CAN-ASC-5.1 Standard on Emergency Measures: Public Review Draft – 8. Implementation

8.1 General

Based on the information collected during the planning process and the results of the hazard identification and risk assessment, the organization shall implement prevention and mitigation strategies and plans. A key element of the implementation phase is the development of incident management plan(s) to direct, control, and coordinate response, continuity and recovery activities for the specific emergency. Communications and warnings are also included in this phase.

8.2 Incident management

Incident management should consider a combination of facilities, equipment, chemical sensitivities, personnel, organizational structure, procedures and communications.

Incident management is predicated on the understanding that with all incidents there are certain management functions that should be carried out regardless of the number of people who are available or involved in the responding to the incident.

The organization should implement incident management, including:

  1. an incident management process, and
  2. an incident management structure, which identifies incident management roles and responsibilities, tasks and the allocation of resources.

The organization should document the incident management process and structure.

8.2.1 Incident management process general considerations

The incident management process is based on objectives which are developed by gathering and proactively sharing information in order to assess the situation and identify contingencies.

The organization should engage in planning activities as part of preparedness and response, which consider the following:

  1. safety;
  2. incident management objectives;
  3. information about the situation;
  4. monitoring and assessing the situation;
  5. planning function which determines an incident action plan with roles and responsibilities;
  6. allocating, tracking and releasing resources;
  7. communications;
  8. relationships with other organizations, common operational picture;
  9. demobilization and termination; and
  10. documentation guidelines.

The organization should establish an incident management process that is ongoing and includes the following activities:

  1. observation;
  2. information gathering, processing and sharing;
  3. assessment of the situation, including forecasting;
  4. planning;
  5. decision-making and the communication of the decisions taken;
  6. implementation of decisions; and
  7. feedback gathering and control measures.

8.2.2 Different perspectives

The organization should strive to understand other perspectives such as:

  1. within and outside the organization;
  2. various response scenarios;
  3. differing needs;
  4. various required actions; and
  5. different organizational cultures and objectives.

8.2.3 Understanding the importance of time

The organization should:

  1. anticipate cascading effects;
  2. coordinate with other organizations’ timelines;
  3. assess and account for the impact of different timelines; and
  4. modify its timeline accordingly.

The organization should anticipate how the incident will develop and short- and long-term effects. This includes anticipating:

  1. risks of unmet needs;
  2. when different needs will arise; and
  3. how long it takes to meet these needs.

8.2.4 Being proactive

The organization should take the initiative to:

  1. assess risks and align with other organizations to increase response effectiveness; and
  2. use resources effectively based on current and emerging needs.

8.2.5 Incident management operations

All organizations should implement an incident management structure to carry out the tasks relevant to the incident objectives.

An incident management structure should include the following basic functions:

  1. Lead: authority and control of the incident; incident management objectives structure and responsibilities; ordering and release of resources.
  2. Planning: collection, evaluation and timely sharing of incident information and intelligence; status reports including assigned resources and staffing; development and documentation of incident action plan; information gathering, sharing and documentation.
  3. Operations: tactical objectives; hazard reduction; protection of people, property, and environment; control of incident and transition to recovery phase.
  4. Logistics: incident support and resources; facilities, transportation, supplies, equipment maintenance, fuel, food service and medical services for incident personnel; communications and information technology support.
  5. Finance and administration: compensation and claims; procurement; costs and time. (Depending on the scale of an incident, a separate financial and administrative function may not be necessary.)

Planning, operations, logistics and finance and administration should be considered for each level of incident management, e.g., sections and subsections of the whole incident management system.

The organization should define and document the minimum staffing requirements to immediately initiate and continuously maintain the organization’s incident management.

8.2.6 Incident management evaluation

The organization should create an after- action review after each incident for follow-up on lessons learned for inclusion in future planning processes and implementation.

8.3 Warning systems

8.3.1 General

The organization should establish, document, implement, maintain, and continually improve a public warning system.

