CRHNet President’s message – Fall 2019

For ten years HazNet has showcased new ideas and research in disaster risk reduction, shared the heartbreak of those who have been impacted by disasters, and advocated for a disaster resilient Canada. I began reading HazNet long before I become the President of the Canadian Risk and Hazards Network (CRHNet) because HazNet served as a bridge to a community that was just as passionate about disaster risk reduction as I was. The fields and types of jobs involved in disaster risk reduction are incredibly diverse and it is easy for people to stay in silos. Publications such as HazNet serve as more than just reading material; they also help to bring people together in working towards a common goal. Disaster risk reduction is not accomplished in silos; it was borne out of a complex problem and so requires expertise from a diverse group of professions. I would like to take a moment to recognize and thank the HazNet team for their ongoing contributions, including reaching out to different people and professions to promote disaster risk reduction. It is through their hard work and passion that we have seen HazNet develop into the high-quality publication you see before you.

This an interesting time for disaster risk reduction in Canada. New initiatives are being implemented in different provinces and jurisdictions. The increasing risk of disasters due to factors such as climate change, and social factors that influence vulnerability, have underscored the need for progress. While in the past we have seen that action on risk reduction all too often would occur only after a major emergency, there has been more of a push for organizations, governments, and households to become more proactive. CRHNet is committed to exploring opportunities to showcase these initiatives and make this information more accessible to groups across Canada.

The new Board, which was voted in following the 2019 Symposium, is looking forward to building on the work accomplished by past Boards. Some of the legacy projects that we are looking towards implementing in the near future include hosting a new iteration of the Disaster Risk Reduction Roundtable through an exciting collaboration with Public Safety Canada. I would like to take a moment to thank Michel Doré for his work in making this opportunity become a reality for CRHNet.

The joint Disaster Risk Reduction Roundtable and the CRHNet Symposium will be held in Ottawa in October 2020. CRHNet is looking forward to partnering with Public Safety Canada for this innovative event. We hope you can join us!

I look forward to working with all of you to continue to strengthen CRHNet in its mission to support collaboration between the many partners involved in disaster risk reduction.

Patricia Martel, Ph.D, CEM