According to the provincial Emergency Management Act, municipal government is the body responsible during an emergency or disaster. If disaster strikes, it is up to Council to declare a state of emergency if needed. They also assess the situation using information from first responders, municipal staff, emergency management groups, provincial departments, and other individuals and organizations on the scene.
In the event of an emergency or disaster, it’s critical that every resident knows what is expected of them, and how the town is prepared to help. Should the Town of Wolfville be victim of flood, fire, explosion, or other such unexpected disaster, emergency preparedness is important.
Everyone should be prepared to take care of themselves and their families for up to three days (72 hours) in the event of an emergencyor disaster. Should an evacuation be required, all residents should be aware of Wolfville’s evacuation plan.
The Wolfville Evacuation Plan consists of 12 zones. Each zone has an exit and entry point to alleviate traffic congestion. Town residents are asked to make themselves familiar with their evacuation zones.
If any zone within the town is to be evacuated, (i.e., a zone immediately threatened) - these HOT ZONES will be solely under the direction of emergency personnel.
Each zone has both an exit and an entrance depending on the location of the emergency. Residents will be advised as to which direction traffic should proceed to evacuate the zone as safely and quickly as possible.
A brief hazard analysis of potential dangers to Wolfville follows which describes the possible likelihood of each type of disaster.
During the winter months, severe weather conditions often occur in this area including heavy snowfalls, ice storms, and severe winds. Long-term power outages resulting from these conditions can cause severe hardship.
Damage by wind and snow can be complicated by the action of our local tides. Though flooding is infrequent, seasonal high tides (approx. 20 year cycle) combined with heavy snowmelt can pose a flood threat.
The Wolfville Fire Department responds to approximately 130 calls a year. The majority of these alarms are considered minor, however, there is potential for a large-scale fire in the downtown core and in other large buildings located in the town. Some of these buildings, if not physically connected, are in close proximity to each other. Many of these buildings are older, and their construction (wood frame) makes for easy fire-spread.
The restaurants of Wolfville all use propane gas, and though the use of propane under normal circumstances is safe, accidents can rupture storage tanks, valves, or feed lines.
Heavy snowfalls, frequent changes in occupancy, and building fatigue might place undue stress on buildings and contribute to their collapse. Other disastrous occurrences, such as, flood, fire, or explosion might jeopardize the stability of any structure.
Wolfville's proximity to the 101 Highway creates perhaps the town's greatest threat for disaster. Hazardous agents are continuously transported along this highway and our location below the highway makes us vulnerable to accidents involving spilled liquids or gaseous materials heavier than air. The spillage would run downhill into the town, and, uncontrolled, these substances may pose a serious threat to public health and safety.
There are many situations that might result in the cessation of power, including severe winds or a winter ice storm. Power outages can last several days or even weeks.