City of Barrie looks at what it got right, and what needs to change after July tornado
In the aftermath of a devastating EF-2 tornado that stormed through a south-end neighbourhood in Barrie, members of the Emergency Control Group are working to create a plan to improve how it responds to a natural disaster.
In a release on Wednesday, the City of Barrie said that while things "went well," there are "areas for improvement."
The City said it asked for feedback from the Municipal Emergency Control Group members and other key players involved in the incident about what worked and what needed to change.
"One theme that was consistent with most of the feedback was how quickly the City responded," the release stated.
The positive feedback focused on the quick decision to create a virtual emergency operations centre, setting up an onsite trailer at a local school for residents, and the site cleanup efforts.
"While the consensus is we managed the incident effectively, there are still areas we could further refine," the City said.
Donations from the community quickly overwhelmed City workers, who said the support was "much appreciated," but admitted, "it did become challenging at times to coordinate."
The Salvation Army was called in to take over managing the needs of residents and became a point-of-contact for supports.
The City said it could consider forming an official agreement with the Salvation Army for large-scale emergencies.
The Emergency Control Group comprises of City senior staff, the Fire Chief, the Barrie Police Chief and representatives from the Barrie fire department.
The tornado ripped through dozens of homes, leaving multiple families displaced on July 15 in the Prince William Way neighbourhood.
The powerful storm resulted in $75 million in insurance claims.
More than 50 homes still need work, from remedial to demolition.
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