Author: Published under the authority of the
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
© Minister of Public Works and Government
Cette publication est aussi disponible en français sous le titre :
Affaires autochtones et Développement du Nord Canada Plan national de gestion des urgences.
This plan has been developed by the Government of Canada in consultation with appropriate partners/stakeholders. In accordance with the Policy on Government Security, this plan cannot be distributed without the explicit permission of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. This document is unclassified.
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The following definitions are to be utilized in determining AANDC’s roles and responsibilities for emergency management. The definitions are noted in the Emergency Management Act (EMA) 2007, Public Safety Canada’s Emergency Management Framework and Federal Emergency Response Plan (FERP) and/or the Canadian Centre for Management Development (CCMD), Crisis and Emergency Management.
All Hazards: The term “all hazards” is the standard by which emergencies are defined under the EMA. This could include a wide range of situations including, but not limited to: tornados; earthquakes; landslides; avalanches; floods; forest fires; industrial accidents; hurricanes; air crashes; storm surges; severe storms; ice storms; pandemics; cyber; chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear issues; shipping accidents (oil tanker spills); train derailments; blackouts; pine beetle infestation; tsunamis; and, dependant on the situation, issues of civil unrest.
Assets: Any real or personal property, tangible or intangible, that a company or individual owns that can be given or assigned a monetary value. Intangible property includes things such as goodwill, proprietary information, and related property. For the purpose of this plan, people are included as assets.
Awareness: The continual process of collecting, analyzing, and disseminating intelligence, information or knowledge to allow organizations and individuals to anticipate requirements and to respond effectively.
Coordinate: Bring (parts, movements, etc) into proper relation, cause to function together or in proper order.
Emergency: An emergency is a present or imminent event that requires prompt coordination of actions concerning persons or property to protect the health, safety or welfare of people, or to limit damage to property or the environment.
Emergency Operations Centre: A designated facility established by an agency or jurisdiction to coordinate the overall agency or jurisdictional response and support to an emergency response.
Events: Something that happens; a noteworthy happening. In the security context, this usually represents an occurrence such as a security incident, alarm, medical emergency, disaster, or related episode or experience.
First Nation Community: Indian Act Band situated on a reserve as defined in the Indian Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. I-5.
Incident Command System: A standardized on-scene emergency management concept specifically designed to allow its user(s) to adopt an integrated organizational structure equal to the complexity and demands of single or multiple incidents, without being hindered by jurisdictional boundaries.
Issue: An issue is a situation that somehow challenges the public’s sense of appropriateness, tradition, values, safety, security or the integrity of the government. Note: While the distinction between an emergency and an issue appears clear, they are closely linked as the escalation of an issue (e.g. civil unrest) could become an emergency by definition.
Liaison Officers: Liaison Officers are the link between their home department/organization and the various stakeholders, partners and members of the community. They provide knowledge of their home department, including roles, responsibilities, mandates and plans, and are also responsible for briefing their home department on developments related to an emergency.
Mitigation: Actions taken to prevent or reduce the consequences of an issue or emergency. Mitigation activities aim at identifying and anticipating possible issues and emergencies. It consists of identifying the vulnerabilities and in taking proactive measures to mitigate the situation.
Natural Disaster: A naturally occurring calamitous event bringing great damage, loss, or destruction such as tornadoes, hurricanes, widespread flooding, wildland fires, earthquakes, and related occurrences.
Natural Hazards: A threat attributable to forces of nature.
Non-Government Organization (NGO): A non-profit organization that is based on the interests of its members, individuals, or institutions that is not created by government, but may work cooperatively with government. Such organizations serve a public purpose, not a private benefit. Examples of non-governmental organizations include faith-based charity organizations and the Canadian Red Cross.
Preparedness: Actions taken to prepare for effective issue or emergency response. Preparedness activities consist of all hazard planning for response and recovery during emergencies as well as training and exercising of the plans.
Primary Department: A federal department with the legislated mandate related to a key element of an emergency. Depending on the nature of the emergency, there may be multiple primary departments.
Private Sector: Organizations that are not part of any governmental structure. Includes for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, formal and informal structures, commerce, industry, private emergency response organizations and private voluntary organizations.
