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Plan. Prepare. Be Aware. It’s Emergency Preparedness Week


May 5, 2017   by -30- Forensic Engineering

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Emergency Preparedness Week is organized by Public Safety Canada and takes place each year in May. This year, the event is being rolled-out nationally May 7th – 13th, with the aim of helping Canadians safeguard themselves during an emergency situation.

The event also presents an ideal opportunity to identify whether your organization is prepared for an emergency. With the heavy rainfall we’ve already seen early in May in southern Ontario, floods are a particular concern for owners and managers of small apartments through to large commercial and industrial facilities. “At 30 Forensic Engineering, we frequently encounter properties which have been subjected to serious emergency events—I would suggest looking for ways to prevent, mitigate and reinstate the damages from an emergency event, and always look to be prepared, so that you can manage an emergency situation safely and calmly,” states Jeff Reitsma P.Eng, and Practice Lead, Remediation.

Some practices to consider:

• Identify procedures and key support persons, including 24/7 contact numbers for your insurance representative, after-hours emergency response contractors and operation-critical vendors.

• Include audits of emergency response actions such as shut-downs, testing of back-up power, flow-testing drains, and exercising of shut-off valves as part of scheduled preventative maintenance activities.

• Actively manage designated substances such as asbestos, silica, PCBs and lead and maintain inventories of said materials in accordance with applicable regulations; this information should be shared with emergency responders to make every reasonable effort to notify those workers of health & safety and environmental hazards.

• Maintain accurate and up-to-date drawings or CAD models, especially of infrastructure-critical elements such as electrical single-line diagrams and plumbing riser & valve schedules, to identify critical isolation and shut-off points and to direct emergency responders.

• Clear and consistent labelling of piping and valves, cables, conduits, panels and junction boxes will save precious time when tracing leaks and confirming isolation of systems in an emergency.

• Ensure all construction and renovations are done to code by qualified contractors; proper fire-stopping of floor slab penetrations for instance can minimize the spread of smoke & soot damage during a fire, and also prevent water from travelling from floor-to-floor via ceilings and within wall assemblies.

Incorporate resiliency into design selections where possible:

• Bolt- or screw-on finishes can be more easily removed than glued- or cemented-on finishes facilitate drying or replacement.

• Water permeable materials in layers should be avoided in leak-prone areas – hardwood flooring with foam underlayment as an example is difficult to dry in place in a timely manner.

• Permeable walk- and drive-way finishes and green roofs can help to minimize surface run-off in and around properties.

• Make allowance for flooding in risky areas and provide robust drains, housekeeping pads or pedestals for sensitive equipment, while keeping overhead areas in such locations free to allow use of lifting devices to facilitate replacement.

Make use of the extensive emergency preparedness resources available on-line, including excellent check-lists, tips and guides:

Insurance Bureau of Canada

Government of Canada

Canadian Red Cross

Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction

Restoration Contractors Organization of Canada (RCOC)

It is essentially impossible to effectively plan for all potential emergency situations, but effective and targeted preparation can result in significant reductions to the likelihood and impact of an emergency situation on your property – “Plan. Prepare. Be Aware”!

As outlined by Public Safety CanadaGet Prepared” program, here are additional on-line resources as to what’s occurring across Canada:

Alberta
Alberta Emergency Management Agency

British Columbia
Emergency Management BC

Manitoba
Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization

New Brunswick
New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization

Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador Fire and Emergency Services

Northwest Territories
Northwest Territories Emergency Management Organization

Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office

Nunavut
Nunavut Emergency Management

Ontario
Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management

Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island Emergency Measures Organization

Quebec
Quebec – Ministère de la sécurité publique

Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan Emergency Management Organization

Yukon
Yukon Emergency Measures Organization

About 30 Forensic Engineering

30 Forensic Engineering (30fe.com), based in Toronto, has been serving the insurance and legal industries for 15 years and is one of Canada’s largest and most respected multi-disciplinary forensic firms. Our core team of 60+ professional investigators is enhanced through relationships with some of the top scientists, standard-makers and specialized consultants in North America. We provide world-class engineering and consulting expertise in: Civil/Structural, Building and Fire Code, Geotechnical and Mining, Construction Claims, Biomechanics, Personal Injury, Human Factors, Collision Reconstruction, Transportation Safety, Electrical and Renewable Energy, Environmental Health and Safety, Remediation, Materials Failure/HVAC, and Fire and Explosion investigations.

Welcome to -30- The last word in forensic engineering.

 

In the news:

Renewable Energy Group at 30 Forensic Engineering Offers Pre-Loss Inspection and Risk Management Services

30 Forensic Engineering’s Multidisciplinary Approach Provides a 360° View of Slip & Fall Assessments

30 Forensic Engineering Expert Jeff Reitsma Delivers Breakout Session at PLRB Claims Conference in Boston

The Society of Automotive Engineers International Publishes 30 Forensic Engineering Research Paper

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Construction Claims Team at -30- Forensic Engineering Offers Productivity Loss Assessment Services

-30- Forensic Engineering’s Jiwan Thapar Presents Full Day Course at Toronto Construction Association on Feb 28, 2017

-30- Forensic Engineering’s Pierre Maheux to Present at the 2017 Ontario Bar Association Institute

-30- Forensic Engineering Strengthens Road Safety Group with the Appointment of Shahram Almasi

Blouin Dunn LLP and -30- Forensic Engineering’s Big Mingle, January 30, 2017

Blouin Dunn & -30- Forensic Engineering Thank 2017 Big Mingle Sponsors

-30- Forensic Engineering Launches Fixed-Fee Fire Investigation Service

-30- Forensic Engineering Promotes Pablo Robalino to Senior Associate within Civil/Structural Group

-30- Forensic Engineering Strengthens Civil/Structural Group with the Appointment of Paul Reinis

-30- Forensic Engineering Forms Integrated Fire and Electrical Investigations Division

-30- Forensic Engineering Strengthens its Collision Reconstruction Group with the Appointment of Brad Muir

-30- Forensic Engineering Retained to Complete Rail Crossing Safety Reviews for Ontario Municipalities

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-30- Forensic Engineering Brand Launch Event, October 5, 2016


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