With a comprehensive Emergency Plan in place, the City of Toronto is prepared to effectively handle all emergencies. The Emergency Plan details the methods in which the City mobilizes its resources during a crisis and ensures all City organizations, emergency response services and key agencies are fully aware of their respective roles and responsibilities during an emergency. The goal is to respond and reduce the impact of a public emergency and restore the municipality to a normal state as soon as possible.

To obtain copies of the full plan and associated documents, contact the Office of Emergency Management at oem@toronto.ca.

The City of Toronto is vulnerable to numerous hazards. The hazards can be natural such as extreme weather, human-caused such as a special event or cyber-attack, or technological such as those involving hazardous materials, infrastructure disruptions, and utility and power failures.

The City of Toronto Emergency Plan (the Plan) establishes the framework that ensures the City is prepared to deal with any of these hazards. It is the methodology through which the City will mobilize its resources in the event of an emergency, thereby restoring the municipality to a state of normalcy. The Plan is designed to ensure that all agencies which may become involved in an emergency are aware of their respective roles and responsibilities during that emergency and participate in the emergency management program.

Additionally, the Emergency Plan makes provisions for the earliest possible coordinated response to an emergency, an understanding of the personnel and resources available to the City, and recognition that additional expertise and resources can be called upon if required.

The Emergency Plan is utilized as a tool to assist emergency and municipal services and officials in their emergency response activities to provide an efficient and effective response to an emergency. The Plan must be flexible enough to adapt to a broad spectrum of emergencies and must be supported with:

  • Adequate personnel, equipment and expertise from the response agencies;
  • Familiarity with contents of the Plan and its supporting documents by participating agencies;
  • Training and exercises;
  • Awareness of resources available from neighbouring municipalities and the private sector, supplemented by prearranged agreements;
  • Testing of the Plan on a regular basis; and
  • Review of the Plan following an emergency or exercise where it was implemented.

The Emergency Plan outlines how City agencies will respond to, recover from, and mitigate the impact of an emergency. The Plan contains sections that describe legal authorities, planning assumptions, concept of operations, operational life cycle, organizational responsibilities, and the preparedness cycle.

Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) are supporting documents to the Plan that provide structure for City Divisions, Agencies and Corporations (DACs) and partners that work collaboratively to provide coordinated support, resources and personnel during an emergency response to an incident. The documents describe how the DACs and partners coordinate to save lives, protect property and the environment, restore essential services and critical infrastructure, and help victims and communities return to normal following an emergency.

Risk-Specific Plans (RSPs) are also supporting documents to the Emergency Plan. They contain specific response plans for hazards that may pose a threat to the City of Toronto. These plans reflect the City of Toronto’s Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) (see Section 7.0).

The aim of the City of Toronto Emergency Plan is to provide the framework for extraordinary arrangements and measures that can be taken to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the inhabitants of the City of Toronto when faced with an emergency.

The Plan unifies the efforts of the City Divisions, Agencies and Corporations and partner agencies for a comprehensive and effective approach to response and reduction of impact from an emergency. It is intended to increase the emergency response capability of the City of Toronto by establishing a plan of action to efficiently and effectively deploy emergency services.

This Emergency Plan and its supporting documents (Emergency Support Functions and Risk Specific Plans) outline the coordinated response that the City of Toronto undertakes in collaboration with its Divisions, Agencies and Corporations and partner agencies to ensure an effective response and recovery from an emergency.

  • An emergency is defined under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act as “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.”;
  • During regular operations, Incidents (Level 1) are within the response capabilities of the City and its Divisions, Agencies, and Corporations. A Level 2 or 3 (Emergency or Major Emergency) will likely strain the City’s capabilities and require Provincial and/or Federal assistance (see Emergency Levels, Section 9.2 for further detail);
  • An emergency in the City may occur with little or no warning, and may escalate more rapidly than response organizations can manage;
  • An emergency may cause injury, fatalities, property loss, and disruption of normal support systems. A large number of casualties, heavy damage to buildings and basic infrastructure, and disruption of essential public services may stress the capabilities of the City to meet the needs of the situation; 
  • Achieving and maintaining effective resident and community preparedness reduces the immediate demands on response organizations.  Public awareness and education programs are required to ensure residents will take appropriate advance actions to reduce their vulnerability especially during the first 72 hours of an emergency; 
  • When the City’s resources are strained, additional resources may be requested through mutual assistance agreements with neighbouring municipalities and/or through requests to the Provincial and Federal government; 
  • The Emergency Operations Centre will be activated and staffed to manage the strategic response to the emergency and to support emergency operations at the site; 
  • Members of the Toronto Emergency Management Program Committee will be required to mobilize on short notice to provide timely and effective direction or assistance; 
  • If activated, members of the Emergency Management Working Group or a designate from their Division, Agency or Corporation will be required to respond on short notice to attend the Emergency Operations Centre; and 
  • Each Division, Agency and Corporation will track, document and seek reimbursement, as appropriate, for costs incurred during emergency response and recovery operations.

6.1 Toronto Emergency Management Program Committee

The City of Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 59 defines the composition of the Toronto Emergency Management Program Committee.

