Disasters such as Hurricane Katrina show how complex and severe disasters can be. But disasters also show the community’s ability to assist one another in difficult times.
Take the Ontario blackout of 2004. The disaster knocked out power across the province for days. The Kids Hotline in Ottawa got hundreds of phone calls from distressed people. These people were looking for information. This service was not part of the organization’s normal work, but staff and volunteers rose to the challenge. The Kids Hotline knew they had phones and volunteers who were able to respond to the needs of their community.
Strong communities are better able to respond to emergencies. The aim of this project is to make Canadian communities more resilient. Everyone should be able to work together and respond quickly in a crisis.
This project is meant to foster collaboration and ensure the safety of everyone, particularly vulnerable people.
Getting started: Five easy steps
We encourage all organizations to prepare for crises and find out how they can be involved in the community response to such an emergency.
- Before an emergency: Take stock of your organization's own resources and examine how an emergency can affect your ability to deliver services.
- Understand your environment: Every community is different. What organizations serve your neighbourhood? Find the hidden emergency assets in your community.
- Build your contact list: Who are the leaders in your community when it comes to emergency management and community development?
- Get talking: Once you’ve identified the leaders, open up the conversation and look at ways to work together.
- Create your own roundtable: Using the Community Resiliency Handbook, assemble a roundtable of these leaders to work through the exercises. It will serve as a starting point for collaboration.