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Okanagan College is committed to the health and safety of those who work and study on the campuses of our College.
Victoria has a one in three (32%) probability of a damaging earthquake in the next 50 years, and in addition to risk of earthquakes, is also prone to hazards including tsunamis, weather events and pandemics.
The Victoria Emergency Management Agency (VEMA) is the City of Victoria's resource for helping our community prepare for an emergency. Learn more about the hazards that can affect Victoria, what to include in your home and vehicle emergency kits, what you can do to protect your home from an earthquake, and how to reunite with your loved ones after a disaster by attending a free, two-hour Emergency Preparedness Workshop. VEMA's Emergency Contact Cards can help family members reunite with loved ones after a disaster. If an earthquake lasts for more than 60 seconds or is so strong that it is difficult to stand, people in low-lying coastal areas are advised to move to higher ground. Launched in September 2013, Earthquake 1-2-3 was a monthly, nine-part series in the Times Colonist featuring helpful information to assist families to become better prepared before, during, and after a damaging earthquake. The City, like all municipal governments in British Columbia, is required by the Emergency Program Act and Regulations to have an emergency management organization, an emergency plan, and train staff and exercise that plan regularly. Thank you to the cyclists, VEMA volunteers, and our community partners for participating in the Tour Disaster on Saturday, July 4, 2015. National Emergency Preparedness Week is designed to raise awareness of the importance of having an emergency kit and making an emergency plan. Although the City of Victoria tries to ensure the accuracy of all information here, you should confirm all information.
For information on business and institutional garbage and recycling information, click here.
Many individuals, ministries, and organizations contributed to the development of the Ontario Provincial Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment. A revised Ontario Provincial Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) Report, dated September 2011, is attached via an electronic link. Emergency Management Ontario has prepared this document with the assistance of many key stakeholders and scientific experts. Thirty-nine hazards are listed in this document and discussed under four main headings: Definition, Description, Provincial Risk Statement, and Case Study. Hazards are interlinked and dynamic, subject to change with unprecedented consequences, and may transcend provincial and national boundaries.
Acceptable Risk: The level of potential losses that a society or community considers acceptable given existing social, economic, political, cultural, technical and environmental conditions (Glossary of Terms, 2011). Assessment: The evaluation and interpretation of available information to provide a basis for decision-making (Glossary of Terms, 2011).
Building Code: A set of ordinances or regulations and associated standards intended to control aspects of the design, construction, materials, alteration and occupancy of structures that are necessary to ensure human safety and welfare, including resistance to collapse and damage (Glossary of Terms, 2011).
Changing Risk: A variable in the HIRA methodology that allows for the inclusion of information on changes in the likelihood and vulnerability of the hazard.
Community: A generic term that includes both municipalities and First Nations (Glossary of Terms, 2011).
Comprehensive Emergency Management: It is an all-encompassing risk-based approach to emergency management that includes prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery measures (Glossary of Terms, 2011). Consequence: The outcome of an event or situation expressed qualitatively or quantitatively, being a loss, injury or disadvantage (Glossary of Terms, 2011). Critical Infrastructure (CI): Interdependent, interactive, interconnected networks of institutions, services, systems and processes that meet vital human needs, sustain the economy, protect public safety and security, and maintain continuity of and confidence in government (Glossary of Terms, 2011).
Critical Infrastructure Impact: The negative consequences of the occurrence of a hazard on the interdependent, interactive, interconnected networks of institutions, services, systems and processes that meet vital human needs, sustain the economy, protect public safety and security, and maintain continuity of and confidence in government.
Declared Emergency: A signed declaration made in writing by the Head of Council or the Premier of Ontario in accordance with the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. 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) (Glossary of Terms, 2011).
Emergency Area: A geographic area within which an emergency has occurred or is about to occur, and which has been identified, defined and designated to receive emergency response actions (Glossary of Terms, 2011). Emergency Management: Organized activities undertaken to prevent, mitigate, prepare for, respond to and recover from actual or potential emergencies (Glossary of Terms, 2011).
Emergency Management Program: A risk-based program consisting of prescribed elements that may include prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery activities (Glossary of Terms, 2011).