Composition

The Toronto Emergency Management Program Committee shall consist of representatives holding positions in the City, its Divisions, Agencies and Corporations, or those designated to act on their behalf.

The following list of Toronto Emergency Management Program Committee members includes senior representatives from Divisions.

Toronto Emergency Management Program Committee Membership

  1. Mayor
  2. Deputy Mayor
  3. City Manager
  4. The Deputy City Manager – Cluster ‘A’
  5. The Deputy City Manager – Cluster ‘B’
  6. The Deputy City Manager and Chief Financial Officer – Cluster ‘C’
  7. Chief of Toronto Police Service
  8. Fire Chief and General Manager, Toronto Fire Services
  9. Chief and General Manager, Toronto Paramedic Services
  10. Medical Officer of Health
  11. Director, Strategic Communications
  12. Executive Director of Human Resources
  13. Chief Executive Officer, Toronto Transit Commission
  14. General Manager, Transportation Services
  15. General Manager, Toronto Water
  16. General Manager, Shelter, Support and Housing Administration
  17. City Solicitor
  18. City Treasurer
  19. Chief Corporate Officer
  20. Chief Building Official and Executive Director, Toronto Building
  21. General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation
  22. General Manager, Solid Waste Management Services
  23. General Manager, Facilities Management
  24. Chief Information Officer
  25. Director, Insurance and Risk Management
  26. Director, Office of Emergency Management
  27. City Clerk
  28. Executive Vice President, Toronto Hydro
  29. Executive Director, Engineering & Construction Services
  30. Chief Executive Officer, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority

Objectives of the Toronto Emergency Management Program Committee

The City of Toronto Emergency Management Program Committee provides the City with an effective vehicle for developing and maintaining a comprehensive emergency management program, as defined under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act and chapter 59. The Toronto Emergency Management Program Committee support of emergency response activities ensures:

  • Mitigation, preparedness, response & recovery;
  • Support of emergency operations at the site(s);
  • Overall strategic management of the emergency;
  • Risk identification, critical infrastructure protection;
  • Mobilization of all municipal, voluntary, and other agencies required;
  • Prevention of further injury, loss of life, property damage;
  • Alternate accommodation for evacuated persons;
  • Provides coordinated information for the public and news media;
  • Procurement of essential resources; and
  • Restoration of utilities and other essential services.

Toronto Emergency Management Program Committee Control Group

In the event of an emergency, the Toronto Emergency Management Program Committee convenes as it becomes reactive. Of the 29 members listed above, the first 16 members would form the Toronto Emergency Management Program Committee Control Group to oversee the City’s emergency’s response. Additional representation of organizations will be determined by the nature of the emergency.

The Mayor, the City Manager, or their designate, will act as Chair of the Control Group as specified in the existing Code Chapter. The Control Group will provide overall policy and strategic direction to the Emergency Operations Centre to support the evolving response activities on the road to recovery.

The Emergency Operations Centre will coordinate the City’s response to the emergency using the Incident Management System.  The foundation of the Incident Management System is the collaboration and coordination in the establishment of goals, the setting of priorities and the assignment of resources to effectively manage the emergency.

Authority of Control Group

Under Chapter 59-15, “in the event of an emergency, whether declared or not under the Act, the Control Group is authorized to:

A. Initiate, co-ordinate, direct and otherwise bring about the implementation of the Plan and undertake such other activities as they consider necessary to address the emergency;

B. Expend funds for the purposes of responding to and recovering from the emergency, including obtaining and distributing emergency materials, equipment and supplies, notwithstanding the requirements of any by-law governing the commitment of funds and the payment of accounts; and

C. Obtain volunteer support from public agencies and other persons as considered necessary and to indemnify such agencies, their personnel, and other persons engaged in work that has been authorized pursuant to this Chapter or any other law, from liability for any acts or omissions resulting from any actions taken pursuant to this Chapter or any other law.”

Role of Chair, Control Group

The Mayor, the City Manager, or their designate functions as Chair of the Control Group and is responsible for initiating, coordinating and directing activities that the Control Group considers necessary to respond to the emergency including, but not limited to:

  • Taking actions considered necessary to implement the Emergency Plan and to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public and protect property, government infrastructure, and the environment. These actions are not contrary to law or the responsibilities and authorities of the Chief of Police, Fire Chief, Medical Officer of Health and/or Chief Building Official;
  • Ensuring that a designated City spokesperson is appointed to provide a coordinated approach in directing public information activities during the initial phase of the emergency;
  • Coordinating communications between the Mayor’s Office and/or Council and the Control Group on the necessary actions being taken;
  • Determining if municipal resources are adequate or if further resources are required;
  • Providing advice on an emergency declaration and terminating an emergency;
  • Ensuring that when required, assistance be facilitated from other levels of government; and
  • Liaising with other levels of government on areas of collaboration and cooperation.

