Exercise "Howling Wind" proved a successful test of Halton’s emergency response

Exercise "Howling Wind" proved a successful test of Halton’s emergency response

Release Date: Nov 21, 2013

On November 19, 2013, Halton Region, the Town of Halton Hills and local emergency staff and officials participated in Exercise “Howling Wind” as part of emergency exercise programs. As the name suggests, participants responded to a simulated community emergency – a large, area-wide power black-out that lasted several days – the result of a damaging hurricane and floods that swept across the Region.

“In Halton our emergency response partners, the Halton Regional Police Service, the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Milton and the Town of Oakville, work together to plan for and manage emergencies,” said Regional Chair Gary Carr. “This exercise helped us fulfill legislated requirements, provided staff training and helped sharpen our emergency response capabilities. We learned some valuable insights that will allow us to be even better prepared in the case of a real emergency and continue as a leader in emergency preparedness.”

Members of Halton’s Regional Emergency Control Group, comprising elected officials and staff from across the Region, Halton Regional Police Service, the Regional Fire Coordinator/Milton Fire Chief and members of the Town of Halton Hills Emergency Control Group were asked to respond to the scenario as they would during a real event. They used resources that would normally be available in a real situation, including radio communication and the Community Emergency Notification System (CENS), which provides the Region and emergency partners with the ability to phone homes and businesses in an impacted area in the event of an emergency.

Earlier this month, Halton Region launched an improved CENS service using an enhanced database that includes contact information for more than 95 per cent of Halton residents and businesses with traditional land line telephone service. Halton is one of the first Canadian municipalities to have access to this enhanced data for use in its CENS, one of many tools Halton and its Emergency Response partners use to notify residents in situations such as emergencies and public safety incidents. For more information on CENS visit www.halton.ca/cens.

Young child playing with a toy train as her mother watches her
Regional Chair Gary Carr and Chief of Police Stephen Tanner participate in Exercise “Howling Wind” as part of Halton Region’s emergency exercise programs.

For more information about Halton’s Emergency Management Program and to download or order Halton’s Personal Emergency Preparedness Guide, visit www.halton.ca/beprepared or dial 311. Follow @BPreparedHalton on Twitter for incident updates and preparedness tips.

The Regional Municipality of Halton serves more than 500,000 residents in the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Milton, and the Town of Oakville. Halton Region is committed to meeting the needs of its residents through the delivery of cost-effective, quality programs and services, including water and wastewater; Regional roads and planning; paramedic services; waste management; public health; social assistance; children’s and seniors’ services; housing services; heritage programs; emergency management and economic development. For more information, dial 311 or visit Halton Region’s website at www.halton.ca.

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Media Contacts:
Nick Buczynsky, ABCP
Community Emergency Management Coordinator
Halton Region
nick.buczynsky@halton.ca
905-825-6167
1-866-442-5866

Anna Larson
Communications Specialist
Policy Integration and Communications
Halton Region
905-825-6000, ext. 7851
anna.larson@halton.ca