Communicating during an emergency at Giant Mine
The Project team has a plan in place that outlines how it will keep the public informed if there is an emergency at site.
How will the team communicate an emergency?
The Giant Mine is no longer an operating mine, and the site is managed and monitored constantly. However, as it is still much like an active industrial site, emergency preparedness is necessary. The Giant Mine Remediation Project team works to prevent emergencies. For example, the team regularly assesses abandoned and aging infrastructure on site. If they find a hazard that poses risks that cannot wait until remediation, the team addresses it right away. This protects workers, the public, and the environment.
In case an incident does occur, the team has response plans with steps to take to address different kinds of emergencies. Site workers are always ready to carry out these plans. Crews also conduct emergency drills and simulations. This ensures they are prepared for any emergency. These plans include elements to address how the team will let the public know about the emergency.
If an emergency happens, including the unlikely and worst-case scenario that a building collapses and releases contaminants into the air, workers will quickly take action.
For any kind of emergency, the onsite contractor will:
- enact the response plan that deals specifically with the emergency
- take steps to protect people and the environment
- contain the incident
- request assistance from external emergency responders, such as RCMP or fire fighters, if required
- inform the appropriate regulators and inspectors, such as file a spill report with the NWT Spill Line or contact the Mine Inspector
- inform the Project Team, specifically the Deputy Director, and appropriate Project Manager
The Deputy Director will call the Project team's crisis communications response team, made up of members from:
- Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
- Public Service and Procurement Canada
- Government of the Northwest Territories
The communications team will:
- request support from the City of Yellowknife and other organizations to share information to the public, if required
- gather information
- share information by phone or email with internal teams and stakeholders, including:
- City of Yellowknife
- Yellowknives Dene First Nation
- North Slave Métis Alliance
- liaise with the media through phone calls or email
- conduct media interviews and briefings, both during and after the emergency
- ensure stakeholders, the media, and the public remain informed both during and after the emergency
If an emergency happens, there are a number of methods the team will use to inform residents. This includes:
- contacting local media
- sharing information on the Giant Mine website
- sending emails to people who subscribe to the Giant Mine newsletter
- working with the City of Yellowknife to use its communications network, if the emergency requires
- working with external emergency responders such as RCMP or City of Yellowknife Fire Department to deliver information, if the emergency requires
- sharing on the @GiantMine Twitter stream
Information shared via the above methods includes:
- nature of the emergency
- extent of the emergency
- the protections being put in place
- the status of the emergency response
- actions taken to resolve the situation
- actions public should take to stay safe
- steps taken to address concerns
- steps the team will take to prevent similar emergencies in future
- contact details for sources of more information
The Project team will lead all communications activities. They will seek help from other agencies as required. The agencies the team will ask for help from would depend on the type of emergency.
In the unlikely event of an emergency that posed risk to the public, residents should:
- listen for specific information in public service announcements on local radio stations
- listen for information from authorities such as the RCMP or the fire division
- follow all instructions these authorities give, which could include staying indoors, shutting doors and windows, or other safety measures
- check the Giant Mine website or @GiantMine on Twitter for regular updates or more instructions
You can contact the Project team by phone at 867-669-2462 or via email. You can also ask to subscribe to the newsletter by email.
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