6.2   Notifying City Manager of Emergency

The Deputy City Manager, Cluster ‘B’, or designate contacts the City Manager to report that the City of Toronto Emergency Operations Centre has been activated. Depending on the nature of the emergency, the Director, Office of Emergency Management, or any member of the Toronto Emergency Management Program Committee may notify the City Manager of an impending or actual emergency and request activation of the Emergency Operations Centre.

6.3   Emergency Management Working Group

Composition

The City of Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 59 defines the composition of the Emergency Management Working Group.  The Emergency Management Working Group will consist of senior representatives (Director or Manager) from the following Divisions, Agencies, and Corporations.

Emergency Management Working Group (EMWG) Membership

  1. Office of Emergency Management (Chair)
  2. Toronto Police Service
  3. Toronto Fire Services
  4. Toronto Paramedic Services
  5. Toronto Public Health
  6. Strategic Communications
  7. Toronto Water
  8. Transportation Services
  9. Shelter, Support and Housing Administration
  10. Toronto Building
  11. Toronto Transit Commission
  12. Purchasing and Materials Management
  13. Facilities Management
  14. Engineering & Construction Services
  15. Solid Waste Management Services
  16. Parks, Forestry and Recreation
  17. Toronto Office of Partnerships
  18. Finance and Administration
  19. Human Resources
  20. Information and Technology
  21. City Clerk’s Office
  22. 311 Toronto
  23. Toronto Hydro
  24. Toronto and Region Conservation Authority

In addition, representatives from other City Divisions, Agencies and Corporations will be represented on the Emergency Management Working Group as considered necessary.

6.4  Cluster ‘B’ Operational Response Team

Purpose

The Cluster ‘B’ Operational Response Team, chaired by the Deputy City Manager, Cluster ‘B’, provides strategic management, an operational hub, and a supporting facility for the coordination of emergency response activities of Cluster ‘B’ divisional operations at the early onset of a Level 2 Emergency or Level 3 Major Emergency (see Section 9.2) before the Emergency Operations Centre ramps up.

It does not replace the need for a sound command structure at the site of the event nor the role of the Emergency Operations Centre as the established and recognized point of authority for the coordinated management of resources, personnel and incident information on behalf of the City of Toronto.

This senior team provides complementary, strategic level support to the evolving response activities in a Level 2 Emergency or in the early onset of a Level 3 Major Emergency.  Once the Emergency Operations Centre is fully activated, the Cluster ‘B’ Operational Response Team will transition responsibility for operational response to the Emergency Operations Centre to ensure organizational effectiveness and centralized command is maintained.

With respect to communications activities, as outlined in the Emergency Information and Media Relations ESF, depending on the nature of the emergency, Strategic Communications staff may be deployed to the EOC or alternate locations, including to the Cluster ‘B’ Operational Response Team, as necessary.  The base of operations for emergency information, issues management and media relations will be responsive to the nature of the incident, as appropriate.

Responsibilities

  1. Provide Senior Staff communications links, emergency policy direction and support to:
    • The City Manager;
    • The Toronto Emergency Management Program Committee;
    • The Emergency Operations Centre;
    • Cluster ‘B’ Operational Divisions; and
    • Any other City of Toronto Divisions, Agencies and Corporations and Emergency Management partners as required.
  2. Establish linkages with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor’s Office;
  3. Provide direction to the Emergency Operations Centre on initial objectives, activation level and a confirmation of the senior staff who should receive Emergency Operations Centre updates;
  4. Assess the impact of any emergency incident upon Cluster ‘B’ operations;
  5. Provide direction on the need for declaration and/or termination of an emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act; and
  6. Develop a briefing cycle at the onset of the event and adjust accordingly.

 

Membership:

  • Deputy City Manager, Cluster ‘B’
  • General Manager, Toronto Water
  • General Manager, Transportation Services
  • Executive Director, Engineering and Construction Services
  • Director, Strategic Communications
  • Information Technology Division (Designate)
  • General Manager, Parks, Forestry & Recreation
  • Medical Officer of Health
  • Toronto Fire Services (Designate)
  • Other Control Group members, or designates, as required

6.5  Authority to Activate the Emergency Operations Centre

Any member of the Toronto Emergency Management Program Committee, Control Group or Working Group has the authority and responsibility to request an activation of the Emergency Operations Centre and initiate the implementation of the Emergency Plan. Requests to activate the Emergency Operations Centre are directed to either the Director of the Office of Emergency Management or to the Office of Emergency Management’s 24 hours a day, 7 days a week ‘Standby’ Coordinator.

Should an incident be classified as a Level 2 Emergency or Level 3 Major Emergency, the Office of Emergency Management ‘Standby’ Co-ordinator is contacted by Toronto Fire Services, Toronto Police Service and/or Toronto Paramedic Services. the Office of Emergency Management staff would connect with the Deputy City Manager, Cluster ‘B’, to initiate the implementation of the Emergency Plan.

The City of Toronto uses a four tier emergency level system to determine appropriate notifications as follows:

  • Level 0 – Normal
  • Level 1 – Incident
  • Level 2 – Emergency
  • Level 3 – Major Emergency

Upon receiving an emergency notification, the OEM 24/7 ‘Standby’ Coordinator will liaise with the notifying Service, Division or Agency and utilize the Emergency Level Notifications table (see Section 9.2 for further detail)  as a tool to assist in establishing the immediate notifications that may be necessary and/or appropriate.

