Special Care Emergency Preparedness Association of Nova Scotia

"Plan for the worst, hope for the best"


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Business Continuity Planning

Posted by anonymous on January 9, 2015 at 7:35 AM Comments comments (6)

We are very happy to announce that we have now uploaded the Business Continuity Planning Template to our wewb site.  You can find this great tool in the Members Only Area on the Conferences & AGM page for 2014.  If you use this document please send us any feedback you may so we can continue to improve.


Jacob D. Hillier


Emergency Social Services

Posted by anonymous on March 2, 2014 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (1)

The following is an overview of Emergency Social Services provided through the DCS.  Thank you to Joanne Lawlor who provided this information, and is an Advisory Member and great supporter of SCEPA.


The Department of Community Services' Emergency Social Services (ESS) program is part of a province-wide emergency preparedness network that plans for the unexpected. This may include preparing for natural disasters, such as major storms, hurricanes or floods, technological or environmental accidents such as chemical spills, power failures due to adverse weather conditions, and major urban or forest fires.


The responsibility for emergency preparedness is dictated by the Emergency Management Act of Nova Scotia; and overseen by the Emergency Management Office of Nova Scotia (EMO NS). Within the Emergency Management Act, every municipality in the province must have an emergency response plan and a designated Emergency Management Coordinator. The Department of Community Services is responsible for coordinating the province-wide Emergency Social Services component, in cooperation with EMO NS and each municipality in the province.


Emergency Social Services

When a "state of emergency" is declared in an area of Nova Scotia or when a large emergency happens that requires some aspect of Emergency Social Services, a Reception Centre(s) or Shelter(s) can be set up for displaced individuals, where any combination of the following services can be obtained:


• Emergency food

• Emergency lodging

• Emergency clothing

• Registration and inquiry

• Personal services for those affected by a disaster (care of pets, medications, children, etc.)

• Reception Centre/shelter management


Designated personnel within the Department of Community Services are assigned to coordinate these services and include a full time Director of Emergency Social Services, two alternate Directors, four Regional Emergency Social Services Coordinators, plus 13 Alternates, who have these responsibilities in addition to their regular duties within the department.


In the province of Nova Scotia, the Department of Community Services has an agreement with the Canadian Red Cross, to assist the Department with the provision of Emergency Social Services, when an emergency event involves 10 houses or apartment units or 25 people. As part of this provincial agreement, the Red Cross recruits and trains volunteers to respond on behalf of the province. The Red Cross is contacted by first responders or by Emergency Management Office personnel through their 1-800 number.


Nova Scotia was the first province to enter into an agreement with the Red Cross; and since the agreement was signed in 2000, several additional provinces have also contracted the Canadian Red Cross to assist with emergency events.


The Red Cross also partners with other community groups, such as the Salvation Army, St. John Ambulance, Feed NS, local food banks, SCEPA, etc. in advance of emergencies, and these relationships are key to an effective coordinated emergency response.


Weather Advisory

Posted by Jacob Hillier on January 2, 2014 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)
Attached is the latest Weather Briefing prepared as guidance for emergency management officials regarding the predicted weather conditions over the next 24 to 48 hrs. The following is the synopsis extracted from that document " A low pressure system will approach the Nova Scotia tonight and track south of the province Friday while intensifying. The system will bring snow and blowing snow to most of the province tonight and Friday. In addition cold temperatures will remain over the region over the next few days. Blizzard and blowing snow warnings have been issued for most of the province. Flurries will move into southwest regions this afternoon and become snow heavy at times this evening and spread eastward tonight. Gusty northeast winds will develop overnight and give rise to blowing snow conditions. The heaviest snowfall is expected over southwestern NS, the Valley and along the Atlantic Coast where 20 to 30 cm is expected. Blizzard conditions are expected in these regions tonight and Friday. Blowing snow conditions will be an issue elsewhere across the province. In addition high water levels are expected along the Atlantic and Fundy coasts Friday during high tide. The most vulnerable time is from noon to around 5 pm Friday. The snow should taper to flurries in the west early Friday evening and late in the evening in Cape Breton." Please consider the predicted Blizzard conditions in your Threat Risk Vulnerability Assessments for your area(s) of responsibility and execute appropriate mitigation strategies.

Weather Advisory

Posted by Jacob Hillier on December 29, 2013 at 1:25 PM Comments comments (1)
A winter storm will develop over the US E seaboard today and track near SW NS tomorrow. It will bring significant rain and/or snow along with strong winds to NS beginning tonight and through tomorrow. 20-30mm of rain in SW NS and snow changing to rain for the rest of NS can be expected. Up to 25 CM of snow can be expected in Northern mainland and CB highlands. High Winds in Inverness Cy and high water levels on the Atlantic coast can also be expected. Drains plugged by snow could result in excess moisture accumulation. Winds might result in power outages

2013 Conference Information

Posted by Jacob Hillier on March 14, 2013 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (4)

We are very pleased to announe the details of our Annual Conference & AGM, which will be held on May 30th & 31st this year at the Holiday Inn in truro.

We have an exciting line-up of topics this year, which are new, fresh and we feel very current with what is happening in the field today. These topics include:

  • Social Medial & Emergency Management
  • Disaster Financial Assistance
  • Continuing Care Business Continuity Planning
  • Legal Considerations in Disaster Management
  • Chat Sessions on:
    • Colour Codes
    • Fan Outs
    • Emergency Exercise
    • Lock Down vs Internal Situation Alert

We will also be putting forward proposed changes to our By-Laws that we hope will solidify the organization in building a stronger foundation in which to continue to grow and support our members.

