Major Papers


Emergency, planning, carless, Ontario


In 2005, Hurricane Katrina made impact on southern Louisiana, devastating the city of New Orleans and surrounding communities. The high death toll of the hurricane revealed problems with public emergency planning, as many carless and vulnerable people were unable to evacuate New Orleans before the arrival of the hurricane, contributing to the high death toll. In recent years, scholarship has developed around emergency planning for carless and vulnerable populations in order to determine the most effective policy recommendations to improve evacuations plans for these populations. As climate change continues to occur around the world, the frequency and severity of severe weather events will increase. In 2023, Canada has experienced multiple severe weather events that have required evacuations. This paper assesses municipal emergency plans in Ontario to determine whether provincial and municipal officials have taken carless and vulnerable populations into account when planning for emergencies and potential evacuations. To complete the assessment, this paper utilizes a theoretical framework for analyzing emergency plans developed by Renne and Mayorga (2022). By evaluating the plans across five dimensions provided by the framework, this paper concludes that emergency planning for carless and vulnerable populations in Ontario is generally overlooked in emergency planning. To correct this oversight, this paper provides policy recommendations, including implementing vulnerable persons registries supported by emergency services, determining fixed locations for evacuation centres, and requiring planning for carless and vulnerable populations through provincial legislation.

Primary Advisor

Jamey Essex

Program Reader

John Sutcliffe

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

Document Type

Major Research Paper

Convocation Year