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Niagara Region Emergency Management Plan

The Niagara Region Emergency Management Plan establishes the framework for responding to a number of risks Niagara Region may face in the future. In collaboration with key officials, agencies, departments and stakeholders, it's a guideline that outlines collective and individual roles and responsibilities in responding to, managing and recovering from an emergency.

Section 2.1 of the Act provides the legal authority to develop and implement a plan of this nature. This section of the Act states "Every municipality shall develop and implement an emergency management program and the council of the municipality shall by by-law adopt the emergency management program".

Purpose

The purpose of the emergency management plan during an emergency is to facilitate and guide the effective coordination of human and physical resources, services and activities necessary to:

  • Protect and preserve life and property
  • Minimize and / or mitigate the effects of the emergency on the residents and physical infrastructure of Niagara Region
  • Quickly and efficiently enable the recovery and restoration of Niagara Region services

It also makes provision for the efficient administration, coordination, and implementation of extraordinary arrangements and response measures taken by Niagara Region to protect the health, safety and welfare of the residents of Niagara during an emergency by:

  • Identifying the governance structure for emergency response for Niagara Region
  • Identifying roles and responsibilities required in mitigating, preparing for, responding to and recovering from emergencies and disasters
  • Identifying standard response goals for emergency response operations and decision making
  • Outlining the necessary structure for a coordinated response by Niagara Region, municipality(s) and partner agencies in managing emergencies

Section 5 of the Act states that the emergency plan of a lower tier municipality in an upper-tier municipality shall conform to the emergency plan of the upper-tier municipality.

Niagara Region as the upper tier municipality provides region wide services in support of the 12 local area municipalities. Therefore, it's important that the emergency response plans of Niagara Region and the 12 local area municipalities are aligned specifically as they relate to the provision of Niagara Region services during emergency situations.

  • Definition of an emergency

    Section 1 of the Act defines an emergency 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 whether intentional or otherwise."

    Any situation that meets the above definition, occurring within or impacting within the Niagara region may precipitate the activation of the Niagara Region Emergency Management Plan.

  • Legal authorities

    The legislation under which Niagara Region and its employees are authorized to respond to an emergency are the Act and the Niagara Region Emergency Management Program By-Law.

    The Act requires municipalities to develop, implement and maintain an emergency management program and adopt it with a by-law. An emergency management program must consist of:

    • An emergency plan
    • Training programs and exercises for employees of municipalities and other persons with respect to the provision of required services and procedures to be followed in emergency response and recovery activities
    • Public education on risks to public safety and on public preparedness for emergencies
    • Any other element required for municipalities in standards of emergency management programs that may be developed by the Ontario Fire Marshall and Emergency Management Division of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services

    Ontario Regulation 380 / 04 describes emergency management standards for municipal emergency management programs. There are a number of required elements including:

    • Development of an emergency management plan which includes a municipal control group to direct the municipal response to an emergency
    • Implementation of an emergency operations centre with appropriate communications systems
    • Designation of an emergency information officer
    • Designation of a community emergency management coordinator

    The Niagara Region Emergency Management Program By-Law approves the enactment of the Niagara Region Emergency Management Plan and other requirements for the program.

  • Emergency operations centre management team

    At Niagara Region, the emergency operations centre management team leads the municipal control group as defined by Ontario Regulation 380 / 04.

  • Regional councillor's role

    It's important for regional councillors to understand and support the coordinated and timely management of information in emergency situations. The Regional Chair and regional councillors, in their capacity as Niagara Regional Council, will act as the policy group in the event the Niagara Region's emergency operations centre is activated. The Regional Chair, or designate, as part of the emergency operations centre management team, will relay information and requests for policy direction to Regional Council.

    The main responsibilities of regional councillors are to:

    • Assist in the relay of approved information to residents in the affected area(s)
    • Attend community or evacuee meetings
    • Reassure constituents
    • Support actions taking place in the affected area(s)
    • Liaise back through the Regional Chair concerns from citizens in Niagara
    • Provide overall policy direction
    • Set expenditure limits
    • Change / amend bylaws or policies as required
  • Department and support agency emergency procedures

    Each department and support agency involved with the Niagara Region Emergency Management Plan shall prepare emergency response procedures or guidelines which align with the plan. These procedures or guidelines will outline the department or support agency's responsibilities during an emergency.