All of the information on the Conference (including the Draft By-Law changes) can be found in the Members Only Conference & AGM section of the web site. They are in PDF format and ready to download. Please check here often as we will continue to add in more items for download as they become availalbe.

We have also updated the calendar to show the dates and information on the Conference so if you want to know more about location, time, etc, please check it out.

Finally we have added a new section to our web site this year under the Meetings & Events button just for the conference. If you placed your pointer over the Meetings & Events button you wil see the 2013 Conference dropdown which will take you to the page dedicated to the conference. Located there are the Agenda and Registration forms and general information on the conference. We will update this soon to include the biographies of our presenters.

We are happy to say that we have been able to keep the registration fee for the conference the same this year, and as always there is a discount for members.

We hope you are able to take time out of your busy schedules and join us again this year.


Jacob D. Hillier


Emergency Management in Canada: How Does It Work?

Posted by Jacob Hillier on May 4, 2011 at 7:00 AM Comments comments (3)

In a country that borders on three oceans and spans six time zones, creating an emergency response system that works for every region is a huge challenge.  That's why emergency management in Canada is a shared responsibility.  That means everyone has an important role to play, including individuals, communities, governments, the private sector and volunteer organizations.


Basic emergency preparedness starts with each individual.  If someone cannot cope, emergency first responders such as police, fire and ambulance services will provide help.  If the municipality needs additional assistance or resources, they can call on provincial/territorial emergency management organizations, who can seek assistance from the federal government if the emergency escalates beyond their capabilities.  Depending on the situation, federal assistance could include policing, national defence and border security, and environmental and health protection.


Requests for assistance from provincial/territorial authorities are managed through Public Safety Canada, which maintains close operational links with the provinces and territories.  It can take just a few minutes for the response to move from the local to the national level, ensuring that the right resources and expertise are identified and triggered.


Everyone responsible for Canada's emergency management system shares the common goal of preventing or managing disasters.  Public Safety Canada is responsible for coordinating emergency response efforts on behalf of the federal government.  More information is available on the Public Safety web site at www.publicsafety.gc.ca (click on "Emergency Management")

72 Hours.....Is your family prepared?

Posted by Jacob Hillier on May 3, 2011 at 6:29 PM Comments comments (2)

Natural disasters may be beyond our control, but there are ways to reduce risk and the impact of whatever emergency we might face - whether natural or human-induced.

Emergency Preparedness Wek (May 1-7, 2011) encourages Canadians to be prepared to cope on their own for at the least 72 hours of an emergency while rescue workers help those in urgent need.  This special week is a national effort of provincial and terrirorial emergency management organizations, and Public Safety Canada.

By Taking a few simple steps, you can become better prepared to face a range of emergencies - anytime, anywhere.  It is important to:

  1. Know the risks - although consequences of disaster can be similar, knowing the risks specific to our community and our region can help you better prepare.
  2. Make a plan - it will help you and your family know what to do
  3. Get an emergency kit - during an emergency, we will all need some basic supplies.  We may need to get by without power or tap water.  Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours in an emergency.

This week I encourage you to take these actions to be better prepared.  Please do your part!  Experience has shown that individual preparedness goes a long way to help people cope better - both during and after a major disaster.  Get and emergency kit now - it can make a world of difference.

Emergency Preparedness Week

Posted by Jacob Hillier on May 3, 2011 at 2:54 PM Comments comments (0)

Hi All,

The week of May 1-7 is Emergency Preparedness Week, please check back often for more information.

Family Preparedness: Is your family prepared?

Posted by Jacob Hillier on May 3, 2011 at 2:34 PM Comments comments (2)

Preparing for an emergency is important and something the whole family can do.  By taking a few steps, you can become better prepared to face a range of emergencies and minimize the impact on yourselves and your families.

Here are three simple steps to better prepare your family to face a range of emergencies:

  1. Know the risks - although the consequences of disasters can be similar, knowing the risks specific to our community and our region (like what to do int he case of floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, storm surges, hurricanes, and technological or environmental accidents such as chemical spills and power failures) can help us prepare
  2. Make a plan - every Canadian household needs an emergency plan.  It will help you and your family knowwhat to do if disaster strikes.  We should all practice what to do in different emergency situations.
  3. Get an emergency kit - During an emergency, we may need to get by without power ot tap water.  We will all need some basic supplies (items such as three-day supply of water, non-persihable food, a flashlight, batteries, battery-powered or wind-up radio, first aid kit, pocket knife, prescriptions, extra set of keys and money, and copies of important documents).  Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours in an emergency.

Checklists for what goes into a basic kit and extra items, how to write an emergency plan and details on hazards across canada are availalbe at www.GetPrepared.ca

Linkedin Group Created

Posted by Jacob Hillier on April 2, 2011 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Hi All,

We are always striving to enhance and expand your networking opportunities and in that spirit we have created a SCEPA 'Group' on the Linkedin website.

Linkedin operates the world's largest professional network on the internet with more than 100 million members in over 200 countires and territories.  Roughly one million new members join linkedin every week, at a rate equivalent to a professional joining the site faster than one member per second.

You can find the web site here - www.linkedin.com - and membership is free.  As with all of these free web sites there is the option to upgrade your membership package for a fee, however you will most likely find the free membership sufficient.

Should you joing please look up SCEPA and request to join the group.  Hopefully this will be yet another tool to help you connect with your peers or an opportunity to re-connect with professionals from your past.


Jacob D.Hillier, President


•LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 100 million members in over 200 countries and territories. •Roughly one million new members join LinkedIn every week, at a rate equivalent to a professional joining the site faster than one member per second.