- Social Studies - Canada and World Connections
- Natural Emergencies and Municipal, Provincial and Federal Government Roles and Responsibilities
- 60 minutes
Practise using a variety of organizers and charts to help sort, classify and connect information about how the municipal, provincial and federal levels of government handle emergencies such as ice storms and tornadoes
The Grade Five learners will:
- Identify services provided by the federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal governments
- Use graphic organizers and graphs to sort, classify, and connect information
a) Learners – Required Prior Learning
- Students need to have completed the Natural Emergencies and Personal Safety lesson that is part of this unit
- Students must be able to identify the three levels of government
- Students require some understanding of what a flowchart is and how they work
b) Learning Environment
- The teacher will conduct the lesson from the from of the classroom
- The students will complete the activity and assignment in groups and will find a place to work together in the classroom
- Blackboard/whiteboard and chalk/ marker
- Copy of Flowchart: Municipal, Provincial and Federal Roles and Responsibilities in an Emergency (attached)
- Optional – Overhead copy of Flowchart: Municipal, Provincial and Federal Roles and Responsibilities in an Emergency and overhead projector and screen
- Copy of the Government Roles and Responsibilities Flashcards (attached)
- Copy of Emergency Preparedness Begins With You worksheet (attached)
- Masking tape
Brainstorming Activity – List of Natural Disasters
b) Establishing the Learning
Identification the three levels of government
Identification of role of municipal government in an emergency
Identification of the role of the provincial government
Identification of the role of the federal government
Identification of the role individual citizens play in emergency management
Identification of the types of emergencies that can happen in the community
Recognition of the need for an emergency survival kit
Identification of the items required in an emergency survival kit for people and pets
Ask students to think back to the recent lesson they had on Natural Emergencies and Personal Safety. Ask them to think of all of the natural emergencies that they can and write them down.
Tell students that they will be learning about how citizens and the various levels of government have to work together before and during an emergency situation.
Ask students to identify the three levels of government and write municipal, provincial and federal on the board.
Hand out a copy of Flowchart: Municipal, Provincial and Federal Roles and Responsibilities in an Emergency to each student and ask them to listen to the information they are about to provide and try to complete the flowchart. Model this using an overhead projector if students are not familiar with flowcharts. If students have used flowcharts to organize information before, allow them to try this and then discuss it at the end.
Explain that when emergencies happen most are dealt with routinely at the community level by local emergency services including police, fire and emergency health services (ambulance services). Sometime the local public works department is also involved.
If a major emergency occurs in a community, the local head of council (usually a mayor or First Nations Chief), can call a group of local officials together to help manage the emergency and the community’s resources (dump trucks, evacuation centres, sandbag supply, etc.) in a controlled and coordinated way. A community coordinates their response to an emergency through a Municipal Emergency Operations Centre.
If the community needs more equipment or more supplies than they have, or the emergency poses a serious immediate threat to public safety, additional resources can be requested by contacting Emergency Management Ontario, the branch of the provincial government that deals with emergency management. The community would declare an emergency by having the Head of Council sign an Emergency Declaration Form and send this form to Emergency Management Ontario.
The branch of the provincial government that handles emergency management is Emergency Management Ontario. Emergency Management Ontario will provide advice and assistance to support a community dealing with an emergency. They are also able to send staff to the affected area and coordinate provincial emergency management activities. For example, if planes are needed to evacuate people from a remote community affected by an emergency (such as a forest fire/flood), Emergency Management Ontario can coordinate this through the Ministry of Natural Resources which has a supply of planes that can be made available if necessary. If a medical team and field hospital are required, Emergency Management Ontario can coordinate this with the Ministry of Health which has these resources and can make them available when needed. The province coordinates the response to emergencies through the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre.
If an emergency situation is such that the Province requires assistance from the federal government to deal with the emergency, the Premier of Ontario may declare a provincial emergency. This was done during the 2003 SARS outbreak and the 2003 Blackout. When the province requests assistance from the federal government, it must be done through Emergency Management Ontario. The federal government intervenes only when requested or when the emergency clearly impacts on an area of federal jurisdiction such as a war emergency. The branch of the federal government that handles emergencies and emergency management is Public Safety Canada. The federal government coordinates the response to emergencies through the Government Operations Centre.
Explain that public safety begins at home. Each individual is responsible for his/her safety, and the well-being of their family.
Explain that there are things you can do today that will help you cope with an emergency if one should ever happen. As a responsible citizen you can:
Learn what emergencies can happen in your community
Contact your local Community Emergency Management Coordinator and learn about the types of emergencies that can happen where you live (teachers may want to do this ahead of time and present students with this list)
Prepare an emergency survival kit
Emergencies can happen at any time and that an emergency can leave you and your family without electricity, a working telephone and running water. Sometimes an emergency, such as an ice storm, can make roads and sidewalks dangerous to use. It is possible that stores may have to stay closed for several days because of an emergency and so there may not be anywhere to buy the supplies that your family needs to stay safe and comfortable.
This is why it is important to have an emergency survival kit. An emergency survival kit has all of the items you and your family need to stay safe and comfortable for at least three days.
Show the students a complete emergency survival kit and go through the items required in a kit. It is also a good idea to mention the need to have a pet emergency survival kit for any pets that live in your home. If possible, show the students an example of a pet emergency kit.
Explain that all of the items that need to be in an emergency survival kit must be stored together in a bag or box so that you know where everything is in an emergency and so you can grab the bag/box if you ever have to evacuate your home and know that you have all the things you need to stay safe and comfortable for at least three days.
Everyone in your family should know where the emergency survival kit is kept.
Consolidation of Learning
Ask these quick check questions:
- How does a community access help from the province when it is unable to handle an emergency itself?
- When has the province declared an emergency?
- What are the two circumstances where the federal government will become involved in an emergency?
Divide the class into groups of four. Each group of four should receive a copy of the pre-cut Government Roles and Responsibilities Flashcards. Each student should receive their own copy of the Emergency Preparedness Begins With You worksheet. Students will work together to sort the flashcards into four categories, You, Municipal Government, Provincial Government and Federal Government. When sorted, the students will record their findings on the Emergency Preparedness Begins With You worksheet. Students will hand in their work when it is complete. Students will also be required to hand in the flowchart they completed during the lesson.
Observe students throughout the lesson and circulate throughout the application activity. Make note of any student who appears to be having difficulty or requires assistance to complete the assignment. Ensure each student is participating as a member of a group and that work among group members is shared appropriately. Marks for an individual student may have to be adjusted if that student fails to participate as part of the group or requires assistance to complete the assignment.
The completed assignments will be assessed based on the attached rubric (this information needs to be provided to students before beginning the assignment).
Additional Related Activities
- Arrange a field trip to a Municipal Emergency Operations Centre
- Organize an exercise at your school to test the school’s emergency plan