The organization should assess the potential hazards that could occur within a defined area and the level of potential risk each presents. The results of this assessment should determine the type of public warning that may be required and be documented for future reference. The public warning system developed by the organization should:

  1. comply with applicable and other obligatory requirements;
  2. provide the framework for setting and reviewing public warning objectives;
  3. be documented, implemented, and maintained;
  4. be provided in appropriate languages;
  5. have the human and technical resources to plan, implement, maintain, and improve the public warning system;
  6. be communicated to all persons working for or on behalf of the organization;
  7. provide suitable training for responders;
  8. be available and communicated to the public generally and especially to the people at potential risk (e.g., sounds and hues should be considered);
  9. involve appropriate consultation with community representatives or bodies concerned with public interests; and
  10. include a commitment to continual improvement.

8.3.2 Warning system decision making

The organization shall implement and maintain capability to provide emergency information including:

  1. central point of contact for the social and designated media resources;
  2. procedures to gather, monitor, and disseminate emergency information;
  3. procedures to coordinate and approve information for release;
  4. procedures to communicate with specific needs populations;
  5. pre-scripted information bulletins; and
  6. protective action guidelines/recommendations.

8.3.3 Information dissemination

The warning dissemination function should:

  1. assess the information received from the hazard monitoring function to determine the risk level within the area of risk;
  2. implement processes which minimize the delay between the receipt of the information and the warning activation;
  3. assess their local risk in accordance with the criteria for notification, an alert, and an all clear; and
  4. evaluate and update the criteria on a regular basis.

The warning dissemination is responsible for the following:

  1. promptly activating procedures for dissemination public warnings;
  2. transforming evidence-based information into notification and alert messages;
  3. specifying procedures for disseminating warning messages;
  4. considering information needs of the people at risk and the diverse range of persons with disabilities and vulnerable persons;
  5. coordinating with other organizations accountable for public warning;
  6. promptly disseminating public warnings.

The warning dissemination should be delivered/conveyed:

  1. by a person designated by the organization;
  2. an individual trained in communications and public relations.

8.3.4 Identifying areas to receive warnings

The warning dissemination function should

  1. assess the information received from the hazard monitoring function to determine the risk level within the area of risk;
  2. implement processes which minimize the delay between the receipt of the information and warning activation;
  3. assess their local risks in accordance with the criteria for a notification, an alert, and an all clear; and
  4. evaluate and update the criteria on a regular basis.

8.3.5 Warning information content

The warning dissemination function should specify the information content considering the following:

  1. who should issue the public warning;
  2. who should receive the information;
  3. when is the public warning to be issued;
  4. who is expected to take action and why is the action required;
  5. what action is expected and when;
  6. what to expect as the situation develops;
  7. how the people at risk can access additional information.

Public warnings should consist of alert and notification.

8.3.6 Alert information

The purpose of an alert is to attract the attention of people in a developing emergency situation by stimulating the auditory, visual, and tactile senses so that they will take appropriate safety actions and seek additional information.

The warning dissemination function should ensure that the alert gains maximum attention considering the characteristics and conditions of the people at risk including the requirements of vulnerable groups.

8.3.7 Human factors considerations

Human factors take into account the ability of the people at risk, particularly those with disabilities, to receive and understand public warning messages.

Public warning should consider the human factors that influence the effectiveness of safety actions to be taken by people at risk. It should ensure equal access to warning information and alerts and that the information received is understandable so that people at risk including those with diverse social and cultural needs can respond as expected and take the appropriate action.

8.3.8 Warning system evaluation

The organization should evaluate the performance of hazard monitoring and warning dissemination functions on a regular basis. The findings from the evaluation should be used to identify potential improvements.

Evaluation processes should be conducted at regular intervals not exceeding three years.

The warning dissemination function should evaluate the content and timeliness of notifications and alerts inclusive of what is outlined in section 8.3.5, as well as the choice of communication channels.

