Program 2012

Program Summary

The CRHNet 9th Annual Symposium Program hosts three days of talks, posters, demonstrations and organizational exhibits. The morning plenary sessions each host a keynote speaker on a topic of national and international importance in disaster risk reduction.

Following the morning refreshment break, six concurrent sessions will provide talks and discussions. These concurrent sessions continue into the afternoon.

Posters are available all Thursday with presenters available in the late afternoon concurrent with a reception. Exhibits will be available from Tuesday evening to Thursday morning. The banquet is Thursday evening.

The CRHNet annual symposium in 2012 will be preceded by the 3rd annual Roundtable of the Canadian Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction and the annual meeting of the Senior Officials Responsible for Emergency Management (SOREM).

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Keynote Speakers (confirmed)


Dr. Marc Fortin

Dr Fortin oversees the Department of National Defence's S&T investment and provides leadership in national issues in defence and security S&T. He also leads Defence R&D Canada (DRDC) that consists of a national network of defence and security research centres with over 1600 knowledge workers.

DRDC provides national leadership in defence and security science, and provides scientific advice and solutions to the Canadian Forces and the Department of National Defence. The defence S&T network extends to partnerships with Canadian industry, universities, and allied defence S&T organizations.

Prior to joining DND and DRDC in 2011, Dr. Fortin has led several research organizations at the national or regional levels, both in academia and government. He has led the development of innovative programs to generate better integrated complex innovation chains that capitalize on the engagement of actors and intervenors in and outside government.

He is particularly passionate about catalyzing the development of organizations capable of operating in complex environments and in uncertain futures. The ability to leverage knowledge, science and policy to influence important outcomes will require agile knowledge‐rich organizations capable of developing new interfaces for decision makers that will leverage knowledge, science and policy. Dr. Fortin is a graduate of McGill University and of Université Laval, and also conducted research at The University of Chicago and at The University of California at Davis.


En sa capacité de Sous-ministre adjoint (Science et technologie), M. Fortin dirige l'investissement en S&T du Ministère de la Défense nationale et fournit le leadership dans le secteur de la S&T pour la défense et la sécurité au Canada. Il dirige également un réseau national de centres de recherche constitué de plus de 1 600 travailleurs du savoir.

R & D pour la défense Canada (RDDC) est le chef de file à l'échelle nationale en matière de S&T pour la défense et la sécurité, et fournit des conseils et des solutions aux Forces canadiennes et au ministère de la Défense nationale. Les partenaires de R & D pour la défense Canada incluent des universités, le secteur privé ainsi que plusieurs de nos alliés.

Avant de se joindre au Ministère de la défense nationale et RDDC en 2011, M Fortin a dirigé plusieurs organisations de recherche tant à l'échelle nationale que régionale, tant dans le secteur universitaire que dans le secteur public. Il a mené le développement de programmes novateurs pour générer des chaines d'innovation complexes et mieux égrées basées sur la mobilisation et l'investissement des acteurs et des intervenants du secteur tant à l'intérieur qu'à érieur du gouvernement.

Il est particulièrement passionné par le développement d'organisations capables d'opérer dans des environnements complexes avec des futurs non déterminés. La capacité d'utiliser le savoir, la science et les politiques pour générer un impact sur des enjeux importants va de plus en plus requérir des organisations agiles et riches en savoir capables de créer de nouvelles interfaces avec les décideurs. Il est diplômé de l'Université McGill et de l'Université Laval, et a mené des travaux de recherche aux universités de Chicago et de la Californie à Davis.

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Alan (Avi) Kirschenbaum

Professor Alan (Avi) Kirschenbaum is a world renowned expert in the field of disaster management, a popular lecturer, author and advisor to governments, public institutions and security-related companies.

Kirschenbaum, who received a Ph.D. in Sociology from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, is currently a professor of Organizational Sociology and Disaster Management in the Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology and the initiator and coordinator of The BEMOSA consortium, a Europe-wide research project aimed at improving security in airports.

He also is a member of the Advisory Council for Aviation Research and Innovation in Europe (ACARE) Workgroup for Safety and Security. In addition, to serving as senior researcher for the Community and Family Resilience Unit at the Cohen-Harris Resilience Center for Trauma and Disaster Intervention, Kirschenbaum also acts as the senior research advisor to the Technion Research and Development Foundation. Until recently, he also served as a senior research fellow at the Samuel Neaman Institute for National Policy Research and was the past directorof research and senior consultant to the Population Behavior Section, Israel's Home Front Command.

As well as authoring numerous scientific journal articles and book chapters and the book "Chaos Organization and Disaster Management," Kirschenbaum has served on the editorial boards of leading international journals was an executive board member of the International Research Committee on Disasters and the European Disaster & Social Crisis Research Network, a member of various international professional academic associations and consultant to a Canadian Department of Defense-funded research project (SIMTEC).