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Concept of Operations

First responders and municipal and regional departments manage many emergencies that occur on a day-to-day basis. As the magnitude of an emergency increases, so will the requirement for additional support from within Niagara. Municipalities may call upon Niagara Region to provide assistance. Niagara Region, in turn, may call upon the provincial government to provide resources to assist in dealing with the overall impact of the public emergency.

  • Site response

    The emergency responders at the site or sites of the emergency provide tactical response to the emergency as they attempt to mitigate its effects and bring the emergency under control. When additional resources are required, the incident commander may request the activation of the emergency operations centre to provide support.

  • Emergency operations centre

    An emergency operations centre is a physical location where the leadership of a municipality can gather to collectively and collaboratively support emergency response and manage the consequences of an emergency.

    Municipal Response: Each municipality in Niagara has a designated emergency operations centre where senior staff and relevant agencies will gather to provide support to the site of the emergency.

    Corporate Response: Niagara Region's emergency operations centre is where a Niagara Region response to any emergency event occurring within, or impacting within regional boundaries is managed. Niagara Region has designated and equipped both a primary and alternate emergency operations centre.

  • Emergency operations centre management team

    The emergency operations centre management team provides the overall management and coordination of site support activities and consequence and recovery management. The team acts as the leadership team for the emergency control group under the Act and are responsible for:

    • Notifying response agencies and coordinating the activities of the various departments and organizations which are needed to effectively respond to and recover from the emergency
    • Providing support to the incident commander and site personnel
    • Collecting situational awareness information for prioritizing, evaluating, summarizing, and disseminating and displaying the information where necessary
    • Establishing priorities based on all the information gathered and developing emergency operations centre incident action plans
    • Obtaining, coordinating and managing payment of any additional resources (both personnel and equipment) needed to manage the emergency
    • Coordinating all internal and external information including communicating emergency information to the general public
    • Maintaining the day-to-day activities of the community outside of the emergency area

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Implementation

This plan can be implemented as soon as an emergency occurs, or is expected to occur, which is considered to be of such magnitude as to warrant its implementation.

In addition, this plan can be implemented in anticipation of large events. An official declaration of an emergency does not have to be made for the plan to be implemented to protect the lives and property of the inhabitants of, and visitors to, Niagara region.

Any of the following Niagara Region corporate leadership team members (or their designates) have the authority to activate the emergency operations centre when they feel the activation is necessary.

  • Chief Administrative Officer (CAO)
  • Medical Officer of Health, Commissioner of Public Health
  • Chief of Niagara Emergency Medical Services
  • Commissioner of Public Works
  • Commissioner of Community Services
  • Commissioner of Corporate Services / Treasurer
  • Commissioner of Planning and Development
  • Community Emergency Management Coordinator (CEMC)

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Declaration and Termination of an Emergency

Prior to a Declaration

When an emergency exists, but has not yet been declared, Niagara Region employees and first responders may take such action(s) as identified in the Niagara Region Emergency Management Plan necessary to protect lives and property.

Declaration of an Emergency

The Regional Chair should declare an emergency under section 4 of the Act where he or she considers it necessary to implement the plan to protect property and the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of Niagara.

  • Municipal emergency declaration

    The mayor (or designated alternate) of any of the 12 Niagara area municipalities has the authority to declare an emergency within the boundaries of their respective municipality.

  • Regional emergency declaration

    The Regional Chair or designated alternate, as head of the council, has the authority to declare that an emergency exists within the boundaries of the Niagara region.

    Although the Regional Chair is empowered to declare a regional emergency at any location within the regional boundaries, the Regional Chair does not have the power to declare an emergency on behalf of any local area municipality. That power rests only with the mayor of each specific municipality and their respective designated alternates.

    In declaring an emergency, the Regional Chair will identify the geographical boundaries of the emergency area. The decision whether to declare an emergency and the designation of geographical boundaries of the emergency area will be made in consultation with the emergency operations centre management team.

    The emergency operations centre management team will ensure that all the necessary personnel and supporting agencies concerned are advised of the declaration of the emergency.

    Upon declaration of an emergency in Niagara, the Regional Chair or designate shall notify:

    • Solicitor General and Office of Fire Marshal and Emergency Management by email and fax, through the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre
    • Members of Niagara Regional Council
    • Mayor(s) of the affected Niagara municipalities

    The following may also be notified of a declaration of emergency:

    • Local member(s) of Federal Parliament (MPs)
    • Local member(s) of Provincial Parliament (MPPs)
    • Local media
    • Niagara residents
  • Provincial emergency declaration

    The premier of the province of Ontario (or designated alternate) has the authority to declare a provincial emergency to exist within the boundaries of the province of Ontario.