Recovery: Steps and measures taken after the emergency to repair and restore conditions to an acceptable level that existed prior to the emergency. Recovery measures commence during response. Recovery also reduces the future vulnerabilities of the community and improves planning for future events.
Response: Actions taken to deal with the consequences of an issue or emergency. The response activities are put forward to take control and contain negative impacts. The response will require a complex level of coordination of operations and communications depending on the nature of the emergency. Response consists of activities designed to address the short-term effects of an emergency. Response includes agency response, resource coordination, organizational structure, protection and warning systems and communications.
Risk: The combination of the likelihood and the consequence of a specified hazard being realized; refers to the vulnerability, proximity or exposure to hazards, which affects the likelihood of an adverse impact.
Search and Recovery: Acts that are carried out to recover an individual or individuals when the first response effort has not proven successful.
Threat: Any potential event or act, deliberate, accidental or natural hazard that could cause injury to employees or assets, and thereby affect service delivery adversely.
The most common emergencies affecting First Nations are floods, fires or failure of community infrastructure (i.e. critical roads, bridges, power, etc.) due to a natural disaster or accident. As per the Government of Canada’s Federal Emergency Response Plan, AANDC’s National Emergency Management Plan adopts an all-hazards approach to emergency management. The term ‘all hazards’ broadens the scope of emergencies from merely fire fighting and flood control, to encompass a wide range of emergencies and responses including but not limited to earthquakes; severe weather; landslides; power outages; avalanches; cyber, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear issues; and depending on the situation, issues of civil unrest.
The Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) National Emergency Management Plan describes the roles and responsibilities of the Department and its partners in emergency management as well as the concept of operations for responding to and managing an emergency situation in First Nations communities. While there are only two First Nations communities (as defined in the glossary) in the North, AANDC has a different set of responsibilities in the territories given our land, water and resource management operations. Therefore, while focussing primarily with on-reserve operations, this emergency management plan will also provide guidance and a template for developing and implementing AANDC's emergency procedures and practices in the other fields of AANDC responsibility in the territories.
Emergency management planning at AANDC takes into account that there are various funding arrangements or agreements between AANDC and the provinces for the delivery of emergency management services for First Nations communities. These agreements ensure that First Nations communities have access to comparable emergency assistance services available to other non-aboriginal communities in their respective province. They also provide an assurance to the province that AANDC will provide funding to cover eligible costs related to emergency assistance in First Nations communities so that responses can be implemented rapidly and without unnecessary delay.
The purpose of the AANDC National Emergency Management Plan is to provide a national framework for the roles and responsibilities of emergency management: mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery activities in First Nations communities across Canada.
The provinces and territories are responsible for activities related to emergency management within their respective jurisdictions. However, Section 91(24) of the Constitution Act 1867 prescribes the legislative authority of the Government of Canada for "Indians, and Lands reserved for the Indians". This authority is delegated to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada as per the Indian Act and the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Act, (R.S.C. 1985 c. I-6, sec. 4).
The Emergency Management Act 2007 (EMA) states that each federal minister is responsible for the identification of risks that are within or related to his or her area of responsibility, including those related to critical infrastructure. Under the EMA, ministers are required to prepare emergency management plans in respect of those risks; maintain, test and implement the plans; and conduct exercises and training in relation to the plans.
AANDC’s Treasury Board Program Authority #330 sets out the management terms and conditions for “Contributions for Emergency Management Assistance for Activities on Reserve”. The Program structure recognizes that the provinces and territories have constitutional jurisdiction for emergency management, while the federal government has jurisdiction for Indians and lands reserved for Indians.
This Plan is consistent with the Federal Emergency Response Plan (FERP) and is an evergreen document that will evolve over time.
This Plan applies to emergencies that have the potential to threaten the health, safety and security of First Nations communities. It is designed to present the necessary framework for providing assistance and support to the regions, provinces and territories as applicable. It is not meant to replace provincial or territorial procedures and plans but merely to complement them from a federal perspective.
The vast majority of emergency situations for which AANDC would have responsibility as the primary federal government department are emergency situations that arise in First Nations communities. However, in the North and in some provinces, AANDC also oversees, coordinates and/or participates in the management of emergencies which occur on Crown Land and waters that have the potential to affect communities and the environment.