Kirschenbaum is also involved in a number of applied research projects which include a Europe-wide FP-7 consortium on Psycho Social Support in Crisis Management to research and develop a crisis management tool kit for psycho-social support in Europe. In addition, he is active in projects measuring the effectiveness of disaster management organizations, business continuity during disasters and enhancing local authority, household and organizational preparedness.

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Dr. Anne Kleffner

Dr. Anne Kleffner is an Associate Professor of Risk Management and Insurance at the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary. Dr. Kleffner primarily teaches in the areas of property and liability insurance and risk management. She also teaches in the Directors' Education Program for the Institute of Corporate Directors and the new Global Energy MBA program. Dr. Kleffner has published articles in both the risk management and the property/liability insurance areas. Her main research interests are enterprise risk management, supply chain risk management, and automobile liability compensation systems. She has published research in The Journal of Risk and Insurance, Risk Management and Insurance Review, The Journal of Insurance Regulation and The Ivey Business Journal.



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DR. Suzanne Lacasse

Dr. Lacasse was born in the small mining town of Noranda in northern Québec, Canada. She completed first her Bachelor of Arts, and in 1971, her studies in Civil Engineering at Ecole Polytechnique of Montréal. Graduate studies followed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the USA and Ecole Polytechnique. She obtained her Ph.D. in 1975. She was Lecturer at Ecole Polytechnique (1973-1975), and on the faculty of the Civil Engineering Department at MIT (1975-1983) where she also was Head of the Geotechnical Laboratory. Dr. Lacasse went to the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) as a post-doctoral fellow in 1978, where she worked on both Norwegian and foreign research and consulting assignments. She became NGI's Managing Director in 1991, a position she held until December 2011. Since 2012, she acts as Technical Director at NGI. She served as President of the Canadian Geotechnical Society in 2003-2004.

During the early part of her professional career, Dr. Lacasse concentrated her work in the field of geotechnical laboratory techniques, soil behaviour studies and in-situ investigation methods. She published several often referred to articles and reports within these fields. Subsequently, she worked in the area of foundation engineering and design, both for structures on land and offshore, projects involving slope stability evaluation and improvement, and development of calculation procedures. In her work, Dr. Lacasse concentrated on combining mathematical and numerical analyses with practical geotechnical engineering design considerations. She was a key member of the NGI-team developing practical design analysis procedures for offshore platforms subjected to storm loading. The procedures are today widely recognised and accepted. In recent years, she developed and applied probabilistic analysis to assist in the foundation design and decision process and is well known for her contributions on hazard and risk assessment and risk management. As Managing Director of the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, she maintained a keen interest for the technical aspects of NGI's work, and still conducts research and consulting work. Throughout her career she has given keynote lectures in over 30 countries.

Dr. Lacasse received many awards, including doctorates Honoris Causa from the University of Dundee (Scotland) and the Norwegian University of Trondheim, the Robert Legget Award of the Canadian Geotechnical Society, the K.Y. Lo Medal of the Engineering Institute of Canada for excellence in engineering, and the Effective Teaching Award in Civil Engineering at MIT. She is member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineers, the Canadian Academy of Engineers, the French Academy of Sciences - Section Technologies, the Norwegian Academy of Engineering and Sciences, the Norwegian Engineering Academy, the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters, and the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Technology. Dr. Lacasse is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada, a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and an honorary member of the Norwegian Geotechnical Society. She gave in 2001 the 37th Terzaghi Lecture at the American Society of Civil Engineers.

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Michael Tarrant

Michael Tarrant holds adjunct appointments; including Associate Professor in the Public Health Faculty at Queensland University of Technology and in the Department of Tropical Medicine at James Cook University Townsville. Until 2012 he was an Assistant Director at the Australian Emergency Management Institute.

He has worked in disaster management education and research for the past 25 years and since 1996 has been a member of Standards Australia, Risk Management Committee and is a joint author of the Australian Standard on Business Continuity-Managing Disruption Related Risk AS/NZS 5050. He has presented to conferences, run courses and workshops in Thailand, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, Philippines, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Italy, China, England, Canada and is an advisory board member for a range of organizations and projects including the Canadian Centre for Emergency Preparedness, Sydney Water, ADPC and SIMTEC (Canada)

He has written and contributed to a wide range of emergency management publications over many years including ISO Standards. He is a technical expert to two ISO TC 223 working groups on societal security.


