There is a need for common terminology that would be jointly understood by the public and private sectors. The following definitions and explanations will be helpful during the development and implementation process. The below definitions come from various sources, including the EMCPA and the Province of Ontario's Emergency Management Glossary of Terms.

B.1  A to D

After action report (AAR):
A report that documents the performance of tasks related to an emergency, exercise or planned event and, where necessary, makes recommendations for improvements. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Alternate service delivery location:
A secondary physical location (other than the primary workplace) from which to deliver critical programs and services and to implement program recovery procedures. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Chemical, biological, radioactive, nuclear, explosive (CBRNE):
This is an incident that involves a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and/or explosive situation that may require a response by specialized teams and equipment. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Advisories, directives, information and messages that are transmitted. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
A generic term referring to groups of residents at the local level, and includes municipalities, First Nations communities and groups of people in unorganized territories. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
The outcome of an event or situation expressed qualitatively or quantitatively, being a loss, injury or disadvantage. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Continuity of operations (COOP) plan:
A plan developed and maintained to direct an organization's internal response to an emergency. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Critical infrastructure:
Interdependent, interactive, interconnected networks of institutions, services, systems and processes that meet vital human needs, sustain the economy, (protect public safety and security), and maintain continuity of and confidence in government. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Damage assessment:
An appraisal or determination of the effects of a disaster on human, physical, economic, and natural resources. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Declaration of emergency:
A signed declaration made in writing by the Head of Council or the Premier of Ontario in accordance with the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. This declaration is usually based on a situation or an impending situation that threatens public safety, public health, the environment, critical infrastructure, property, and/or economic stability and exceeds the scope of routine community activity. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Municipal declaration of emergency:
A declaration of emergency made by the Head of Council of a municipality, based on established criteria. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Provincial declaration of emergency:
A declaration of emergency made by the Lieutenant Governor in Council or the Premier of Ontario, based on established criteria. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
A serious disruption to an affected area, involving widespread human, property, environmental and / or economic impacts, that exceed the ability of one or more affected communities to cope using their own resources. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians program (DRAO):
A provincial disaster financial assistance program which, when activated, supports individuals, small businesses, farmers and not-for-profit organizations that have experienced damage to or loss of essential property as a result of a natural disaster. For the purposes of the program, a disaster is a sudden, unexpected, extraordinary natural event that causes costly, widespread damage to eligible private property.

B.2  E to F

A situation or an impending situation that constitutes a danger of major proportions that could result in serious harm to persons or substantial damage to property and that is caused by the forces of nature, a disease or other health risk, an accident or an act whether intentional or otherwise. (Source: EMCPA).
Emergency area:
the area in which an emergency exists. (Source: EMCPA).
Emergency control group (ECG):
A group composed of senior staff and employees of an organization, and others that may be involved in directing that organization's response to an emergency including, the implementation of its emergency response plans and procedures. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Emergency information:
Information about an emergency that can be disseminated in anticipation of an emergency or during an emergency. It may provide situational information or directive actions to be taken by the public. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary). The PERP uses emergency public information instead of emergency information for increased clarity.
Emergency information centre (EIC):
A designated facility that is properly equipped to monitor and coordinate emergency public information activities including the dissemination of information to the public. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Emergency information officer (EIO):
An individual responsible for acting as the primary public and media contact for emergency public information requirements. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Emergency management (EM):
Organized activities undertaken to prevent, mitigate, prepare for, respond to and recover from actual or potential emergencies. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Emergency management program:
A risk-based program consisting of prescribed elements that may include prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery activities. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Emergency management program coordinator (EMCP):
A management team to oversee the development, implementation and maintenance of an emergency management program. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Emergency management program committee:
A management team to oversee the development, implementation and maintenance of an emergency management program. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Emergency operations centre (EOC):
A designated and appropriately equipped facility where officials from an organization(s) assemble to manage the response to an emergency or disaster. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Emergency public information:
see Emergency Information. The PERP uses emergency public information for increased clarity.
Emergency response:
Coordinated public and private response to an emergency. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Emergency response organization (ERO):
A group (public, private or volunteer), trained in emergency response that may be called upon to respond to an emergency situation. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Emergency response plan:
A plan developed and maintained to direct an organization's external and/or internal response to an emergency. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
A widespread occurrence of a disease in a community at a particular time. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Evacuee centre:
A facility to provide shelter, food and other services to a group of people who have been evacuated from an area.
A simulated emergency in which players carry out actions, functions, and responsibilities that would be expected of them in a real emergency. Exercises can be used to validate plans and procedures, and to practice prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery capabilities. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)

