Public policy papers Disaster Response Systems In Canada Kuban, R.
Emergency services personnel respond and react to emergencies on a daily basis. While the emergency may be a crisis to those involved, responders are trained to deal with these situations as part of their “normal” daily functions. When emergencies escalate to disaster level, however, the response effort and the systems that guide them are also affected.
Disasters are situations, which are anything but normal. Regardless of their level of emergency preparedness, response agencies are likely to be caught off guard by the occurrence of the event or its consequences. Their response to these disasters is also “abnormal” and different from their daily operations. It demands unique roles, rarely applied procedures, specialized skills, rare and unavailable resources, or additional powers.
By their definition, disasters are events of such magnitude that the response to them is often beyond the realm of a single organization. Disaster response, therefore, often involves a multiorganizational multi-jurisdictional effort. At the municipal level, it nearly always involves a broad range of response agencies including other orders of government, industry resources, and community-based organizations.