-21 Pride Toronto
2019-06-23 Pride Parade
2019-07-01 Canada Day Celebration
2019-07-05 Taste of Lawrence
2019-07-06 TD Salsa on St. Clair
2019-07-12 Beaches International Jazz Festival
2019-07-13 Bloor West Street Fest
2019-07-25 Beaches International Jazz Festival Street Fest
2019-07-27 Taste of the Middle East- Yonge-Dundas Square

Upcoming Key Dates

Contact Us

By email at

By phone at 416-392-4554

On Twitter at @TorontoOEM

March 2019 Edition – Print Version

Launching a New Newsletter

The City of Toronto’s Office of Emergency Management launched the Partners in Preparedness newsletter for private sector partners in 2018.

We have received good feedback from you on the newsletter – and we continue to have more groups sign up for our distribution list.

We are about to launch a version of the newsletter for community-based organizations, such as non-profit organizations and faith-based groups. The first issue will go out in March 2019.

If you any group that may benefit from receiving our newsletter for our community-based partners, please share this registration link.

You Are the Strongest Link

Every year, Toronto Paramedic Services responds to over 2,000 cardiac arrests.

Community members can save lives by doing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and using an automated external defibrillator (AED) prior to the paramedics arriving.

In the chain of survival, you are the strongest link. Early CPR and AED can increase the chance of survival for someone experiencing a cardiac arrest by up to 75%.

11 year old Omar’s life was saved by a member of the public. He went into cardiac arrest while playing soccer and was successfully resuscitated by someone who performed CPR and used an AED while waiting for the paramedics to arrive. You can learn more Omar’s story.

Toronto Paramedic Services’ Safe City can assist your business in being emergency ready by educating your employees on First Aid, CPR and how to use an AED. Toronto Paramedic Services can also assist with all aspects of placing and maintaining AED’s in your workplace, including training, monitoring and registering the AED with 911.

Find out more about Toronto Paramedic Services’ Safe City program by emailing or calling 416-392-9833.

And remember, you are the strongest link!


York Regional Police is proud to take the lead on educating individuals, community organizations and businesses on life-saving strategies that can be used in the event of an active attacker.

York Regional Police’s active attacker survival strategy Run, Hide, Defend provides tools that employers and community organizations can review with their staff to give them the best chance of survival in case of an attack. Individuals, businesses and community organizations can incorporate Run, Hide, Defend principles into emergency management and critical incident response plans they have already developed.

The risk of active attacks have unfortunately risen, both locally and abroad, with 40% of incidents taking place in commercial or institutional spaces. Developing specific strategies addressing prevention, preparedness, response and recovery for the possibility of an active attacker enhances everyone’s safety and improves organizational resiliency.

The Run, Hide, Defend principles are detailed in a scenario-based video and supporting documents, including posters and pamphlets that can be downloaded and posted within your business or organization. An Active Attacker Response Implementation Guide is also available.

For more information about the Run, Hide, Defend strategy, visit the York Regional Police’s website.

City of Toronto’s Incident Management System moves to the Cloud

In December 2018, the City of Toronto’s Office of Emergency Management migrated DisasterLAN (DLAN) – our web-based incident management software system – to the Cloud. This move allows user access to DLAN’s common operating picture, real-time incident updates, and situational awareness. This move allows 24/7 access from anywhere, using any web-enabled device.

DLAN has been configured to operate within the City’s IMS structure. It has the ability to streamline the flow of information throughout the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), and to electronically link the EOC with Divisional Operations Centres (DOCs), Emergency Site Incident Commanders, and other key officials, to manage both planned events and emergencies.

For information related to Toronto’s DLAN system please contact Laura James at

Join the City of Toronto Heat Relief Network

While we all eagerly await summer, the City of Toronto is already looking at ways to help residents keep cool when temperatures start to climb over the summer months. One of the easiest ways to avoid the health risks associated with summer heat is to find a place to cool down. In previous years, the City has had a Heat Relief Network made up of community centres, libraries and other public buildings where the public can cool off.

This year, the City of Toronto is expanding the Heat Relief Network by partnering with private and non-profit organizations. If your business has an accessible, air-conditioned indoor space that you can make available to the wider community throughout the summer season (May 15 – September 30), consider joining the City’s Heat Relief Network.

Your space will be featured in the City of Toronto’s interactive online map of Heat Relief Network locations and recognized as a neighbourhood resource for people looking to cool down. City staff will provide information and work with you to answer any questions and address any concerns you may have, in considering this partnership.

If your organization is interested in joining the City of Toronto Heat Relief Network, please reach out to Toronto Public Health Senior Project Manager Sonya Bourgeois at 416-338-7443 or

2019 Key Dates

  • Emergency Preparedness Week, May 5-11
  • Public Alerting Test, May 8
  • Business Continuity Awareness Week, May 13-17

Contact Us

James Kilgour, Director
Office of Emergency Management
Jennifer Smysnuik, Manager
Office of Emergency Management