2015 Canadian Risks and Hazards Network Symposium in Calgary: Student Bursary

2015 Canadian Risks and Hazards Network Symposium in Calgary


CRHNet is committed to enhancing student and young professionals participation in disaster risk reduction in Canada.

Apply for Student Bursary by Sept. 15th (5 bursaries at $500 each are awarded annually) to attend this year’s Symposium.

Download the form: CRHNet_YP_bursary_2015_approved.


Conference announcement: Planning for Hazards

There are many facets to planning in the north. Exploring the role of land use planning in acknowledging, preparing and mitigating natural and human induced disasters. This two-day mini-conference will include a presentation with PIBC’s current President, Dan Huang MCIP RPP, the UNBC Environmental Planning Welcome Reception and Northern Development Initiative Trust – Local Government Intern Program update, a banquet dinner and keynote presentations with Lui Carvello MCIP RPP. The PIBC Central-North Chapter and the UNBC School of Environmental Planning cordially invites you to two days of innovative ideas and stimulating discussion!

The conference includes mobile tour, legal update, panel presentations and more.

Registration information, fees and program can be found here. 



Announcing the Larry Pearce Education Award

We are delighted to announce call for nominations for Larry Pearce Education Award (Application form).

The award was established in 2014 by the Canadian Risk and Hazards Network (CRHNet). It recognizes the extensive contribution by Larry Pearce to disaster risk reduction (DRR) in Canada. DRR includes emergency/disaster management and business continuity/resumption.

The award total ($2,250) is to be divided among three recipients: $1,000 for first place, $750 for second, and $500 for third. The cash award is provided towards the recipient’s tuition or related costs (e.g., books, lab or other fees). Recipients will be announced at the CRHNet annual symposium. Their profile will also be featured in HazNet, CRHNet’s signature publication.

HazNet call for articles on ‘community resilience’

The Canadian Risk and Hazards Network (CRHNet) publishes ‘HazNet’ journal twice a year. HazNet is a general interest publication focusing on emergency management and disaster risk reduction in Canada and internationally. HazNet is available on-line, free of charge on CRHNet’s website www.crhnet.ca.  HazNet is distributed throughout Canada in limited print and internationally in unlimited digital editions through various academic and practitioner networks.

We are currently looking for articles from practitioners, researchers and students for our November edition which focuses on community resilience. Please submit your article by Sept. 30th in electronic MS word compatible format  to editorhaznet@gmail.com

Earlier submissions are encouraged. Please review submission guidelines: How_to_Contribute_HazNet

Please review the attached document for author’s guidelines: 800 – 1,000 words, with relevant graphics and/or photographs, a 2-line biography (with a photo) and 140 character (not words) summary of your article (for social media distribution). Please note that this is a general interest publication (please avoid academic language).

For our Fall issue, to be released in November for the National DRR Round table meeting, we have an exciting line up of articles that range from field report in Nepal to resilience planning in the Netherlands to a visual essay on coastal resilience planning among others. We look forward to working with you on your submission!

Spread the word:

We are always looking for practitioners and researchers who are involved in disaster risk reduction and associated disciplines (e.g., natural sciences, disaster sociology, and crisis communications) and would be able to share their experiences and findings through our journal. Please inform your colleagues who may be interested in contribution to our future volumes.

For previous editions please visit www.CRHNet.ca (bottom right corner).

About the network: 

CRHNet is a not for profit association established to:

  • initiate the development of a Canadian inter-disciplinary and cross-sectoral network of researchers, academics and practitioners to enhance understanding of emergency management in all dimensions and help build Canadian capacity to deal effectively with threats and consequences from all hazards;
  • create a Canadian annual Symposium for dialogue focusing on disaster risk reduction and facilitate policy formulation and adoption of best practices in Canada;
  • provide a Canadian venue to learn from the experiences of other countries by inviting internationally reputed scholars, practitioners, and participants to the annual Symposium and to share Canadian experience and efforts in disaster reduction; and
  • publish bi-annual journal, (HazNet) comprised of articles on a wide range of topics within the emergency and disaster management arena.


