EX43.3

ACTION 

Amended 

 

Ward: All 

Review of the City of Toronto's Emergency Response to the December 2013 Ice Storm

Committee Recommendations

The Executive Committee recommends that:

 

Emergency Preparedness and Response:

 

1.         City Council direct the City Manager, in consultation with applicable City divisions, agencies and corporations, to update the City of Toronto Emergency Plan and its Operational Support Functions and Risk Specific Plans, as per the recommendations detailed in Appendix 1 to the report (June 17, 2014) from the City Manager and Deputy City Managers.

 

2.         City Council direct the City Manager, in consultation with applicable City divisions, agencies and corporations, and partners, the Canadian Red Cross etc., to enhance emergency staffing capacity and maintain, at a minimum, five-deep staffing levels to ensure sufficient redundancy for the Emergency Operation Centre and at Emergency Reception Centres, and to advance training of required staff throughout the balance of 2014 using existing staff training resources.

 

3.         City Council direct the Deputy City Manager, Cluster B to develop a proactive public education and awareness program to increase the awareness of residents and businesses on emergency preparedness measures and information in consultation with Toronto Hydro and other partners as appropriate. 

4.         City Council request that the Toronto Police Service Board direct the Chief, Toronto Police Service to work with the City Manager to develop emergency response protocols to ensure Police Officers are available to direct and control the City's highest priority traffic intersections in the event of power outages during emergency events.

 5.        City Council direct the Deputy City Manager, Cluster B, in consultation with all relevant City divisions, agencies and corporations, to develop a standardized process for the post-emergency review and evaluation of the City of Toronto’s response to emergency events, incorporating elements recommended through the third party peer review. 

Supports for Vulnerable Populations: 

6.         City Council direct the Deputy City Manager, Cluster A and the Director, Office of Emergency Management, in consultation with all relevant City divisions, agencies and corporations, to establish an Emergency Human Services working group and to explore the formation of an Emergency Response Agreement with the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network, Findhelp Information Services (211), and other community-based agencies to improve implementation of the Vulnerable Persons Protocol and increase access to services for vulnerable residents during an emergency situation. 

7.         City Council direct the Deputy City Manager, Cluster A to pre-identify appropriate Community Recreation facilities to be used as Emergency Reception Centres and develop facility specific plans, including the provision of back-up power, for operational response during an emergency event. 

Emergency Communications: 

8.         City Council direct the City Manager to continue to work in collaboration with staff from Toronto Hydro, the Red Cross and other members of the City's Emergency Risk communicators' network to identify opportunities to expand and strengthen the communications tactics and communications channels that can be utilized to more effectively communicate with the public, particularly vulnerable populations, during an extended power disruption. 

9.         City Council direct the City Manager and City Clerk, in consultation with City of Toronto Councillors, the Office of Emergency Management and Strategic Communications, to develop a new Councillor Co-ordination Operational Support Function (OSF) document to support the role of Councillors during an emergency event, including protocols for the co-ordination and dissemination of information and the development of appropriate processes for training. 

10.       City Council request the City Manager to include in any enhanced emergency communications strategies, such as those suggested in Recommendations 8 and 9, the provision of American Sign Language (ASL) in televised updates and announcements.

 

311 Toronto and Toronto Hydro Contact Centre Co-ordination: 

11.       City Council request that City (311 Toronto) and Toronto Hydro expedite the development and execution of a Memorandum of Understanding that formally documents the expectations and actions of both organizations to ensure co-ordination of communications, information and requests for service related to power outages for localized and widespread events. 

Urban Forestry and Infrastructure Resiliency: 

12.       City Council direct the Deputy City Manager, Cluster A, in consultation with Urban Forestry, to work with Toronto Hydro to review current line clearing programs with respect to best practices and report back to City Council in the first quarter of 2015 on identified opportunities to enhance co-ordination of activities to more effectively manage the potential impact of trees in close proximity to hydro lines. 

