Natural Resources Canada Natural Disaster Mitigation

NaturalResourcesIn February 2012, The Polis Center completed a four-day workshop in Vancouver, Canada on the use of Hazus-MH and geospatial technologies for assessing the economic and social impacts of natural disasters.   Polis also facilitated a strategic discussion with decision makers from multiple federal, provincial and local agencies aimed at identifying lessons learned and best practices in the U.S. that could be implemented in Canada in order to derive maximum value from Hazus. These services were provided at the request of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) as part of a larger strategic initiative that grew out of the Emergency Management Act enacted by the Canadian Parliament in 2007.

The act charges the Ministry of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness with providing overall leadership in developing a National Disaster Management Plan and “coordinating among government institutions and in cooperation with the provinces and other entities, emergency management activities.” Each of the other ministries is directed by the act to identify the risks from natural disasters that are related to its sphere of responsibility and to develop an emergency management plan and supporting strategies appropriate to its responsibilities.

NRCan investigated the development and implementation of tools designed to produce quantitative risk assessments for natural disasters. After extensive research, NRCan identified a number of tools that can assist in producing these assessments including Hazus-MH. NRCan selected Polis based on its considerable experience with the use of Hazus-MH for mitigation planning and in the development and delivery of the Hazus-MH education program in support of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency.