In 2007, the Canadian Parliament enacted the Emergency Management Act to define the roles and responsibilities of all federal ministers across the full spectrum of emergency management including prevention/mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery, and critical infrastructure. In response to this mandate, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) investigated the development and implementation of tools designed to produce quantitative risk assessments for natural disasters and determined that the US’s Hazus-MH software was best suited to its needs. NRCan initiated a partnership with The Polis Center to learn more about this powerful software.
Polis is the primary curriculum developer for Hazus courses and has considerable experience using the software for mitigation planning. At NRCan’s request, Polis presented a four-day workshop in Vancouver, Canada on natural disaster modeling and mapping technologies. Workshop participants learned how to use Hazus-MH and other tools to assess and potentially reduce the economic and social impacts of floods, hurricane, and earthquakes. Polis staff also led a discussion with decision makers from multiple federal, provincial, and local agencies aimed at exploring how best practices in the US could be adapted in Canada.