B.3  G to K

Government Operations Centre (GOC):
The principal location from which subject matter experts and Federal Liaison Officers from federal government institutions, and non-governmental organizations, work collaboratively during an event affecting the national interest to provide an integrated Government of Canada response. Public Safety Canada and the GOC provides expertise in operations, situational awareness, risk assessment, planning, logistics, and finance and administration relevant to its coordination role in accordance with the Emergency Management Act and the Federal Emergency Response Plan (FERP). The FERP is designed to harmonize federal emergency response efforts with those of the provinces/territorial governments, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector.
A phenomenon, substance, human activity or condition that may cause loss of life, injury or other health impacts, property damage, loss of livelihoods and services, social and economic disruption, or environmental damage. These may include natural, technological or human-caused incidents or some combination of these. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Hazard identification:
A structured process for identifying those hazards which exist within a selected area and defining their causes and characteristics. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Hazard identification and risk assessment (HIRA) program:
Provides information to support municipalities and Provincial ministries in the fulfilment of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, Sections 2.1 (3) and 5.1 (2).
Hazardous material (HazMat):
A substance (gas, liquid or solid) capable of creating harm to people, property and the environment, e.g. materials which are flammable, toxic, etc. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
The negative effect of a hazardous incident on people, property, the environment, the economy and/or services. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Incident action plan (IAP):
Within IMS, an oral or written plan containing general objectives reflecting the overall strategy for managing an incident. It may include the identification of operational resources and assignments. It may also include attachments that provide direction and important information for management of the incident during one or more operational periods. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Incident Management System (IMS):
A standardized approach to emergency management encompassing personnel, facilities, equipment, procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational structure. The IMS is predicated on the understanding that in any and every incident there are certain management functions that must be carried out regardless of the number of persons who are available or involved in the emergency response. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)

B.4  L to O

Lower-tier municipality:
A lower-tier municipality is the most basic unit of local government and includes townships, towns, and cities within a county or region, but excludes single tier municipalities. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Ministry action group:
Composed of the deputy minister or designate of the ministry, the senior ministry official appointed to the ministry's emergency management program committee, the ministry's emergency management program coordinator; and such other ministry employees as may be appointed by the minister. The group shall direct the ministry's response in an emergency, including the implementation of the ministry's emergency plan. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Actions taken to reduce the adverse impacts of an emergency or disaster. Such actions may include diversion or containment measures to lessen the impacts of a flood or a spill. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
A geographic area whose inhabitants are incorporated under the Municipal Act (Source: Municipal Act).
Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance program (MDRA):
A provincial disaster financial assistance program designed to help municipalities that have sustained emergency response costs, or damage to essential property or infrastructure, as a result of a natural disaster. For the purposes of the program, a disaster is a sudden, unexpected, extraordinary natural event that results in eligible municipal costs equal to or greater than three percent of the municipality's own purpose taxation levy. (Source: MMAH)
Municipal Emergency Control Group (MECG):
The Municipal Emergency Control Group operating from the municipal emergency operations centre is responsible for coordinating municipal emergency response and recovery activities. The Municipal Emergency Control Group usually includes leading community officials, emergency management representatives and other relevant staff.
Mutual aid agreements:
An agreement developed between two or more emergency services to render aid to the parties of the agreement. These types of agreements can include the private sector emergency services when appropriate. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Mutual assistance agreement:
An agreement developed between two or more jurisdictions to render assistance to the parties of the agreement. Jurisdictions covered with these types of agreements could include neighbouring, cities, regions, provinces or nations. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Necessary goods, services and resources:
Includes food, water, electricity, fossil fuels, clothing, equipment, transportation and medical services and supplies (Source: EMCPA).
Non-governmental organization (NGO):
An entity with a common interest or focus that is not created by a government, but may work cooperatively with governments. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)