6.6  Staffing the Emergency Operations Centre

The Emergency Operations Centre ensures that the Toronto Emergency Management Program Committee/Control Group can uphold core functions of the Emergency Plan, including:

  • Effective policy and strategic direction to the emergency;
  • Support of emergency operations at the site(s);
  • Consequence management;
  • Resource management to support the emergency site(s);
  • Coordination of management links to other Command/Divisional Operations Centres, external agencies and the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre;
  • Provide information to the public and the news media; and
  • Maintain business continuity for the rest of the City.

During a response, select members of the Emergency Management Working Group will establish and convene at the Emergency Operations Centre to activate these functions. The Emergency Operations Centre staff will provide operational guidance and support to the Incident Commander who maintains the lead role at an emergency site. When Divisions establish Divisional Operations Centres to provide operational support during an emergency response, there is a need to centralize efforts and coordinate operational response between all responding Divisions. This function is provided by the City’s Emergency Operations Centre.

The City’s Emergency Operations Centre staffing plan ensures that the Emergency Operations Centre is always operationally ready for activation. Staff are required to take pre-requisite training to enable an effective and efficient implementation of Emergency Operations Centre initiatives through the Incident Management System (see Section 9.3).

6.7    Role of Emergency Operations Centre Director

The Emergency Operations Centre Director has overall authority and responsibility for activities of the Emergency Operations Centre, and for ensuring organizational effectiveness. In conjunction with the Emergency Operations Centre Management Team, the Emergency Operations Centre Director establishes staffing levels, sets the Emergency Operations Centre priorities and objectives for each operational period and ensures objectives are carried out.  The Emergency Operations Centre Director briefs the Toronto Emergency Management Program Committee and senior officials, ensuring effective inter-agency coordination and directs appropriate public information in connection with the Information Function.

6.8  Site Response and Emergency Operations Centre Support

The Toronto Emergency Operations Centre maintains a dedicated facility from which the Control Group of the City of Toronto, its Divisions, Agencies, Corporations and Emergency Management partners co-ordinate their strategic response to an emergency, as described in this City of Toronto Emergency Plan. The role of the Emergency Operations Centre is to serve as an established and recognized point of authority for the co-ordinated management of resources, personnel and incident information.

The Emergency Operations Centre does not replace the need for a sound command structure at the site level, instead it complements the site with further coordination, resource management, information management and overall support.

 

The Emergency Operations Centre operates under the principles of the Incident Management System and is organized around the same five major functions found at the Incident Site: Command, Operations, Planning, Logistics and Finance & Administration.

6.9  Toronto Police Service Major Incident Command Centre

The Toronto Police Service Major Incident Command Centre is a central point of command, control, communication and information for the Toronto Police Service. When activated, the Major Incident Command Centre’s Incident Commander has a full perspective of all resources under the command of the Toronto Police Service and tactical oversight of those resources in their function of ensuring public safety and security.

 

When activated the Major Incident Command Centre is responsible for the continuity of policing services throughout the City of Toronto and for liaising with the City’s Emergency Operations Centre (if activated) which provides links to all City Divisions, Agencies and Corporations.

 

During a Major Incident Command Centre activation, select members of the City’s Office of Emergency Management may convene at the Major Incident Command Centre and act as Liaison Officers.  The Liaison Officer would assist Toronto Police Service with maintaining core City functions, including:

 

  • Effective policy and strategic direction to the emergency,
  • Support of emergency operations at the Site(s),
  • Providing resource management to support Site operations,
  • Coordinating management links to other Command / Operations Centres, Divisions, Agencies and Corporations, and
  • Maintaining business continuity for the rest of the City.

Toronto Fire Services, Toronto Paramedic Services, Toronto Transit Commission and other external partners may also attend the Major Incident Command Centre to oversee coordination of their respective services with Police operations.

6.10 Councillor Roles in an Emergency

The Toronto Emergency Management Program Committee approved the Councillor Coordination Emergency Support Function in 2015. This Emergency Support Function outlines when and how Councillors’ Offices are notified of an activation of the Emergency Operations Centre. It outlines protocols for regular communication with Councillors during a Level 2 Emergency or a Level 3 Major Emergency. The Emergency Support Function also outlines the Councillors’ requirements for keeping contact information for themselves and their staff up to date and responding to the quarterly requirement to confirm their information for the mass notification system.  It specifies parameters for training of appropriate parties, including Councillors and their staff, City Clerk’s Office and Office of Emergency Management staff.

 

The Councillor Coordination Emergency Support Function also outlines the role of the Councillors’ Office throughout an emergency.  For example, during a Level 2 Emergency or Level 3 Major Emergency City Councillors leverage formal and informal community networks to help disseminate the information provided by the Emergency Operations Centre Councillor Coordination Liaison. They also report urgent matters to the Councillor Coordination Liaison for escalation to the appropriate parties.