Frequency: How often a hazard occurs at an intensity that may result in an emergency, disaster or service disruption.
Hazard: A phenomenon, substance, human activity or condition that may cause loss of life, injury or other health impacts, property damage, loss of livelihoods and services, social and economic disruption, or environmental damage. Hazard Identification: A structured process for identifying those hazards which exist within a selected area and defining their causes and characteristics (Glossary of Terms, 2011). Human-Caused Hazard: Human-caused hazards are hazards which result from direct human action or inaction, either intentional or unintentional.
Incident: An occurrence or event that requires an emergency response to protect life, property, or the environment (Glossary of Terms, 2011).
Land Use Planning: The process undertaken by public authorities to identify, evaluate and decide on different options for the use of land to help mitigate and prevent disasters by discouraging settlements and construction of key installations in hazard-prone areas (Glossary of Terms, 2011). Mitigation: Actions taken to reduce the adverse impacts of an emergency or disaster (Glossary of Terms, 2011). Monitor and Review: The part of the HIRA process in which the HIRA is reviewed and changes in the likelihood and consequences of the hazards is updated.
Preparedness: Actions taken prior to an emergency or disaster to ensure an effective response. Prevention: Actions taken to avoid an emergency or disaster and the associated impacts of a hazard (Glossary of Terms, 2011). Property Damage: The direct negative consequences of the occurrence of a hazard on buildings, structures and other forms of property. Psychosocial Impact: The negative response of community or a subset of the community to a hazard caused by their perception of risk.
Recovery: The process of restoring a stricken community to a pre-disaster level of functioning (Glossary of Terms, 2011).
Resources: These are personnel and major items of equipment, supplies, and facilities available or potentially available for assignment to incident operations and for which status is maintained.
Risk: The product of the probability of the occurrence of a hazard and its consequences (Glossary of Terms, 2011).
Risk Analysis: The process by which hazards are prioritized for emergency management programs at that particular point in time based on their frequency and potential consequences. Risk Assessment: A methodology to determine the nature and extent of risk by analyzing potential hazards and the evaluation of vulnerabilities and consequences (Glossary of Terms, 2011). Social Impact: The direct negative consequences of the occurrence of a hazard on people, such as fatalities, injuries or evacuations. Threat: A person, thing or event that has the potential to cause harm or damage (Glossary of Terms, 2011).
The core challenge faced by emergency managers is how to prevent, prepare, mitigate, respond and recover from a myriad of hazards. How severe can their impact be on the community, infrastructure, property, and the environment? This Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) document attempts to assist emergency managers in answering these questions in order to better improve public safety and to protect against property and infrastructure damage by providing a tool that can be used to assess the consequences and frequency of a hazard. A HIRA is a comprehensive document that outlines the hazards and their associated risks in a designated area; for the purposes of this document the designated area is the province of Ontario.
Allows for the creation of exercises, training programs, and plans based on the most likely scenarios. A HIRA is important for emergency management at a Provincial level since residents of Ontario expect the Provincial government to actively monitor and reduce the risk of a potential emergency. Ontario has adopted measures to protect the public and their property from emergencies through the work of Emergency Management Ontario and the dedicated and hard-working ministry, municipality, First Nations, and public sector emergency managers.
Emergency management programs in Ontario are required by the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to be risk-based. The Provincial Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) document is intended to provide guidance on how to conduct a HIRA. The Ontario Provincial HIRA provides guidance for risk assessment for natural, technological and man-made hazards in accordance with the definition of an emergency in the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
The goal of this document is to identify the hazards that have occurred or have the potential to impact the Province of Ontario. The adoption of a risk management approach in the Emergency Management Act shifts the focus to the causes of risk rather than the emergencies that may result from risk. The Province is implementing comprehensive emergency management programs (based on the five main components of prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery) through a progressive comprehensive program standard. The Ontario HIRA document is structured to provide information on the identified hazards and their associated risks in Ontario while providing guidance on how to conduct a risk assessment using the provincial methodology. This step in the HIRA process aims to identify the hazards that are relevant for the area included in the risk assessment.