Nothing in this plan is intended to diminish, alter or impede the authority, roles and responsibilities, or accountability of any region, province or territory. The intent is to harmonize AANDC’s policies, plans and procedures with those of provinces, territories and other federal departments to contribute to a coordinated Government of Canada response to emergencies impacting First Nations communities.
The main responsibility for emergency management rests with provincial and territorial governments. However, under the EMA, each federal minister is responsible for identifying risks that are within or related to their area of responsibility and developing appropriate emergency management plans in respect of those risks. In AANDC’s case, the Minister of AANDC has accepted responsibility for supporting on-reserve First Nations communities in the four pillars of emergency management: mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.
The AANDC National Emergency Management Plan applies to emergencies that have the potential to threaten the health and safety of First Nations communities and individuals and that exceed the capacity of the local community to address on their own. The plan is designed to present the necessary framework for providing assistance and support to the regions, provinces and territories as applicable. This plan does not replace any event specific or regional plans.
AANDC enters into collaborative agreements with provincial governments to ensure that First Nations communities have access to comparable emergency assistance services available to other residents in their respective province. Through these agreements AANDC provides funding to cover eligible costs related to emergency assistance in First Nations communities while the provincial or territorial government provides the service.
In the North, AANDC collaborates with territorial emergency management organizations and other government departments to manage emergencies that have the potential to affect communities, lands, waters and the environment generally.
Four basic pillars of effective emergency management in Canada have been adopted and must be taken into consideration in all aspects of the Department’s emergency management planning and operations. They are described below.
Public Safety Canada’s Federal Emergency Response Plan (FERP) identifies and describes the mechanisms and processes that will be used for emergency management by the Government of Canada. The purpose of the FERP is to guide a comprehensive and harmonized federal response, in conjunction with the response efforts of First Nations communities, provinces/territories, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector, to emergencies in First Nations communities that require an integrated Government of Canada approach. AANDC’s National Emergency Management Plan is consistent with the Federal Emergency Response Plan.
The objectives of AANDC’s National Emergency Management Plan are designed to:
AANDC’s risk environment includes natural or human-induced hazards that may impact First Nations communities. In this context, it would be consistent with Canada’s risk environment which includes the traditional spectrum of natural and human-induced hazards such as wildland and urban interface fires, floods, hazardous material spills, transportation accidents, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, disease outbreaks or pandemics, major power outages, and cyber incidents as well as the risk of terrorism.
First Nations communities are dispersed across Canada, located in diverse geological and climatic zones and are thus exposed to a wide variety of hazards depending on their locale. Many First Nations communities are deemed to be communities at risk for various reasons such as isolation, poor socio-economic conditions, low education levels and few economic opportunities. Furthermore, many communities are at risk regarding emergencies, and more specifically, their ability to effectively deal with situations when they occur.
Effective management of AANDC’s risk environment involves the four pillars of emergency management: mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. This involves having plans in place at the federal, provincial/territorial and community levels to ensure a coordinated approach to emergency management in First Nations communities.
The AANDC National Emergency Management Plan will help to mitigate or reduce the impact of emergencies on the safety, health and security of affected First Nation individuals and property.
The best protection in any emergency is knowing what to do. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders are clearly defined and understood by all.
Traditionally the responsibility to deal with emergencies is placed first on the individual. As the capacity of the individual to cope with the emergency diminishes, the responsibility then shifts to successive levels of government, as the resources and expertise of each are needed. This recognizes that when an emergency occurs, people will see to their own safety to the greatest extent possible. Individuals then seek outside assistance from local, provincial or territorial authorities if necessary. Provincial and territorial governments will in turn request federal support if an emergency moves beyond their capacity. Nothing in this section is intended to diminish, alter or impede the authority, roles and responsibilities, or accountability of any one program manager or policy centre. The intent is to ensure that prior to an emergency, the groups identified below are prepared to cope with the emergency in the best way possible.
During an emergency, other roles and responsibilities may be identified which may have to be actioned to achieve and maintain the necessary levels of readiness and response, and/or facilitate the accountable and optimal utilization of resources. If this is the case, individual managers must make note of any changes, additions or deletions as applicable so that they can be captured within the lessons learned and the plan(s) amended accordingly. Within AANDC, each region will retain full operational control and authority as defined within the areas of responsibilities of each Regional Director General.
Key stakeholders and their established roles and responsibilities in relation to this plan are provided below.
Community members should take efforts to protect personal property from the effects of emergencies. Furthermore, national guidelines for emergency preparedness suggest that individuals should be prepared to look after themselves and their families for a minimum of 72-hours during an emergency if they are able to remain in their home. In the case of emergencies such as fires, floods, earthquakes, and power outages in a First Nation community, community members should be prepared to maintain their needs for 72-hours even in cases where a determination of the need to evacuate has been made.
First Nations communities have a responsibility to develop and implement Emergency Management plans as effective emergency management starts at the local level. Communities that have not done so are encouraged to begin their planning and start building their own Emergency Management Plan. Emergency management activities at the community level include:
The responsibility for emergency management rests with provincial and territorial governments; however, the AANDC Minister has accepted responsibility for supporting emergency management in First Nations communities. As such, through negotiated agreements with AANDC, provinces may respond to emergencies in First Nations communities in support of stated objectives in exchange for the reimbursement of eligible expenses.
Provincial emergency management practices and procedures vary from region to region. It is important that all First Nations have comparable emergency management services to nearby non-aboriginal communities. Therefore, to avoid any confusion or problems during an emergency, formal emergency management agreements must be negotiated by the AANDC regions. Such agreements must be reviewed and amended on a scheduled basis in consultation with the Regional Operations Sector in AANDC’s Headquarters.
AANDC regions are responsible for developing, exercising, implementing and maintaining regional emergency management plans. They are also responsible for negotiating agreements with their respective provincial government for the delivery of emergency management services in First Nations communities. These agreements ensure that First Nations communities have access to comparable emergency assistance services available to other non-First Nations communities in their respective province. As part of its Emergency Management Assistance Authority, AANDC is required to cover costs related to emergency assistance in First Nations communities. In most cases, the Department assumes responsibility for 100% of the eligible cost of emergency assistance activities carried out exclusively in First Nations communities. If the activities address situations that are not restricted to First Nations communities (e.g. forest fires), the Department assumes responsibility for a pro-rated portion of the expense.
AANDC Headquarters and Regions must work closely together to ensure the timely flow of information during emergencies. Regions are responsible for reporting any emergencies to AANDC’s Operations Centre located within the Emergency and Issues Management Directorate (EIMD) in Headquarters. EIMD is responsible for ensuring senior management is kept informed of any emergencies threatening First Nations communities through the preparation of various briefing reports, notifications, and summaries as the event develops. EIMD is also responsible for developing, exercising, implementing and maintaining AANDC’s National Emergency Management Plan.
Additionally, the Department is committed to search and recovery based on compassionate grounds. When a search and rescue operation is terminated and the individual or individuals have not been located, the Department may fund the extension of search and recovery activities.
At the request of a First Nation community, the leading province or AANDC, non-government organizations (i.e. Red Cross), other government departments or agencies, and Aboriginal organizations may support the management of an emergency.
Regions should identify and communicate with non-government organizations located within their area of responsibility to determine what they can offer First Nations during emergencies. Once identified, these should be grouped and documented within regional emergency management plans for practical and reference purposes, along with contact information. Bilateral discussions and maintaining contact on a pre-determined basis are good business practices in establishing and maintaining partnerships with these groups.
Other government agencies, such as neighbouring municipalities, could offer support services like security, the provision of basic services and shelter to an evacuated First Nation, or equipment to prepare for or respond to an emergency. Aboriginal organizations such as tribal councils could contribute to the development of First Nation emergency management plans if requested. They could also be asked by AANDC to assist with providing input and advice into emergency management plans.
Through the Federal Emergency Response Plan, the Government of Canada guides a comprehensive and harmonized federal response, in conjunction with the response efforts of provinces/territories, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector, to emergencies that require an integrated Government of Canada approach.