 

Most emergencies are managed at the Site by Emergency Services and City Divisions and are considered routine operations. Some Divisions already have pre-established notification procedures with Councillors. For example, Toronto Fire Services and the Office of Emergency Management (Emergency Social Services) have canvassed Members of Council to develop pre-established notification protocols for routine operations.

6.11  Standardized Response Goals

A response goal is a broad statement that describes a desired outcome. Priorities for response goals generally focus on eliminating or minimizing impacts of the incident on people, property and financial resources.

Emergency Operations Centre staff ensure that all levels of the response management system adhere to standardized response goals in the following order of priority:

  • Provide for the safety and health of responders;
  • Save lives;
  • Reduce suffering;
  • Protect public health;
  • Protect government infrastructure;
  • Protect property;
  • Protect the environment; and
  • Reduce economic and social losses.

6.12 External Organizations – Private Sector Partners

Depending on the nature of the emergency, external organizations may be asked to provide a representative (e.g. Enbridge, Greater Toronto Airport Authority, C.N. or C.P. Rail, etc.) to join the Emergency Operations Centre to assist in coordinating the response.

6.13  Divisional Emergency Management

To fully implement the emergency management program horizontally and vertically throughout the City of Toronto’s organizational structure, it is recommended that those Divisions with membership on Toronto Emergency Management Program Committee and / or Emergency Management Working Group have a designated staff member(s), with roles and responsibilities included in formal job descriptions. This increases the City of Toronto’s ability to mitigate, prepare, respond and recover from emergencies and major emergencies and begin the process of embedding an emergency management and business continuity culture to routine business processes and program considerations.

Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment is an evaluation method used to understand hazards. This method helps determine which hazards are most likely to result in an emergency and allows for the comparison of risk between hazards.

 

The Office of Emergency Management has identified and assessed the various hazards and risks to public safety that could give rise to emergencies and has identified the facilities and other elements of the infrastructure that are at risk of being affected by emergencies. The OEM has developed Emergency Support Functions and Risk Specific Plans based on this assessment.

 

There are three major categories of hazards that may pose a threat to the City of Toronto:

  • Natural Hazards – Natural hazards are those which are caused by forces of nature. Human activity may trigger or worsen the hazard.

 

  • Human-caused Hazards – Human-caused hazards are hazards which result from direct human action or inaction, either intentional or unintentional. ; and

 

  • Technological Hazards  – Technological hazards are hazards which arise from the manufacture, transportation (including supply systems), and use materials, technology and/or infrastructure.

The top 10 hazards for the City of Toronto, determined by the Hazard Identification and Risk assessment in 2017, are as follows

  1. Electrical Power Disruption
  2. Explosions / Fires
  3. Winter Weather
  4. Pandemic
  5. Cyber Threats
  6. Terrorism
  7. Epidemic
  8. Flood
  9. Fuel/Natural Gas Supply Disruption
  10. Extreme Heat

Other hazards included in the Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment are:

  • Storms and Wind Hazards
  • Earthquakes
  • Ground Failure
  • Severe Space Weather
  • Civil Disorder
  • Special Events
  • Economic Instability
  • Labour disruption (disruption of workforce)
  • Transportation Hazards
  • Public Transportation Network Disruption
  • Building Damage/Structure Collapse
  • Nuclear Emergencies
  • Food Supply Emergency
  • Radiological Emergencies
  • Water Supply/Drinking Water Emergencies

The Emergency Plan will be maintained, reviewed, and updated according to a preparedness cycle that includes four phases: Plan, Operate, Evaluate, and Corrective Action.  Participation of the Toronto Emergency Management Program Committee during all phases of this cycle ensures that the Plan reflects the current policies, organizational structures, and methodologies utilized by the City of Toronto.

Preparedness Cycle

9.1 General

First responders (Police, Fire, and Toronto Paramedic Services) and Divisions manage many incidents that occur on a day-to-day basis.  As the magnitude of an emergency increases, so will the requirement for additional support from within the City.  The Control Group may elect to call upon neighbouring municipalities to provide mutual assistance in accordance with standing agreements.  The City may also call upon the Provincial government to provide supplemental financial and / or physical resources necessary to deal with the overall impacts of the emergency.

The City’s Emergency Plan adopts the principles of the Incident Management System. The Incident Management System is a standardized approach to emergency management that encompasses personnel, facilities, equipment, procedures and communications operating within a common organizational structure. Incident Management System concepts and principles include comprehensive resource management, action planning, integrated communications, interoperability, a modular and scalable framework, standard terminology, span of control, etc. (see Incident Management System ESF, 17 Concepts and Principles of the Incident Management System for further detail).

The five major sections of the Incident Management System (Management Team, Operations, Planning, Logistics and Finance & Administration) can be expanded or contracted to meet requirements as an event progresses.