PREPAREDNESS 101: Interview with Dennis Mileti

We recently interviewed Dennis Mileti, one of the leading experts on preparedness in North America, director emeritus of the Natural Hazards Center who authored over 100 publications focusing on the societal aspects of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery for hazards and disasters. His book Disasters by Design, published in 1999, involved over 130 experts to assess knowledge, research, and policy needs for hazards in the U.S. He was co-founder and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Natural Hazards Review, an interdisciplinary all-hazards journal devoted to bringing together the natural and social sciences, engineering, and the policy communities.

CRA: You’ve been in this business for many years and you’ve worked with some of the giants. If you were to boil down everything that we know about preparedness into three main points: what would you like everyone to know?

Dennis: You would have a different answer from me if you were talking about the preparedness of households and individuals then if you’re talking about the preparedness of communities.

CRA: Let’s start with the individual and household level.

Dennis: In reference to individuals and the family here’s what I’d say if I were summing it up.

Number 1: The single most important influential thing that gets human beings to prepare for disasters is experiencing a disaster. And what that means is if you give San Francisco a big earthquake after the earthquake is over and after the horse is out of the barn: people will prepare like crazy. However, what I would say to those who would wish to increase public preparedness is to be ready to take full advantage of that and be ready to steer the public in the right direction when you have their attention after an earthquake. And quite frankly, I don’t know anyone in this nation or any other that does that. And so the time to get people interested in earthquake insurance is after the earthquake not before. So that’s number 1.

Number 2: Short of experiencing an earthquake, when you’re talking to people to be prepared in general, to mitigate their homes more extensively etc. The most influential vehicle for influencing human behaviour is totally ignored by people like FEMA and the Red Cross and Offices of Emergency Services, Association of Floodplain managers etc. The single most influential spokesperson to motivate the public to prepare are other people in their life. Their friends, their relatives, and neighbours. And this is not unique to preparedness although the data is in that it is. How human beings are wired, how we’re made up genetically, and that is: we are copy cats or “monkey see, monkey do”. That’s how motivation spreads. The thing to get going to is to get people who have taken steps to mitigate or prepare for a natural disaster to open up their mouths and tell their next-door neighbour and friends steps they took. For example: I live in a very earthquake vulnerable part of the country and after I have friends over for dinner I typically walk them over to a statue on a table in my living room and say try shaking that statue, they try shaking the statue and it doesn’t move. Then I giggle and say “try shaking the box it’s on” and they try shaking the box and it doesn’t move. Then I say try shaking the table that the box is on, they try shaking it and it doesn’t move. Then they look at me like “why is everything glued down?” And that’s how I can protect the lives of people I live with and protect them from injuries in the event of an earthquake. And I know that when they’re driving home, the wife pokes the husband and says “When are we going to glue things down?” That’s how you do it. It’s not government. Government isn’t the best spokesperson to motivate preparedness, it’s the people you know and love, admire, trust and are a part of their everyday life. And so given that do you know of any public efforts to motivate people who have already prepared to share with and tell their friends and relatives what they have done? That’s the most productive way to do it so why are we continuing to do it in other ways, rather than the most productive way. It’s an interesting question isn’t it?

The bottom line is that most public agencies that engage in public education efforts it’s really not about motivating the public, what it’s really about is having them look good. And to look like they’re doing their jobs. And so that’s number 2: Getting human beings to share what they’ve done.

Number 3: if you want to motivate the public to prepare it needs to be repetitively messaged if you want to break through the malaise of everyday life when the average human being has 1000 problems to worry about – they’re probably going to be worried about getting clean clothes on their families back, putting a dinner down and what dress to wear to dinner before they ever get ready for something they don’t believe is ever going to happen to them. Now the way you get to people, the way you get into the human mind is repetitive messaging. Let me ask you a question? How old were you when you could remember hearing your first ad for Coca-Cola. And when was the last time you heard an advertisement for Coca-Cola? And how many did you hear in between the years? Coca-Cola knows we need a repetitive message while agencies that are trying to encourage preparedness don’t.

You’ve got to market it. If you want the public to prepare you can’t put on big extravaganza event one day a year and expect that anybody is going to do anything. You’ve got to remind them to do it daily. And so you need to invent a repetitive message campaign.

