What is an Emergency




An emergency can be defined as a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action.

Phases of an Emergency

The University of Lethbridge has adopted the following widely accepted model of the Phases of Emergency Management. It is important to understand response activity will be determined by need as identified by the Incident Command System model of expansion and contraction, and are not independent of each other.

Actions taken to eliminate or reduce the degree of long term risk to human life, property and the environment from natural and technological hazards. Mitigation assumes the University is exposed to risks whether or not an emergency occurs. Mitigation measures include, but are not limited to, hazard identification and risk assessment, monitoring, inspection, public education, policies and procedures, building design and legislation.

Actions taken in advance of an emergency to develop operational capabilities and facilitate an effective response in the event an emergency occurs. Preparedness measures include, but are not limited to, business continuity planning, emergency alert systems, emergency communication systems, emergency operations centres, emergency operational plans, emergency public information materials, exercise of plans, mutual aid agreements, resource management, training response personnel and warning systems.

Actions taken immediately upon notification of a crisis, during, or directly after an emergency occurs, to save lives, minimize damage to property and the environment, and enhance the effectiveness of recovery. Response measures include, but are not limited to, emergency plan utilization, emergency alert system use, emergency instructions to the public, emergency medical assistance, staffing emergency operations centres, senior management notifications, reception and care, shelter and evacuation, search and rescue, resource mobilization and use of warning systems.

Activity to return vital support systems to minimum operating standards and long term activity designed to return life to normal or improved levels, including some form of economic viability. Recovery measures include, but are not limited to, use of business continuity plans, crisis counseling, damage assessment, clearing of debris, computer systems restoration, decontamination, disaster loans and grants, disaster unemployment assistance, public information, reassessment of emergency plans, reconstruction, temporary housing and full scale business resumption.