April 9-16, 2007

Emergency preparedness group calls for integration of public, private sector plans

TORONTO, ONT-The Toronto chapter of the Disaster Recovery Information Exchange (DRIE Toronto) plans to begin an in-depth exercise aimed at increasing Toronto's disaster awareness while calling on major industry and public sector officials to work together with the intent of integrating various business continuity plans. The group is calling for a wide-scale Toronto Incident Management Exercise (TIME) to be conducted in the Greater Toronto Area in 2008. TIME will first research large-scale readiness exercises conducted in other jurisdictions, analyzing business, infrastructure, and government interdependencies. DRIE Toronto will then consider how well the city's public sector, critical infrastructure providers and private sector understand each others' preparedness plans and how they might integrate organization and plans to work together during an emergency or when critically necessary. DRIE Toronto recently sent a letter and detailed brochure to more than 200 Toronto-area organizations, outlining the group's goals and asking for their participation. "There is no doubt that various governing bodies, emergency response teams, and private sector organizations each have effective plans in place," said Michael Smith, president of ReadySmith. "But the critical need is to see how these plans will mesh with one another, and to fill in any identifiable gaps, especially in the business community." The not-for-profit Disaster Recovery Information Exchange provides a forum for over 300 members in Toronto and 720 country-wide to exchange information covering a wide range of disciplines including crisis management, emergency preparedness, voice communications systems recovery, corporate-wide business continuity planning and data centre recovery planning. More information, including the brochure, is available on-line at www.drie.org.

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