Ice Storm, 1998 - Were the Poeple of Canada Prepared for the Ice Storm?

Essay by KamekaziHigh School, 10th gradeA, May 2006

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During the first week of January 1998, a massive ice storm struck the regions of eastern Ontario, southern Quebec and New Brunswick3. The storm started on the 5th and continued on until the 10th of January, causing confusion and fear in the lives of all the residents3. Some of the severely affected areas, such as Montreal, received up to 100 mm of precipitation in the form of snow and ice for 5 continuous days3. Even though the ice storm caught many off guard, Canadians were prepared to handle such a crisis.

The Canadian Government showed that they were always ready for a true emergency such as this through quick response and decisiveness. Prime Minister Jean Chretien along with Ontario Premier Mike Harris and Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard demonstrated strong leadership by staying behind a pre-planned 'Team Canada' economic mission to Latin America2. By making the last minute changes, they made sure that they were available to personally oversee relief efforts and their citizens would feel abandoned by their leaders at a time of need.

Federal Government deployed 15, 875 troops to Ontario and Quebec to help evacuate seniors to shelters, clear trees, deliver flyers and maintain civil order until State of Emergency was called off3. Sending in the troops was a very important relief effort because it affected the victims both, physically and emotionally. But for the troops, the victims would not have had enough manpower or equipment for clearing the debris. Also they might have undergone emotional traumas, while forced to fend for themselves during the disaster.

The general public also rose to the occasion by not waiting for directions at a time of crisis. They were ready to go out and respond positively to the storm. One such example is of Allan Macdonald of Ottawa.

He invited nine...