"First Nations Emergency Management" with the Grand Conseil de la Nation Waban-Aki

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Robin was recently joined by Félix Talbot, Emergency Management Specialist at the Grand Conseil de la Nation Waban Aki to discuss how they assist First Nations communities before, during, and after disasters in Quebec.

Located in Wôlinak, the Emergency Operations Centre of the Grand Conseil de la Nation Waban-Aki (GCNWA) provides emergency support to First Nations communities in Québec, in coordination with tribal councils and various levels of government.

GCNWA’s territory covers the entire province of Québec. Encompassing such a large region, they have a broad scope of potential emergencies that can arise. Forested areas experience wildfires, communities bordering the St. Lawrence River are subject to flooding, and remote communities are more susceptible to power outages. The GCNWA Emergency Management Department works with communities to help them prepare for, respond to, and recover from these emergency situations.

Right now, the GCNWA’s EOC is helping the communities with PPE resource requests in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. They are fulfilling these requests by delivering PPE to community schools, health centers, and vaccination clinics.

A big part of what GCNWA does is help communities ensure they’re ready to respond effectively in the event of an incident. They track each of the communities they work with on a map in D4H Incident Management.

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They have customized forms in D4H Incident Management to track information relating to the emergency preparedness of the communities. They track information such as the community’s population, which Chief is in place, their emergency plan, what equipment they have, what training they’ve received, and their shelter capacities. They can quickly pull up this information by clicking on any of the communities on the map.

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GCNWA can also assign a ‘score’ relating to the preparedness of each community on the above form. This score determines whether the community shows up with a green, gray, or red marker on the map, allowing GCNWA to maintain a clear overview of which communities could benefit from additional training or support to improve their emergency preparedness. This information is kept up to date via monthly check-ins with the communities.

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GCNWA is partnered with the federal government, so they need to regularly provide updates and feedback to them. This can be easily done with the ‘share by email’ or ‘print to PDF’ functionality in D4H Incident Management.

Watch the full interview

The live stream is now available to watch back on YouTube, or you can listen back on Bravo Zulu, the official D4H podcast.

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