Introduction - Emergency Response Plan

Introduction

Mohawk College is committed to providing the safest possible environment for students, employees and the public. The Mohawk College Emergency Response Plan (ERP) has been designed to assist in the management of all incidents and emergencies affecting the campus.  The plan takes an “all hazards” risk mitigation approach to any potential emergency that involves employees, students, and the public.  

The plan outlines the responsibilities for decision making during the emergency management process.

Definition of Emergency 

In the Province of Ontario’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.E9, an emergency is defined 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.

Examples of an emergency may be, but not limited to the following:

  • Act of terrorism
  • Active Threat
  • Fire
  • Flood
  • Power Failure
  • Public Health Event
  • Severe Storm
  • IT Cyber Security Threat
     

Definitions 

After Action Report
A report that documents the performance of tasks related to an emergency, exercise or planned event and, where necessary, makes recommendations for improvements.

Business Continuity Program
An ongoing process supported by senior management and funded to ensure that necessary steps are taken to identify the impact of potential losses, maintain viable recovery strategies and recovery plans, and ensure continuity of services through staff training, plan testing, and maintenance.

Comprehensive Emergency Management
It is an all-encompassing risk-based approach to emergency management that includes prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery measures.

Business Impact Analysis (BIA)
A process designed to prioritize business functions by assessing the potential quantitative (financial) and qualitative (non-financial) impact that might result if the college was to experience a service disruption.

Emergency
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 (Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act).

Emergency Operations Control Group (EOCG) 
The group formed by the Senior Leadership Team of Mohawk College to direct the College’s response in an emergency including, the implementation of the College’s emergency response plan.

Emergency management program
A risk-based program consisting of prescribed elements that may include prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery activities.

Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) 
A designated and appropriately equipped facility where officials from the College (and outside agencies as required) assemble to manage the response to an emergency or disaster.

Emergency Response Plan (ERP)
A plan developed and maintained to assist in the emergency management of all incidents and emergencies affecting the campus.  

Exercise
A simulated emergency in which players carry out actions, functions, and responsibilities that would be expected of them in a real emergency. Exercises can be used to validate plans and procedures, and to practice prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery capabilities.

Incident
An occurrence or event that requires an emergency response to protect people, property, the environment, the economy and/or services.

Incident Action Plan (IAP)
Within IMS, an oral or written plan containing general objectives reflecting the overall strategy for managing an incident. It may include the identification of operational resources and assignments. It may also include attachments that provide direction and important information for management of the incident during one or more operational periods. For an example of the IAP, please refer to Appendix D. 

Incident Command/Incident Commander (IC)
The entity/individual responsible for all incident activities, including the development of strategies and tactics and the ordering and release of resources. The IC has overall authority for conducting incident operations and is responsible for the management of all incident operations.

Incident Management System (IMS) 
A standardized approach to emergency management encompassing personnel, facilities, equipment, procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational structure. The IMS is predicated on the understanding that in any and every incident there are certain management functions that must be carried out regardless of the number of persons who are available or involved in the emergency response.

Purpose

The purpose of this ERP is to serve as both a framework and guideline, to establishing an organized approach in the delivery and implementation of effective decision making, communication and overall coordination during an emergency.

This ERP works in conjunction with all existing Mohawk College Policies and Procedures. All subsequent plans must be consistent with the overall organization and direction of this ERP. Specific, actionable procedures will vary, depending on the incident.

Objectives

The foremost priority in responding to an emergency is the safety and protection of Mohawk College employees and students. The College is also committed to limiting or containing the extent of damage incurred during an emergency, and to the recovery and restoration of operations as soon as possible.

The objectives of this ERP are:

  1. Preservation of Life.
  2. Minimize harm – both physical, financial and reputational.
  3. Establish a clear framework by which to respond to incidents or emergencies.
  4. Establish clear guidelines to clearly communicate necessary information to visitors, employees, students and our community.
  5. Minimize disruption to the on-going operation of the college.
  6. Minimize emotional stress.
  7. Ensure ongoing assessment of the plan in order to continually improve our response capability.

Scope

This ERP is intended to guide the College’s response to everything from small disruptive incidents to large-scale campus emergencies. For situations affecting off-campus service locations, the College will work together with the responsible and affected building owners to assess and respond to developing situations.

This ERP assumes four stages of emergency response management:

Four stages of emergency response management: Recovery and Restoration, Assessment and Notification, Coordination, Mobilization

  1. Assessment and Notification – The process by which the incident is identified as an emergency, and assessed for the appropriate response requirements. 
  2. Mobilization – Notification to senior leadership of formal coordinated response and the possible activation of the Emergency Operations Centre.
  3. Coordination – The activation of roles, teams, and communications networks, as well as the deployment of resources in an emergency situation.
  4. Recovery and Restoration – The restoration of normal operations during an emergency, and a post-incident review and best practices assessment following the event.