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CASUAL LEGAL: The Requirements of an Emergency Plan under the Emergency Management Act and Regulations

July 6, 2021

The Requirements of an Emergency Plan under the Emergency Management Act and Regulations

By Breanne Schwanak

Reynolds Mirth Richards Farmer LLP

AMSC Casual Legal Service Provider

 

A few weeks ago, we talked about the roles and responsibilities of the Emergency Advisory Committee (the “Committee”) and Emergency Management Agency (the “Agency”) under the Emergency Management Act (the “Act”) and the Local Authority Emergency Management Regulation (the “Regulation”). This week we will focus on the requirement under the Act and Regulation for a local authority to prepare an emergency plan and the necessary contents of the plan.

Section 11 of the Act requires a local authority, defined as the council of a municipality, to approve emergency plans and programs, in accordance with the regulations. Section 4 of the Regulation sets out what must form part of the local authority’s emergency plan, which includes:

•    a description of the administration of the local authority’s emergency management program;

•    the procedures for implementing the emergency plan during an emergency or exercise response;

•    the local authority’s plan for preparedness, response and recovery activities;

•    a hazard and risk assessment;

•    emergency management program exercises that the local authority will engage in;

•    the Agency’s plan for regular review and maintenance of the local authority’s emergency plan;

•    the Agency’s plan for the review and maintenance of the local authority’s emergency plan after an exercise, emergency or disaster;

•    how the command, control and coordination system prescribed by the Managing Director of the Alberta Emergency Management Agency (i.e., the Incident Command System, as set out in the ICS Canada Operational Description) will be used by the Agency;

•    the assignment of responsibilities to local authority employees and elected officials, by position, respecting the implementation of the local authority’s emergency plan;

•    a training plan for staff assigned with responsibilities under the local authority’s emergency plan;

•    the mechanisms that will be used to prepare and maintain an emergency management staff contact list for employees and elected officials who have been assigned responsibilities;

•    the local authority’s plan for communications, public alerts and notifications during exercises, emergencies and disasters; and,

•    the local authority’s plan for providing emergency social services during an emergency or disaster.

Section 5 of the Regulation specifies that the Agency must review the local authority’s emergency plan at least once per year, and must make the emergency plan available to the Alberta Emergency Management Agency for review and comment annually.


To access AMSC’s Casual Legal Helpline, AUMA members can call toll-free to 1-800-661-7673 or email casuallegal@amsc.ca and reach the municipal legal experts at Reynolds Mirth Richards and Farmer LLP. For more information on the Casual Legal Service, please contact riskcontrol@auma.ca, or call 310-AUMA (2862) to speak to AUMA’s Risk Management staff. Any Regular or Associate member of the AUMA can access the Casual Legal Service.

DISCLAIMER: This article is meant to provide information only and is not intended to provide legal advice. You should seek the advice of legal counsel to address your specific set of circumstances. Although every effort has been made to provide current and accurate information, changes to the law may cause the information in this article to be outdated.