Evaluation processes should be activated whenever the people at risk have not taken the expected safety actions.

8.4 Public information and communication

8.4.1 General

When communicating with persons with disabilities and vulnerable persons, the organization should consider their abilities and needs as well as the potential impact of the emergency on them. The organization should provide information to the individuals and those who work with them.

The communication plan should include:

  1. communicating information to vulnerable persons before, during and after an emergency;
  2. understanding the limitations of different media and communication channels in communicating with vulnerable persons;
  3. providing awareness, skills, and knowledge on how to work with vulnerable persons;
  4. making vulnerable persons aware of preparations made by the organization;
  5. providing information on how vulnerable persons can prepare themselves; and
  6. providing information during an emergency on how vulnerable persons can respond.

8.4.2 Considerations for persons with disabilities and vulnerable persons

In preparing for an emergency, the organization should:

  1. make vulnerable persons aware of the preparations made by the organization in their area and the essential services that will be available to them before, during and after an emergency;
  2. communicate the arrangements in place for vulnerable persons to identify themselves to the organization; and
  3. ensure there are opportunities for vulnerable persons and groups that represent them to provide input to the preparations made by the organization.

8.4.3 Communications prior to an emergency

The organization should communicate information to persons with disabilities and vulnerable persons in advance of an emergency, including:

  1. advice on personal safety ;
  2. how to prepare themselves, their property and their possessions for an emergency, including;
    1. where and how to source information, assistance and reassurance;
    2. what information to seek before, during and after an emergency (e.g., suitable evacuation routes and evacuation procedures, shelter-in-place instructions); and
    3. possible short-term changes and other resources required to permit them to remain in their property; and
  3. how to prepare themselves to support others, including supporting neighbours and considering the contributions they might wish to make to the response or recovery.

(See Annex B for more recommendations on preparedness)

8.4.4 Communications during an emergency

The organization should follow the plan to provide regular and timely information to vulnerable persons during the emergency, including:

  1. official advice for what vulnerable persons need to do;
  2. expected duration away from their house, as this will affect how they prepare the property and what they pack to take with them;
  3. routes to places of safety;
  4. information on how vulnerable persons ought to react to the warning message (e.g., whether to pass it on to other people, and understanding what the barriers are to this);
  5. the severity level associated with the emergency;
  6. where vulnerable persons can get essential resources (e.g., water, “take home” resources, information);
  7. the availability and accessibility of evacuation transport; and
  8. shelter-in-place instructions and resources.

8.4.5 Social media messaging

With increasing digitalization, a growing number of social media platforms and channels are available, and the selection and popularity of these are continually changing. Social media can facilitate effective communication during an emergency but can also lead to misinformation.

The organization should consider the role of social media in the context of its overall communications strategy, including crisis communication, and how the social media strategy is implemented in the organization. If social media is used as one of the communication channels, the organization should also provide alternative methods for those who do not have access to social media during an emergency.

8.4.6 Communication limitations

The organization should:

  1. identify the effectiveness of different channels to communicate with different types of vulnerable persons and places where groups of vulnerable persons might be;
  2. consider how information is communicated to vulnerable persons in the most appropriate and effective ways that respect the causes of their vulnerability (e.g., written form, face-to-face, visual video recordings, use of alternative communication aids (e.g., alphabet boards), accessibility, representation);
  3. develop means of communication to be used before and during different types of emergencies (e.g., leaflets, fridge magnets, sirens, website, social media, radio, TV, signage); and
  4. consider the limitation of an automated telephone warning message for vulnerable persons, for example,
    1. consider how long it might take a person with reduced mobility to pick up the telephone, in order to ensure sufficient time is given before the dialling is cut off;
    2. decide whether the vulnerable person would be called back if they did not answer the first call; and
    3. enable the vulnerable person to replay the telephone message as they listen to it, in case they do not understand it the first time.