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Discussion Starter #1
It seems obvious by now that New Orleans had no serious emergency plan and of all the cities in the US, they darn well should have.

I have to ask now, what of your city's plans? I can't imagine what disaster could befall Toronto but I'm hoping there never is one. I know politicians have played lip service to it and of course they've had their committee meetings but I for one would like to know what has come of them. As a resident of Toronto I'd like to know what I'm supposed to do. Where am I supposed to go?

If such emergency plans exist I believe they should make them public. Anyone else think so?
 

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Tritium Glow
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There is a 99% probability that such a plan does not exist...so nothing to make public. ;)

Interesting how unprepared...and vulnerable they were down there. Sheds some interesting light.
 

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What planet are you on - how could you possibly conclude that. :rolleyes:

A major New Orleans hurricane was one of only three national disasters planned for in detail. It had been studied and modelled and practised for.

02 Sep 2005 15:49:00 GMT
Source: Reuters
By Alan Elsner
WASHINGTON, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Virtually everything that has happened in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina struck was predicted by experts and in computer models, so emergency management specialists wonder why authorities were so unprepared.
"The scenario of a major hurricane hitting New Orleans was well anticipated, predicted and drilled around," said Clare Rubin, an emergency management consultant who also teaches at the Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management at George Washington University.
Computer models developed at Louisiana State University and other institutions made detailed projections of what would happen if water flowed over the levees protecting the city or if they failed.
In July 2004, more than 40 federal, state, local and volunteer organizations practiced this very scenario in a five-day simulation code-named "Hurricane Pam", where they had to deal with an imaginary storm that destroyed over half a million buildings in New Orleans and forced the evacuation of a million residents.
At the end of the exercise Ron Castleman, regional director for the Federal Emergency Management Agency declared: "We made great progress this week in our preparedness efforts.
"Disaster response teams developed action plans in critical areas such as search and rescue, medical care, sheltering, temporary housing, school restoration and debris management. These plans are essential for quick response to a hurricane but will also help in other emergencies," he said.

In light of that, said disaster expert Bill Waugh of Georgia State University, "It's inexplicable how unprepared for the flooding they were." He said a slow decline over several years in funding for emergency management was partly to blame.
In comments on Thursday, President George W. Bush said, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees."
But Louisiana State University engineer Joseph Suhayda and others have warned for years that defenses could fail. In 2002, the New Orleans Times Picayune published a five-part series on "The Big One" examining what might happen if they did.
SCENARIO LAID OUT
It predicted that 200,000 people or more would be unwilling or unable to heed evacuation orders and thousands would die, that people would be housed in the Superdome, that aid workers would find it difficult to gain access to the city as roads became impassable, as well as many other of the consequences that actually unfolded after Katrina hit this week.
Craig Marks who runs Blue Horizons Consulting, an emergency management training company in North Carolina, said the authorities had mishandled the evacuation, neglecting to help those without transportation to leave the city.
"They could have packed people on trains or buses and gotten them out before the hurricane struck. They had enough time and access to federal funds. And now, we find we do not have a proper emergency communications infrastructure so aid workers get out into the field and they can't talk to one another," he said.
Most of those trapped by the floods in the city of some 500,000 people are the poor who had little chance to leave.
Ernest Sternberg, a professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Buffalo, said law enforcement agencies were often more eager to invest in high tech "toys" than basic communications.
"It's well known that communications go down in disasters but people on the frontlines still don't invest in them. A lot of the investments that have been made in homeland security have been misspent," he said.
Several experts also believe the decision to make FEMA a part of the Department of Homeland Security, created after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, was a major mistake. Rubin said FEMA functioned well in the 1990s as a small, independent agency.
"Under DHS, it was downgraded, buried in a couple of layers of bureaucracy, and terrorism prevention got all the attention and most of the funds," she said.
Former FEMA director James Lee Witt testified to Congress in March 2004: "I am extremely concerned that the ability of our nation to prepare for and respond to disasters has been sharply eroded.
"I hear from emergency managers, local and state leaders, and first responders nearly every day that the FEMA they knew and worked well with has now disappeared. In fact one state emergency manager told me, 'It is like a stake has been driven into the heart of emergency management,'" he said.

