This weekend vicious storms and tornados rolled across 6 states in the midwest and south killing at least 43 persons, putting local, county and state government agencies and thousands of First Responders into action. As we know (all too well) last week the Congress and Senate narrowly averted a shutdown of our national government due to the inability to agree on the 2011 budget.
Much of this information is contained in a free Government of Canada publication, "Be Prepared Not Scared", available from the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness. Emergency preparedness and disaster response must be factored into the national security of our great nation throughout every level of government.
The division of responsibility among governments is founded in the Constitution Act of Canada.
As a crisis extends beyond individual capabilities, it becomes the responsibility first of municipal government, then provincial, and finally in the most severe cases the federal government.
The response plan is continually updated, and outlines specific municipal duties and functions in response to emergencies, including Emergency Operations personnel and the resources available in each municipality.
The conditions that a disaster threatens or causes may require the use of extraordinary powers through the declaration of a "State of Emergency".
Red Cross research shows that every $1 invested in preparedness yields $6 in times of disaster.
One weakness with the government is the lack of information within and outside about level of preparedness and enhancements to preparedness due to lack of standardized metrics and measures. The participants also recognized the vital role of faith communities in preparing for disasters. Colin Lacon, President and CEO of Northern California Grantmakers, spoke to the role of philanthropy in preparing for disasters. LeadershipCurrently there is no constituency for emergency management, which was referred to by a participant as a 'policy without a public.' While most people in the Bay Area agree that disaster preparedness is important, it is not an issue that is at the top of the lists of politicians.
All agreed that the media is an important constituent in any initiative on preparedness and resiliency. George Sullivan, an expert in disaster preparedness for the American Red Cross says, “A lot of people write an emergency response plan based on something happened to someone else.” If you don’t know what hazards you face, call the American Red Cross which can help you assess risk. Further, many participants felt that having a common framework and definition of disaster preparedness, and a common metric to assess preparedness and delineate gaps could stimulate funding and collaboration. It was agreed that at the current time, no one could speak to the level of resiliency or preparedness in any community in the United States as there are no common tools or metrics. In addition there were representatives from various city governments and national disaster preparedness organizations and emergency preparedness accreditation organizations (see Participant List).
It is clear that there needs to be a realistic and achievable strategy for incorporating faith communities in any local disaster preparedness initiative. Further, recent research has suggested that only 33% of Bay Area businesses have a business continuity plan, fewer have plans to assess and ensure employee well-being, and almost none have concrete plans or partnerships to participate in community recovery. Several participants felt that messaging around disaster preparedness could be made more positive by focusing on community resiliency and economic development. There was wide recognition of the need for the creation of a coordinating organization to aggregate efforts, establish metrics and standards, facilitate cooperation and partnerships and advocate for disaster management policy change.
However, it was also clear that many felt that the Bay Area was more prepared than other regions in the country due to frequent natural disaster exposure and experience in responding to those incidents.Richard Eisner, Regional Administrator, Southern Region Branch of the Governor's Office of Emergency Services, reflected on his career and experience in hazards management.
He reminded the group about relevance of population diversity and the inabilities of the system to address the needs of the most vulnerable populations in disaster scenarios. He reiterated the critical importance of local preparedness and spoke to the effectiveness of various models of community participation in disaster planning that had emerged in the past and dissolved due to the lack of funding and political will.
Insidiously upon your spices - on hand as effectively as some safety and emergency preparedness plan of my favorite snacks, like Rx Bars, Primal Pacs are. A key function of the Government of Canada is to protect the safety and security of Canadians. Effective EM results from a coordinated approach and a more uniform structure across federal government institutions. A SEMP establishes a federal government institution's objectives, approach and structure for protecting Canadians and Canada from threats and hazards in their areas of responsibility and sets out how the institution will assist the coordinated federal emergency response. The development and employment of a SEMP is an important complement to such existing plans, because it promotes an integrated and coordinated approach to emergency management planning within federal institutions and across the federal government. Federal government institutions in the early stages of developing a SEMP may find it useful to read the material in Sections One and Two, while other institutions with more established plans may wish to proceed directly to Section Three.
