BARRIE, ONT. –
Following a devastating EF-2 tornado that swept through a neighborhood in southern Barrie, members of the Emergency Control Group are working to create a plan to improve the way it responds to a natural disaster.
In a statement released Wednesday, the City of Barrie said that while things “have gone well” there are “areas for improvement”.
The City said it had asked members of the municipal emergency control group and other key players involved in the incident what was working and what needed to change.
“A theme that matched most of the comments was the speed with which the city responded,” the statement said.
Positive feedback focused on the quick decision to create a virtual emergency operations center, setting up an on-site trailer at a local school for residents, and site clean-up efforts.
“While the consensus is that we have handled the incident effectively, there are still areas we could refine further,” the city said.
Donations from the community quickly overwhelmed city workers, who said the support was “greatly appreciated” but admitted that “it has at times become difficult to coordinate.”
The Salvation Army was called in to take over the management of residents’ needs and became a point of contact for supports.
The City said it may consider making a formal arrangement with the Salvation Army for large-scale emergencies.
The Emergency Control Group includes senior City officials, the Fire Chief, the Barrie Police Chief and representatives from the Barrie Fire Department.
The tornado ravaged dozens of homes, leaving several families displaced on July 15 in the Prince William Way neighborhood.
The powerful storm resulted in insurance claims of $ 75 million.
More than 50 houses still need work, from remediation to demolition.