Public Safety Canada is the federal government department responsible for promoting and coordinating the preparation of departmental emergency management plans as well as coordinating the government’s response to an emergency through the Government Operations Centre (GOC). AANDC may be required to supply departmental personnel to the GOC to help coordinate the departmental response if an emergency of significant threat or scope impacts a First Nation community.
AANDC’s concept of operations, during an emergency, was developed based on the Incident Command System (ICS), a system that defines and establishes clear roles, responsibilities, lines of communication and operating procedures to be assumed by personnel in the management of an emergency situation.
The AANDC Emergency Management Governance Structure is consistent with the structure of the Government of Canada as outlined in the Federal Emergency Response Plan, which involves engaging existing governance structures to the greatest extent possible in responding to an emergency. The federal governance structure, which parallels the structures of most provincial/territorial counterparts, includes the Cabinet Operations Committee, the Deputy Ministers’ (DM) National Security Committee and the Assistant Deputy Ministers’ (ADM) Emergency Management Committee.
The AANDC Minister is the lead Minister for addressing emergency mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery on all Indian lands across Canada. If required, an Ad Hoc Committee chaired by the AANDC Minister could be established with members such as (but not limited to and depending on the emergency) Public Safety Canada, Transport Canada, Fisheries and Oceans, Privy Council Office, National Defence, Environment Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada.
The Deputy Minister of AANDC sits on the DM National Security Committee which is chaired by the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister, with the Deputy Minister of Public Safety Canada as vice-chair. This Committee will be the primary committee during an emergency impacting a First Nation community that requires an integrated Government of Canada response.
AANDC’s Operations Committee is chaired by the Deputy Minister and/or the Associate Deputy Minister, and the participants include all AANDC Assistant Deputy Ministers; all Regional Directors General; the Directors General of Communications and Human Resources; the Chief Financial Officer; the Chief Information Officer; the Chief Audit and Evaluation Executive; the Executive Director of the Inuit Relations Secretariat; the Head of Legal Services; and the Corporate Secretary. The Director of Operations and Implementation from the Regional Operations Sector is the Committee Secretary. The Operations Committee has the authority to review and provide direction on emergency management issues requiring the attention of the Deputy Minister, including committing money for emergency management that might impact other program budgets.
The Senior Assistant Deputy Minister (SADM) of Regional Operations at AANDC Headquarters is a member of the ADM’s Emergency Management Committee, co-chaired by the Associate Assistant Deputy Minister of Emergency Management and National Security at Public Safety Canada and the Commander of Canada Command. This Committee will meet at the request of either co-chair based on input from the DM National Security Committee and/or the SADM of Regional Operations at AANDC during an emergency impacting a First Nation community and requiring an integrated Government of Canada response.
The Director of Emergency and Issue Management in Regional Operations is responsible for the development, implementation and maintenance of AANDC’s National Emergency Management Plan.
The Director General of the Communications Branch at AANDC is responsible for coordinating emergency public communications activities for AANDC, between federal departments, and with provincial/territorial and First Nation partners and non-government organizations as appropriate. Communications Branch provides support and strategic public communications advice on issues relating to the public and media environment for emergencies involving First Nations.
Regional Directors General are responsible for the overall and effective implementation of the Emergency Management Business Line in their respective regions.
The following governance structure depicts the inter-working relations within AANDC and between the Government of Canada, AANDC, and provincial/territorial emergency management organizations during an emergency.
Text description of this diagram is available on a separate page.
The AANDC Emergency Management Coordination Structure clearly defines the operational lines of reporting between AANDC Headquarters (HQ), AANDC Regions, provincial and territorial emergency management organizations and the Government Operations Centre (administered and operated by Public Safety Canada). AANDC HQ and Regions must work closely together to ensure the timely flow of information on emergencies and issues that could lead to emergencies. As operational requirements dictate, AANDC HQ and Regions may expand to a more robust coordination structure based on an Incident Command System model.
Text description of this diagram is available on a separate page.
First Nations communities should ideally have a structure that aligns with their provincial or federal emergency management community of practice to deal with localized emergencies. They should also inform AANDC of any emergency activities or events in the community.
AANDC Regional EM Operations Centres should ideally mirror the HQ organization but on a smaller scale due to limited staff. They are responsible for notifying the AANDC HQ Operations Centre of emergency activities or events in the Region. They also must ensure that they establish and maintain reporting relationships with:
Emergency Management Organizations (EMOs) are provincial/territorial organizations responsible for emergency management programs. Some of these EMOs have negotiated funding agreements with AANDC for the provision of response functions to emergencies in First Nations communities.
The AANDC HQ EM Operations Centre is responsible for coordinating and monitoring emergency management activities impacting First Nations communities from a national perspective and responding to queries from senior officials within the Department, including the offices of the Minister and Deputy Minister (DM). The AANDC HQ EM Operations Centre is also responsible for coordinating activities with AANDC Regional EM Operations Centres.
The Government Operations Centre (GOC) is housed within Public Safety Canada on behalf of the Government of Canada. It is the principal location where subject matter experts and liaison officers perform the primary functions of the Federal Emergency Response Management System (FERMS). The AANDC HQ EM Operations Centre liaises with GOC in an effort to ensure an integrated Government of Canada response to emergencies in First Nations communities.
During day to day activities, Operations staff are responsible for monitoring, validating, and providing situational awareness products such as notifications, weekend and weekly summaries, fire and flood reports to senior management, the Government Operations Centre, law enforcement and other agencies on emergencies impacting First Nations communities. During an emergency affecting a First Nations community, Operations staff are the primary point of contact. Should an emergency become significant, Operations can activate AANDC's National Emergency Operations Centre which provides an enhanced scalable response including 24/7 service. Within the Operations staff, there are regional emergency management coordinators in every region who are responsible for coordinating and liaising with First Nations and the local emergency management organizations who provide the emergency management service (i.e. evacuation, fire suppression, etc...).
Planning staff are responsible for ensuring that emergency management plans are developed, maintained and promoted. They are also responsible for the establishment of policies and procedures relating to emergency management at AANDC. Furthermore, planning staff look at current and future emergency management requirements, including other national level initiatives that may impact the Department’s emergency management program. This also includes risk assessments to determine the impact of an emergency and the risk level.
Logistics staff coordinate the human and physical resources (i.e. facilities, equipment, fuel, water, food, etc.) needed to provide a “surge capacity” during an emergency situation. Logistics staff have a vital role in supporting operations and must be included in debriefings in order to fully capture lessons learned.
Finance and administration staff provide funding allocations, monitor and document all related financial costs and expenditures, forecast projected costs of the emergency, deal with contracts and physical and human resources, hire subject matter experts where/when needed and finally, provide cost analysis and alternatives to senior departmental officials either during or after the emergency has concluded. They have a vital role in supporting the operation and must be included in debriefings to capture lessons learned.
Communications staff are part of emergency operations during an emergency and play a key role in managing external communications by ensuring that media outlets are kept informed and up to date. They should ideally have some training and/or knowledge of the ICS structure as they are required to work closely with Operations. Furthermore, communications staff have an important role in supporting Operations and must be included in debriefings to fully capture lessons learned.
Liaison officers are the link between the different operations centres. For example, they are the link between the Government Operations Centre (GOC) and AANDC. They are also the link between AANDC and the various stakeholders, partners and members of the community. Liaison officers provide knowledge of AANDC, including roles, responsibilities, mandates and plans, and are also responsible for briefings between Regional Emergency Management Operations Centres and the HQ Emergency Management Operations Centre on developments related to an emergency.
Departmental emergency management activities are organized and conducted according to the following four pillars of effective emergency management:
Each AANDC region is responsible for working with First Nations communities and Emergency Management Organizations to evaluate the threat and risks associated with emergencies and take steps to mitigate potential emergencies (i.e. flood dykes, risk based construction of capital projects built out of harms way, flood berms).
Regions and Headquarters are responsible for activities arising from the preparedness phase of emergency planning, including on-going training, exercising and, in the Regions, supporting the development and maintenance of First Nations Emergency Management Plans.
Capturing and reporting information regarding emergencies is also an important component of preparedness. AANDC will compile statistical data pertaining to which First Nations communities are impacted by emergencies, the causes and severity of the emergency as well as other trends that will assist preparation initiatives in future years.
Response includes those actions during or immediately after an emergency in order to manage its consequences to minimize suffering and losses. Response activities include emergency public communication, search and rescue, emergency medical assistance and evacuation.
The declaration of an emergency in a First Nation community involves a shared response amongst the First Nation, the province or territory and AANDC as each have a role to play.
The responsibility for identifying and initiating a response to an emergency rests with the local First Nations community and the appropriate provincial Emergency Management Organization (EMO). When necessary, AANDC will provide logistics coordination support in response to a provincial request during an emergency. This function will provide linkages to other departments and various suppliers so the requested resources are provided to the designated emergency hazard area.
In support of a shared response, the decision to evacuate a First Nation community must be based on:
in order for the costs of evacuation to be considered an eligible expense for reimbursement from AANDC.
Recovery focuses on the reparation or restoration of conditions to an acceptable level through measures taken after the emergency. Recovery activities include the return of evacuees, trauma counselling, reconstruction, economic impact studies and financial assistance for eligible costs. There is a strong relationship between long-term recovery and prevention and mitigation of future emergencies.
Returning a community to a state of normalcy, which existed prior to the emergency, is a priority. Funding sources may include: individual, First Nation or business insurance; eligible Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements costs at provincial or territorial rates under: a) provincial or territorial disaster recovery programs for wide-spread disasters; or b) eligible costs under AANDC emergency management assistance for localized emergencies.
Funding for assistance related to emergencies will be in accordance with departmental policies and agreements. It is important that all First Nations be treated equally and consistently on a national basis as jurisdictions permit regarding the reimbursement of eligible costs associated with emergencies. Costs will be tracked and identified on an annual basis by AANDC Regions and Headquarters.
The AANDC National Emergency Management Plan is in a constant state of activation for routine day-to-day departmental activities related to emergency management. The escalation of response levels to respond to an emergency will normally be initiated at the local or regional level and then move up to the national level if necessary as the situation unfolds. Every effort should be made to ensure that the AANDC HQ EM Operations Centre is kept informed through normal reporting procedures during regular working hours or through assigned duty officers outside of regular working hours.
In order to assist senior departmental officials with their roles and responsibilities before, during and after an emergency, a Senior Officials Desk Book has been developed. It includes operating procedures for senior departmental officials to follow as part of the AANDC Incident Command System.
Depending on the nature of the emergency, and the level of federal, provincial and/or territorial coordination required during an emergency, the Director of the Emergency and Issue Management Directorate from AANDC HQ, in consultation with various stakeholders, may escalate or de-escalate the following response levels as appropriate:
Level 1 is the routine (day-to-day) activities of the Emergency and Issue Management Directorate within the Regional Operations Sector at AANDC HQ as well as the regional emergency management programs. This level consists of coordinating responses to minor emergencies. It does not require the augmentation of the AANDC HQ EM Operations Centre or any of the Regional EM Operations Centres.
Level 2 is the partial augmentation of the AANDC HQ EM Operations Centre and relevant Regional EM Operations Centre(s). The Government Operations Centre (GOC) may also partially augment its personnel under this level. This level consists of augmentation by key staff within HQ and the Regions as appropriate, and liaison with the different levels of government involved in the emergency.
Level 3 is the extensive augmentation of AANDC HQ EM Operations Centre (including the GOC) and relevant Regional EM Operations Centre(s). At this level, key staff are seconded to AANDC’s EM Operations Centres and fully engaged in their response.
Headquarters emergency management staff will monitor events and activities with regional emergency management coordinators in order to gather sufficient information to keep records of activities and events, and to be able to provide periodic statistics for senior management and regions. The information collected will be used to develop not only the history of the emergency management program, but also future plans. Regions are also required to compile and maintain a list of events and activities, including expenditures, to be reported to HQ on a quarterly basis.
During normal business hours, situation reports are provided through normal reporting mechanisms. When an emergency occurs, key departmental representatives for emergency management as well as other implicated departmental staff will be required to prepare a series of reports for the normal administration of the emergency.