The information collected in the risk assessment step will be examined using the HIRA methodology. It is important to remember that a HIRA is an ongoing process and hazards and their associated risks must be monitored and reviewed. The hazards listed below are those which were identified for Ontario after an extensive historic and scientific literature review.
Agricultural and Food Emergencies: emergencies which result from events affecting either the food or the agricultural sector, or a combination of the two. Farm Animal Disease: any deviation of the farm animal body from its normal or healthy state.
Food Contamination: broadly defined as any situation that involves or could involve food which might pose a high risk to humans (EMO, 2005). Agricultural Plant Disease: generally defined as any series of harmful physiological processes caused by irritation of the plant by some invading agent. Pest Infestation: The occurrence of one or more pest species in an area where their numbers and impact are viewed as being at intolerable levels. This emergency can be separated into three categories: food contamination, farm animal disease and agricultural plant disease and crop infestation. Farm Animal Disease: Farm animal disease emergencies may occur due to an outbreak of a disease or another animal health-related hazard. The degree and type of negative impacts caused by animal disease depends on the type of disease and whether it affects both animals and humans (zoonotic) or just animals alone (OMAFRA, 2009).
If the disease is very contagious, then it is likely that it is already incubating in many animal populations (depending on the species and its distribution) by the time it is detected.
A loss of confidence in the safety of the food industry and in people not trusting domestic livestock products. Contamination of food, especially if there is the probability of illness or death if the product is consumed.
Plant diseases and pest infestations are routine events that are usually successfully managed.
Whether any social impacts are felt depends on whether the disease is zoonotic and can be transmitted to humans. Property damage is unlikely to result from animal disease, however, depending on the type of disease, some buildings and structures may not be suitable for use until after decontamination has taken place. It is important to note that some diseases originate in or can be transmitted to wildlife (e.g. A severe outbreak of a serious farm animal disease in Ontario that affects international trade in livestock or farm animal products has the potential to harm not only Ontario’s economy, but also that of Canada as a whole.
The social impacts of a food emergency resulting from food contamination vary depending on the type of agent (microbial, chemical or physical) but may include illness (including potential allergic reactions) or possibly even fatalities. Public perception and fear can also factor into food safety emergencies, and timely, coordinated emergency response is a public expectation. It is important to note that domesticated crops are not the only varieties at risk of plant disease and pest infestations. A severe outbreak of plant disease or pest infestation could have severe negative economic consequences.
Public Safety Canada would also like to thank the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) for their dedication and commitment to the issue of the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs. Additionally, pharmaceuticals can be harmful to the environment when disposed of improperly such as in landfills or waterways, thus creating potentially dangerous environmental exposure to chemicals. In June 2011, Public Safety Canada (PS) hosted a national workshop on the Illicit Use of Pharmaceuticals in Vancouver, attended by 100 participants representing federal, provincial and municipal law enforcement as well as health officials, including physicians and pharmacists. This document identifies examples of initiatives, mostly Canadian, to reduce the harms related to the illicit use and disposal of pharmaceuticals, with a specific focus on awareness-raising. It is hoped that presenting these practices will provide practical information for those seeking to identify and implement effective practices such as hosting municipal, regional or provincial prescription drug return initiatives.
Public Safety Canada has been involved in a number of prescription drug return initiatives and can provide information on the misuse and abuse of pharmaceuticals as well as valuable resources and advice on holding a prescription drug drop day.


The DEA's National Take Back Initiative has been a major source of influence and the DEA has been exceptionally supportive in developing Canadian take back initiatives. According to the American Controlled Substances Act, pharmacies and reverse distributors cannot legally take back controlled substances; they must be disposed of by the DEA. In addition, the DEA has created a law enforcement database which ensures that locations are registered and that pharmaceuticals will be legitimately collected and destroyed. On May 12, 2012, the Niagara Region Public Health, in association with the NRPS, OPP, OACP and PS, hosted a Drug Drop Day for the 12 municipalities that make up the region of Niagara.
To describe the process for collection, identification, securing and destroying reclaimed medications.
To raise public awareness of the various potential public safety and environmental threats posed by inappropriate use, storage and disposal of these medications.
