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.

CSA Z1600, a standard that provides requirements to develop, implement, maintain and evaluate an emergency and continuity management program, has been posted for public review. CSA Standards undergo a regular review and update to remain current and reflect best practices.  An important part of the update is to obtain feedback from those that will utilize the standard.  The timing is impeccable to capture the experience of those who have participated in the recent events, or have monitored and have seen opportunities to programs.  Log onto the CSA website (click here) to review the draft and share your experience and expertise to ensure the Canadian standard for emergency and continuity management is leading best practices. 

At CCEM Strategies, we use CSA Z1600 to inform and support recommendations for emergency and continuity management enhancement. Additionally, CSA Z1600 provides an effective benchmark which allows organizations to assess the suitability, adequacy and effectiveness of their programs and practices.

Christine Trefanenko, Director at CCEM Strategies, has been a member of the CSA Z1600 Technical Committee for more than five years. She also participates on the Technical Committee for CSA Z246.2 Emergency preparedness and response for petroleum and natural gas industry systems.

Your skills, knowledge and experiences are required to ensure that CSA Z1600 evolves to support both public and private organizations in their emergency and continuity management programs. The closing date is June 15, 2016, so please provide your feedback as soon as possible. For more information or to provide feedback, click here.