For many, 2021 has continued to be a whirlwind of activity due to the COVID-19 response. There is still the need to follow public health guidance to stop the spread of COVID-19, especially with the emergence of new variants; however, with vaccination rates increasing, it is starting to feel like we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. COVID-19 will continue to impact disaster risk reduction for a long time. The ultimate test will be how many lessons from this historic event become lessons learned rather than just ‘lessons observed’. It is important that all of us continue to act as champions for disaster risk reduction so the lessons from COVID-19 are not lost.
With my term as President coming to an end in the fall, I want to express what an honour it has been to work with the CRHNet Board and the HazNet Team. Both the Board and HazNet are run by volunteers who selflessly gave their time while helping with or being impacted by many of the ongoing emergency responses. Even with limited capacity and the stresses presented by such emergencies as COVID-19 and the ongoing forest fire situation, they have still succeeded in making sure that CRHNet and HazNet can continue to grow. While COVID-19 has posed challenges for CRHNet like many other non-profits, we have continued to move forward with projects and activities intended to build a stronger organization and network. We have worked hard to modernize our internal processes and have made great strides in large projects such as the website refresh and the strategic plan. In addition, new membership and partner benefits will be rolled out soon to give our members even more value. The Board remains committed to building new partnerships, serving as a network for people with interests in disaster risk reduction, and seeking exciting new opportunities to bring more value to our members.
I would like to thank our Board and the HazNet Team for all of their hard work over the past several years. It has been a pleasure to work with you and I look forward to seeing where you take CRHNet in the future.
Patricia Martel, Ph.D, CEM