CRHNet Conference 2018

Dealing with Uncertainty: Innovation & Practice

Vancouver, British Columbia: October 30 - November 1, 2018


Submissions for Talk, Poster, Panel, and Artwork presentations have been reviewed and authors will soon receive responses to their proposals.

CRHNet’s is excited to be holding a conference directly following the Roundtable of the Canadian National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction at the Sheraton Wall Centre Hotel. The four days of meetings provides the opportunity to increase interaction between practitioners and researchers, and to contribute to national policy in disaster risk reduction; each a primary goal of CRHNet.

CRHNet encourages presentations, posters and panel discussion focused on its conference theme of “Dealing with Uncertainty: Innovation and Practice”, and that challenge and foster interaction between practitioners and researchers. We are making development and emergency management decisions in an increasingly complicated society. So many variables are involved and each of them has uncertainty. Your innovation and informed practice in dealing with that uncertainty could be key to sustainability.

CRHNet will host seven thematic and four general sessions and a poster session. The conference runs from Tuesday afternoon to Thursday afternoon.

Thematic Sessions

T01: Indigenous Disaster Risk Reduction

T02: Integrated Research and Practice in Disaster Risk Reduction

T03: Dealing with Uncertainty

T04: Urban Risk Management: Dealing with Rapid Growth and Climate Change

T05: Understanding Disaster through the Arts (Paintings,Sculptures and Performance)

T06: Managing the Response and Supporting Disaster-impacted Populations

T07: Monitoring for Decision Support and Decision Success


General Sessions

GS01: Industry and organizations, including organizational resilience, enterprise risk management, risk and insurance management, business continuity and security

GS02: Health sciences and services, including the psychosocial dimensions of emergency management, and pandemic management

GS03: Natural sciences, including risk assessment methodologies and risk mitigation strategies

GS04: Social sciences and services, including public participation, the use of social media and social networks and building community resiliency strategies


Poster Session

PS01: A single event encompassing all conference themes.

A guide to conference presentations is available.


The Roundtable is managed by Public Safety Canada and begins Monday morning, October 29, and ends Tuesday noon, October 30.

CRHNet begins after lunch Tuesday, October 30 and runs through to the afternoon Thursday, November 1.



Theconference will be held at the Sheraton Wall Centre Hotel, 1088 Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia.

We look forward to seeing you there, rain or possibly shine!

Conference registration

Conference registration will be available in early July following development and posting of the conference program.

Thematic Sessions

T01: Indigenous Disaster Risk Reduction

Chair: David Diabo

This session shares case studies and approaches that highlight efforts to reduce disaster risk and improve disaster recovery in First Nation, Metis and Inuit communities. Story themes may include (and are not limited to):

  • Disaster risk reduction planning strategies
  • Disaster recovery planning strategies and tactics
  • Engaging community members, especially Elders and youths, and the use and inclusion of Traditional Knowledge
  • Identification of hazards, vulnerabilities and exposure and their mitigation

Please contact the chair to discuss your inclusion in this stream.

David Diabo,
1-613-241-6789 Ext. 278
Assembly of First Nations, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

T02: Integrated Research and Practice in Disaster Risk Reduction

This session provides the opportunity to highlight initiatives that have integrated practitioners into research projects and researchers into practice. It fosters the examination of successful policies at academic and government research organizations, and operational organizations that promote integrated practice and research. It will share examples of how such integrated work has reduced risk and improved processes. This session calls for a panel of practitioners and researchers to discuss the pros and cons of such initiatives, and how to improve their effectiveness and operations.

T03: Dealing with Uncertainty

The session’s hypothesis is that “uncertainty, perceived and real, in available data and information can limit the efficiency and effectiveness of disaster reduction and management decision making”. Does recognized and quantified uncertainty increase better disaster reduction decisions? How much are decisions limited by the uncertainty of quantifying hazard recurrence and intensity, degree of vulnerability to a hazard, and amount of exposure to a hazard? Can we decrease anxiety over data uncertainty with better modeling of outcome boundaries based on maximum and minimum scenarios? Can we simplify models by defining them with a few most influential variables? Is uncertainty the real issue in decision making?

T04: Urban Risk Management: Dealing with Rapid Growth and Climate Change

Urban environments are growing more rapidly than ever. At the same time, changes in climate are changing weather-controlled and climate-influenced hazards. These changes make it challenging to measure, and, therefore, minimize disaster risk. Disaster reduction and recovery compete amongst a myriad of social, economic and environmental aspects also and rapidly changing and demanding increased resources. This session is about stories of how cities are balancing those priorities, through the application of existing knowledge on disaster risk, and what they need to better evaluate and consider prior to deciding on risk reduction options.

T05: Understanding Disaster through the Arts (Paintings, Sculptures and Performances)

Disaster stories have been told through the arts, providing documentation and prevention teachings. This session provides the opportunity to share how historical and contemporary arts have made, and could make, an impact in disaster reduction. Objects can be exhibited and space for performances (e.g., dance) can be provided. Concepts can be discussed in the poster venue and introduced through presentations.

T06: Managing Response and Supporting Disaster-Impacted Populations

When much of what holds a society together is disrupted by a disaster, how do you make choices for resourcing response? When large numbers of people are impacted by a disaster, how are you treating them as respected individuals? What informs your decisions and approach? What have you done to test and improve interactions with and support for impacted individuals and how have you shared that with colleagues? What can be done before a disaster to build relationships between responders and citizens that will be sustained through a disaster? What different approaches are needed between the different types of events (example: pandemic versus flood)?

T07: Monitoring for Decision Support and Decision Success

This session is to share your experience and research of how to effectively and efficiently monitor relevant conditions and how to use that information for disaster risk reduction; from traditional instrumentation and single expert observation to crowd sourcing. Decisions that reduce risk are based on what we know about the hazard and our exposed vulnerability to that hazard. Monitoring is key to understanding changes to the hazard situation and for forecasting events. For instance, monitoring weather, snow pack and river flow volumes is the basis of flood forecasting (decision support). Monitoring hazard and exposed vulnerability parameters of protected developments, is used to evaluate changes in those parameters over the life of the development (decision success). Monitoring is instrumental in supporting policy proposals.

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