The May 2012 Drug Drop Day was attended by 426 vehicles and over 400kg of medications were collected. An awareness campaign accompanied the Drug Drop Day and several materials were created such as stickers, flyers and poster. Additional tools from the Niagara Region Drug Drop Day such as a budget, budget template, operational plan, inventory form and communications strategy are available at Appendix B. In September 2012, the Ministry of the Environment (Ontario) filed a regulation requiring the proper end-of-life management of post-consumer waste pharmaceuticals and sharps.
Comprehensive promotion and education activities to improve consumer awareness and knowledge of the collection network. Police services may wish to consider this new regulation when providing their outreach for collection.
Medi Drop is a program that offers a safe place for the public to dispose of unused, unwanted or expired medication for free. The drop boxes are emptied on a regular basis by the CCPS Evidence Unit who documents each collection to track the medications that have been collected and to monitor the program. In developing the Medi Drop program, the CCPS was successful in obtaining donations from the private sector to get the drop boxes made. The advertising materials developed not only promote Medi Drop, but also provided education for the general public about the risks associated with keeping unused medications at home and with the unsafe disposal of medications. Tip: Securing the drop-off boxes with high quality locks and ensuring safe disposals with continuous video surveillance is key. Ottawa Public Health, in collaboration with Ottawa Community Housing via the Aging in Placeinitiative, hosted several Medication Clean-Out days. The project's awareness materials provide dual messaging about safety (misuse, abuse and environmental safety) and well-being. Public Health Nurses work with senior residences to arrange the collection and pick-up of unused or expired medications that are then disposed of at a pharmacy.
Tip: Facilitate access for vulnerable populations by providing drop off sites where they reside. The PCPSA was created in 1999 and its mandate is to manage unused or expired medications in a cost efficient and environmentally acceptable manner that meets government policy or legislation.
In partnership with Public Safety Canada, the Capital Regional District and Pharmasave, the PCPSA organized a contest in British Columbia to raise awareness with youths about medication returns.
The Health Canada, Office of Controlled Substances, can, in some cases, reimburse the costs associated with the destruction of collected medications, which contain controlled substances. Health Canada's Environmental Impact Initiative (EII) has the mandate to reduce environmental and indirect human health impacts of substances in products regulated under the Food and Drugs Act.
WHEREAS the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, in Resolution #08-2004, called upon the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Health to prioritize the implementation of safeguards, in consultation with Canadian Policing and Pharmaceutical representatives, to prevent the further diversion of prescription drugs to the illicit drug trade. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the CACP urges all members to undertake data collection on pharmaceutical-related incidents, as well as participate in monitoring and surveillance efforts in partnership with health authorities, in order to track trends in illicit pharmaceutical use.
Prescription drug misuse has become a significant and growing public health and safety concern across Canada and the United States.
Media reports have also focused on some First Nations communities in Northern Ontario which report exceptionally high rates of prescription opioid addiction and abuse.
From an enforcement perspective, the criminality associated with prescription drug misuse includes fraudulent use of the health care system, pharmacy robberies and trafficking; meanwhile, these 'licit' drugs challenge traditional supply reduction approaches. The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) recently announced the launch of a National Prescription Drug Misuse Strategy which is being co-chaired by CCSA along with the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness and the Alberta Coalition on Prescription Drug Misuse. The following is the budget for the Niagara Region Drug Drop Day held on May 12, 2012 and is included as an example of potential costs incurred during a Drug Drop Day. The Niagara Region Public Health developed a comprehensive communications strategy for their Drug Drop Day.
