CAN-ASC-5.1 Standard on Emergency Measures: Public Review Draft – 4. General considerations
4.1 Emergency measures – general
Given the increased probability of emergencies, there has been a shift in approaching emergencies from a focus on post-impact activities to a more systematic and phased approach to conceive, plan, implement, assess, and improve emergency measures. A key element of this process is the integration of the specific needs of persons with disabilities and persons who may be vulnerable in emergencies. The requirements and complexities of organizations vary considerably, and while each emergency management program will be unique, based on specific needs and resources of the organization, common approaches and principles should guide the development and implementation of the program. This Section provides general guidance on the key components of emergency management programs and highlights how these processes can be more inclusive for all Canadians.
Emergency management is based on four interdependent functions. These include:
- Prevention and Mitigation – to reduce risk;
- Preparedness – operational readiness and coordinated approach;
- Response – integrated response in accordance with strategic priorities; and
- Recovery – restored/continuity operations.
The development of an emergency management program covering these functions should address all hazards and should follow a standardized approach that covers how personnel, facilities, equipment, procedures can be coordinated within a common organized structure. Key elements of an emergency management program include:
- program management (leadership, administration, resources);
- planning (hazard identification, risk assessment, stakeholder engagement);
- implementation ( incident management, communications, recovery);
- program monitoring and review.
(See section 4.3 for a model of the overall program structure)
Note: There are a number of standards, guidelines and training programs that provide detailed requirements and guidance on emergency and incident management systems, such as CSA Z1600, Emergency and continuity management program. (See Referenced publications and Bibliography for more information on these resources).
4.2 Being inclusive – Key principles
As part of the emergency management program, the organization should work to incorporate strategies to support emergency measures which are inclusive for persons with disabilities and persons who may become vulnerable in an emergency. While each organization and emergency can require specific actions to achieve an inclusive approach, the following general principles should guide the activities.
- use a person-centric approach – persons with disabilities, vulnerable persons and their caregivers or representatives are experts in their own lives and overcoming challenges and should actively participate in the planning and decision-making processes (5.3, 6.3.3, 10);
- identify persons with disabilities and vulnerable persons to develop and provide tailored support (5.2);
- share information and collaborate - work in collaboration with other organizations and agencies to understand needs of persons who may become vulnerable and develop place-based plans (5.3, 6.3, 8.2.1);
- define responsibilities and provide resources – emergency preparedness and response calls on both organizations and individuals to share responsibility in building resilience to emergencies, but individuals and organizations need resources to help them contribute within their capabilities (6.2, 10, Annex B);
- communicate effectively - identify effective means of communicating accessible, trusted, real-time emergency information and warnings (8.4);
- enhance data collection procedures - collect demographic data to better understand the support needs of those persons at greater risk and to provide more tailored supports (e.g., service animals, mobility aids, medication management, technology equipment, etc.) (5.3) ; and
- encourage and support training and education for personnel involved in incident management activities about the needs of persons with disabilities and aspects of vulnerability (5.3, 10).