Other Disaster & Emergencies

As your congregation studies and explores ways to get ready for a pandemic emergency, you will find that many of these preparations can be used to plan for any disaster or emergency event—things like snow or ice storms, floods, fires, or any other event that affects larger numbers of people.

On these pages you will find the kinds of disasters can happen in North America, who responds, and some resources for congregational preparedness.  Since most of these disasters are not health emergencies, the church building and its members can often be even more helpful to their community without the restrictions that health-related events require. Guiding documents are available from Mennonite Disaster Services: Resources.

The following organizations have key responsibilities in Canadian Disaster Management

PUBLIC SAFETY CANADA is the Government of Canada department responsible for Emergency Management at the federal level. Its goal is to reduce the impact of disasters; to develop national policy, response systems and standards; and to issue timely alerts and to help protect Canada's critical infrastructure. They also work closely with emergency management organizations across Canada, and support regional partners and first responders with funds, tools and training.

At the hub of the national emergency management system is the Government Operations Centre, which Public Safety Canada runs for the Government of Canada. It's an advanced communications centre for monitoring and coordinating the federal response to an emergency.

EMERGENCY MEASURES/MANAGEMENT (EMO) ORGANIZATIONS are provincial and territorial agencies relating to the Emergency Management branch of Public Safety Canada. They are responsible for coordinating disaster management planning and research, training, response operations, and administration and delivery of disaster financial assistance programs at the provincial or territorial level. They work closely with municipalities and counties to ensure those governments have necessary training, organizations and equipment for an initial response to an event. They manage Provincial Operations Centres in times of disasters or emergencies. Further information about these agencies can be found at Types of Disasters and Provincial and Regional Health Authorities.

CENTRE for EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS and RESPONSE (CEPR), PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCY of CANADA – Please refer to Health Authorities and Government of Canada sections of this website for the role of CEPR

EMERGENCY SOCIAL SERVICES ORGANIZATIONS are established in each Province and Territory. They are responsible for assisting people in their recovery from a disaster or national emergency. They address physical, emotional and social needs by providing emergency clothing, lodging, food and personal psychological services, along with registration, inquiry and reception services. These organizations relate to each other and to the Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response (CEPR) of the Public Health Agency of Canada federally.

EMERGENCY HEALTH SERVICES ORGANIZATIONS are established in each Province and Territory to ensure best practices in emergency health services through regulation, prevention, education and research. This requires an integrated, sustainable emergency health system, and a cadre of competent regulators, contractors, paramedics and other EHS staff and volunteers all committed to quality care. This also requires integration with the larger health care system and regional health authorities, as well as with other government and non-government organizations involved in emergency health and disaster management in general. These organizations relate to each other and to the Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response (CEPR) federally.

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS manage the coordinated response by trained and episodic volunteers to disasters and emergencies through staff and volunteer leaders. They have various and differing mandates and missions as determined by their organizational missions and resources. While taking the lead from government agencies in disaster management, they maintain their autonomy and unique missions and motivations. One example of such an organization is Mennonite Disaster Service. Further information about these agencies can be found in the NGO Partners section of this website. These organizations relate to each other, to the CEPR of Public Health Agency of Canada federally (see Health Authorities and Government of Canada sections of this website for the role of CEPR) and to Public Safety Canada (above).