To promote Drug Drop Day, where the general public can drop off their unused or expired prescription medications for safe disposal. Locally disposal option - outside of regional drops off, one unified day throughout municipalities to drop off Rx medications. The NRPS sent out this letter to confirm the date, time and location for the event in each community. Responsible for coordinating an emergency response in the event of a disaster, VEMA also educates and empowers Victoria citizens on how to be "emergency prepared." This is accomplished through emergency preparedness training events, exercises, and public education. The winning entries will be used by ShakeOut BC to educate the public about the need for earthquake preparedness and how the simple steps of a€?Drop, Cover, Hold Ona€? can save lives. You will need enough food, water and supplies to cope up to seven days without outside assistance. Individuals should prepare to be self-sufficient for a minimum of three days without outside assistance. Congratulations to David Miller, Alex Laird and Bob Mackie for being the first, second and third place finishers, determined by the cycling rally's points system! The list of identified hazards, the hazard narratives, and the methodology developed for the Provincial HIRA underwent an intensive review process that included Provincial Emergency Management Organizations, Ministry Emergency Management Coordinators, Risk Assessment Professionals and others. The Ontario Provincial HIRA provides risk assessments for natural, technological, and man-made hazards in accordance with the definition of an emergency within the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. An analysis of the risk of each hazard for the Province is provided at the Risk Analysis section. Thus the HIRA Report will be updated routinely when new information about hazards that could impact Ontario (i.e. These may include natural, technological or human-caused incidents or some combination of these (Glossary of Terms, 2011). The level of risk may have been altered by changes in consequence, frequency or prevention, preparedness, mitigation, response or recovery practices.
This includes hazards that arise from problems within organizational structure of a company, government etc.
Human activity may trigger or worsen the hazard; (for example deforestation may increase the risk of a landslide) but the hazard ultimately is viewed as a force of nature. This includes human responses such as self-evacuation, mass hysteria, hoarding and other potential undesirable responses.
Resources are described by kind and type and may be used in operational or support capacities (Glossary of Terms, 2011). The purpose of this is to identify which hazards should be the focus of emergency management programs at a particular point in time.
It is not intended to be used as a prediction tool to determine which hazard will be the next emergency, since consequence, in addition to frequency, is assessed. Since the Provincial government plays an active role in emergency management, a great deal of expense is incurred through the prevention, mitigation, response and recovery aspects of emergencies. With the creation of the Emergency Management Act, Ontario entered a new phase in its mandatory emergency management programs which focused on a risk-based approach. This document has been generated for use at a Provincial level; however, the process contained within can be adopted at a ministry, municipal or private sector level.
It is intended to provide a step by step guide to planning and developing a HIRA using the Provincial HIRA methodology. This is a significant shift for Ontario, given that the Emergency Plans Act spoke only to plans (preparedness) and response. The emergency has reinforced the priority of having robust, comprehensive emergency management programs, soundly based on risk. There are four basic steps in developing and maintaining a HIRA which are displayed in diagram 1. This requires a systematic review of all hazards and their causes in order to determine whether they may pose a threat to the area. This may involve the examination of past occurrences, possible scenarios and an examination of the current vulnerability of the society and area to the hazard. The desired outcome of the risk analysis is the identification of which hazards should be considered a priority for emergency management programs at that particular point in time based on their frequency and potential consequences.
A HIRA provides information on which hazards should be considered a priority for emergency management programs at a particular point in time. These are hazards which have occurred or may occur within the province and to the degree in which they result in significant damage to people, property, critical infrastructure, the environment or business.
Human activity may trigger or worsen the hazard; (for example deforestation may increase the chance of a landslide) but the hazard ultimately is viewed as a force of nature. In the food sector, these may arise through changes in food security, food quality or food safety which threaten the nutritional wellbeing of significant groups of the population. Infection can spread from animals to animals and from animals to humans (zoonotic) (EMO, 2005). The contamination or adulteration of food by physical, chemical or biological agents is invariably the cause of such food emergencies. These invading agents are typically referred to as plant pathogens, and include viruses, bacteria, fungi and algae. Pest infestations are classified by the feeding habits of the pest: foliage feeding or root feeding, resulting in significant and widespread damage to agricultural plants. Emergencies can also be classified as to the type of hazard they generate, such as human health, food security, limiting production or catastrophic economic disaster.
The predominant negative impacts related to most foreign animal disease are due to animal movement restrictions and the disruption of market chains. For some types of disease, such as avian influenza, different subtypes may pose different levels of risk. If the disease is zoonotic and can be transmitted to humans, then a human health issue may arise which could possibly result in injuries and even fatalities. The most common symptoms associated with food contamination include (but are not limited to): stomach pain, diarrhoea and vomiting.
However, a slight risk does exist depending at what stage of food production contamination occurs at and whether any subsequent harm can be done to wild species.
