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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What does it cost to have the NGO Alliance come and help my  municipality?

A: There is no direct cost to have NGO Alliance members come to help but there is an expectations that expenses incurred by the NGO agency specifically related to the situation will be reimbursed by the community.

Q: Who will the NGO Alliance members report to if they deploy to my municipality?

A: "NGO Alliance members report to the person designated by the community to coordinate their role in the emergency response. This may vary depending on the situation and the nature of the tasks being assigned to the NGO agency.

Ultimately, they will answer to the incident commander and/or the community head of council. "

Q: Is the NGO Alliance an arm of the provincial government?

A: No, the NGO Alliance is an independent regroupement of non-governmental agencies involved in disaster response. Although we are often deployed to support provincial and even federal operations, we do not report directly to the province.

Q: How does the NGO Alliance work with the various levels of government during disasters?

A: The NGO Alliance delegates one agency as the primary agency to respond to the situation depending on the nature of the tasks involved and coordinates with all levels of government and private entities invoved in the response as needed. The main communication will be with the government entity that has requested the assistance of the NGO Alliance and ultimately the Alliance will be receiving its marching orders from that government agency.

Q: Who will the NGO Alliance members report to if they deploy to my municipality?

A: NGO Alliance members report to the person designated by the community to coordinate their role in the emergency response. This may vary depending on the situation and the nature of the tasks being assigned to the NGO agency.  Ultimately, they will answer to the incident commander and/or the community head of council. 

Q: How long has the NGO Alliance been operating in Ontario?

A: The concept of the Alliance was formulated around 2010 but the NGO Alliance was formally created in 2015. First response and recovery operations under the NGO Alliance name started in 2016.

Q: What services does the NGO Alliance provide?

A: There is  a vast number of possible services offered at different stages of emergencies. In response, services such as shelter management, family reunification, feeding, clothing, pet care, and donations management are offered. In recovery, services such as clean-up, debris removal, minor repairs, and reconstruction are also possible. Paramedical support, trauma counseling, and spiritual support are other types of help available as well as incident command and volunteer management. More information on what each agency is able to offer is available on demand or through our web site.

Q: How does the NGO Alliance decide who they can help?

A: When we receive a request from a community or a government agency for support, we reach out to our members and evaluate their availability to respond to the particular need expressed. We aim to help any community or government agency making a request but it always depends on resources available at the time. There are period of the year where it may be difficult to provide the support based on the number and magnitude of emergencies and disasters occurring in the province at the time.

Q: Does the NGO Alliance provide services to First Nations?

A: Absolutely. The NGO Alliance has been very active over the years in supporting many First Nations communities from one end of the province to the other. We have served First Nations communities in the Thunder Bay and Sioux Lookout area but we have also gone all the way to James Bay to help in those communities.

Q: Would the NGO Alliance be able to give a presentation to my municipality?

A: Yes, we would be happy to present to your community what the NGO Alliance can do for you. Depending on the location, we can either present in person or virtually. Please contact us to reserve a presentation date and time.

Q: Does the NGO Alliance provide a Liaison Officer in our EOC, if required?

A: It is actually something we suggest so that there is a direct link from the EOC to the NGO Alliance during the emergency. This allows the EOC to only need one point of contact with the various members of the Alliance while ensuring that any need expressed by agencies in the EOC is quickly being assigned to one of our organizations.

Q: What municipal departments would the NGO Alliance engage with during a disaster response?

A: Most likely, the designated agencies from the NGO Alliance would work with the Community Emergency Management Coordinator (CEMC) but they could be assigned to other divisions depending on the needs. We have reported to First Response Services, Social and Health Services, Public Works and Utilities, and even sometime directly to the Mayor's office. We will wait for instructions from the community to determine who we are to work with but we are flexible. Our aim is to provide the services the residents urgently need and to support the community in the best approach possible.

Q: How long would the NGO Alliance remain in the community?

A: Again, this depends on the magnitude of the emergency but we will stay for a period of time sufficient for the community to catch up and be able to become independent in its response and recovery. Typically, we aim to be in the community between a few weeks to a few months but we could be there longer if the recovery efforts required are extensive.

Q: Will the NGO Alliance expand to include additional provincial NGO's?

A: Yes. We are currently considering applications for membership by a few other NGOs that have not yet joined. We aim to be representative of the provincial makeup of population and to be able to respond to the various needs of communities. As there are more emergencies and disaster occurring, we wish to expand our capabilities. We also aim to have more culturally and ethnically diverse outreach so we are looking into involving NGOs from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

Q: How can my NGO join the NGO Alliance?

A: If you are a designated representative of an NGO involved in emergency and disaster response in Ontario, you can contact the chair of the NGO Alliance to submit a request for membership. Your request will be reviewed, we will contact you with any questions we may have on the agency you represent, and a recommendation will be made to the board of directors of the NGO Alliance. The request and the recommendation will be submitted to the board at the next quarterly meeting and a vote will be taken. The decision will be communicated to you soon after the meeting.

Q: Does the NGO Alliance welcome other Faith-based NGOs?

A: The NGO Alliance welcomes organizations from all faiths or secular groups. However, there is a code of ethics all member organizations are required to follow, which states that no proselyting or promoting of one's faith is done during an emergency response. Any member organization trying to use disaster situations to promote their own beliefs or doctrines will be warned, and may be subject to having their membership removed.  

Q: Are there costs to joining the NGO Alliance?

A: There is no cost for joining the NGO Alliance but member organizations are asked to pay annual membership dues which are revised from time to time.  The amounts are usually a few hundred dollars a year and help cover expenses such as the web site, postal box, marketing and a few other administrative costs.

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