    In addition to a provincial declaration, the premier also has the authority to declare an emergency on behalf of any community within provincial boundaries and may also at any time declare that an emergency is terminated on behalf of any Ontario municipality.

Termination of an Emergency

When it has been determined by the emergency operations centre management team that the emergency should be terminated, the Regional Chair and / or council will make an official termination of the declared emergency in writing. The premier of Ontario may also terminate an emergency at any time on behalf of any Ontario municipality.

The emergency operations centre director who is the Niagara Region CAO or designate, will ensure that all personnel and supporting agencies concerned are advised of the termination of the emergency.

Upon termination of an emergency in Niagara, the Regional Chair or designate shall notify:

  • Solicitor General and Office of Fire Marshal and Emergency Management through the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre
  • Members of Regional Council
  • Mayors of the affected municipalities

The following may also be notified of a declaration of emergency:

  • Local member(s) of Federal Parliament (MPs)
  • Local member(s) of Provincial Parliament (MPPs)
  • Local media
  • Niagara residents

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Requests for Assistance

Support Agency

A support agency is an agency or organization that is either an assisting agency or cooperating agency.

Governmental or Support Agency Requests for Assistance

It is possible that assistance from other levels of government, or support agencies with specialized knowledge or expertise, may be required by Niagara Region to help successfully respond to an emergency situation.

Depending on the nature of the emergency and the assistance required, these agencies may be requested to attend the emergency site(s) and/or emergency operations centre to provide assistance, or provide information and advice to the emergency operations centre management team through the liaison officer.

Where provincial assistance is required, which is outside of the normal departmental or service working agreements, the request will be made to Office of Fire Marshal and Emergency Management through the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre.

Requests for personnel or resources from the federal government are requested through the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre who in turn liaises with the Federal Government Operations Centre.

Support Agency Composition

The liaison officer is responsible for inviting required or requested support agencies to the emergency operations centre, as identified by the emergency operations centre director and emergency operations centre management team. During the emergency operations centre activation various support agencies may be working with the emergency operations centre. They are defined below as either assisting agencies or cooperating agencies.

Assisting Agencies

Assisting agencies are those external agencies or organizations that are directly providing operational / tactical resources at the site(s) or emergency operations centre. They will have a branch coordinator sitting in the emergency operations centre under the operations section. Representatives from assisting agencies should have the authority to make decisions and commitments on all relevant matters for their agency.

Cooperating Agencies

Cooperating agencies are those external agencies that support the incident or supply assistance that is not directly operational or tactical in nature. Their role is usually not critical enough to have a branch coordinator in the emergency operations centre. The liaison officer will be the cooperating agencies' primary contact within the emergency operations centre.

These assisting agencies and cooperating agencies may include, but are not limited to:

  • Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority
  • Niagara Parks Authority
  • 211
  • Enbridge Gas
  • Trans-Canada Pipelines
  • Canadian Red Cross
  • CN Rail
  • Niagara Health System
  • Salvation Army
  • Niagara District School Board
  • Niagara District Catholic School Board
  • Brock University
  • Niagara College
  • Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES)
  • Provincial and Federal Ministries as required, such as Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Natural Resources

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Incident Management System

Incident Commander (Site)

The incident commander at site, appointed by unified command or determined by the first agency on scene, is responsible for directing and / or controlling resources by virtue of explicit legal, agency, or delegated authority and is responsible for the overall management of the response. As the situation changes, the incident commander will change based on level of authority. The incident commander is responsible for and / or has the authority to:

  • Establish a unified command structure for the purpose of information sharing, establishing objectives regarding emergency site management and prioritizing resources where applicable between the responding agency incident commanders
  • Designate an emergency site media coordinator
  • Implement the strategy established by the emergency operations centre management team at the emergency site(s), if required
  • Ensure that responding agencies make available the human and material resources that are required at the emergency site
  • Maintain a communication link with the emergency operations centre management team for the flow of information regarding the management of the emergency site
  • Maintain a record of events, decisions made and actions taken as incident commander
  • Participate in a debriefing with emergency operations centre management team regarding the emergency, if required
  • Assist the CEMC in creating an after-action report on the emergency

Response Goals

The following response goals are applied to all emergency situations. In order of priority they are:

  1. Provide for the health and safety of all responders
  2. Save lives
  3. Reduce suffering
  4. Protect public health
  5. Protect critical infrastructure
  6. Protect property
  7. Protect the environment
  8. Reduce economic and social losses

Incident Management System Functions

The following positions are considered to be the emergency operations centre management team.