In the case of the contamination of a product that is shipped over a large area and used to make many other products, recalls may be widespread and cover an extensive range of products. Public awareness and education about the risks associated with food borne illness is a priority, since food borne diseases are generally preventable. However, depending on the type of disease or pest, secondary hazards, such as forest fires may be caused.
In fact, trends indicate rising rates of recreational misuse of prescription drugs by youth, the majority of whom obtain these drugs from family medicine cabinets and from friends.
From an enforcement perspective, the criminality associated with prescription drug misuse includes fraudulent use of the health care system, pharmacy robberies, drug-impaired driving, and more traditional drug trafficking activity- both by organized criminals and individuals taking advantage of lucrative street markets. The significant rise in the use of these products has led to increasing detection of chemicals in the environment, including our drinking water.
The goal was to facilitate multi-sectoral discussion and to increase the overall understanding of the issue of pharmaceutical misuse from a public safety perspective. In June 2012, the National Framework Advisory Committee met in Halifax in order to launch the development of framework objectives. It also includes examples of successful multi-agency partnerships and showcasing models where police, public health and the private sector are working together in a coordinated and effective manner, as well as practical information, budget tools and templates, and awareness materials developed to reduce the use of prescription drugs for non-medical purposes.
Groups interested in developing their own initiatives are also encouraged to explore and promote other initiatives in place in their municipality or region, such as the programs mandated through provincial regulations (i.e.
While not all initiatives and programs can be included in this handbook, promising practices have been selected to demonstrate the range of options that are available and which have been successfully implemented in Canada. The National Take Back Initiative was created to allow for the disposition of unwanted, unused or expired drugs to the DEA (through the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010). All law enforcement agencies who wish to participate in the Take Back Day must register in this database. These materials can easily be altered by any municipality, region or province that wishes to hold their own pharmaceutical return day. Through this partnership, four Medi Drop boxes have been placed at police stations and hospitals throughout the city of Cornwall. The CCPS weighs the collected medications and secures them until they can be destroyed by incineration through a contracted provider of this service. In return for the donation, the CCPS promised to add logos to the drop boxes and to pamphlets.


A brand (including the name of the program, logo, colours, etc.) was developed for Medi Drop to ensure that the program becomes known and easily recognized by the public. This website provides more detailed information about the program as well as resources for parents and youths such as links to addictions services and prevention programs.
The project aims to encourage seniors to clean out their medicine cabinets of unused or expired medications on a regular basis. OPH encourages seniors to have an annual review of their prescribed and over-the-counter medications with their physician or pharmacist to reduce the number of senior falls due to polypharmacy. Youths in high school and film schools participated in the contest with the purpose of developing a video to educate the public on the dangers of improperly disposing of unused medications. Law enforcement agencies must fill out form 3515 (Drug Offence and Disposition Report) and return it to Health Canada after 60 days have passed since the date of collection of the medications. As part of its activities to fulfill that mandate, the EII is researching existing regulatory and non-regulatory initiatives that reduce the impact of products, regulated under the Food and Drugs Act, on the environment. Many of these costs can often be funded in-kind through private partnerships and donations from community sponsors.
People drive to the canopy or tent area and hand their medications either through a window or they may pop the trunk. It is important to record the number of vehicles that attend each site and the times they attend. At the sites where there is not a pharmacist or pharmacy student, the medications can be examined by a Drug Officer.
Learn more on what your family can do to prepare for a damaging earthquake in Greater Victoria. This HIRA is a reference document for application at the provincial level; however, the process described herein can be adopted at ministry, municipal, community, or private sector levels.
It is a risk assessment tool that can be used to assess which hazards pose the greatest risk in terms of how likely they are to occur and how great their potential impact on public safety may be. The first step outlined by the Act to reduce risks is to identify the hazards and assess their associated risks to determine which hazards are most likely to result in an emergency.
The purpose of a HIRA is to anticipate future emergency situations and to identify which hazards should be considered a priority at a particular point in time for emergency management programs. The HIRA can provide all levels with guidance on how to undertake their own risk assessments which can lead to consistent assessments and improved information on risk. The new Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act laid the foundation for a coordinated provincial mitigation strategy.
