Plan to speed up community disaster recovery launched by Fire Chiefs and The
Home Depot Canada

Emergency Response Support Plan will get vital supplies to residents and businesses sooner

TORONTO, May 3 /CNW/ - Residents and businesses in disaster-stricken communities across Ontario will be able to recover and rebuild more quickly, thanks to a plan launched today by the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs and The Home Depot Canada.

The Emergency Response Support Plan will combine the experience of Ontario's Fire Services with The Home Depot Canada's supply chain to quickly deliver supplies such as generators, plywood and hand and power tools, to communities hit by disasters such as hurricanes and floods.

"When a natural disaster hits a community, homeowners and businesses need a lot of things right away, while supplies may be scarce and roads and utilities not up to their usual standard," said Richard Boyes, President of the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs, noting the supply shortage in the aftermath of the 1998 ice storm. "With this plan, local fire chiefs can place orders directly with The Home Depot Canada, and The Home Depot Canada will deliver those orders, so residents will be able to get the supplies they need in hours - not days."

Through their experience with disasters, Ontario Fire Services have identified the supplies that are typically needed after a disaster. The voluntary Emergency Response Support Plan is activated through a single call made by the local fire chief. That call triggers a process, coordinated through the Burlington Fire Dispatch Centre, that ends with The Home Depot Canada delivering the supplies to where they are directed by the local fire department. The system will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and all Ontario communities will be able to use it, even those that do not have a The Home Depot Canada store.

Since 2000, the number of annual weather related emergencies in Ontario has more than doubled, going from 6 to 13 per year. The Home Depot Canada has assisted with community recovery in recent, large scale incidents such as last year's tornado in Vaughan, and the Peterborough flood in 2004.

"When disasters strike The Home Depot Canada is there to help," said Paul Berto, Director of Communications & External Affairs, The Home Depot Canada. "By pairing the expertise of Ontario's Fire Services with our own resources, we can help disaster-stricken communities get back on their feet faster, while allowing emergency responders to focus on saving lives and protecting property."

SOURCE Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs

For further information: For further information: Karen Gordon, Squeaky Wheel Communications Inc., (416) 997-9478, karen@squeakywheel.biz

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Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs

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