CRHNet Symposium 2011

Building Resilience

In Canada, emergency management adopts an all-hazards approach that addresses both natural and human-induced hazards and disasters. Over the last decade, Canada has experienced or witnessed major natural disasters ranging from the extensive flooding of the Saguenay River in 1996 and the Red River in 1997 to the ice storm of 1998, the arrival of Hurricane Juan in 2003 and the devastating impact of Hurricane Igor in Newfoundland in 2010. Canada has also responded to the Sri Lanka tsunami in 2005, the Pakistan earthquake in 2005 and the Haitian Earthquake of 2010.

The overarching themes that emerge from both the natural and human-induced disasters are the impact of these events on urban areas and communities and the related issue of resilience from the national level to the community level.


The consistent goal of the CRHNet symposiums is to contribute to the creation of a disaster resilient society through inter-disciplinary and inter-jurisdictional dialogue and collaboration among practitioners, policy makers, researchers, and academics.

The theme of this year's symposium, Building Resiliency reflects the need to better understand the multi-dimensionality and complexity of resilience. Of particular interest is resilience as it pertains to populated urban areas and First Nations communities. As defined in the 2011 revised edition of An Emergency Management Framework for Canada, resilience is:

" ... the capacity of a system, community or society to adapt to disturbances resulting from hazards by preserving, recuperating or changing to reach and maintain an acceptable level of functioning.   ... Resilience minimizes vulnerability; dependence and susceptibility by creating or strengthening social and physical capacity in the human and built-environment to cope with, adapt to, respond to and recover and learn from disasters."


Presentations will be invited to cover three broad themes:

  • Resilience within the scope of Governance, policy and management, including stakeholder strategies, collaboration strategies for policy development, communication strategies.

    This will encompass all levels of government and non government organizations including Federal, Provincial, Municipal, Territorial, First Nations profit and non-profit organizations and NGOs, as well as insurance, banking, critical infrastructure and private enterprise.

  • Risk, crisis and disaster management- Enabling resiliency

  • The Resilience agenda within
    • Health sciences or services, including the psychosocial dimensions of emergency management, and pandemic management
    • Natural sciences, including risk assessment methodologies and risk mitigation strategies
    • Social sciences or services, including public participation, the use of social media and social networks and building community resiliency strategies
    • Organizations, including organizational resilience, enterprise risk management, risk and insurance management, business continuity and security.
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