November 10, 2009





Big Medicine is published by Team EMS Inc.


Managing Editor

Hal Newman  


Contact: ideas@tems.ca




Avi Bachar

Steve Crimando

Angela Devlen

David Newman

Hal Newman

Chris Piper

Norm Rooker

Ghassan Michel Rubeiz

Jim Rush

Blair Schwartz

Geary Sikich

Ric Skinner

W. David Stephenson

David Suzuki

Sacha Vais

Beryl Wajsman


Contributor Emeritus

Erik Ronningen




Special Feature

H5N1 Briefings

News & Terrorism






Middle East





Disaster Mgmt





Hazard Research



Stop Violence Against Women & Girls






The views expressed here reflect the views of the authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of any of their organizations. In particular, the views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Big Medicine, nor any member of Team EMS Inc.


















Regional organizations launch Redhum, the new humanitarian website for Latin America and the Caribbean [Last verified: Nov 9 07/ Panama City]--OCHA announced the launch of a Regional Humanitarian Network for humanitarian actors and organizations. It will facilitate easy access to the voluminous natural disaster and complex emergencies information in the Latin America and the Caribbean region through a Website in Spanish, www.redhum.org.

One of Redhum goals is to provide easy and organized access to quality and updated
humanitarian information from the region that will allow for better preparation and
response in the event of a disaster. The site will provide inter alia the latest Situation
reports on emergencies, calendar of activities (training and meeting), on-line contact
lists of Who is doing What Where (3W), maps and vacancies. Redhum, as a website
and a network, also brings about best practices in terms of response capacity of the
relief community through the timely and transparent dissemination of information on all
humanitarian emergencies.

Redhum is an interagency initiative based on agreements with the Secretariat for the
Coordination Center for the Prevention of Natural Disasters in Central America
(CEPREDENAC) and the Regional Disaster Information Center for Latin America and
the Caribbean (CRID); it is supported by the Regional Interagency Working Group for
Risk, Emergencies and Disasters (REDLAC) and works closely with national disaster
management authorities through SG-CEPREDENAC. Six Redhum information
assistants have been posted so far in Central America within national disaster
management authorities to facilitate information exchange, reinforce the humanitarian
network and strengthen capacity building. A further extension to South America and the
Caribbean should provide better coverage in 2008.

Inspired from other information management initiatives such as Southern Africa
http://www.sahims.net and Colombia www.colombiassh.org, Redhum has been
developed in complementarity with ReliefWeb, the global information system; Redhum
is funded by the Spanish International Cooperation Agency (AECI), the Swiss Agency
for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Government of Kuwait, and OCHA.



Business and Industry Council for Emergency Planning and Preparedness (BICEPP) [Last verified: Sep 29 07/ Los Angeles CA USA]--For many years, emergency preparedness and contingency planning were thought of as a luxury. Corporations were reluctant to allocate the necessary time, staff or funds to prepare for the possibility of emergencies such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, or floods. Many chief executives mistakenly believed that the sheer size of a corporation would ensure survival. It has become increasingly clear that government's primary responsibility is to restore basic public services before rendering assistance to the private sector. Direct aid to individual businesses was not on the priority list. As a result, it was recommended that the private sector be self sufficient for a minimum of three days. In 1983, the mayor of Los Angeles and a group of business leaders met to discuss disaster preparedness. This group subsequently became a steering committee and formed the Business and Industry Council for Emergency Planning and Preparedness (BICEPP). www.bicepp.org/index.asp


British Columbia Provincial Emergency Program [Last verified: Sep 29 07/ Victoria BC Canada]--The Provincial Emergency Program (PEP) is a branch of the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, of the Government of British Columbia. The Acting Executive Director of PEP is Cam Filmer. PEP has its headquarters in Victoria and incorporates six regional offices in Surrey, Kamloops, Nelson, Terrace, Prince George and Victoria. http://www.pep.bc.ca/index.html


October 17 - 20, 2007
Victoria Conference Centre
720 Douglas Street
Victoria BC

SARSCENE, an annual workshop, is Canada's only national event for all Search and Rescue (SAR) professionals, both paid and volunteer. It is an annual workshop conference featuring presentations from Canadian and International experts, exhibits, demonstrations, games, tours and special events. It is anticipated that SARSCENE 2007 will attract in excess of 800 delegates to the Victoria Conference Centre, many who will spend additional time in the city, region and other areas of the province.