Since there may be different ways in which a hazard may occur and many different types of damages, it is important to learn all of the potential causes and vulnerabilities which may lead to each hazard occurring as an emergency situation.
The likelihood of the hazard occurring at an intensity that could result in damage, the potential impacts of the hazard on people, property, the environment, business and finance and critical infrastructure should be examined.
In the agricultural sector, the concern is with events which threaten agricultural production and livelihoods in such a way as to constitute emergencies. An animal disease may be introduced through living animals, animal products and by-products, people and other species (including insects) and contaminated objects (OMAFRA, 2009). For example, there are 16 subtypes of avian influenza, most of which only infect birds, however, the H5N1 and H7N1 subtypes have been known to be contagious to humans since it tends to acquire genes from viruses that infect other species. Animal disease has the potential to cause socio-economic damage for an area that relies heavily on the livestock and livestock products industry.
Generally events relating to physical contamination of food are not widespread, but may pose serious risk to human health and can result in consumer fears and lack of confidence in the food supply. The people most at risk of contacting disease are those who work with the afflicted animal species or their products and by-products. The demand for Canadian agricultural exports related to those species affected by a disease outbreak would decrease.
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs monitors agricultural plant disease and pest infestations and has published guidelines for the management of outbreaks. For example, an infestation of the Asian long horn beetle could result in the death of hundreds of trees in an area which could then provide more fuel for a potential forest fire. An outbreak could force the closure of the Ontario market for export to other provinces or countries.
Proper disposal is an important step in lowering these levels to protect the health and safety of Canadians. Each prescription drug return initiative in this handbook differs in their approach and has been successful in overcoming challenges such as funding pressures, legal issues concerning the transportation and destruction of pharmaceuticals, and the competing priorities and mandates of partner organizations. For the Take Back Days, law enforcement representatives must be present at all take back locations. Their Take Back Day information is in turn entered into an online public database so that individuals are able to locate the collection sites nearest them.
Drug Enforcement Administration's National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days that have been held successfully twice a year throughout the United States since 2009. This greatly reduced the amount of medications that could be misused or diverted in the Niagara region.
The collection boxes are locked and securely mounted to prevent removal of the box or removal of medication from within the box without a key. After the initial launch of the program through the website and distribution of the flyer, promotional activities (such as radio advertising) continued on a regular basis for about 8 months.
The CCPS also created a bilingual pamphlet for the program; a copy of this pamphlet is available below. Their website also offers lists of pharmacies that will accept medication returns in some provinces. Nine videos were submitted; a shortened version of the winning video was broadcast on television and is posted on the internet, receiving a consistent number of daily plays. The EII expects to hold broad consultations in 2013 to inform the possible development of new or updated non-regulatory initiatives.
The purpose was to promote multi-sectoral dialogue, to share information and local responses related the misuse of pharmaceuticals, and to identify areas for further action.
The Strategy will be finalized by the end of this calendar year and will stipulate specific short, medium and long term actions that can be readily put in place to prevent and reduce prescription drug misuse including those referenced in this resolution. The collection site should be easily identified by the placement of marked police vehicles, a canopy with tables and chairs and a Prescription Drug Drop-Off Day sign.
For officer safety and community safety it is important that people do not exit their vehicles. If the officer can positively identify medications as narcotic, then they can be separated from the non-narcotic medications and they too will be weighed separately.
This can be done by recording a pill count, or in the case of narcotic liquid medications, by using an estimated ounce dosage remaining in the bottle. During the initial examining area, the contents of the items for examination should be closely scrutinized to prevent unintentional breakages of the skin or perforation of the gloves. Updates will be widely distributed across Ontario to assist emergency managers when reviewing their HIRA documents. When hazards are identified as having a high level of risk, emergency management programs should attempt to minimize this risk through prevention, preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery measures.
In order to do this in a successful manner, systematic risk assessments (such as a HIRA) can be used to shift the focus of emergency management programs away from being merely reactive to also being pro-active.
It must be remembered that new hazards may emerge or evolve over time and that emergency management tools and processes may alter the hazards’ priority in subsequent revisions. A trend is also apparent concerning growing Provincial vulnerability to some hazards due to changing factors such as population density, urbanization, technology dependence, as well as threats of sabotage and terrorism. This step may involve the consultation of the scientific community, insurance companies, historical records and government agencies.