The response to an emergency in the City will be managed using the Toronto Emergency Plan (this document), and its annexed Emergency Support Functions and Risk Specific Plans with assumptions:

  • Each Agency or Division Head is responsible for the overall operation of their organization;
  • Use of mutual aid assistance for cooperative response will be entered into and maintained with adjoining municipalities for the purpose of reciprocal assistance in the event of public emergencies;
  • Normal communication modes and reporting channels will be used to the maximum practical extent. Back-up communications systems will be used in the event that commercial communications systems are disrupted, saturated, or otherwise unavailable;
  • City Divisions will employ their standard business continuity and business resumption planning principles to ensure the continuity of essential services;
  • Day-to-day functions that do not contribute directly to the operation may be suspended for the duration of the public emergency. Efforts that would normally be required of those day-to-day functions will be redirected to accomplish the emergency task.

9.2  Emergency Levels

Most emergencies are managed at the scene by Emergency Services and the City’s Operational Divisions and are considered routine operations.  Emergencies of greater magnitude do happen from time to time and require an emergency management response structure beyond normal daily operations.  The required response must be appropriate to the magnitude of the incident and follow the four level notification system as defined in the following Emergency Level Notifications table.

Office of Emergency Management Support Office of Emergency Management may;

  • Facilitate access to City Divisions/External Agencies and/or;
  • Facilitate integration of City Divisions/External Agencies into the Incident Management Structure in the Emergency Operations Centre and/or;
  • Attend Site as a Liaison Officer.
City Division Notification Lead Divisions will follow established notification and escalation procedures to their chain of command and the OEM.
Office of Emergency Management Notification Office of Emergency Management:

  • Must Notify Deputy City Manager, Cluster ‘B’
  • Must Notify EMWG, TEMPC, Control Group, Emergency Social Services Working Group, and Other Key Divisions / Agencies
  • Must Notify the City Clerk’s Office
  • Must Notify Strategic Communications
  • Must Notify the Province of Ontario if a declared state of emergency

 Strategic Communications Notifications

The Emergency Information and Media Relations Emergency Support Function will be activated.

City Clerk’s Office Notification

The City Clerk’s Office will notify Councillors of the activation of the Emergency Operations Centre and the activation of the Councillor Coordination Emergency Support Function.  The Clerk’s Office will follow established protocols set out in the Councillor Coordination Emergency Support Function.

Examples Nuclear event, public health emergency, city wide power outage, severe storm/weather (2013 Ice Storm).

 

Table 1: Emergency Level Notifications

  Level 0 – Normal
Operational Implications

Normal is described as ‘business as usual’ or ‘normal operations’ for emergency services and/or Divisions.

Office of Emergency Management Support No support required but OEM 24/7 Stand-by Coordinator available to support.
City Division Notification Lead Division(s) will follow established notification and escalation procedures to their chain of command.
Office of Emergency Management Notification No notifications required as Division(s) will follow established internal notification and escalation procedures.
Examples House fire, water main break, motor vehicle accident, road closures.

 

Level 1 – Incident
Operational Implications Incident requires monitoring, coordination, collaboration and/or communications for one or a combination of the following:

  • Support of emergency operations at the site(s);
  • Coordination of management linkages to the emergency site, Divisional Operations Centre, and external agencies; and
  • Information to the public and news media
Office of Emergency Management Support Support available through OEM 24/7 Stand-by Coordinator.
City Division Notification Lead Division(s) will follow established notification and escalation procedures to their chain of command.
Office of Emergency Management Notification No notifications required as Division(s) will follow established internal notification and escalation procedures.

If the OEM is activated to monitor it may require notification to members of the Toronto Emergency Management Program Committee (Appendix A), Toronto Emergency Management Program Committee – Control Group (Appendix B),   Emergency Management Working Group (Appendix C), Strategic Communications, City Clerk’s Office and other key Divisions, Agencies and Corporations.

Examples

 

Localized power disruptions, severe weather watches and warnings, localized flooding, Emergency Social Services coordinate and respond.

 

Level 2 – Emergency
 

Operational Implications

 

 

 

This level requires coordination, collaboration and/or communications for one or a combination of the following:

  • Effective policy and strategic direction to the emergency;
  • Support of emergency operations at the site(s);
  • Consequence management;
  • Resource management;
  • Coordination of management linkages to the emergency site, Divisional Operations Centre, external agencies and the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre;
  • Information to the public and news media; and
  • Business continuity for the rest of the City.
Office of Emergency Management Support The Office of Emergency Management may;

  • Facilitate access to City Divisions/External Agencies and/or;
  • Facilitate integration of City Divisions/External Agencies into the Incident Management System in the Emergency Operations Centre and/or;
  • Attend Site as a Liaison Officer.
City Division Notification Lead Divisions will follow established notification and escalation procedures to their chain of command and the OEM.
Office of Emergency Management  Notification Office of Emergency Management:

  • Must Notify Deputy City Manager, Cluster ‘B’;
  • Must Notify the City Clerk’s Office;
  • May Notify TEMPC/EMWG Emergency Social Services Working Group, and Other Key Divisions / Agencies (as required) ;
  • May Notify Strategic Communications.

 

Strategic Communications Notifications

The Emergency Information and Media Relations Emergency Support Function will be activated.

City Clerk’s Office Notification

The City Clerk’s Office will notify Councillors of the activation of the EOC and the activation of the Councillor Coordination Emergency Support Function.  City Clerks will follow established protocols set out in the Councillor Coordination Emergency Support Function.