Supporting templates and tools can contribute to effective emergency management planning and are provided with this Guide. The Emergency Management Planning Guide uses a step-by-step approach and provides instructions that are supplemented by the Blueprint and the Strategic Emergency Management Plan (SEMP) template provided in Annexes A and B, respectively. The Emergency Management Planning Unit, Public Safety Canada, is responsible for producing, revising and updating this Guide. The purpose of this Guide is to assist federal officials, managers and coordinators responsible for emergency management (EM) planning.
The EM plans of federal government institutions should address the risks to critical infrastructure within or related to the institution's areas of responsibility, as well as the measures for protecting this infrastructure. The SEMP is the overarching plan that provides a comprehensive and coordinated approach to EM activities.
Given this variety of EM planning documents, the distinctions between them are summarized in the following table. A SEMP establishes a federal government institution's objectives, approach and structure for protecting Canadians and Canada from threats and hazards in their areas of responsibility, and sets out how the institution will assist the coordinated federal emergency response.
It outlines the processes and mechanisms to facilitate an integrated Government of Canada response to an emergency and to eliminate the need for departments to coordinate a wider Government of Canada response.
It includes 13 emergency support functions that the federal government can implement in response to an emergency.
Operational plans may be based on all four pillars of EM planning, or focus on the specific activities of a single pillar.
The National Strategy and Action Plan for Critical Infrastructure establishes a public-private sector approach to managing risks, responding effectively to disruptions, and recovering swiftly when incidents occur. Emergency management (EM) refers to the management of emergencies concerning all hazards, including all activities and risk management measures related to prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. The Emergency Management Continuum is depicted in a wheel diagram where all four risk-based functions of emergency management are interconnected and interdependent in a system from prevention and mitigation to preparedness, response, and recovery.
In the center of the wheel are the main elements that influence the development of a Strategic Emergency Management Plan (SEMP). Figure 1 highlights the four interdependent risk-based functions of EM: prevention and mitigation of, preparedness for, response to, and recovery from emergencies. The SEMP should ideally be reviewed on a cyclical basis as part of a federal government institution's planning cycle, as presented in Figure 2 below. This figure represents the optimal planning cycle federal institutions should consider for undertaking their emergency management planning activities. This step involves starting the formal planning process in recognition of the responsibility to prepare a SEMP.


Consider having members of the EM planning team designated by your institution's senior management. One of the most crucial steps in the EM planning process is to identify appropriate members for the EM planning team.
Consider including a member of your institution's corporate planning area on the EM planning team in order to help align the EM planning cycle with the institution's overall business planning cycle.
Federal government institutions should consider identifying the range of experience and skill sets required in the EM planning team.
The composition of the EM planning team will vary depending on institutional requirements; however, it is important that clear terms of reference (TOR) for the team be established and that individual assignments be clearly defined. After the EM planning team has clear authority and direction, the next step is to review any relevant existing legislation and policies.
As noted in Section Two, the EM planning process should be carried out as part of an institution's overall strategic and business planning processes—this will support their alignment. Developing the SEMP can be supported by a formal work or project plan to ensure that established timelines for plan development are met.
As a next step, federal government institutions should consider developing a comprehensive understanding of the planning context. Additional supporting planning tools and templates as well as an EM glossary are provided in Annexes C and D, respectively. Additionally, federal government institutions are responsible for conducting mandate-specific risk assessments, including risks to critical infrastructure.
The Planning Context is represented in a target diagram that consists of three circles representing the factors federal institutions should consider in order to understand the context in which it operates and how it could potentially be affected.
