For fifteen years CRHNet has multiplied its efforts to network among the various partners and stakeholders involved in disaster risk reduction and emergency management. Our membership reunites a strong representation of the individuals and organisations actively engaged in our field. Our annual symposiums and HazNet (haznet.ca), our magazine, have become our flagships.
The increasing toll disasters pose upon our society and the growing number of organizations committed to disaster risk reduction, invite us to reflect on our role and more importantly on the ways we propose ourselves to contribute to a more resilient Canada. For these reasons, the board of directors initiated a strategic planning process as well as a revision of our image and web presence. The next months will provide us the opportunity to pave the way for the next fifteen years.
Canada’s Disaster Risk Reduction Platform
As previously announced, CRHNet now co-chair the Canadian disaster risk reduction (DRR) platform. Our partnership with Public Safety Canada proves to be fruitful. There remains a mutual understanding that CRHNet symposiums and the DRR roundtables could benefit from a joint programming. The current discussions bring new opportunities for CRHNet to achieve its vision of a network of networks.
To materialize this vision, we partnered with Public Safety Canada, the Pacific Northwest Preparedness Society and Emergency Preparedness for Industry and Commerce Council (EPICC) to join our 2018 events. Thus, the Canadian DRR roundtable, Emergency Preparedness and Business Continuity Conference and our CRHNet conference happened in the same venue in Vancouver from October 29 to November 1, 2018. This first joint initiative reinforced our interest in pursuing similar project in the future.
Thus, the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Canada, Canada’s DRR Platform and CRHNet are partnering with the Consortium ÉGIDE to co-host the Disaster Resilience Summit (dr2020.ca) in Montreal, June 16-18, 2020. Let’s save the date.
Emergency Management NGOs Consortium of Canada
Reviewing the governance of Canada’s Disaster Risk Reduction Platform, there appeared a need to improve the relationships with the national volunteer and humanitarian organizations. Discussions led to the development of the Emergency Management NGO Consortium of Canada (EMNCC). The consortium, through its mission, “optimizes the contribution of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that help increase disaster resilience in communities in Canada.”
In January, 2019, 14 national NGOs have formalized their terms of reference. They will soon develop a memorandum of understanding (MOU) detailing their collaboration mechanisms. EMNCC will designate the NGOs’ representative with the DRR platform thus strengthening the relationships.
With the increased interest in the professional certifications in the field of DRR, there appears an even stronger requirement to agree on a common and scientifically valid body of knowledge. CRHNet academic members from across the country actively participate with Public Safety Canada in the identification of the emergency management core competencies. At term, this project will assist academic institutions in developing programs and courses that better fit the professional requirements
CRHNet and IAEM Canada now benefit from established communication and collaboration mechanisms. We jointly participate in different forums that illustrate our complementarity. As such, CRHNet is thrilled to participate along with IAEM Canada in a project lead by the Consortium ÉGIDE.
This project aims to assemble teams of academics and IAEM certified practitioners to rapidly respond to disasters occurring in Canada. CRHNet would facilitate the establishment of a common research protocol and IAEM Canada would develop a common deployment protocol. Such a project would allow for the rapid collection of perishable data that would populate the Canadian disaster database in a way that would allow for stronger meta-analysis.
Now is the time to build on our last fifteen years’ achievements to scale up CRHNet’s contributions to a disaster resilient Canada. We should reach out to the other partners that might not even recognise themselves as playing a part in DRR (e.g., small businesses, social clubs, educators, artists).
This illustrates the opportunities for CRHNet and its members to demonstrate, educate, mobilize, document and share evidence-based disaster-risk reduction initiatives. We remain engaged and more importantly, committed in championing disaster risk reduction and emergency management in our ongoing activities.
In the meantime, I wish you all success and resilience as we gather in Winnipeg for our 2019 Symposium.
Michel C. Doré, Ph.D., CEM, CGU.