Underlying the situation has been the general reluctance of government at any level to invest in infrastructure or emergency management, said David McEntire, who teaches emergency management at the University of North Texas.
"No-one cares about disasters until they happen. That is a political fact of life," he said.
"Emergency management is woefully underfunded in this nation. That covers not only first responders but also warning, evacuation, damage assessment, volunteer management, donation management and recovery and mitigation issues," he said.
The plans were there, they drilled on the specific scenario last year the plans did not include such a huge storm footprint, such immediate levee failure and loss of cell towers.
A cat 4/5 storm of this size is unprecedented.

Toronto got caught flat footed and the results was pleasant instead of populated Don Valley.



Without adequate funding the best plans in the world can't be executed.

•••

What disaster will hit Toronto........avian flu is HIGH on the list.
 

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Canadian By Choice
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As far as I have heard, St. John's has emergency plans only for the loss of electricity due to things like ice storms, and massive amounts of snow falling over the city. The city has recently started to think about drainage due to flooding caused by heavy rains, because of the dramatic jump in development around the city.

City and provincial officials have "talked" about Avian flu, but in this situation, the common person is on his or her own.
 

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I would think with an island that the Province would control the avian flu response including shutting down all incoming travel plus stockpiling mask and Tamiflu.

It this exact kind of resource allocation I'm talking about whn I get on my "traditional military" spending is foolish rant.

SAR, fire fighting, disaster relief - these are all real dangers and require immediate allocation ....not bloody used subs :mad:.

Still a widespread disaster like Katrina or the Quebec icestorm shows just how over powering mother nature can be. :eek:.

It does point up the fragility of our highly technical civilization. We lose survival skills so quickly. :(

With global climate change in full charge these extreme events are only going be more common.
 

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If you want to know what your cities Emergency Plan consists of, call the city office or talk to your local MP. Every major city has an Emergency Plan set in place. They also practice each year to make sure the plans are followed. They also look at how things could be changed.

Having said that, I would have to say that not ALL major cities in Canada prepare their citizens for a natural disaster.

For example when I lived out in Vancouver, I was given an Emergency Plan kit that consisted of telephone numbers, what to do in case of a ( fill in blank) received loads of pamphlets on all kinds of information. How to react during a major natural disaster, what sort of supplies you should have on hand etc.... Actually I still have all those documents and information to this day from Vancouver. They even supply you with a what to do WALLET size card. I thought that this was the best way to get the information out to the public. In fact, if I remember correctly, my employer at the time had received all the information and handed it out to us all. Vancouver has also gone through the length of posting Emergency Route signs along the designated roads that they will use if a natural disaster occurs. I can tell you right now, if most of the population receives the same information I did, and if most of the population in Vancouver would follow it when a natural disaster occurs, that will be one prepared city in the future. That doesn't mean that natural human instinct to panic won't occur, but at least people will know what to do, if they actually read the information given to them.

When I lived in Toronto, I never received anything like the above. If I wanted to know, I would have to call up the city and request it. The city itself doesn't have any roads marked off for Emergency Route evacuation with actual signs. Which I thought was very neat when I was out in Vancouver. How many citizens in Toronto are prepared for a natural disaster? Have you received a list of items to have on hand incase something does happen from the city? Has the city given you all the phone numbers, where to go in case anything happens? Who is in charge etc...? Maybe they did and I missed it?

I was thankful that my employer at the time went through and requested all the information from the city and handed it all out to us. I wish more employers would do the same, because when something does happen, you will probably be at work and not at home.

Let me ask you all this question.......

How many of you are PREPARED with your own family? How many of you know where to meet in case of a natural disaster? How many of you have their own Emergency Plans set up with your family? The numbers are mind boggling as to how many families are not prepared at all for anything to happen. Including something as simple as a house fire. Remember when something major does occur ALL phone lines are cut, including cell phones. So where are you going to meet?

Not only should the city have an emergency plan, but ALL people should have their own as well. Toronto airport practises each year for an emergency situation, that includes not only everyone at the airport, but also the city and hospitals around in the area. Everything is timed, detailed etc... If all families and citizens would take the time to make their own plans and practice them once a year or twice, then I believe things would go a lot smoother when something does happen.
 