Consider reviewing your federal government institution's most current environmental scan, as well as the most current RCMP Environmental Scan (which can be found on the RCMP Web site), in order to develop a better understanding of pressures and issues facing your institution. An inventory of critical assets and services will assist the planning team in identifying the associated threats, hazards, vulnerabilities and risks unique to their institution. If a business impact analysis (BIA) has already been completed for your federal government institution's BCP, this analysis can greatly inform your criticality assessment.
Risk assessment is central to any risk management process as well as the EM planning cycle.
In this section, risks translate into events or circumstances that, if they materialize, could negatively affect the achievement of government objectives. Consider gathering a list of institutional risks and cross-referencing the existing plans (as identified in Step 2-1c) that address each risk.
It is important that the planning team confirm the strategic priorities of the institution and of senior management so that they can be reflected in the SEMP.
The planning team should aim to clearly identify the planning constraints and institutional limitations that will influence the SEMP building blocks and the subsequent development of the SEMP. Emergency preparedness and response in Canada are shared responsibilities of individuals, corporations and governments, with the division of responsibility established by a wide range of legislation, regulations, bylaws, customs and practices. The primary responsibility for emergency preparedness and response lies with provincial government. When disaster strikes, you may not be able to rely on normal services and infrastructure, which may be disrupted temporarily or on a large scale.
This entry was posted in Useful Tips and tagged American Red Cross, Emergency management, Preparedness by John H. It is widely understood that the non-profit sector is crucial to the survival and well-being of the vulnerable, underprivileged and underserved communities who would be most affected in the event of a major disaster in the Bay Area. Estimates suggest that over 80% of the productive resources required for disaster response and recovery are controlled by the private sector. Throughout the conference and in the afternoon discussion around preparing for disasters five core themes emerged, around which the group coalesced and formed consensus. MessagingCurrent emergency management messaging focuses on the negative, or advocating preparedness, in order to prevent negative results such as the loss of property or life. Measurement and MetricsThe lack of available and accurate data contributes to inefficient and unsuccessful planning. Kathleen Tierney, Director of the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado, formally opened the conference by reviewing the results of the previous day's discussions among the most prominent academics on disaster preparedness and management . While it was agreed that there is a great deal of activity and thinking around disaster preparedness, different stakeholders often have limited visibility to the activities of others. The conference was sponsored by the Hewlett Foundation, The San Francisco Foundation and PG&E as an initial component of a project that seeks to provide an objective, third-party view of the landscape of disaster preparedness. He cited this conference and other initiatives under the aegis of Northern California Grantmakers, The San Francisco Foundation and the United Way, which are all directed at gaining knowledge about gaps in disaster preparedness so that philanthropy can focus on addressing these gaps before a disaster, and also understand how to best use resources immediately after a disaster.
Conference participants were selected through discussions with their peers who identified them as leaders and experts in the disaster management community. EMAP starts with a self-assessment online which is followed by an on-site visit from five assessors who conduct a week-long review and audit of disaster preparedness plans and then make recommendations.
Tierney concluded her presentation by providing a framework for measuring disaster preparedness that could be used across sectors and levels of analysis with existing indicators and instruments and included eight dimensions. Emergency Preparedness Brochures and Booklets can be distributed electronically to all tenants and employees.
Federal government institutions are increasing their focus on emergency management (EM) activities, given the evolving risk environment in their areas of responsibility.
This is why Public Safety Canada has developed this Emergency Management Planning Guide, which is intended to assist all federal government institutions in developing their all-hazards Strategic Emergency Management Plans (SEMPs). Many federal government institutions already have specific planning documents or processes to deal with aspects of emergency management that relate to their particular mandates; many also have a long track record of preparing and refining BCPs. As a matter of process, the Emergency Management Planning Guide will be reviewed annually or as the situation dictates, and amendments will be made at that time. The Guide includes a Blueprint (see Annex A), a Strategic Emergency Management Plan (SEMP) template (see Annex B), and supporting step-by-step instructions, tools and tips to develop and maintain a comprehensive SEMP—an overarching plan that establishes a federal government institution's objectives, approach and structure, which generally sets out how the institution will assist with coordinated federal emergency management, including response. As such, federal institutions are to base EM plans on mandate-specific all-hazards risk assessments, as well as put in place institutional structures to provide governance for EM activities and align them with government-wide EM governance structures. It reflects leading practices (such as those provided by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and Canadian Standards Association) and procedures within the Government of Canada, and should be read in conjunction with the Federal Emergency Response Plan, the Emergency Management Framework for Canada and the Federal Policy for Emergency Management. It should integrate and coordinate elements identified in operational plans and business continuity plans (BCPs).
It is intended that governments and industry partners will work together to assess risks to the sector, develop plans to address these risks, and conduct exercises to validate the plans.
This work at the sector level will inform, and will be informed by, work at the organizational level such as EM plans and their component parts. Emergency Management resource requirements should be identified as early as possible to integrate into plans. Inputs should ideally be assembled, reviewed and well understood prior to engaging in each distinct planning activity as they form an important foundation for the work to be completed. The SEMP should be central to the federal government institution's EM activities and provide clear linkages for integrating and coordinating all other intra-departmental and inter-departmental emergency management plans.


The size and composition of the team may vary between federal government institutions; however, the planning team should ideally have the skill and experience necessary to develop the SEMP. After completing the above steps, the planning team should consider developing a detailed work plan that includes a schedule with realistic timelines, milestones that reflect the institutional planning cycle, and a responsibility assignment matrix with assigned tasks and deadlines.
It entails a process of gathering and analyzing information and typically considers both internal and external factors (see Figure 3: The Planning Context for additional information on the factors to consider).
The key to any emergency planning is awareness of the potential situations that could impose risks on the organization and on Canadians and to assess those risks in terms of their impact and potential mitigation measures.
If gaps are identified, these should ideally be gathered and presented as part of Step 3 when developing the EM Planning Framework and confirming the institution's strategic EM priorities. For further information, you may wish to consult the Canadian Disaster Database, which contains detailed disaster information on over 900 natural, technological and conflict events (excluding war) that have directly affected Canadians over the past century. A sample cross-reference table of existing plans by identified institutional risks is provided in Annex C, Appendix 4. The EM planning governance structure may include representatives of an institution's senior management team, from all functional areas (such as programs) and all corporate areas (including communications, legal services and security). For example, an institution can be constrained by the availability of training for EM planning team members and by the number of EM positions they have staffed.
Provincial governments are responsible for education, health and welfare, civil law, natural resources and local government. While we feel it is imparitive to urge, cajole, encourage and sometimes seemingly demand that citizens prepare themselves to deal with emergencies and disasters, we perhaps have not written enough about the responsibilites of local government and their critical role in disaster preparedness and response.
IntroductionThe intent of Assessing Disaster Preparedness was to have an honest and open dialogue with key stakeholders across different sectors about the level of preparedness in the Bay Area to respond to a major natural hazard such as an earthquake.
The discussion began with presentations by two non-profit organizations, both providing different perspectives on disaster preparedness. Peter Ohtaki, Director of Business Executives for National Security (BENS), spoke to their model of partnerships between the private sector and the government around issues of disaster preparedness and national security. It was agreed that any initiative should include a component that objectively assesses and baselines current levels of preparedness and is able to chart progress from it.
Many in the room felt that emergency management and disaster preparedness were a 'policy without a public', and as a consequence did not get the prominence or importance that they deserved from city or state officials.
Among the activities were two reviews of the preparedness metrics literature conducted by Jeannette Sutton and Dr. As a consequence, there is a lack of transparency around the allocation of resources, previously directed toward preparing for natural disasters.The experts agree that there needs to be an emphasis on advocacy around this subject and a strategy to elevate the subject on the agendas of local and national governments. It is hoped that this exercise would lead to proposed ways to assess preparedness, so that gaps, if any, can be funded by the philanthropic community prior to the onset of a large-scale disaster. It does not lay out the requirements for preparing related EM protocols, processes, and standard operating procedures (SOP) internal to the institution; however, these should be developed in support of the SEMP and related plans. As outlined in the Preface, many federal government institutions already have specific plans or processes to deal with aspects of emergency management; many also have a long track record of preparing and refining BCPs, which endeavour to ensure the continued availability of critical services.
Planning can be triggered by the EM planning cycle or it can be initiated in preparation for, or in response to, an event that is induced either by nature or by human actions. Those federal government institutions that have mandated emergency support functions (ESFs) under the FERP should have these clearly identified.
The Town of Olds is a partner in the Mountain View Regional Emergency Response Plan, along with the municipalities of Didsbury, Carstairs, Cremona, Sundre and Mountain View County.
For example, BAREPP, (Bay Area Regional Earthquake Preparedness Project) existed in various forms between 1983 and 2002. Ana-Marie Jones, Executive Director of Collaborative Agencies Responding to Disasters (CARD), followed with a plea to revisit current messaging and methods around disaster preparedness. However, there is considerable skepticism about the inherent capability of these organizations to function effectively if a disaster strikes.
Nonetheless, the group agreed that it was unreasonable to expect the government to be the sole provider of disaster response and recovery services and had mixed views on the level of preparedness and effectiveness of the office of emergency services at the city, region, state and national levels.
Some members of the group felt strongly that there was an absence of strong leadership and that the subordination of FEMA to the Department of Homeland Security and the focus on terrorism had severely affected the nation's capability to respond to natural disasters. EM planning, in particular, aims to strengthen resiliency by promoting an integrated and comprehensive approach that includes the four pillars of EM: prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.
In addition, there are other existing EM planning documents and initiatives that apply to a range of federal government institutions, such as the Federal Emergency Response Plan (FERP) and deliverables under the National Strategy for Critical Infrastructure. The aim is to develop a SEMP that integrates and coordinates elements identified in hazard-specific plans and BCPs.
Disaster means an event that results in serious harm to the safety, health or welfare of people or in widespread damage to property. Her view was that using fear to urge people to prepare for disasters was a disempowering and ineffective approach.
While many organizations in this sector have begun to create business continuity and disaster preparedness plans, many others have not. Focusing on preparedness for one hazard in lieu of another creates missed opportunities for leveraging investment and optimizing community resiliency. Level 3 Emergency - This is an incident that requires Level 2 emergency response with additional government support to coordinate activities. This act, among other things, defines the areas in which federal and provincial governments can enact legislation.
CARD is built on the concept that preparing for disasters is an essential part of every person's responsibility to themselves, their organizations and their families. These reviews summarized existing measures of preparedness at the household level, organization level and community level using both primary and secondary data. The power to declare a State of Local Emergency is derived from the Disaster Services Act, and is made on declaration by Council Resolution. Although no community is equipped to handle all the demands of a catastrophe, municipalities in Alberta are required, under the provincial Disaster Services Act, to appoint a Disaster Services Committee and to establish and maintain a Municipal Disaster Services Agency. For over 20 years, Ken Samuelsen has produced key floor plans and riser diagrams for clearly delineating building systems, exit routes, and other pertinent building information.
Knowing what to do when (not "if") a disaster strikes will help you better control the situation and be in a better position to recover more quickly.
The federal government has jurisdiction over defense, foreign affairs, criminal law, money and banking, trade, transportation, citizenship, public and environmental protection, and aboriginal affairs. Safety Planning Group is knowledgable of all the pertinent fire safety code in New York City to ensure fast approval by the FDNY.
A Level 2 Emergency may require the appointment of an Emergency Site Manager, support by agencies of the Disaster Services Agency, and a partial activation of an Emergency Operations Centre. Filmed on-site, the video can be used for fire drills, preparedness training for building staff, floor wardens, and all tenants.




Disaster preparedness checklist red cross
Community emergency preparedness and response plan
Animal care games
What is not a natural hazard


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