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Thematic Sessions

TS01: Cyber Domain: the Underlying, Ill-Understood Lifeline
Co-chairs: Lynne Genik1 and Rodney Howes1

The complex cyber domain underlies our current way of life and all CI sectors, yet remains somewhat of a mystery to most. Many nations have recognized the growing importance of the cyber domain and have increased spending in this area despite widespread government cuts. However, cyber does not fit well into existing emergency management frameworks with its distributed ownership, lack of rigid geographical boundaries, and "cyber-time" scale, where incidents can traverse the globe in milliseconds. Furthermore, the risks associated with the cyber domain are not well-understood. Cyber attacks occur on a daily basis and can impact the physical domain; this has been demonstrated through attacks on supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems used for the monitoring and remote control of geographically widely-distributed processes such as water treatment and distribution, oil and gas pipelines and electrical power transmission and distribution.

This session is a forum to present leading work on risk assessment and emergency management of the cyber domain from private and public sectors perspectives. Invited speakers will be from federal organizations involved with cyber security; the private sector, such as communications service providers and infrastructure providers using SCADA systems; and international organizations involved in protecting CI from cyber attacks. The goal of this session is to build high level awareness of the cyber risk, risk reduction and response to cyber threats.

1 Defence Research and Development Canada


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TS02: Critical Infrastructure Resilience: From Research to Intelligence to Operations to Policy – Breaking Down Silos
Co-chairs: Lynne Genik1 and Richard Garber1

Critical infrastructure resilience is a complex domain and a shared responsibility across private and public sectors, relying on working relationships and partnerships between policy, operational, research and development, and security and intelligence communities. There are a number of well-known CI challenges in areas such as governance, information sharing, resources, metrics, and assessment methodologies and tools. Many organizations are working on aspects of "the CI problem" from different lenses and focusing on various components of the emergency management cycle.

This session is a forum to bring together disparate and potentially disconnected communities, to provide awareness and education on CI work and the opportunity to build relationships. Solicited speakers will include operational community representatives from provincial emergency management/public safety organizations and the private sector; representatives from the research and development domain, including academia, the private sector, and federal researchers; security & intelligence analysts; policy development analysts from all levels of government organizations; and international partners. Presenters will be asked to highlight how their work is relevant to one or more of the other groups and what types of information/support they need from other groups.

SPONSORS: DRDC Centre for Security Science

1 Defence Research and Development Canada


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TS03: HAZUS and Loss-Estimation for Disasters
Co-chairs: Nicky Hastings1, Kelly Stone2, FEMA, and Bert Struik1

This session explores loss-estimation for disasters and its use for mitigation and emergency management strategy and implementation. It will concentrate on the quantitative loss-estimation tool HAZUS and its application for earthquake, flood, hurricane, debris flow and tsunamis events. The session encourages expose other loss-estimation technology, particularly in comparison to HAZUS. Keeping with the CRHNet principle to integrate practise and research, this session encourages case studies of the practical application of HAZUS and other loss-estimation technology. We anticipate presentations and discussion on making HAZUS operate effectively throughout North America and how that could be used to analyze potential cross-border disasters. The session will encourage discussion on these and related topics of building and using loss-estimation capability.

SPONSORS: NRCan (Natural Resources Canada, Canada), FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency, USA), CanHUG (Canadian Hazus Users Group), WaHUG (Washington Hazus Users Group)

1. Geological Survey of Canada, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; 2. Federal Emergency Management Agency, Bothwell, Washington, United Sates of America


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TS04: Disaster Resilience Planning
Chair: Murray Journeay1

Disaster resilience planning is focused on actions that have the potential to reduce the vulnerabilities of people and critical assets, to minimize the impacts and consequences of future disaster events, and to promote the longer-term safety, security and vitality of communities exposed to the impacts of existing and/or emerging hazard threats. The UN International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (ISDR) and Canadian platform for Disaster Risk Reduction provide an overarching framework of policies and institutional resources to help guide disaster resilience planning at the national level. While these efforts have been successful in raising awareness and the commitment to risk reduction activities more generally, there is an urgent need for an integrated system of methods and tools that can be used by practitioners to build a capability for disaster resilience planning at local and regional scales of governance.

This session showcases emerging new methods of risk assessment and scenario planning that can be used at local and regional scales to assist in: (i) characterizing the risk environment and prioritizing mitigation goals and objectives; (ii) analyzing the impacts and consequences of natural hazards on people and critical assets; (iii) evaluating mitigation choices with respect to risk tolerance thresholds, and (iv) transforming knowledge about the risk environment into actionable strategies that promote longer-term disaster resilience and sustainability. The session will provide an opportunity to explore how these new methods and tools might be used to help build a capability for disaster mitigation planning in Canada.

1. Geological Survey of Canada, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


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TS05: Natural Hazard Knowledge for Disaster Analysis and Management
Co-chairs: Adrienne Jones1 and Hans De Smet2

This venue focuses discussion on the practical hazard knowledge requirements of emergency managers and risk mitigators. It encourages presentations and posters on available, and missing, hazard data and knowledge (example: for earthquake, flood, debris-flow, landslide, and extreme climate), and how they are and would be used. This session provides an opportunity to present case studies of hazard knowledge application for risk reduction and resilience building and encourage those that address the Symposium theme of building resilience through strengthening physical and person connections. Sample topics include hazard scenarios, hazard scenario visualization, recurrence intervals, hazard parameters (e.g. flow rates, seismic shaking), and hazard information sharing technology.

