“Keeping All of Our Community Safe”
Following Hurricane Katrina and other recent disasters, there is a heightened awareness among governments around the world that the best way to respond to crises of any kind is to be prepared. With our own Manitoba experiences with flood, fire, and severe weather, there is a growing concern that both our systems and our citizens are inadequately prepared in the event of a large scale disaster.
For many Manitobans, the impact of a disaster would be further complicated by other social and health factors, with disability among these. Including the experience and perspective of persons with disabilities in emergency management is therefore essential to ensuring that, when disaster strikes, no one is left behind.
To minimize the risk to Manitobans with disabilities as a result of an emergency or disaster through networking, training and educational opportunities for organizations of and for persons with disabilities and emergency managers.
To establish a provincial emergency management network developed and designed by people with disabilities in Manitoba to promote their involvement in the systems and supports that impact their lives as a result of a disaster or emergency.
- Establish and maintain a network of cross-disability stakeholders, that is directed by organizations supporting people with disabilities, and that will meet regularly to build linkages between Manitoba’s disability community and emergency managers.
- Based on a review of current practices in emergency management (EM), develop training for EM personnel, including Disability Awareness training, to increase disability inclusion in mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery plans.
- Develop public awareness tools and dissemination methods to inform Manitobans with disabilities, first responders and the community in general about the needs of people with disabilities in emergencies.
- In partnership with government, assist in the creation of neighborhood – based emergency response teams.
- Participate in mock disasters and table top exercises organized by the City and Province.
- Seek ongoing funding and other resources to coordinate and implement the disaster management plans related to persons with disabilities.
Disability Emergency Management Network, Manitoba (DEM-Net)
DEM-Net will meet three to four times a year to discuss and approve action plans and to be informed of training and networking opportunities. Members of DEM-Net may also volunteer to participate in the steering committee and in any committees that are struck from time to time.
Between meetings of DEM-Net, a steering committee of five member representatives will be charged with carrying out the action plan and administering the network (membership list, distribution of the minutes, preparation of the agenda, and, in future, maintenance of a website). The steering committee has a two-year term, with the possibility of renewal.
DEM-Net and its steering committee will be chaired by a representative of a member organization of persons with disabilities chosen by the network. Unless otherwise specified, the chairperson’s organization will provide administrative and financial services to the network. (It is anticipated that funds will be raised, including within the network, to cover costs.)
Other positions on the steering committee include vice chairperson, treasurer and secretary.
DEM-Net may choose to create committees from time to time as the need arises. For example, for the purposes of public education, training or fund raising.
Membership in the Disability Emergency Management Network, Manitoba is voluntary and is open to all organizations that have an interest in the inclusion of persons with a disability in disaster preparedness planning.
Members will be asked to contribute financially to the management of the network at an amount that does not hinder their participation.
Disability Network Core Membership:
- Society for Manitobans with Disabilities (SMD)
- Deaf Centre Manitoba Inc.
- Resource Centre for MBs who are Deaf Blind
- Canadian Paraplegic Association (MB) Inc. (CPA)
- Ten Ten Sinclair Housing Inc. (TenTen)
- Independent Living Resource Centre (Winnipeg) (ILRC)
- First Nations disABILITY Association of Manitoba Inc. (FNDA)
- Canadian Council of the Blind
- Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities (MLPD)
- Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada – Manitoba Division (MS Society)
- Manitoba Brain Injury Association (MBIA)
- Fokus Management Inc. (Fokus)
- Manitoba Committee of Seniors (MCOS)
- Disability Issues Office (DIO)
- Salvation Army
- City of Winnipeg – Universal Access Coordinator
- City of Winnipeg – Access Advisory Committee
- Winnipeg Regional Health Authority – Disaster Management Program
- City of Winnipeg – Community Services Department
- Manitoba Family Services & Housing
- Manitoba Health
- MB Seniors & MB Seniors & Healthy Aging Secretariat
- Public Safety Canada – Emergency Management Policy
- Brandon University – Applied Disaster & Emergency Studies (ADES)