CAN-ASC-5.1 Standard on Emergency Measures: Public Review Draft – 11. Emerging and evolving risks

Table of contents section 11

Emergencies are happening more frequently and are becoming less predictable, and more people are at risk when emergencies strike. Canada’s risk environment is increasingly complex, and Canadians need to be better prepared.

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the tremendous impact of a global health emergency on all sectors of society. It has disproportionately affected persons with disabilities and has resulted in new members of the disability community. The pandemic has provided many lessons learned and provided an opportunity to take a more inclusive approach to emergency planning by considering the needs and priorities of persons with disabilities and those who may become vulnerable in any emergency.

Organizations should:

  1. be mindful of the barriers that Canadians faced during COVID-19 and develop emergency plans with equitable access to the necessities of life as a priority and that provide equitable access to safety and security for persons with disabilities and those who may become vulnerable in the emergency;
  2. increase scanning of trends and hazards to recognize and be mindful of emerging and evolving risks to incorporate into emergency planning;
  3. identify any informational barriers that prevent access to information or resources; and attitudinal barriers which give rise to stigma and exclusion, all of which add to discrimination and inequality; and
  4. ensure that emergency plans are not compromising of accessibility (e.g., physically secure place, mentally and intellectually safe space or quarantined locations) that accommodates different disabilities and needs.