Examples

 

High-rise(s) or large area evacuation, major road(s) washout/closures, emergency social services reception centre, large power outage (2010 – 200 Wellesley St., 2013 – July 8 flooding).

 

Level 3 – Major Emergency
Operational Implications

 

This level requires coordination, collaboration and/or communications for ALL of the following purposes:

  • Effective policy and strategic direction to the emergency;
  • Support of emergency operations at the site(s);
  • Consequence management;
  • Resource management;
  • Coordination of management linkages to the emergency site, Divisional Operations Centre, external agencies and the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre;
  • Information to the public and news media; and
  • Business continuity for the rest of the City.
Office of Emergency Management Support Office of Emergency Management may;

  • Facilitate access to City Divisions/External Agencies and/or;
  • Facilitate integration of City Divisions/External Agencies into the Incident Management System in the Emergency Operations Centre and/or;
  • Attend Site as a Liaison Officer.
City Division Notification Lead Divisions will follow established notification and escalation procedures to their chain of command and the OEM.
Office of Emergency Management Notification Office of Emergency Management:

  • Must Notify Deputy City Manager, Cluster ‘B’;
  • Must Notify EMWG, TEMPC, Control Group, Emergency Social Services Working Group, and Other Key Divisions / Agencies;
  • Must Notify the City Clerk’s Office;
  • Must Notify Strategic Communications; and
  • Must Notify the Province of Ontario if a declared state of emergency.

 


Strategic Communications Notifications

The Emergency Information and Media Relations Emergency Support Function will be activated.

City Clerk’s Office Notification

The City Clerk’s Office will notify Councillors of the activation of the Emergency Operations Centre and the activation of the Councillor Coordination Emergency Support Function.  The Clerk’s Office will follow established protocols set out in the Councillor Coordination Emergency Support Function.

Examples Nuclear event, public health emergency, city wide power outage, severe storm/weather (2013 Ice Storm).

 

Table DescriptionTable 1 outlines the four levels of the emergency notification system:Level Zero is called “Normal” or ‘business as usual’.Level One is considered an “Incident”.Level Two is considered an “Emergency”.Level Three is considered a “Major Emergency

9.3 Emergency Support Functions

Councillor Coordination

The Councillor Coordination ESF establishes when and how City Clerk’s and Councillors’ Offices are notified of an activation of the EOC. It outlines protocols for regular communication with Councillors during a Level 2 Emergency or a Level 3 Major Emergency.  It specifies parameters for training for appropriate parties, including Councillors and their staff, City Clerk’s Office staff and Office of Emergency Management (OEM) staff.

Animal Care and Relief Services

Animal care and relief is co-ordinated by Toronto Animal Services in the Municipal Licensing & Standards Division and delivered by pre-identified animal care and relief responders with pre-determined roles that come together to provide these services in emergencies. The Animal Care and Relief Services Emergency Support Function outlines the response provided to service and companion animals that are displaced or otherwise affected by an emergency and provides an overview of roles and responsibilities.

Damage Assessment

The purpose of the Damage Assessment Emergency Support Function is to define the roles and responsibilities of City of Toronto Divisions and supporting agencies in order to provide guidance to staff related to the inspection and reporting on the condition of buildings, designated structures and municipal infrastructure.

Debris Management

The Debris Management Emergency Support Function defines the roles and responsibilities of supporting Divisions for the management (removal and disposition) of debris following an incident. The purpose of this Emergency Support Function is to mitigate against any potential threat to lives, health, safety and welfare of the impacted citizens, expedite search and rescue and/or recovery efforts of impacted area(s).

Emergency Donations Management

This Emergency Donations Management Emergency Support Function applies to financial contributions and donated goods. It guides Emergency Donations Management during an emergency response when the Toronto Emergency Management Program Committee / Control Group determines the City will accept and solicit donations. It does not include offers of personal service or labour.

Emergency Information and Media Relations

The Emergency Information and Media Relations Emergency Support Function outlines the role of the Strategic Communications Division during an emergency and supports the City of Toronto’s efforts to assist Toronto residents in coping with, and recovering from, a Level 2 Emergency or Level 3 Major Emergency.

 

The Strategic Communications Division is responsible for implementation and oversight of the City of Toronto’s communications activities. The Division will provide advice to the City’s Divisions, Agencies and Corporations as required, or as directed by the City Manager.

 

Strategic Communications is responsible for communicating critical information before an impending incident (if applicable), during and after a major disaster or public emergency on behalf of the Emergency Operations Centre and City officials to 311 Toronto, City staff, Members of Council, community leaders, residents, businesses and the media.

 

This Emergency Support Function addresses the principles, planning assumptions and concept of operations for emergency information, issues management and media relations for a potential or imminent emergency.

 

If the emergency involves multiple jurisdictions, communications may be joint where necessary or appropriate. In the event of a major public emergency that requires a provincial and/or federal response, Strategic Communications will co-ordinate City of Toronto communications with provincial and federal officials as appropriate.