  • Emergency operations centre management team

    The primary responsibility of the emergency operations centre management team is to provide for the overall management and coordination of site support activities and consequence and recovery management issues.

    It is the responsibility of the emergency operations centre management team to ensure that response priorities are established, and that planning and response activities are coordinated, both within the emergency operations centre (i.e. between sections) and between sites and other emergency operations centres. The emergency operations centre management team consists of the following positions:

    • Policy director
    • emergency operations centre director
    • Information officer
    • Risk management officer
    • Liaison officer
    • Operations section chief
    • Planning section chief
    • Logistics section chief
    • Finance and administration section chief
  • Policy director

    The policy director is the Regional Chair or designate and holds the position of policy director as the head of the policy group (which is Regional Council). Responsibilities of the policy director include:

    • Acting as liaison between the Emergency Operations Centre director and Regional Council
    • Declaration / termination of an emergency
    • Bringing recommendations for changing / amending bylaws or policies to the policy group (Regional Council) with the assistance of Niagara Region staff
    • Official spokesperson, if required
    • Ensuring members of Regional Council are notified of the emergency
    • Notifying the mayors of the affected and / or adjoining municipalities of the emergency, if required and providing any status reports
  • Emergency operations centre director

    This position is filled by the Niagara Region CAO or designate and have overall authority and responsibility for the activities of the emergency operations centre which include:

    • Assess the situation - Gather information about the emergency. Assess the magnitude and severity of the situation to determine the appropriate level of emergency operations centre activation.
    • Support site(s)- Provide support to incident commanders and support agencies, and ensure that all actions are coordinated within the established priorities
    • Develop / approve action plans - Prepare emergency operations centre action plans with the emergency operations centre management team based on an assessment of the situation and available resources. Set priorities and response objectives for affected areas.
    • Inform others - In consultation with the information officer, assist emergency information actions using the best methods of dissemination. Approve press releases and other public information materials. Keep the policy group informed.
    • Manage the emergency operations centre - Establish the appropriate emergency operations centre staffing level and continuously monitor organizational effectiveness
    • Liaising with the incident commander to confirm the geographical boundaries of the emergency area as declared by the policy director
    • Confirming the adequacy of the expenditure limits as identified in Niagara Region’s Purchasing By-law (By-law no. 02-2016 or its successor)
  • Risk management officer
    • Ensures good risk management practices are applied throughout the response and recovery and that every function within the emergency operations centre considers the management of risk
    • Identifies liability and loss exposures to personnel and property
    • Provides informed opinion on probabilities and potential consequences of future events and matters related to legal obligations and how they may be applicable to the actions of Niagara Region during the emergency
    • Provides advice on health and safety issues and if required, activates the health and safety officer
  • Health and safety officer
    • Under the direction of the risk management officer, provides advice and assistance on matters related to occupational health and safety regulations for emergency operations centre personnel
    • Under the direction of the risk management officer, monitors, assesses, and recommends modifications to safety conditions in the emergency operations centre and halting unsafe operations, as necessary
    • Liaises and provides advice to the emergency site safety officer regarding health and safety issues for site personnel, as required
  • Liaison officer
    • Invites required or requested support agencies and stakeholders to the EOC, as identified by the EOC director and emergency operations centre management team and maintains contact when required
    • Provides input on the strategic direction and advice to the emergency operations centre management team regarding emergency management issues
    • Liaises with the neighbouring municipal and regional CEMCs, OFMEM and other provincial and federal representatives, as required
    • In conjunction with the emergency operations centre director, facilitates a debriefing with the emergency operations centre personnel and other appropriate support agencies and prepares an after-action report on the emergency
  • Information officer
    • Establishes and maintains media contacts
    • Prepares news / social media releases; coordinating interviews, news conferences, and / or media briefings
    • Develops public information materials; providing messaging for use by 211 and emergency operations centre staff
    • Establishes communications strategies for internal and external purposes
    • Monitors media and information sources including 211
    • Liaises and coordinates messages with other internal and external information officers
    • Ensures public safety information is provided in accessible formats as required by provincial legislation

    A support team from strategic communications and public affairs assists the information officer in meeting these tasks. This support team includes personnel for online communications.

