Whitehorse Daily Star

Disaster planning conference set for next month

The Yukon Chamber of Commerce will host a one-day conference next month

By Whitehorse Star on November 23, 2017

The Yukon Chamber of Commerce will host a one-day conference next month to help Yukon businesses and other organizations plan for surviving a disaster that threatens the continuity of their operations.

The Dec. 7 event will follow last year’s Fort McMurray, Alta. fires, this year’s wildfires in British Columbia, and the 6.3 earthquakes in southern Yukon last May 1.

The event’s theme will be Business Continuity: Dealing with Disaster through Resilience.

This conference is for businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and municipal and First Nations governments.

It will address the four elements necessary for an organization to survive a disastrous event:

  1. Planning;

  2. Preparedness;

  3. Response; and

  4. Recovery

Keynote speakers will include:

• Julie Dickson Olmstead, director, public affairs and corporate services, Craig Anderson, general manager, operations (Prairies and Yukon), both of Save-on-Foods, who will speak on Ft. McMurray and Williams Lake – Lessons Leaned and Applied; and

• John Coyne, a certified business continuity professional with the Disaster Recovery Institute International and the manager of the Emergency Management Unit for the territorial Department of Health and Social Services, who will speak on how businesses and other organizations can plan for and survive disastrous events.

In addition, there will be sessions on:

• Employer obligations related to human resources and occupational health and safety;

• Insurance – adequate and appropriate coverage for organizations;

• IT & Telecom best practices and backup and recovery solutions; and

• Electricity – Dealing with Disaster through Resilience – “Behind the Switch”.

“We learned from the Ft. McMurray fires that virtually all of their 3,900 businesses closed; 277 businesses were either destroyed or otherwise affected by the blaze; and as many as 40 per cent of the businesses have not re-opened,” said chamber president Peter Turner.

“That event, coupled with this year’s fires in B.C., and our own earthquakes in May, made us realize that most businesses and small organizations, including ours, do not have adequate plans or mitigation strategies in place.”

This conference, Turner added, “is intended to help businesses, NGOs and municipal and First Nations governments across the territory better prepare themselves to plan for and emerge from such disasters; or something as simple as a fire or other event that forces the closure of their operation.”

Comments (5)

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Groucho d'North on Nov 29, 2017 at 12:01 pm

YG used to have its big emergency plan on their website, but it's not there anymore, perhaps it's being updated? It would be nice to read how the lead agencies will respond when needed, so we can make our plans to work in similar ways.

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Josey Wales on Nov 25, 2017 at 10:59 pm

Our civic team could offer heaps of insight on disaster planning.
Whitehorse from the 1990s even to today?
For those that remember the evidence of disaster planning is omnipresent in all our hoods.
Enjoy your catered snacks folks.
Oh yeah...in planning, remind our Mounties that there will be no repeat of High River and Slave Lake Alberta.

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Start With The Basics on Nov 24, 2017 at 12:33 pm

How about they start by coming up with a plan for when the internet goes down and the entire city comes to a jarring halt because no one carries cash anymore?

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Hi Folks on Nov 23, 2017 at 7:32 pm

This is great move by the Yukon chamber of commerce.
We need to be better aware of our dangers, in our City.
Great work by the Yukon Government on info after the earth "Q".
City in LOL land on this subject.
Thanks to some smart people in the Yukon, to see the real issue before it is a dangerous health issue that harms and kills people.

Wilf Carter

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Groucho d'North on Nov 23, 2017 at 5:08 pm

Encouraging to hear this announcement, its long overdue. Kudos to the sponsors and organisers for putting it together.

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