Emergency Level Notifications

The Emergency Level Notifications Emergency Support Function describes the City of Toronto’s four level notification system, gives examples, explains the operational implications of each level and defines the required support of the Office of Emergency Management and/or Emergency Operations Centre. It outlines the required notifications by the Office of Emergency Management and supporting Divisions at each level.

Emergency Social Services

The Emergency Social Services Emergency Support Function outlines the response provided when residents are displaced or otherwise affected by an emergency. This Emergency Support Function guides the Emergency Social Services response provided during a Level 1 – Incident up to a Level 3 – Major Emergency (as defined in the Emergency Level Notifications Emergency Support Function).

 

This Emergency Support Function does not include services for people who require immediate medical care. When evacuees who need immediate medical assistance are identified, services are provided by Toronto Paramedic Services through 911 calls and other procedures. Long-term housing is also outside the scope of this Emergency Support Function.

Evacuation

This Emergency Support Function deals with planning and preparing for a decision to evacuate an area in the event of an emergency or pending emergency, a description of responsibilities to conduct the evacuation, and the process for re-entry.  It includes a description of the responsibilities of staff, agencies and procedures involved in alerting the community of the need to evacuate, movement of the population during the evacuation and re-entry of the population once the affected area is deemed safe.

 

Since emergencies and pending emergencies are diverse in nature, it is difficult to create a plan that has a detailed account of the duties involved. The aim of this document is to provide guidance for the responsibilities that will ensure the safety and security of the community during an emergency evacuation.

Incident Management System

The Incident Management System Emergency Support Function describes the standardized concepts and principles used by the City of Toronto in the Emergency Operations Centre. The Incident Management System provides functional interoperability at all levels of emergency management. The Incident Management System applied in the Emergency Operations Centre conforms to the Provincial Emergency Management Ontario Incident Management System and industry best practices. This document outlines linkages to the emergency site, Divisional Operations Centres, external agencies and the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre.

Mass Casualty

The Mass Casualty Emergency Support Function describes a co-ordinated and effective approach to providing health and medical assistance in the immediate aftermath of a mass casualty emergency that impedes routine health and medical services within the City of Toronto. It provides direction for responding to mass casualty needs following an emergency. Assistance provided under this Emergency Support Function is directed by Toronto Paramedic Services and is supported by several agencies within the City as well as the coordination between the agencies and private healthcare service providers.

Mass Fatality

Emergencies or disasters can result in numerous deaths. In such incidents, it is imperative that bodies be removed by trained personnel.  Evidence used to identify the victims and establish the cause of death must be properly collected.  However, due to large numbers of fatalities, local resources may be quickly overwhelmed and require outside assistance.

 

The purpose of the Mass Fatality Emergency Support Function is to describe and identify roles and practices in mitigation, preparedness, response to and recovery from mass fatality incidents. This ESF explains proper coordination of mass fatality incident response activities.  It identifies the means and methods for the sensitive, respectful, orderly care and handling of human remains, other victims, families and communities in multi-death disaster situations.

Traffic Management

The Traffic Management Emergency Support Function describes the transportation resources (facilities, equipment, materials, supplies, and human and technical information) that support the City’s ability to implement an emergency transportation response. The aim of this Emergency Support Function is to provide the inter-Divisional and inter-agency operational support responsibilities that will ensure the safety and security of first responders the general public and visitors to the City of Toronto.

Volunteer Management

The purpose of this Emergency Support Function is to facilitate and co-ordinate the placement of unaffiliated volunteers to assist in an emergency.  It defines the roles and responsibilities within the volunteer coordination plan and provides guidance to Human Resources as the lead division for volunteer coordination.

9.4  Risk Specific Plans

Flooding

The purpose of the Flooding Risk Specific Plan is to provide a framework for the coordination of the City of Toronto’s response to ensure public safety and to minimize damage to property in the event of a major flood event. This document identifies the major response and recovery activities undertaken by the City of Toronto and its partner agencies during a flood event, with details of specific activities each partner agency may undertake during a flood event.

Nuclear Emergency Response Plan

The City of Toronto Nuclear Emergency Response Plan describes how the city will co-ordinate its efforts in response to an emergency at the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station.

Power Disruption (Electricity)

The purpose of the Power Disruption Risk Specific Plan is to identify the general roles and responsibilities that City of Toronto Divisions have in responding to a power failure event and, if necessary, to assist Toronto Hydro’s efforts to co-ordinate a timely and effective response to a power failure event. In addition, this Risk Specific Plan identifies operational procedures among the participating City Divisions with respect to their individual role(s) during a power interruption event. These procedures are intended to ensure the health and safety of responding personnel, and to contribute to a co-ordinated recovery plan.

Recovery planning identifies issues, coordinates resources, ensures information is accurate and reliable, and works to restore utilities and other services in a timely manner. It ensures an accountable, transparent process that ensures recovery services are accessible and applied in a consistent manner City-wide.

Recovery is a coordinated process of supporting affected communities in the reconstruction of the physical infrastructure and restoration of emotional, social, economic and physical wellbeing.