The types of reports that must be generated are:
It is important to note that formats for these reports must be identical between HQ and Regions. The creation of any new operational report must be discussed between the appropriate AANDC Regions and HQ to ensure consistency in the reporting lines and mechanisms that are used to brief senior departmental officials.
An emergency management staff contact list has been developed and is updated regularly in order to ensure that all contact information is up-to-date, especially for emergency management duty personnel and for contact purposes during and outside regular business hours.
The Department and stakeholders must capitalize on their own and others’ experiences, successes, as well as failures, to continually strive to improve on policies, plans, procedures, processes and operations. Once a situation or event is terminated, it is a good business practice to regroup key staff and stakeholders as soon as possible to conduct a formal debrief to identify areas for improvement and to identify key lessons learned. The lessons learned and after action report is an important part of any emergency management plan as it contributes to improved risk management processes and allows staff to understand what worked and what did not.
The Lessons Learned and After Action Report is not an audit and is to be considered a learning tool. It is to be shared nationally and on a constructive basis to enhance the Department’s emergency management capabilities. The report should include a summary of the event, key observations, confirmation of policies and procedures that were effective as well as concrete recommendations for change.
A draft of the lessons learned and after action report should be completed no later than 30 calendar days after the conclusion of the emergency or operation. If the Region cannot meet this deadline, then the RDG must inform the Director of Emergency and Issue Management in writing of the delay and when the Region expects to be able to provide the report.
Program awareness pertaining to the emergency management plan must be promoted and shared within the Department, especially to those who are directly or indirectly involved with any aspect of emergency management services and activities.
Training and exercises are an integral part of any emergency management plan. They are also a requirement under the EMA. All staff members involved with emergency management should have basic Emergency Management training from a recognized educational institution in Canada. As such, emergency management units in the regions and the Emergency and Issue Management Directorate at HQ must examine the training requirements of AANDC personnel who administer and manage the emergency management program. They must look at the current state of training and review future requirements such as the need to conduct national or regional exercises, including table top exercises. This involves liaising with the appropriate departmental and interdepartmental emergency management representatives to examine the need for governmental emergency management exercises.
The development of training and exercise scenarios must be a common practice for the effective administration of emergency management functions within the Department. It is recognized that training and exercises are fundamental to this plan and must be captured in a national training and exercise calendar.
Funding of emergency management is divided into four phases: mitigation; preparedness; response; and recovery. Responsibility to fund emergency management rests with AANDC regions through the fiscal budgetary allocation process and will be in accordance with departmental policies and agreements. Managers are authorized to approve spending in accordance with AANDC financial authority levels.
Each region is responsible for taking steps from within their annual budgets to mitigate potential emergencies.
Regions shall identify from annual regional budgets, the funds necessary to meet expenditures incurred by activities arising from the preparedness phase of emergency planning.
Each region shall track and fund response activities in accordance with the regional/provincial emergency management agreements.
Recovery is a priority which will be funded from regional sources.
It is important that all First Nations be treated equally and consistently on a national basis as jurisdictions permit regarding the reimbursement of costs associated with emergency management. AANDC Regions manage response and recovery financial support in conjunction with Headquarters. Costs will be tracked and identified on an annual basis by both the AANDC Regions and Headquarters. Guidelines for eligible and non-eligible expenses will be developed to ensure comparability with their respective provincial or territorial disaster assistance program.
The Emergency and Issue Management Directorate (EIMD) of the Regional Operations Sector is responsible for the management and maintenance of AANDC’s National Emergency Management Plan. EIMD will work collaboratively with regional counterparts, Communications Branch, and other stakeholders to update this plan and the annexes, as required by changes in policy, legislation or to incorporate lessons learned from exercises and actual emergencies. All stakeholders will be provided with the details of an update to this plan.
The Plan will undergo a full review by AANDC in consultation with the Regional Directors General and their respective Regional Emergency Management Coordinators and other key stakeholders, a minimum of every three years. Once a full review is complete, the plan will be reissued and re-distributed to all participating stakeholders.
Notwithstanding this departmental review process, the fact remains that emergency management policies, plans and procedures are all operational documents that should be consulted on a routine basis. Lessons learned and debriefings may prompt some changes to the plan, in part, as a result of a national, regional or local emergency.
Original signed by:
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada