As evacuees from the Fort McMurray wildfire return to their homes and community recovery continues, we are visibly reminded of the importance of planning for emergencies. In British Columbia, as part of the province’s efforts in preparing for an impending earthquake, Exercise Coastal Response, Western Canada’s largest earthquake and tsunami response exercise, was held last week from June 7 to 10, 2016. To organize and execute response, recovery and verification events, it is important to obtain guidance from a standard that presents best practice in emergency and business continuity management. One such standard is CSA Z1600 Emergency and continuity management program.
Emergency Preparedness Week 2016 will be remembered for the wildfires that ravaged Fort McMurray, Alberta. At the time of writing this blog post, the wildfire has surpassed over 101,000 hectares and damage costs according to Bank of Montreal could reach $9 billion for insurers. The overwhelming speed of the fire and the severe impacts it has had to the city and its residents emphasize the need to be prepared and reinforces the message of EP Week – Plan. Prepare. Be Aware.
Did you know that floods are the most frequent natural hazard in Canada? According to Public Safety Canada, floods are the country’s costliest natural disaster, with regards to property damage. Because floods can occur any time of year, in any region — floods affect hundreds of thousands of Canadians annually. And if your business operates in Metro Vancouver, you know all too well that this metropolis is one of Canada’s rainiest! If you are operating in other coastal areas, you can also be at risk of flooding from rising sea levels or storm surges. So what can you do to mitigate the effects of flooding?
After witnessing the devastating effects of the April 2016 earthquakes in Ecuador and Japan, it’s increasingly difficult to deny the importance of planning and preparing for earthquakes. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, over 60% of British Columbians live in a region where some of the largest earthquakes in the world occur. And, if you’re located in coastal areas, your chances of being affected increase. In the coastal state of California, the cost of earthquakes equates to over $60 billion in losses since 1971. The losses include the destruction of building and infrastructures, as well as losses in business operations.
Coastal towns are a popular tourist destination due to the picture-perfect views and stunning fiery sunsets over the ocean. Poseidon, the great Olympian god of the sea, rivers, floods and earthquakes, highlights the need to be prepared. After all, there are certain consequences faced when operating a business within the vicinity of such beauty and you never know when the earth may start to shake or the water and waves will rise. A disaster as tragic as any Greek myth may happen at any time – are you ready to combat the great Poseidon when the time comes?
To ensure that your response and recovery plans can be implemented effectively, it is essential to equip your employees with easy access to supplies — the best way to do this is by providing workplace emergency preparedness kits. Emergency preparedness kits don’t just include first aid kits; they are comprised of other vital supplies to aid in the immediate aftermath of an emergency.
The count down is over, Emergency Preparedness Week is here! So, what does this mean for you and your organization? EP Week is a great opportunity to revisit and confirm your organization’s preparedness. Let’s start now.
As we’ve previously shared on our Emergency Management Matters blog, transportation plays a key and invaluable role for company operations, and is a vital element of emergency management. It provides the service that links companies to their suppliers, customers and employees — the consequences suffered when transportation services and infrastructure are impacted following a disaster, are far reaching.
In December 2015, the US Geological Survey measured a 4.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland. As a result of the earthquake, two of Metro Vancouver’s transit lines were shut down for 90 minutes. This recent shake, which caused no damage, is a reminder that organizations must be prepared when the unexpected occurs. When an incident cripples transportation routes, how will your personnel or key supplies get from A to B?
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF TRANSPORTATION IN EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
Transportation can be described as the critical infrastructure for communities and their economies. Routes and channels, where goods and services are transported, are often coined as the arteries of a community. And it is descriptions like these that really hit home when disasters strike. The world has witnessed far too many disasters and now recognizes that the lack of roads, railroads and airports can incapacitate a community and bankrupt businesses. According to the World Economic Forum report in 2012, more than 90% of those surveyed express that supply chain and transport risk management have become a priority for their organization over the last five years.
British Columbia Emergency Program Act Under Review — Why You Need to Participate
In January 2016, the Honourable Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness, launched a consultation initiative to revise the BC Emergency Program Act. With catastrophes on the rise, there’s no better time than now, to offer your recommendations for improving the legislation.