Now listen to this you’re not the only one if you’re engaged in motivating the public to prepare that’s talking to the public. So let’s just say for flood hazard mitigation let’s pick a town like Boulder, Colorado. You have the NOAA talking to them, you have the state talking to them, you have the Red Cross talking to them you have local emergency management talking to them. And so on and so forth you get that there are many different spokespersons. They need to be saying to same thing otherwise it confuses people and people think nobody knows exactly what they should or shouldn’t do. They also have their friends talking to them and so what needs to happen is you need to have the message coordinated and so the Red Cross, FEMA, the city, the county, state etc. are all saying the same thing. And that means you need to brand the message not the messenger. And that involves organizations giving up their favourite personal emergency preparedness activities and coordinating with each other. And that’s very difficult to do.

To summarize: Number 1: have people that have already prepared talking to their friends and relatives talking to their friends/loved ones, sharing with their friends what they’ve done and that will accomplish more than anyone else on the planet can do.

Number 2: get different groups who are giving out information who are interested in getting the public to increase their preparedness to disseminate the same message rather than their own unique message

Number 3: The message has to be repeated frequently, not infrequently, just like advertising. Why would Coca-Cola keep spending money on advertising if they’ve been around 100 years? Because they know the minute they stop advertising people will forget all about them. You’re dealing with human beings. Those are the things that would enhance preparedness levels, even the most you could accomplish isn’t as much as you would ideally want, most human beings aren’t going to prepare no matter what.

Interview was conducted by Lily Yumagulova. Crisis Resilience Alliance would like to thank Shaun Koopman for transcribing the interview.


New investments to better support first responders

June 26, 2015

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA — Five innovative new projects announced that will support local first responders – notably firefighters and paramedics – across Canada.

The initiatives were announced as part of a $12 million investment in new projects approved under the latest round of projects funded through the Canadian Safety and Security Program (CSSP).

Three projects will aim to improve support for Canada’s firefighters by investing in a pilot National Fire Information Database, the development of models to better predict large wildfires, and strategies to improve recruiting and retaining of volunteer firefighters.

Two projects will aim to improve support for paramedics by investing in a study of blood testing devices and another study of health and wellness indicators for paramedics to help inform operational decisions.

Quick Facts

  • Proposals, which will invest approximately $12 million in innovative projects across Canada. Since 2013, the CSSP has invested approximately $47 million to fund innovative projects to enhance the public safety and security of Canadians.
  • The Canadian Safety and Security Program is led by Defence Research and Development Canada’s Centre for Security Science, in partnership with Public Safety Canada.
  • The CSSP’s mission is to strengthen Canada’s ability to anticipate, mitigate, prepare, respond, and recover from terrorist acts, crime, natural disasters, and serious accidents.
  • CSSP projects bring together experts from the fields of science, technology, public safety and security in non-government organizations, industry, government, and academia — nationally and internationally — to develop and improve knowledge and tools to better safeguard Canada.

For more information visit this page

Presentations from the “Towards regional resilience in the Pacific Northwest” public event 

The Crisis Resilience Alliance in partnership with the Liu Institute for Global Issues and the School of Community and Regional Planning, the University of British Columbia invite you to watch the presentations from our public event in February. Please scroll down for videos and presentations.

Description: The Pacific Northwest is a unique region in which climate change is expected to exacerbate many of the natural hazard risks such as flooding, landslides, and extreme weather events shared across the Cascadia bioregion irrespective of political and international boundaries. Developing proactive adaptation interventions that anticipate these increasing risks and exploit potential opportunities is crucial to ensuring resilient communities and even wise financial and infrastructural investments. This panel will explore the climate and natural hazard-related interdependencies of our region and investigate the question of whether the regional level is the ultimate scale for planning resilience.


