FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. City Council adopted the City of Winnipeg Emergency Plan to provide a prompt and coordinated response by the City to a major peacetime disaster. The plan assigns responsibilities and guides the immediate actions of key officials and civic departments in the critical hours after the onset of an emergency.
If an emergency situation threatens to exceed the capability of the regular City emergency services, the City of Winnipeg Emergency Response Organization is alerted and then activated if necessary. The City’s Chief Administrative Officer or designate serves as Chief Emergency Coordinator. When required, the City’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) is activated to co-ordinate and manage emergency response activities.
The City also has a full-time Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, who provides advice and support, as well as co-ordinates planning, disaster management, education and public information in a major emergency or disaster. Every 18 months, a table-top or mock exercise is held to test and fine-tune the City’s emergency response plans.
Every emergency incident is unique, and requires differing levels of response. The impact on City services will vary according to the nature, severity and duration of an emergency event or disaster. City officials will keep citizens informed of a disaster's impact on services.
Manitoba’s Emergency Measures Act requires the City of Winnipeg to establish emergency preparedness plans and programs and to implement those plans when an emergency or disaster exists or appears imminent. A State of Local Emergency can be declared in such a situation, giving local authorities the power for 14 days to take action to prevent or limit the loss of life and damage to property or the environment.
Upon the declaration of, and during a state of local emergency, the City may issue an order to any party to do everything necessary to prevent or limit loss of life and damage to property or the environment, including:
- implement emergency plans
- utilize any real or personal property considered necessary to prevent, combat or alleviate the effects of any emergency or disaster
- authorize or require any qualified person to render aid of such type as that person may be qualified to provide
- control, permit or prohibit travel to or from any area or on any road, street or highway
- cause the evacuation of persons and the removal of livestock and personal property and make arrangements for the adequate care and protection thereof
- control or prevent the movement of people and the removal of livestock from any designated area that may have a contaminating disease
- authorize the entry into any building, or upon any land without warrant
- cause the demolition or removal of any trees, structure or crops in order to prevent, combat or alleviate the effects of an emergency or a disaster
- authorize the procurement and distribution of essential resources and the provision of essential services
- regulate the distribution and availability of essential goods, services and resources
- provide for the restoration of essential facilities, the distribution of essential supplies and the maintenance and co-ordination of emergency medical, social and other essential services
- expend such sums as are necessary to pay expenses caused by the emergency.
Disaster relief funding is generally the responsibility of more senior levels of government, which would have to approve any compensation.
The City will keep the media and public updated through its Emergency Public Information Team, which hosts media conferences and posts to its emergency Web site. Because electricity may not always be available in a disaster or emergency, residents should invest in a battery-operated radio. Any additional inquiries can be made by phoning the City’s emergency public inquiry call centre, when activated.
Anyone wanting to volunteer in an emergency can phone the City’s emergency public inquiry call centre, when activated.