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BTW the size of the disaster area is larger than all of Great Britain.......plans can fail in the face of that magnitude of storm. If Camille had hit NO dead on the surrounding damage would be limited and so plans might work better.
The scale of the storm ( and it should be a warning about climate change severe weather ) puts at question ANY preplanning.

Let's HOPE it's a once a century event for New Orleans as they are particularly vulnerable - but I doubt it.

•••

Good post MacG :clap:
 

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take lack of basic human needs (food, water, housing), add easy access to firearms and you get the what happened in N.O.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Other than generally been told to have food and water on hand, the citizens of Toronto are completely in the dark. We have no evacuation routes marked. We've never been told where to go or where to head towards.

I do have my own plan but getting there would be another matter. I doubt I'd get out alive past the gunshots where I live.
 

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I did notice in recent weeks that United States television stations were broadcasting emergency broadcast commercials more and more.

Do not adjust your set. This is only a test. If it was a real emergency, and not just a test, you would have been provided with instructions on how to leave this thread.
 

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Every city does indeed have an emergency plan. Check your local government's Web site as many discuss this type of thing on their. Both of my parents are involved in the emergency communications for disasters in Hamilton. When 9/11 happened many cities activated their Emergency Plans (command centres were set up and staffed - I helped with the computer set up of one where I used to work).

The thing is cities only can do so much....for large scale disasters like in New Orleans, the Federal government needs to be able to mobilize quickly; as MacDoc points out, cities just do not have the resources to deal with something of that magnitude.

Now, if good ol' Mel was able to call in the army for snow, maybe Toronto has less to fear? ;)
 

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adagio said:
Other than generally been told to have food and water on hand, the citizens of Toronto are completely in the dark. We have no evacuation routes marked. We've never been told where to go or where to head towards.

I do have my own plan but getting there would be another matter. I doubt I'd get out alive past the gunshots where I live.
If you can, move.
 

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MBD said:
Now, if good ol' Mel was able to call in the army for snow, maybe Toronto has less to fear? ;)
Just so ya'll know, that's <b>Mel Lastman</b> that MBD is talkin' about, bless his little Hell's Angels soul!

Mel
 

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adagio said:
It seems obvious by now that New Orleans had no serious emergency plan and of all the cities in the US, they darn well should have.
No Sh*t, Sherlock...

New Orleans was told to put an emergency plan into place about three weeks after 9/11. Just as ALL of the major American cities were.

And they were given huge bucks from the Federal Government to put this plan into reality. To buy the equipment to cover whatever horrible situation might befall their area.

That was about FOUR WHOLE YEARS before hurricane Katrina hit, BTW.

One cannot IMAGINE that a levee breach and flooding wouldn't have occurred to the masters of the city of New Orleans. This eventuality must have been front and center for them. And they got BIG MONEY to prepare for it after 9/11.

But....when it actually ocurred...and all of the poorest people of that city were herded into that big dome...and what did they find waiting for them in this big dark space?

-No independant powerplants (portable generators)
-No independant sanitation facilities (porta potties)
-No independant food provisions (MRE's..a steam table buffet like at summer camp? Something??
-No extra security in the form of police. It was pandemonium on steroids in that big enclosed stadium.

For three days or so.

No wonder things fell apart so badly.

Now...it turns out that Mayor Ray Nagin has wildly exagerated almost every single thing about this major local disaster...while doing NOTHING!

He claimed that hundreds of people were being killed in the Superdome and that the last few remaing police officers that hadn't actually deserted their posts were in running gun battles with roving gangs of thugs in his flooded city.

NONE of which turned out to be even remotely true...

And his "carefully laid (AND WELL FUNDED) preparations" for this inevitable New Orleans disaster turn out to be smoke and mirrors. Swamp gas and nothing more.

Soooo...where the HECK did all of that Federal "emergency preparedness" money that was given to New Orleans actually GO? It certainly wasn't spent on actually preparing for this inevitable disaster an any way shape or form.

THIS will be the question of the day for the next few years or so.

Trust me on this.
 
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