SARSCENE is an excellent venue showcasing the incredible response structures in place. The close working relationship between all agencies involved in land, ocean and air search and rescue is truly remarkable. Professionals with the Department of National Defence (DND), Canadian Coast Guard (CCG), B.C. Ambulance Service (BCAS), Fire Rescue, Parks Canada, RCMP and Municipal Police work closely with volunteers from Coast Guard Auxiliary, ground search and rescue groups, PEP Air/CASARA and other organizations. The theme for SARSCENE 2007 is ‘The Spirit of Search and Rescue’ which reflects the dedication of the thousands of responders involved in saving lives.

A organizing committee with representatives from National Search and Rescue Secretariat, B.C. Search and Rescue Association, and the Provincial Emergency Program, Emergency Management B.C. has been actively planning for this event over the past 2 years. A variety of other groups have been working on specific components. The Search and Rescue Liaison Committee comprised of all agencies involved in ground, air and marine SAR in B.C., have endorsed and supported their members involvement in the organizing and volunteering at the conference.

The following is a short overview of activities within and in conjunction to SARSCENE 2007, a draft schedule is available at

SARSCENE 2007 Brochure
www.adventuresmart.ca/downloads/2007_brochure.pdf  [PDF]

Canadian Disaster Database [Last verified: Sep 29 07/ Ottawa ON Canada]--The Canadian Disaster Database contains detailed disaster information on over 700 natural, technological and conflict events (excluding war) that have directly affected Canadians over the past century. The database helps citizens and government to better assess and manage risks. As well, it’s a valuable resource for researchers and students to see how disasters and our vulnerability to them have changed over time. http://www.psepc-sppcc.gc.ca/res/em/cdd/index-en.asp


City of Los Angeles Emergency Preparedness Department [Last verified: Sep 29 07/ Los Angeles CA USA]--The Emergency Preparedness Department will provide citywide emergency management program leadership, continuity, and direction to enable the City of Los Angeles and its partners to respond to, recover from, and mitigate the impact of natural, manmade, or technological disasters upon its people or property. http://www.lacity.org/epd/


Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias (C.N.E.) [Last verified: Sep 29 07/ San Jose Costa Rica]--La Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias (C.N.E.), se esfuerza día con día, para coordinar los esfuerzos, tanto de las comunidades como de las Instituciones de primera respuesta y de Gobierno, para prevenir situaciones de riesgo para la población costarricense, así como las atenciones de primer impacto causadas por algun tipo de desastre, ya sea natural o antropogénico. www.cne.go.cr/ 


Coordinating Centre for the Prevention of Natural Disasters in Central America [Last verified: Sep 29 07/ Antigua Base de Howard Panama]--CEPREDENAC was established in 1988 as a coordination center for strengthening the capacity of the region as a whole to reduce the vulnerability of the population to the effects of natural disasters. In May 1995, CEPREDENAC became an official organization set up to foster the Central American Integration System (SICA) with the Governments of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama as members. www.cepredenac.org/ 


Emergency Management Alberta [Last verified: Sep 29 07/ Edmonton AB Canada]--An emergency or disaster can occur anytime, anywhere. A tornado can touch down. Heavy rains can cause flash flooding or an accident could result in a major release of dangerous goods. Emergency Management Alberta makes sure that Alberta's communities are prepared to respond to these and other disasters or emergencies. http://www.municipalaffairs.gov.ab.ca/ema_index.htm


Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization [Last verified: Sep 29 07/ Winnipeg MB Canada]--EMO is responsible for the overall provincial emergency program, ensuring safety for citizens, their property and the environment. EMO's activities include planning and research, training, response operations and the administration and delivery of disaster financial assistance programs. http://www.gov.mb.ca/emo/index.html


Montreal Emergency Preparedness Centre [Last verified: Sep 29 07/ Montreal QC Canada]--The mission of the Emergency Preparedness Centre (EPC) (formely the Emergency Measures Office - EMO) is to prevent major disasters and ensure the municipality is well-prepared for major emergencies. It is also responsible for providing support to the overall coordination of responses during a major emergency and the recovery period following it, while still respecting the responsibilities allocated to the differents parties. http://services.ville.montreal.qc.ca/csc/an/accubmua.htm


