The Ontario Mass Evacuation Plan is a supporting plan to the Provincial Emergency Response Plan (PERP).
This plan supports the agreement between the Governments of Ontario and Canada (through the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada) to provide emergency response support to First Nation communities in the province. An EMO planning team in consultation with non-governmental organizations, provincial and federal partners developed the plan. This plan is meant to be used to respond to a request for a partial or complete evacuation from one or more communities to one or more host communities.
This plan is for Ontario’s far north, encompassing municipalities, unorganized territories2 and First Nation communities.
This is an overarching plan for carrying out mass evacuations and as such, many aspects are general in nature4. Potential threats to the communities and emergency responders are critical in determining the urgency of the evacuation and for planning resource mobilization.
The availability, duration, type, and location of host community facilities affect planning for the evacuation. When planning for the return of evacuees, the number and location of host communities, and the distance to evacuated communities are key planning considerations. Following the judgement of the authorized entity that it is safe for evacuees to return, the order of return and the methods of transportation must be established using an inclusive planning process that involves affected communities, provincial and federal partners, and other partners (i.e. Evacuations may take place prior to (pre-emptive), during, or after an incident has occurred. Determine at the outset of the operations which organization will be responsible for information management and the manner in which information will be shared.
Initiating media contacts or directing the appropriate position to do this according to established plans and procedures (e.g.
Weather, resource availability, and the scale of an incident can significantly affect the time required to mobilize resources.


Emergency information is primarily the community’s responsibility, but may be supplemented by the province according to the provisions of the Provincial Emergency Information Plan. The PEOC (or other EOC) may request deployments to fulfil specific incident management functions, as needed (e.g.
Where the scale of the incident, evacuation timeline, or availability of staff prevents the physical deployment of staff, relevant incident management functions may be performed remotely using available technology.
Transportation planning for the evacuation will be undertaken by a joint planning team as described in Annex 7.
The PEOC should begin contingency planning with partners for longer-term evacuations if it appears likely that evacuees will be displaced from their community for longer than the period discussed below. Planning for hosting evacuees builds on information already available (typically from the manifest).
The Quick Reference Guide is a condensed version of the Ontario Mass Evacuation Plan Part 1: Far North.
In addition, this plan references the Service Level Evacuation Standards1 developed by the Joint Emergency Management Steering (JEMS) Committee. This plan does not replace a community’s own emergency response plans, which should contain provisions for evacuations if they consider evacuations likely. Municipal departments involved in the development of the host facility plan may be able to provide resources to support the set-up and operation of a host facility.
It draws linkages to various hazard management plans and procedures developed by ministries. Updates to the plan will be undertaken as required based on lessons learned from exercises and incident responses. It is a provincial coordination plan outlining how Ontario would coordinate its response and collaborate with federal and municipal governments, First Nations, non-governmental organizations, and ministry partners. A detailed action plan that addresses the specific scenario, hazard, and threat will still be required.


If the evacuation is for one or a few communities, planning may be restricted to movements within the same general geographic area.
Therefore, planning should include post-hosting needs, such as financial reconciliation, demobilization support, and reports on issues to be resolved before hosting evacuees in the future. This allows the incident management team, and all partners, to take informed, effective and consistent actions in a timely manner.
Depending on the scale of the incident, and the numbers and locations of persons to be evacuated, the needs may exceed the capacity of available resources. This plan supports the activities being undertaken related to mass evacuation planning for ministry and community emergency management programs. Unorganized territories, fly-in lodges and camps, and mining operations also fall into the plan area.
This would include: scheduling such that staff do not become overly fatigued by the operation and providing as much advance notice of scheduling as is possible given the nature of the incident. In this situation, evacuations may need to be prioritized and contingency plans implemented. Emergency planners should assess proposed facilities based on location, capabilities, capacity, accessibility, and resources, as well as how they would route evacuee traffic. Details on the set-up and operation of the shelter should be provided in the community’s emergency response plan.



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