Volume 2, Number 1

January 2022

Welcome to Volume 2, Number 1

Simon Wells, Founder and Principal

Thank you for your commitment to our profession in the midst of another busy time for emergency managers in Canada. We commend you for never stepping back and for fully engaging your important role in your community, your Province, and in Canada.

As we prepare this issue and start our new volume, Canada enters its third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Omicron variant rapidly spreading around the world. Still, other emergencies unfold and affect us in big ways: the system of atmospheric rivers that hit British Columbia in late 2021 still leave it vulnerable to significant supply chain disruption, flooding, and landslides. This follows after an extreme fire season in the same province. Flooding impacted Alberta just as dramatically, and fires challenged the Prairies in one their busiest fire seasons ever.

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Briefing Note

Kaitlyn Boudreau, Melanie Robinson, and Zahrah Farooqi

In August 2021, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its Sixth Assessment Report. Among its authors are several Canadian climate scientists. The report has important applications for disaster and emergency management policy in Canada, and naturally foreshadows the work that practitioners will be doing in the coming years.

The Canadian Journal of Emergency Management’s Operations Section has produced a briefing note summarizing the Sixth Assessment Report’s Summary for Policy Makers, which is in itself an extensive white paper.

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The Network of Actors and its Social Representations: A Method for Evaluating Emergency and Risk Management in Saint-André de Kamouraska

Martin Laroche and Steve Plante

Translated from the original French by Janick Daigle

In this article, we assess the management of emergencies and risks by combining the social network analysis and the study of social representations. We use a classical and bipartite network analysis method to highlight the key players in emergency and risk management. The use of social representations anchors our data in the particular territorial experience of the municipality of Saint-André-de-Kamouraska located in the administrative region of Bas-Saint-Laurent in Quebec. We posit that the main advantages of our method are:

   a) revealing the key players in emergency and risk management

   b) unveil the impact of these actors on the governance of emergencies and risks

   c) draw the socialization to risk and urgency of the population under study.

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The Rising Importance Of Volunteering To Address Community Emergencies

Alexander Landry, Robert Colwell, and Craig Price

With the rise of community-implicating emergencies in Canada, particularly evidenced by the recent flooding, forest fires, and the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a growing need for coordination of emergency management. This is true at the federal and provincial levels, with volunteers at the municipal level leveraging their knowledge of their respective communities, their ability to provide situational awareness on local situations and demographics, and their capacity to undertake smaller, less specialized tasks in support of professional emergency management efforts.

Through the shared experiences of three emergency first responders within the firefighting and paramedical communities, this article explores community volunteerism within the scope of emergency management, demonstrating its growing importance. It further provides practical recommendations on the expansion of the community and ways that municipalities can continue to support first responders moving forward, seeking to establish the framework for an approach similar to the military approach to the Joint Interagency Multinational and Public (JIMP) environment.

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Photo credit: Jake Nebov / Unsplash

Logistics: More than a List

Building a Source for Connection and Resource Identification

Scott Cameron, Co-Founder
Emergency Management Logistics Canada

Many organizations conduct emergency management planning and preparations from the corner of their desk as they lack the capacity and resources to dedicate full time attention. Directors of Emergency Management (DEMs) regularly build relationships within their sector and engage “contractors through personal relationships and other channels”. However, major disaster situations remove the DEM from significant logistics functions, leaving other members of the local EM team to fulfil the Logistics responsibilities. Incomplete paper or digital lists with missing information add time and complexity that can result in missed opportunities to mitigate damage to people and property – especially when the logistics functions are being undertaken by people infrequently engaged in crisis situations.

This article substantiates the need for logistics as a central consideration in building and maintaining networks for connection and collaboration, identifies the value of maintaining comprehensive resource lists as a logistics function, and highlights the significance of building and maintaining local data as part of a solid strategy in preparation for the next disaster situation.

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Photo credit: Landon Parenteau / Unsplash

Cultural Safety in Emergency Support Services

Kayla Pepper

Wildfire and flood events of recent years, including this year, have stretched and tested British Columbia’s Emergency Support Services (ESS) system, a provincial program designed by Emergency Management BC (EMBC) to support evacuees. After action reviews from the 2017 and 2018 wildfire and flood seasons, demonstrate ESS approaches fell short of providing fully adequate support to Indigenous communities. Building upon a Master’s thesis which was designed using Indigenous research methodologies and action research engagement principles, I asked the question: “How might emergency management practitioners braid cultural safety and a respect, honouring and celebration of Indigenous traditional knowledge, and community-based practices into ESS training and practices?” This article offers a summary of findings and recommendations for practical application for communities and emergency management organizations across the country.

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