1. Geological Survey of Canada, Sidney, British Columbia, Canada; 2. Royal Military Academy, Brussels


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TS06: Early Warning Systems and Risk Communication
Chair: Jacques Descurieux1

UN-ISDR (2006) defined early warning as: "...the provision of timely and effective information, through identified institutions, that allows individuals exposed to a hazard to take action to avoid or reduce their risk and prepare for effective response."

In other words from UN-ISDR (2010): " is the set of capacities needed to generate and disseminate timely and meaningful warning information to enable individuals, communities and organizations threatened by a hazard to prepare and to act appropriately and in sufficient time to reduce the possibility of harm or loss"

This session will focus on the "dissemination and communication" element of a multi-hazard people-centred early warning system. The session invites full research, work in progress and position papers on the way and means of providing the audiences at risk the information and knowledge they require to engage the process of, and implement, protective action decisions in a timely fashion.
Some non-exhaustive examples of topics that would contribute to the session are:

  • Case and lessons learned studies from Early Warning Systems (EWS) and Risk Communication leading to Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)
  • Studies related to the use of specific communication channel(s) including social networks in EWS
  • Evaluation, case analysis, communication strategies or experimental studies that have implication for the development of one way, persuasive or dialogical risk communication.

UN-ISDR 2006: Developing Early Warning Systems: A checklist; Third International Conference on early Warning, EWCIII, Bonn.
UN-ISDR 2010: Emerging challenges for early Warning; p. 3.

1. Environment Canada, Meteorological Services, Kelowna, British Columbia


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TS07: Aboriginal Resilience and Disaster Management
Chair: Dr. Brenda Murphy1

This theme is focused on addressing issues associated with resilience and disaster management in an Aboriginal context – either North American or from an international perspective. As a starting point, we are seeking presentations centred on the following (other ideas also welcome):

  1. From an Aboriginal perspective, what is resilience, what are disasters, and what should disaster management ‘look’ like?
  2. What are the most prevalent lifeline issues in Aboriginal communities?
  3. How has the colonial legacy affected disaster resiliency?
  4. What are the key dimensions of resiliency in Aboriginal communities?
  5. Principles and guidelines for undertaking resiliency or disaster research/consultation with Aboriginal peoples
  6. Examples of Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal disaster resilience partnerships (e.g. mutual assistance agreements)
  7. Aboriginal resilience or disaster management case studies
  8. Other?


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TS08: Risk Management Planning for Major Events
Co-chairs: Mike Andrews1 and Anthony Masys2

Canada has been the site of many major events over the past several years including the 2010 Winter Olympics, the G8 and G20, the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs and the 2011 Grey Cup. This session will provide opportunities to discuss various planning initiatives to support these events, examine what went well and what did not go as well, and how planning activities for future events can benefit from past experience. This session would appeal to first responders, city managers, disaster planning professionals, planning organizations and sociologists and other social science researchers.

1 Emergency Management BC; 2 Defence Research and Development Canada


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TS09: All Hazards Risk Assessment: A Pivotal Element in Understanding the Interconnectedness of Safety and Security Issues and Solutions
Co-chairs: J. Cranton1, A. Goudreau1, and Claudia Provencher2

In emergency management planning, risk assessment is a key step in understanding the likelihood of hazards and threats and their possible impacts to communities and organizations. In Canada, an all hazards approach has been established in order to promote readiness and resiliency in an integrated fashion, regardless of the risk's source or vector. Still, hazards and threats need to be assessed individually to capture their full potential of realization. The use of a common approach to analyzing these risks through a single process will help shape an authentic risk picture for communities and organizations and bring to light interconnectedness of safety and security issues and solutions. This session is put forth to understand the all hazards risk assessment approach for emergency management planning purposes. It will prompt a discussion at all levels on how results from such an approach can be utilized to increase our global understanding of risk, their planning interconnectedness and improved use of limited capacities towards strengthening common resilience.

SPONSORS: Public Safety Canada and Defence Research and Development Centre for Security Science

1 Defence Research and Development Canada; 2 Public Safety Canada


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General Sessions

  • Health sciences or services: includes the psychosocial dimensions of mitigation, emergency management, and pandemic management
  • Natural sciences: includes risk assessment and risk modeling methds, and risk mitigation strategies
  • Social sciences and services: includes government and governance, strategic and land-use planning, public participation, psychosocial considerations, and community resiliency strategies.
  • Industry and commerce: includes industrial resilience, enterprise risk management, risk and insurance management, business continuity and security.

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