Wednesday, February 08, 2012

City’s EMO Group releases Mass Evacuation Plan

Fredericton (February 7) - The City of Fredericton Emergencies Measures Organization has presented it Mass Evacuation Plan to the City’s Public Safety and Environment Committee. The plan is intended to guide first responders and members of the City’s Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) in the event that a mass evacuation involving thousands of residents living in a large geographic area of the city is required.

This document supports the City’s current EMO Plan,and it does not replace standing operating procedures for first responders, but rather provides an overview of required actions. It also supports the more detailed decision making done by the City’s Emergency Operations Centre.

The City’s Mass Evacuation Plan lists the first ten things to do in a mass evacuation, and how to activate the City’s EMO Group, notify the public, set up an evacuation perimeter, identify evacuation routes, and transport evacuees, as well as providing information about shelters and reception centres.

The document goes on to identify roles and responsibilities, important names and phone numbers, information about declaring a State of Local Emergency, and departmental preparedness information, as well as special and other considerations.

The plan is in point form, to guide quick response, and will be placed in most first responder vehicles, as well Fire, Police and Community Services vehicles, and made available for internally for staff and externally for various support agencies. Additional training for staff and the City’s EMO group is planned.

The success of the any emergency situation comes down to public preparedness. As per Public Safety Canada’s emergency preparedness guide for families, all residents are urged to be able to take care of themselves for 72 hours. Know the risks; make a plan; and, get an emergency kit. Find out more at www.getprepared.ca.

Fredericton has been actively involved in emergency preparedness for the over a decade. The City has a Community Emergency Planning By-law, an Emergency Response Plan, Emergency Response Procedure based on 19 hazard assessments, a Widespread Illness Plan, and ongoing training efforts.

The need for such a plan was identified as a priority by the City’s EMO group. Work began on a draft plan in March 2011. Input was sought from internal and external stakeholders and a planning workshop was held in May 2011. That feedback was reviewed and the draft plan revised. That draft was reviewed again by the City’s EMO group in October 2011, with the final document being prepared for the City’s Public Safety & Environment Committee.

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