Part I: Jason Biermann, Deputy Director, Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management

“The 2014 SR 530 ‘Oso’ landslide”

Part II: Jeff Hortobagyi, Corporate Business Continuity Office, TELUS Communications

“Resilience and emergency management: perspectives from TELUS”

Part III: Steven Whitney, Senior Program Officer, The Bullitt Foundation, Seattle

“Nature as Infrastructure: Planning for Resilience in the Pacific Northwest”

Download pdf of the presentation: UBC Whitney SCARP 2015

Part IV: Moura Quayle, Director, Liu Institute for Global Issues; Professor, Strategic Design, University of British Columbia

“Rethinking, refining and rebuilding collaborative models for resilience”

Part V: Q & A session

Moderator:  John Oakley, Resilience strategist, Translink;

Former Senior Regional Manager, Southwest Region; Emergency Management British Columbia

Call for Proposals for Public Safety Canada’s Policy Development Contribution Program

Please note that the Call for Proposals for Public Safety Canada’s Policy Development Contribution Program (PDCP) is now open! The PDCP supports strategic projects undertaken by the Department’s stakeholders that contribute to policy making and improved service delivery, in the areas of public safety and emergency management.

Eligible recipients for the contributions program include Canadian provinces, territories, public and private non-profit organizations, aboriginal governments, local non-government organizations (NGOs) and national voluntary organizations.

The Department provides funding to three categories of projects:

Communication/Information Exchange projects (12 months maximum);
Innovation and Research projects (60 months maximum); and
Training and Skills Development projects (24 months maximum)

Please submit your application <http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/bt/plc-dvlpmnt/pplctn-fndng-eng.aspx> by June 5, 2015. For specific instructions on completing the application form as well as information about the assessment process, please consult the Applicant Guide<http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/bt/plc-dvlpmnt/pplcnt-gd-eng.aspx>.

For further details see: http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/bt/plc-dvlpmnt/index-eng.aspx.

HazNet: a special issue on preparedness

green title pageHappy Emergency Preparedness Week!

The latest issue of HazNet, the Canadian Risk and Hazards Network bi-annual publication is here. This special issue focuses on public preparedness.

Please read, share and distribute through your networks.


HazNet Public Preparedness 2015

Call for National Disaster Mitigation Program proposals

The Honourable Steven Blaney, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness today launched the first call for proposals for the National Disaster Mitigation Program (NDMP).

In Economic Action Plan 2014, our Government committed to providing $200 million in funding over five years, starting in 2015-16 to develop the National Disaster Mitigation Program. As announced in January 2015, the NDMP will focus mainly on flood mitigation, to better protect Canadians, their homes, and communities.

This funding is in addition to the investments made under the New Building Canada Fund. Announced in Economic Action Plan 2013, the New Building Canada Fund provides $14 billion to support significant infrastructure projects in Canada as identified by the provinces and territories, which can include mitigation infrastructure to help prevent floods and other natural disasters.

The investments in flood-risk identification and prevention measures through the NDMP reflect our Government’s shift towards a proactive disaster relief model that will better protect Canadians and their communities from the costs and heartache associated with reoccurring flooding.

Quick Facts

  • Flood mitigation investments are needed in Canada. Since being created in 1970, the DFAA have been applied to over 210 events, with total payments of over $3.4 billion made to provinces and territories. Of those 210 events, 190 were flood-related, representing more than 85 per cent of all DFAA-funded recovery efforts.
  • Through NDMP investments, our Government will:
    • Help reduce flood-related risks and losses by supporting provinces and territories in identifying and mitigating high-risk flood areas;
    • Contribute to establishing conditions for the introduction of a residential flood insurance market in Canada;
    • Collect disaster risk information that will inform future investments; and
    • Facilitate greater knowledge-sharing across emergency management stakeholders.
  • This funding is in addition to the funding that is available for disaster mitigation projects through the $53 billion New Building Canada Plan. It provides stable funding for a 10-year period, and includes:
    • The Community Improvement Fund, consisting of the Gas Tax Fund and the incremental Goods and Services Tax Rebate for Municipalities, which will provide over $32 billion to municipalities for projects such as disaster mitigation, roads, public transit, and other community infrastructure.
    • The $14-billion New Building Canada Fund, which consists of:
      • The $4-billion National Infrastructure Component that will support projects of national significance; and
      • The $10-billion Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component for projects of national, regional and local significance. Of this amount, $1 billion for projects in communities with fewer than 100,000 residents through the Small Communities Fund.
      • An additional $1.25 billion in funding for the Public-Private Partnerships (P3) Canada Fund administered by PPP Canada.