30-hour exercise to test Simcoe County's disaster strategy
Sean Grech, CTV Barrie
Published Wednesday, October 4, 2017 5:09PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 4, 2017 6:38PM EDT
A 30-hour exercise is underway to test how emergency responders, relief workers and officials will provide help during a crisis.
The Innisfil Recreational Complex has been transformed into an evacuation centre. In this case, people affected by an ice storm are arriving to get basic necessities and medical care.
"If we are not ready to provide care to the most vulnerable members of our community then lives become at risk," says Cathy Clark, emergency planner for Simcoe County.
The Salvation Army is providing all the food, while the Red Cross supplies the cots for people to sleep on.
“We know that not every family is completely prepared to stay at home,” says Clark. “We've had this emergency social services plan in place since 2006. This is the second time we've done a full test of it; the first time overnight.”
It wasn’t too long ago that the region experienced this very disaster. A March ice storm in 2016 left thousands of people in the dark for days during Easter.
“Fortunately we didn't have to set up an emergency evacuation centre, but all it would take is one more ice storm and we would have to go through this," says Tim McCallum, Innisfil’s deputy fire chief.
Simcoe County emergency planning officials say it has 30 approved evacuation centres across the region, where people can get access to food and shelter.