  • Operations section chief

    The emergency operations centre operations section chief coordinates resource requests, resource allocations, and response operations in support of incident commanders at one or more sites.

    • Maintain communications - Establish communication links with incident command posts and Niagara Region department operation centres if activated
    • Participate in emergency operations centre management team meetings - Prepare section objectives for presentation at emergency operations centre management team meetings, at least once in each operational period
    • Coordinate response - Direct the coordination of operations in cooperation with other supporting agencies
    • Coordinate resource requests - Collect and coordinate resource requests from site(s), working with the emergency operations centre logistics section
    • Share operational information - Collect and distribute operational information to the planning section, the emergency operations centre information officer, and other emergency operations centre sections
    • Manage the operations section - Establish the appropriate operations section or divisions and continuously monitor organizational effectiveness
  • Branch coordinators

    Branch coordinators oversee the operations of a particular department, division, section or agency. A branch coordinator will be responsible for coordinating the activities of their department / support agency site personnel and dispatch centre (if one exists). Additional branch staff may be needed, dependent on the size of the emergency event and the support required. Branch coordinators may include, but are not limited to:

    • Regional Fire
    • Regional Police
    • Niagara EMS
    • Emergency Social Services
    • Public Works
    • Public Health
  • Planning section chief

    The planning section is responsible to:

    • Assess the situation - Gather information about the emergency. Collect, analyze, and display situation information. Prepare periodic situation reports.
    • Manage the planning section - Establish the appropriate planning section unit and continuously monitor organizational effectiveness
    • Participate in emergency operations centre management team meetings - Prepare section objectives for presentation at emergency operations centre management team meetings, at least once in each operational period.
    • Managing display boards - Ensure that the situation unit is maintaining current information for the emergency operations centre situation report
    • Anticipate future events - Conduct advance planning activities to forecast possible events and requirements beyond the current operational period. Report recommendations to the emergency operations centre management team.
    • Track resources - Track resources assigned to the emergency operations centre and to the incident commanders through the emergency operations centre and mutual aid
    • Keep records - Document and maintain paper and electronic files on all emergency operations centre activities
    • Plan for emergency operations centre demobilization - Set out a schedule for demobilization and assist section chiefs in debriefing emergency operations centre personnel as they leave
    • Plan for recovery - Initiate recovery efforts at the earliest time, and develop plans for short-term and long-term recovery appropriate to the needs
    • Coordinate technical specialists - Provide technical support services to emergency operations centre sections and branches, as required
    • Prepare after action report - Coordinate the assembly of emergency operations centre lessons learned from contributions from emergency operations centre staff and from support agency representatives
  • Logistics section chief

    The logistics section is responsible to:

    • Manage the logistics section - Establish the appropriate logistics section units and continuously monitor organizational effectiveness
    • Provide telecommunication and information technology services - Support use of telecommunication and information technology in emergency operations centre
    • Support emergency operations centre - Provide and maintain emergency operations centre facilities, including all utilities, food, water and office supplies
    • Supply equipment and material resources to sites - Coordinate all requests for resources from initiation to delivery to support operations section
    • Participate in emergency operations centre management team meetings - Prepare section objectives for presentation at meetings, at least once in each operational period
    • Coordinate personnel - Acquire and assign personnel with the appropriate qualifications to support site requests. Develop systems to manage convergent volunteers.
    • Arrange transportation - Coordinate transportation requests in support of response operations
  • Finance and administration section chief

    The finance and administration section is responsible to:

    • Record personnel time - Collect and process on-duty time for all emergency operations centre personnel, including volunteers and support agency representatives. Ensure uninterrupted payroll for all employees.
    • Coordinate purchasing - Control acquisitions associated with emergency response or recovery, including purchase orders and contracts in consultation with the risk management officer
    • Coordinate compensation and claims - Process workers' compensation claims within a reasonable time
    • Participate in emergency operations centre management team meetings - Prepare section objectives for presentation at meetings, at least once in each operational period
    • Record costs - Maintain financial records for response and recovery throughout the event. Keep the emergency operations centre director, management team, and elected officials aware of the current fiscal situation.
    • Maintain records - Ensure that all financial records are maintained throughout the event or disaster

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Emergency Plan Supporting Documents

  • Emergency Notification Procedure (Annex A)

    The emergency notification procedure outlines the process for notification of emergency operations centre personnel to place them on alert or request that they respond to the emergency operations centre. The procedure also includes the confidential contact information for emergency operations centre personnel.