B.5  P to Q

Planning basis:
the identification of the underlying facts/situation for determining the necessary capabilities that an emergency plan must address. Includes:
  • Hazard identification and the general characteristics of the emergencies that the plan covers.
  • Describing the population, property and infrastructure, and environment that may be impacted by an emergency.
Provincial Nuclear Emergency Response Plan (PNERP):
A Cabinet approved emergency response plan for nuclear facility emergencies mandated under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act and maintained by the Province of Ontario. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Actions taken prior to an emergency or disaster to ensure an effective response. These actions include the formulation of an emergency response plan, a business continuity plan, training, exercises, and public awareness and education. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary).
Actions taken to stop an emergency or disaster from occurring. Such actions may include legislative controls, zoning restrictions, improved operating standards/procedures or critical infrastructure management. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary).
Private sector:
A business or industry not owned or managed by any level of government. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Provincial Disaster Assessment Team (PDAT):
A recovery response team that is dispatched to a community to assess damage following a disaster event and to recommend on a financial disaster assistance program for recovery. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary).
Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC):
A fully equipped facility maintained by the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM) that can be activated in response to, or in anticipation of, emergencies. The PEOC is staffed with appropriate representatives from ministries that have been delegated responsibilities for those emergencies as well as OFMEM staff. It serves as an initial point-of-contact for the affected municipality and federal interests. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Provincial organization:
any ministry of the Government of Ontario and any agency, board, commission and other branch of government designated under the EMCPA by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
Public sector:
All government services at the municipal, provincial and federal levels. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)

B.6  R to S

Reception centre:
Usually located outside the impact zone of the emergency, the reception centre is a place to which evacuees can go to register, receive assistance for basic needs, information and referral to a shelter if required.
The process of restoring a stricken community to a pre-disaster level of functioning. This may include the provision of financial assistance, repairing buildings and/or restoration of the environment. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary).
Recovery time objective (RTO):
The period of time within which systems, applications, or functions must be recovered after an outage. RTO's are often used as the basis for the development of recovery strategies, and as a determinant as to whether or not to implement the recovery strategies during a disaster situation. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
The ability to resist, absorb, accommodate, adapt to, transform and recover from the effects of a hazard in a timely and efficient manner. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
These are personnel and major items of equipment, supplies, and facilities available or potentially available for assignment to incident operations and for which status is maintained. Resources are described by kind and type and may be used in operational or support capacities. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
The provision of emergency services and public assistance or intervention during or immediately after an incident in order to protect people, property, the environment, the economy and/or services. This may include the provision of resources such as personnel, services and/or equipment. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Response organization:
See Emergency response organization (ERO).
The product of the probability of the occurrence of a hazard and its consequences. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Risk assessment:
A methodology to determine the nature and extent of risk by analyzing potential hazards and the evaluation of vulnerabilities and consequences. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
The extent of disruption and/or damages associated with a hazard. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
This term is used to specify mandatory requirements. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
This term is used to specify recommended practices. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Single-tier municipality:
Includes a separated municipality that is geographically located within a county / region but is not a part of the county / region for municipal purposes. Single-tier municipalities also include all northern municipalities where there is no upper-tier governance at the District level. A single-tier municipality has responsibilities for all local services to their residents. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)

B.7  T to Z

Is the transmission and/or receipt of messages, for the purpose of communicating over some distance, via a range of technical systems including radio and microwave communications, as well as fiber optics, satellites and the Internet. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
A person, thing or event that has the potential to cause harm or damage. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
Unincorporated community:
a group of people living in an unorganized territory.
Unorganized territory:
A geographic area without municipal organization. (Source: Municipal Act)
Upper-tier municipality:
A municipality of which two or more lower-tier municipalities form part for municipal purposes (Source: Municipal Act)
Urban search and rescue (USAR):
A multi-service, multi-skilled, and multi-functional task force that is trained and prepared to locate, treat and remove persons trapped in collapsed structures. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)
The susceptibility of a community, system or asset to the damaging effects of a hazard. (Source: Provincial EM Glossary)