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What if....A Super disaster? Impact on Canada or the world? Napkin speculation

daftandbarmy

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Volcanic ash is very fertile and would probably improve the crop yields so long as it isn't too deep to till initially and machinery can be protected from it.

monty python GIF


😁

Indeed:

“It is a curious feature of our existance that we come from a planet that is very good at promoting life but even better at extinguishing it.”

― Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything
 

daftandbarmy

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Just in time for Halloween... imagining the 'Full Monty' disaster ;)

A massive earthquake hits B.C. — but what happens next?​


Nearly a year after devastating floods hit B.C., emergency planners are imagining how a catastrophic earthquake could be made worse by a changing climate.

 

Booter

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I was only familiar with CAN-TF3. Their pay cheques come from City Hall. I doubt they GAF about party politics...
What’s the size of that team? My experience with that stuff is they aren’t nearly large enough to handle a “super disaster”. I would suggest that Canada has no capability for that.

For example, a certain provinces HAZMAT on call is two guys on call- for the province without permission to be more than two hours from the provincial capital.
 

Halifax Tar

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Don't forget if BC goes down the tube the USA is also probably busy with their share of the disaster.

I imagine we (Canada) would be on our own for sometime.
 

mariomike

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What’s the size of that team?



CAN-TF3 is operated by Toronto Fire Services, in collaboration with Toronto Police Service and Toronto EMS created to deal with search and rescue operations in the City of Toronto.[1] This specialized unit was created following the September 11 attacks in New York City, United States and allows the city to deal with large-scale disasters. The unit can respond to situations outside of the city, and offer provincial, national, as well as international assistance.

The capabilities of Toronto HUSAR include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Physical search and rescue operations in damaged/collapsed structures
  • Paramedic care to the injured
  • Paramedic care to the disaster response personnel
  • Reconnaissance to assess the damages and needs and provide feedback to local, provincial, and federal officials
  • Assessment of utilities to houses and buildings
  • Hazardous material surveys/evaluations
  • Structural/hazard evaluations of government/municipal buildings needed for immediate occupancy to support disaster relief operations
  • Stabilization of damaged structures, including shoring, cribbing operations on damaged buildings
  • Water/ice rescue operations

  • CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radioactive, Nuclear & Explosive) - Specially-trained paramedics operate together with elements of the Toronto Police Service and Toronto Fire Services to provide a joint-service Terrorism/Hazardous Materials Response team.
I was on the bus and truck division. Only had a passing familiarity with departmental HUSAR, CBRNE, ETF, PSU, ERU, Marine etc. operations.
 

Booter

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It’s not a capability question, I can have a member trained in a very specific task- so I can have the capability to do something- but the realistic scope and sustainability of the capability is a different question,

130 members is larger than I expected however. I suppose they probably exist under the expectation of being a force multiplier. Being to coach and create new members out of local assets,
 

foresterab

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I haven't worked with CANTF-3 but did work with CANTF-2 (City of Calgary based) a couple of years ago. They sent 25? folks out to a wildfire, despite having no experience with fires, and did an excellent job because they were there to enable the additional specialist knowledge they knew they did not have and to provide support in a resource shortage. I would like to assume CANTF-3 would be of equal standards but not sure how much experience they've received.

Unfortunately at a 130 member team I'm guessing that's at best only good for 1 or best case 2 deployments before they man out. There is both the incident command post to be manned plus there will be a local Emergency Operations Center and possibly a provincial Operations Center....all of which will need augmentation and generally of highly skilled specialists. Think of taking CFB Gagetown staff, including all units, and then saying I need 10-15 field grade officers for the emergency center (by skill set not rank) plus the same for the incident command post plus a few more at provincial headquarters. You can still go but it's now a huge chunk of your leadership positions occupied by the deployment while the remainder of the team fill sub-functions or don't deploy due to unneeded skill sets and most likely you're looking at the next Roto to be a fresh team.

A type 1 IMT team is often 25-50 people as just the core structure deploying. In the major incident example you might have a IMT at the EOC + an IMT supervising multiple regional IMT's. Don'[t really want to think how that deployment would be....
 

mariomike

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- but the realistic scope and sustainability of the capability is a different question,

Real world capability? I remember the strain we were under just to respond to "little" things. Like traffic accidents.

I do not recall anything I would descibe as a major disaster. But, privately, I don't think many of us had much confidence we had the human resources available to handle one.
 

mariomike

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I haven't worked with CANTF-3 but did work with CANTF-2 (City of Calgary based) a couple of years ago.

CAN TF-3 deployed to Elliot Lake, ON.

 

daftandbarmy

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Real world capability? I remember the strain we were under just to respond to "little" things. Like traffic accidents.

I do not recall anything I would descibe as a major disaster. But, privately, I don't think many of us had much confidence we had the human resources available to handle one.

I saw the Vancouver HUSAR team once during an exercise. They're about platoon strength I think. Lots of cool gear, but a tiny organization.