It is important to be as through as possible since the information gathered at this step will be critical in assisting decision makers in identifying which risks will not be considered tolerable.
Most often, agricultural events which constitute emergencies do so because they are likely to lead to food emergencies through their effect on food security. The H5N1 and H7N1 subtypes of avian influenza can lead to severe illness and death in humans. Some animal diseases may have a negative environmental impact if they can be transmitted between livestock and wildlife. Food contamination by physical means may be the result of processing errors, sabotage or terrorism and such risks need to be given due consideration along with microbial and chemical agents. Invasive species in particular are a growing concern since many native species are susceptible and have not evolved proper defences. It is very unlikely that there would be many fatalities due to the small group of people at risk compared to the general population, unless the disease is able to be transmitted easily from human to human. Food shortages are unlikely in Canada since the wealth of the country allows for the importation of food. While diversity of plant species can help to lower the risk of a plant disease or pest infestation having a major negative impact on the economy and human health, a greater number of diverse agricultural products also brings new disease detection and control challenges. Depending on the type and extent of the disease or pest, tourism and other industries may also be affected. These include undertaking research to better understand the implications of prescription drug misuse on police resources, and facilitating increased communication between police and health officials, including undertaking joint awareness and prevention campaigns.
Each initiative may offer valuable tips for others who may wish to undertake a similar initiative. The DEA Divisional Offices provide supplies such as boxes, printed materials, vehicles, etc. This database is available to the public approximately six weeks prior to the take back day and can also be accessed by phone for those who do not have internet access.
It is hoped that this Drug Drop Day will serve as a pilot for other jurisdictions and that it will be held on a regular basis in the Niagara region.
As syringes cannot be placed in the drop boxes, bulk sharps disposal containers have been installed at each deposit location.
Recreational use seems to be most prevalent among youth - according to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, in 2009, 20% of students in grades 7-12 reported using at least one prescription drug without a doctor's prescription.
Where a medication has been identified as a narcotic prescription, this substance shall be taken to a further examining area where the medication can be counted and recorded by the pharmacist.
The addition of a pro-active approach to emergency management through a stronger focus on prevention, preparedness, mitigation, in addition to response and recovery can result in a more disaster-resilient Province of Ontario.
Over time with subsequent revisions, as the various hazards are identified as priorities for emergency management programs and actions are taken that alter and minimize their risk, all hazards will eventually be cycled through and examined. Seasonal weather patterns can increase or decrease the risk of plant disease and pest infestation.
In this case, it would cease to be classified as an animal disease and would then be classified as a human health emergency. Consumer confidence may also be lost and consumers may avoid purchasing products that they believe to be risk. However, the shortage of a major staple could result in an increase in price and demand for alternative foods. The public can also lose faith in the government and its ability to regulate under such circumstances. The introduction of new species, new genetic lineages, increased international trade and travel, can result in the introduction of new diseases and pests (referred to as exotic or invasive species) or an increase in established ones. The DEA is also responsible for the transportation and destruction of the collected materials at EPA approved facilities.
Narcotic medications shall be placed into one of the provided Stericycle boxes and kept separate from the other medications. An ongoing HIRA process will eventually address all of the identified hazards since as the risk of a particular hazard decreases, it will score lower in the next HIRA revision, allowing another set of hazards to be focused on. New hazards and risks may emerge or unknown hazards which have existed in the past, before there were records, may re-emerge. In particular, extreme temperatures, drought or severe precipitation can influence the number and distribution of diseases and pests.
Mental health problems may arise, especially among people whose livelihood is dependant on livestock operations. This was seen during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic when pork sales declined in several different countries despite assurances from the World Health Organization and governments that pork was safe. Invasive species can be introduced to Ontario in many different ways including natural migration, through product packaging and through transportation (cargo containers, baggage, etc.).
If the medications are deemed to be non-narcotic, they are simply placed in another Stericycle box. It is important to note that plant diseases and pest infestations can affect both agricultural (e.g. The speed of travel in particular, has allowed insects and other pests to make trips of greater distances than they would have been able to survive in the past.



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