National Center for Disaster Prevention [Coyoacán Mexico]--La responsabilidad principal del Centro Nacional de Prevención de Desastres (CENAPRED) consiste en apoyar al Sistema Nacional de Protección Civil (SINAPROC) en los requerimientos ténicos que su operación demanda. Realiza actividades de investigación, capacitación y difusión acerca de fenómenos naturales y antropogenicos que pueden originar situaciones de desastre, así como acciones para reducir y mitigar los efectos negativos de tales fenómenos, para coadyuvar a una mejor preparación de la población para enfrentarlos. www.cenapred.unam.mx/  


National Search & Rescue Secretariat [Ottawa ON Canada]--The National Search and Rescue Secretariat (NSS) is an independent agency of government, reporting to the Lead Minister for Search and Rescue (the Minister of National Defence).The NSS was established in 1986 to support and promote the activities of the National SAR Program (NSP) as a means to achieve highly effective and economically responsible search and rescue programs throughout Canada. The NSS coordinates central activities for the federal element of search and rescue... https://www.nss.gc.ca/site/index_e.asp


New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization [Fredericton NB Canada]--The New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization (NB EMO) co-ordinates preparedness for emergencies. At the federal, provincial and municipal levels, planning is the key to emergency preparedness. A well established and tested emergency plan helps to ensure a prompt and co-ordinated response by responsible agencies in a time of crisis. NB EMO also co-ordinates provincial response operations during emergencies and administers disaster financial assistance programs. http://www.gnb.ca/cnb/emo-omu/index-e.asp 


Newfoundland and Labrador Emergency Measures Organization [St John's NL Canada]--The Provincial Emergency Measures Program is responsible for the development and maintenance of effective provincial emergency preparedness, response and recovery measures with a view to mitigating the human suffering and loss of property caused by actual or imminent emergencies and disasters in Newfoundland and Labrador. http://www.mpa.gov.nl.ca/mpa/emo.html


Northwest Territories Emergency Measures Organization [Yellowknife NT Canada]--The EMO handles several duties related to emergency or disaster situations. EMO responsibilities include: Coordination of the Government of the Northwest Territories’ involvement in Emergency Operations; Assisting with community and regional emergency plans; Search and rescue coordination and implementation; Search and rescue plans and training exercises; Administration of the Disaster Assistance Program; Planning and emergency response; and Emergency preparedness training and exercises. http://www.maca.gov.nt.ca/safety/emergency_organization.html


Nova Scotia Emergency Management [Halifax NS Canada]--The Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office is the agency of the Nova Scotia Government that is responsible for providing a prompt and coordinated response to emergencies. http://www.gov.ns.ca/emo/AbsPage.aspx?siteid=1&lang=1&id=1


Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada [Ottawa ON Canada]--Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada (PSEPC) is Canada’s lead department for public safety. We build and implement national policies for emergency management and national security. We help ensure community safety by delivering crime prevention programs and developing federal policies for law enforcement and corrections. www.ocipep-bpiepc.gc.ca/


Regional Disaster Information Center Latin America and the Caribbean [San Jose Costa Rica]--CRID is an initiative sponsored by six organizations that decided to join efforts to ensure the compilation and dissemination of disaster-related information in Latin America and the Caribbean. Its mission is to promote the development of a prevention culture in the Latin American and Caribbean countries, through the compilation and dissemination of disaster-related information, and the promotion of co-operative efforts to improve risk management in the region. www.crid.or.cr/crid/esp/index.html 


Up-To-Date Los Angeles [Los Angeles CA USA]--This is an official web-site of the City of Los Angeles Emergency Operations Organization. During major emergencies impacting Los Angeles, information of potential interest to the public and media will be posted here. Please RELOAD or REFRESH this page to get the latest updates. http://www.updatela.com/










The contents of this site, unless otherwise specified, are copyrighted by © Big Medicine 2001-2007. The news provided is for personal use only. Reproduction or redistribution of the this site, in whole, part or in any form, requires the express permission of Big Medicine or the original source. For questions or comments pertaining to this site, contact the web administrator. Big Medicine is not responsible for the content of external sites linked and does not endorse their content. Advertisers are not responsible for Big Medicine contents, the content of external sites linked and do not endorse their content.