During a major disaster they'd be pretty much useless IMHO. You'd need about a Brigade's worth of resources to make even a small dent in the disaster response requirements for a major urban centre.
 

foresterab

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I saw the Vancouver HUSAR team once during an exercise. They're about platoon strength I think. Lots of cool gear, but a tiny organization.

During a major disaster they'd be pretty much useless IMHO. You'd need about a Brigade's worth of resources to make even a small dent in the disaster response requirements for a major urban centre.
I was thinking of Horse River in 2016 - Fort Mac Murray.

Provincial Operating Center in Edmonton - 1-2 folks per agency + specialist inputs to brief Premier/Cabinet/MLA's.

Emergency Operating Center - Formed on the basis of local agency (in this case MD of Wood Buffalo) and has the function of coordinating multiple responses and "big picture" stuff. These are the folks who were dealing with re-entry plans, water treatment plant checks, Immigration services at the airport...the strategic framework for smaller unit to work towards achieving goals.

Incident Management Team on site.
  1. Note due to complexity you're now talking not just an Incident commander but also deputies (of similar skill set) and possibly 24 hour operations (so relief shifts). Type 1 IC's are a rare bird...and if you need 4 for a single roto it's going to be extra tough.
  2. Very few agencies have enough staff to deploy a complete team. Composite teams are common and in some cases almost better so you have transition on extended operations.
  3. Span of control can be a limiting factor. ICS uses a max of 7 subordinates and qualifications usually increase quickly as you move up.
    1. Section by MCpl/Sgt supervised by Lt/Sgt at Platoon level to Captain/Company level to Battalion command. That's the same to me as firecrew leader being supervised by strike team leader reporting to a Division supervisor. And I still have Branch Supervisor before the Operations Chief and IC.
    2. What degree of equivalent experience are you willing to accept? Wildfire has a long history of exchanging resources and frankly there's enough ties with Armed Forces to understand the command chain. But what about your local municipality?
  4. Design of the IMT can drastically vary. Are you doing it by function/Branch (fire, security, medical, recovery?) or area/Division (North Vancouver vs. Surrey). Qualification and resource needs will not be the same in all functions.
  5. What are the logistical constraints of what you can host? You're not going to be dealing with 10's of people incoming but 100's or 1000's.
  6. Or is it a case of one IMT whose job is coordinate sub IMT's (of lower complexity) to chew things into more managed chunks? For example CANTF3 comes in and establishes overall IMT support while then breaking the incident into smaller units. RCN goes to Surrey while the RCAF mans North Vancouver, BC Wildfire gets East Vancouver, and 3rd Division gets Whiterock?
The point of this is the Vancouver HUSAR team might fill the EOC or help fill the IMT on site or a sub team. I've heard good things about them but it's a different focus of training that while similar is different enough we don't overlap much. The bigger question to me is if the incident is in Vancouver how many will even be available to deploy if they've been evacuated? It's a common issue with municipalities where staff and families are evacuated aware from the danger area and then critical gaps are exposed because the limited number of trained staff are not around.
 

foresterab

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CAN TF-3 deployed to Elliot Lake, ON.

Thanks Mariomike. Just don't hear as much about Ontario resources being out west and I hadn't heard the Ontario counterparts discuss them much.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Don't forget if BC goes down the tube the USA is also probably busy with their share of the disaster.

I imagine we (Canada) would be on our own for sometime.
I suggested that a massive earthquake in the Greater Vancouver Region, would create enough chaos below the border to suck up the resources in Ft Lewis and Washington State. Likely the US would mobilize resources to our aid from the States outside the affected area with heavy equipment crossing the border within 3-4 days. I would expect them to have a great deal of helicopters into the area and operating SAR and supply within 24hrs and likley the focus would be to get Abbotsford airport up and operational again. My guess is that YVR and Boundary bay would both be a real mess and possibly flooded.
Within a week I would expect the US to have 1-2 amphibious ships in the harbour assisting in rescue and movement of people and supplies. About this time I would expect a smattering of CAF resources finally working their way through the mountains and slowly working their way west, depending on the level of damage there. They would have minimal equipment to bring to the effort sadly and a lot may get consumed just getting to the Lower Mainland.
I would expect a RCN warship and possibly a MCDV into the harbour within 24 hours, depending on how much damage is done to Victoria and Esquimalt. However that just brings a few RHIB's to the game and maybe a hundred sailors to assist. The MCDV might be useful to survey the narrows to determine the viability of getting rescue ships into the harbour. all depending on whether a major bridge collapses or is in danger of such. Once Abbotsford is open, I see the RCAF playing a big role in moving supplies in.

We will all be thankfully that we live beside the US, because they will pull out all the stops to help us, with no delay.
 

daftandbarmy

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I suggested that a massive earthquake in the Greater Vancouver Region, would create enough chaos below the border to suck up the resources in Ft Lewis and Washington State. Likely the US would mobilize resources to our aid from the States outside the affected area with heavy equipment crossing the border within 3-4 days. I would expect them to have a great deal of helicopters into the area and operating SAR and supply within 24hrs and likley the focus would be to get Abbotsford airport up and operational again. My guess is that YVR and Boundary bay would both be a real mess and possibly flooded.
Within a week I would expect the US to have 1-2 amphibious ships in the harbour assisting in rescue and movement of people and supplies. About this time I would expect a smattering of CAF resources finally working their way through the mountains and slowly working their way west, depending on the level of damage there. They would have minimal equipment to bring to the effort sadly and a lot may get consumed just getting to the Lower Mainland.
I would expect a RCN warship and possibly a MCDV into the harbour within 24 hours, depending on how much damage is done to Victoria and Esquimalt. However that just brings a few RHIB's to the game and maybe a hundred sailors to assist. The MCDV might be useful to survey the narrows to determine the viability of getting rescue ships into the harbour. all depending on whether a major bridge collapses or is in danger of such. Once Abbotsford is open, I see the RCAF playing a big role in moving supplies in.

We will all be thankfully that we live beside the US, because they will pull out all the stops to help us, with no delay.

My personal emergency kit will include air marker panels and a case of whisky - with the universally acknowledged air indicator to attract passing helicopter pilots

I Love Hearts GIF by Dewar's
 

Halifax Tar

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I suggested that a massive earthquake in the Greater Vancouver Region, would create enough chaos below the border to suck up the resources in Ft Lewis and Washington State. Likely the US would mobilize resources to our aid from the States outside the affected area with heavy equipment crossing the border within 3-4 days. I would expect them to have a great deal of helicopters into the area and operating SAR and supply within 24hrs and likley the focus would be to get Abbotsford airport up and operational again. My guess is that YVR and Boundary bay would both be a real mess and possibly flooded.
Within a week I would expect the US to have 1-2 amphibious ships in the harbour assisting in rescue and movement of people and supplies. About this time I would expect a smattering of CAF resources finally working their way through the mountains and slowly working their way west, depending on the level of damage there. They would have minimal equipment to bring to the effort sadly and a lot may get consumed just getting to the Lower Mainland.
I would expect a RCN warship and possibly a MCDV into the harbour within 24 hours, depending on how much damage is done to Victoria and Esquimalt. However that just brings a few RHIB's to the game and maybe a hundred sailors to assist. The MCDV might be useful to survey the narrows to determine the viability of getting rescue ships into the harbour. all depending on whether a major bridge collapses or is in danger of such. Once Abbotsford is open, I see the RCAF playing a big role in moving supplies in.

We will all be thankfully that we live beside the US, because they will pull out all the stops to help us, with no delay.

I hope you are right. But I suspect "the big one" may be catastrophic all along the pacific coast. Unless the west coast Navy puts to sea and moves far away they will probably be in much similar state to Victoria. Unfortunately we don't get the kind of warnings for earthquakes that we do for hurricanes and the like.

J. L. Granatstein covers this very scenario in the opening chapter of one of his books.
 

lenaitch

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CAN TF-3 deployed to Elliot Lake, ON.

If I recall, there were command and control issues during that deployment; both between responder agencies and levels of government. I know incident management was addressed in the Public Inquiry but I don't know what changes, if any, have been made in the intervening years. Layer that on travel times in this fair land (6-ish hours Toronto to Elliot Lake) and the effectiveness of complex emergency response diminishes away from major urban centres. I do believe HUSAR funding and training has been spread out to additional fire services in the province.

The OPP also has a CBRN unit but it is not large.

As mentioned, 'a big one' would have a major impact on high-level incident command, as well as mobility and communication for responders. Hardening of things like comm towers and the like are often a tough sell in government budgets.
 

daftandbarmy

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Forget the 'Big One'. It seems that we can't even be ready for the first big snowfall of the year:


Councillors in Metro Vancouver call for 'snow summit' to better prepare for snowstorms​


Transportation ministry says it is open to meeting with municipal officials, transit authorities​




Two Metro Vancouver councillors are trying to organize a "snow summit" that would bring together municipal leaders, provincial officials, transit authorities and maintenance contractors to discuss how to co-ordinate and improve the region's response to major snowfalls.

Surrey Coun. Linda Annis and New Westminster Counc. Daniel Fontaine co-signed a letter on Thursday, calling for an analysis of the breakdowns that choked Metro Vancouver roads and highways during the snowstorm earlier in the week.

They are asking George Harvey, chair of the Metro Vancouver Regional District, and B.C. Minister of Transportation Rob Fleming to bring municipal officials, leaders and transportation agencies like ICBC together for a meeting.

On Tuesday, 20 centimetres of snow blanketed municipalities across B.C.'s South Coast, causing major traffic congestion and vehicle pileups, effectively paralyzing road transportation in the Lower Mainland.

"Winters are getting colder and colder," she told CBC News when asked what she wanted discussed at the summit.

"Do we have enough budget allocated? Do we have enough equipment and manpower to be able to handle these snowstorms?


 
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