13.       City Council request Toronto Hydro, in consultation with the City (Urban Forestry) to explore the use of infrastructure that is resilient to power outages associated with tree contact, which reduces line clearing requirements and the associated adverse impact on trees, when replacing or installing new above ground infrastructure. 

14.       City Council support Toronto Hydro's inclusion of $70 to $75 million over five years for the conversion of overhead hydro lines to underground as part of its 2015-2019 rate application to the Ontario Energy Board, and request that Toronto Hydro work with the City (Urban Forestry) to review and identify potential future priorities, where conversion of overhead lines to underground would most significantly improve the resiliency of the electrical-supply in Toronto. 

Provincial Requests: 

15.       City Council request that the Province of Ontario expand the existing provisions in the Ontario Building Code to require continuous power supply for back-up generators in certain building types (i.e., buildings more than six storeys, care occupancies and hospitals). 

16.       City Council direct the Deputy City Manager and Chief Financial Officer to report to Budget Committee once confirmation of Ice Storm expenditure reimbursements through the Provincial Ice Storm Assistance Program are received, including a funding plan for any submitted expenditures that are deemed ineligible for reimbursement under the Program. 

 

Other:

 

17.       City Council request the City Manager to report to the Executive Committee on the status of the implementation of all the above Recommendations in the second quarter of 2015.

 

18.       City Council receive the report (June 24, 2014) from the City Manager [Item EX43.3a] for information.

Decision Advice and Other Information

The City Manager gave a presentation to the Executive Committee on December 2013 Ice Storm - City of Toronto's Emergency Response Review.

 

The President and Chief Executive Officer, Toronto Hydro gave a presentation to the Executive Committee on Ice Storm Independent Panel Review Report Briefing.

 

The Chair, Independent Review Panel gave a presentation to the Executive Committee on Toronto Hydro Response to December 2013 Ice Storm - Independent Review Panel Report.

Origin
(June 17, 2014) Report from the City Manager and the Deputy City Managers
Summary

In response to the extreme ice storm that occurred on the evening of December 21, 2013 through December 22, 2013, a Special City Council meeting was held on January 10 and 13, 2014, at which time a number of resolutions were adopted following Council's consideration of the City Manager's report entitled Impacts from the December 2013 Extreme Winter Storm Event on the City of Toronto (CC46.1). 

 

The City Manager's report entitled December 2013 Extreme Winter Storm Event – Provincial Funding Request and Structure of Comprehensive Reviews (EX39.3) was considered on April 1, 2 and 3, 2014 and provided an update on the City's request for financial assistance from the Province and outlined the City's process to review its emergency response to the Ice Storm.

 

This report responds to Council's requests and provides the outcomes of the City's review of the emergency response. Included are a series of recommendations in six broad categories to improve the City's ability to mitigate, prepare for, respond to and recover from future emergencies.  Additional information is provided on changes to the City’s Emergency Plan and on the status of the City’s request to the Province for reimbursement of Ice Storm related costs through the Ice Storm Assistance Program.

 

1.         Emergency Preparedness and Response

 

Emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility amongst the City, its divisions, agencies and corporations, the Province, businesses, and individual residents.  To increase preparedness for future emergencies, including power outages, this report recommends enhanced public education and awareness initiatives that provide critical information to City of Toronto residents and businesses.

 

To ensure there are sufficient resources available to manage prolonged city-wide emergencies, this report also recommends enhanced staff training and a commitment from City divisions, agencies and corporations for staffing plans that, at a minimum, provide a five-deep staffing redundancy for positions within the Emergency Operation Centre and at Reception Centres.

 

Following the review of the City’s emergency response, which included an evaluation of the effectiveness of the Emergency Plan and its Operational Support Functions and Risk Specific Plan for Power Outages, this report recommends that the Emergency Plan be updated to incorporate lessons learned and that the City’s process for the review of future emergencies be further enhanced and standardized.

 

2.         Supports for Vulnerable Populations

 

To more effectively meet the needs of the City’s most vulnerable, and recognizing that this responsibility is shared with the Province, this report recommends the establishing an Emergency Human Services working group and exploring the development of an Emergency Response Agreement with the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network, Findhelp Information Services (211), and other community-based health and social service agencies.

 

In addition, this report recommends that City staff pre-identify appropriate City-owned facilities to be used as Emergency Reception Centres for future emergencies using appropriate site selection criteria.  The sites selected will be equipped with back-up power and have supplies and equipment pre-assigned, and facility specific plans will be developed to more effectively respond to broader and prolonged emergency situations.

 

3.         Emergency Communications

 

The ability to communicate broadly to the public during prolonged and widespread power outages is a significant concern for our residents and Council.  This report recommends the development of new and enhanced tactics and channels to more effectively communicate to the public during power outages, including broader messaging through traditional media and social media and posting of emergency notices in community facilities.  City staff will also engage building operators and the business community to co-ordinate the posting of emergency information for their residents and customers.

 

In response to requests to improve communications with City Councillors, this report recommends the development of a new Emergency Plan Operational Support Function that will provide greater clarity on the role of City Councillors during emergencies and establish clear communication protocols.

 

4.         311 Toronto and Toronto Hydro Contact Centre Co-ordination

 

A number of areas have been identified in which co-ordination can be improved between 311 Toronto and Toronto Hydro’s Contact Centre.  This report recommends that Toronto Hydro and 311 Toronto develop a Memorandum of Understanding that formally documents expectations during power outages to improve services to residents.

 

5.         Urban Forestry and Infrastructure Resiliency

 

The Ice Storm resulted in wide-spread power outages primarily due to ice accumulation and fallen trees and tree limbs that damaged power distribution lines.  In order to minimize potential impacts from similar future events, this report recommends that the City and Toronto Hydro work together to improve the resiliency of hydro distribution lines by:

 

-           reviewing current line clearing practices to more effectively manage trees in close proximity to hydro lines;

-           exploring the potential use of more resilient infrastructure when above ground hydro lines are replaced or newly installed; and

-           identifying targeted priorities for the conversion of overhead hydro distribution lines to underground including critical facilities such as hospitals, water treatment plants, etc.

 

The City and Toronto Hydro will also co-ordinate on the implementation of recommended actions outlined in the Toronto Hydro Independent Review Panel Report, The Response of Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited to the December 2013 Ice Storm.   The Report’s key areas of findings and recommendations include Communications, Information Systems, Vegetation Management, System Hardening, and Resilience.

 

6.         Provincial Requests

 

In response to requests from Council regarding back-up power, particularly in high-rise buildings, this report recommends that the City request the Province to expand the existing provisions of the Building Code to require continuous back-up power in buildings more than six stories in height and/or in facilities such as hospitals and care centres.

 

The City has also submitted its Expression of Interest for reimbursement of ice storm related expenditures through the Province’s Ice Storm Assistance Program.  Current costs estimates for the City, excluding costs to Toronto Hydro, revenue losses, and tree replacement, are $77.2 million.  This report recommends that the Deputy City Manager and Chief Financial Officer report to Budget Committee once confirmation of reimbursements under the Program are received, including a funding plan for any submitted expenditures that are deemed ineligible.

 

This report focuses primarily on the City's emergency response to the December 2013 Ice Storm. Other reports prepared by City staff that relate to the City's resiliency to our changing climate and the City's response to cold weather emergencies will be considered along with this report at the Council Meeting scheduled for on July 8, 2014.

Background Information
(June 17, 2014) Report and Appendices 1, 2 and 3 from the City Manager and the Deputy City Managers
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2014/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-70933.pdf)

(June 18, 2014) Appendix 4 - PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP Peer Review of the City's Emergency Management Program Review
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2014/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-70908.pdf)

(May 1, 2014) Appendix 5 - Province of Ontario May 2014 Program Update
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2014/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-70934.pdf)

(July 2, 2014) Presentation from the City Manager on December 2013 Ice Storm - City of Toronto's Emergency Response Review
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2014/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-71052.pdf)

(July 2, 2014) Presentation from Anthony Haines, President and Chief Executive Officer, Toronto Hydro on Ice Storm Independent Panel Review Report Briefing
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2014/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-71053.pdf)

(July 2, 2014) Presentation from the Independent Review Panel on Toronto Hydro Response to December 2013 Ice Storm Independent Review Panel Report
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2014/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-71054.pdf)

Communications
(July 2, 2014) Letter from John Camilleri, Cupe Local 1 (EX.New.EX43.3.1)
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2014/ex/comm/communicationfile-48448.pdf)

Speakers

John Camilleri, President, CUPE Local 1
Katrina Miller
Councillor Sarah Doucette
Councillor Janet  Davis
Councillor Frances Nunziata
Councillor Paula Fletcher
Councillor Shelley Carroll

Motions
1 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Peter Leon (Carried)

That City Council request the City Manager to include in any enhanced emergency communications strategies such as those suggested in Recommendations 8 and 9, the provision of American Sign Language (ASL) in televised updates and announcements.


2 - Motion to Amend Item moved by Councillor Vincent Crisanti (Carried)

That Recommendation 11 be amended to read as follows:

 

11.       City Council direct the Deputy City Manager of Cluster A, in consultation with Urban Forestry, to work with Toronto Hydro to review current line clearing programs with respect to best practices and report back to Council in the first quarter of 2015 on identified opportunities to enhance co-ordination of activities to more effectively manage the potential impact of trees in close proximity to hydro lines


3 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Deputy Mayor Norman Kelly (Carried)

That City Council request the City Manager to report to the Executive Committee on the status of the implementation of all the Recommendations above in the second quarter of 2015.


4 - Motion to Amend Item moved by Deputy Mayor Norman Kelly (Carried)

That Recommendation 9 be amended to read as follows:

 

9.         City Council direct the City Manager and City Clerk, in consultation with City of Toronto Councillors, the Office of Emergency Management and Strategic Communications, to develop a new Councillor Co-ordination Operational Support Function (OSF) document to support the role of Councillors during an emergency event including protocols for the co-ordination and dissemination of information and the development of appropriate processes for training.


5 - Motion to Adopt Item as Amended moved by Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong (Carried)

3a Transmittal of Toronto Hydro’s Independent Review Panel Report - The Response of Toronto Hydro-Electrical System Limited to the December 2013 Ice Storm
Origin
(June 24, 2014) Report from the City Manager
Summary

The ice storm that occurred in Toronto in late December 2013 caused widespread electricity outages and disrupted the lives of thousands of Torontonians.  Approximately 416,000 Toronto Hydro customers lost power at one point during the ice storm, which affected more than one million City residents.

 

In January, Toronto Hydro commissioned an Independent Review Panel to look at Toronto Hydro’s performance during the storm and to confirm practices that worked well and identify areas in need of improvement.  The Independent Review Panel worked closely with Davies Consulting on the design and approach of the review and then on the identification of findings and the development of 25 recommendations for consideration by Toronto Hydro Management.  The Independent Review Panel Report, The Response of Toronto Hydro-Electrical System Limited to the December 2013 Ice Storm, was released publically on June 18, 2014.

 

As requested by Council at its meeting January 10 and 13, 2014, this report transmits the findings of Toronto Hydro’s Independent Panel to Council for information.

Background Information
(June 24, 2014) Report from the City Manager on Transmittal of Toronto Hydro’s Independent Review Panel Report: The Response of Toronto Hydro-Electrical System Limited to the December 2013 Ice Storm
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2014/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-70975.pdf)

(June 24, 2014) Attachment 1 - Transmittal letter, dated June 24, 2014, from Toronto Hydro President and CEO Re: Independent Review Panel - Final Report
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2014/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-70997.pdf)

(June 19, 2014) Attachment 2 - Toronto Hydro Independent Review Panel Report, The Response of Toronto Hydro-Electrical System Limited to the December 2013 Ice Storm
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2014/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-70991.pdf)