  • Crisis Communications Plan (Annex B)

    This document coordinates communications from Niagara Region departments, agencies and boards to media outlets, Niagara Region employees, businesses and residents to deliver information before a pending emergency (if possible), during or after a disaster or emergency.

    This includes the release of appropriate and factual information to the media and to the public, issuing directives to the public, responding to requests for information, and monitoring media outlets and other sources of information. Methods of internal communications with Niagara Region and local area municipal staff are also outlined.

    In the event of a major emergency requiring a response from Niagara municipalities and Niagara Region, communications will be coordinated with these entities through Niagara Region and municipal information officers.

  • Niagara Region Emergency Operations Centre Standard Operating Guidelines (Annex C)

    This document outlines the procedures involved in the activation and operation of the emergency operations centre facility. This includes details on the facility location, setup, guiding principles, managing information and resources, and roles and responsibilities for functions within the Incident Management System. As a supplement to the plan, it provides information to enable emergency operation centre responders to fulfil their key responsibilities in managing an emergency situation.

  • Regional Emergency Social Services (ESS) Plan (Annex D)

    The aim of the Regional Emergency Social Services Plan is to make provision for the efficient administration, coordination and implementation of the extraordinary arrangements and measures taken to protect the health, safety and welfare of the residents of Niagara during any emergency once they are outside of immediate danger.

    This response includes both Niagara Region staff and external support agencies that work to provide services including, but not limited to, shelter, food, clothing, emergency first aid, registration and inquiry, personal services and financial assistance.

  • Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment - HIRA (Annex E)

    The purpose of the HIRA is to identify the hazards, which have caused, or possess the potential to cause, disastrous situations by overwhelming response capabilities within the region of Niagara. This information assists Niagara Region in preparing for more effective emergency responses and operations.

    The planning phase will seek to mitigate the effects of a hazard, to prepare for response measures, and to ensure the safety of our citizens, preserve life and minimize damage.

  • Responsibilities of Niagara Region in a Local Municipal Emergency (Annex F)

    This document serves as an operational guideline outlining the role of Niagara Region core departments and services and how these align with local municipalities during a local emergency incident.

    Other annex's may be developed and attached to the Niagara Region Emergency Management Plan as they are required and developed.

  • Source Water Protection Along the Welland Canal (Annex G)

    In 2006, the province of Ontario passed the Clean Water Act, a key part of this legislation was the preparation of locally developed Source Protection Plans. A Source Protection Plan identifies potential significant threats to municipal drinking water, and sets out policies to protect against these threats.

    The Niagara Peninsula Source Protection Plan includes policies regarding emergency response plans. Some of these emergency response plan policies are directed to municipal bodies to prevent fuel related threats from negatively impacting water treatment plants along the Welland Canal.

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Emergency Management Plan Review and Maintenance

The Niagara Region Emergency Management Plan will be maintained and distributed by the community emergency management coordinator to the public via the Niagara Region public website.

The plan will be reviewed annually pursuant to the regulations under the Act and, where necessary, revised by the Emergency Management Program Committee. The review and recommended revisions will be coordinated by the community emergency management coordinator.

The plan shall be revised only by By-law of Council; however, revisions to the annexes and minor administrative or housekeeping changes may be made by the community emergency management coordinator.

It is the responsibility of each person, support agency, service or department identified within the plan to notify the community emergency management coordinator forthwith, of the need for any administrative changes or revisions to the plan or annexes.

The community emergency management coordinator is responsible for maintaining a current confidential contact list for emergency operation centre personnel and support agencies.

Each department and support agency should designate a member of its staff to review, revise and maintain its own functional emergency response procedures or guidelines on a periodic basis and ensure they align with the plan.

Exercising of the Niagara Region Emergency Management Plan

Pursuant to the regulations under the Act, at minimum, one exercise will be organized and conducted annually by the community emergency management coordinator in order to test the overall effectiveness of the Niagara Region Emergency Management Plan.

Recommendations arising from the annual exercise shall be considered by the community emergency management coordinator and Emergency Management Program Committee for revisions to the Niagara Region Emergency Management Plan.

Plan Distribution

Copies of the Niagara Region Emergency Management Plan will be provided to emergency operations centre personnel, local area municipalities, support agencies, the province of Ontario, and bordering municipalities and regions that may have a role to play in responding to or providing assistance for emergencies in Niagara.

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