The City of Yellowknife has taken down its outdated emergency plan.

Based around the fire in the South Slave region last month which caused severe damage, and residents of both the town of Hay River and K’atl’odeeche First Nation forced to leave their homes behind, Yellowknifer checked the city’s emergency plan and found that the latest update was in 2019.

Yellowknifer contacted the city to see whether the emergency plan was up to date

“The Emergency Plan is a living document and, as such, the city maintains an up-to-date internal contact list of all personnel — which is referred to as needed,: replied Richard McIntosh, a communications officer with the city.

The now-deleted plan included two names that were listed in an emergency contact list who either no longer work for the city or have left Yellowknife.

When asked about the plan, Mayor Rebecca Alty said the city reviews and updates the emergency plan at least once a year or if there’s a need.

“We’ve recently updated the city’s public emergency plan on the website to remove the personal contact details that were in the plan.” she said.

Alty also said that there is a internal copy that has all of the names, contact details with phone numbers and home addresses that is shared with all who have roles and responsibility within the plan.

“If a member of the public needs emergency services (fire, ambulance or police), they should call 911,” she said.

Alty stated that if there is an emergency declared within the city, the city will inform the public via the city’s website and social media, with emergency notices sent via text message. The city may also go door-to-door with partners, such as the RCMP, if needed.

When asked for an up-to-date emergency plan that available for the public, McIntosh said that there are many emergency management scenarios that the city and Territorial Emergency Management Organizations (TEMO) plan for so that they are able to respond to specific and unique conditions in any given emergency.

Depending on the scenario, there are a range of options that would be considered and implemented including sheltering in place, a partial neighbourhood evacuation to a reception centre in Yellowknife and even a full evacuation. There is a framework for evacuations as per the NWT Emergency Plan and in the event that a partial or full evacuation of Yellowknife were deemed necessary.

In that case, McIntosh said the NWT Emergency Plan’s Evacuation Action Planning would be what was used.

Kaicheng Xin

Kaicheng Xin is a Multimedia Journalist with NNSL Media. You can reach him at

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