Brian Kayes, Building Disaster Resilient Communities

Brian Kayes began his career in emergency planning in the health sector in 1988. He joined the City of Brandon in 1995 and is now the Director of Emergency Coordination.

Brian has a certificate in Occupational Health & Safety from the University of Manitoba, a Bachelor of Arts from Brandon University and a Master of Rural Development degree from Brandon University and is an Associate Business Continuity Professional. Brian believes everyone has a role to play in managing emergencies and sees public awareness as a key element in any emergency preparedness program.

The Brandon Emergency Support Team was created in 1998 with a goal of educating residents so they know what to do in an emergency. This presentation explains the formation of B.E.S.T. and its work with the community to improve preparedness. Organizational resiliency is demonstrated through discussion of a variety of ventures.

Geoff Coulson, Summer Severe Weather in the Northwest

Geoff has been a meteorologist with Environment Canada for over 25 years. Prior to his current position as a Warning Preparedness Meteorologist (WPM), he held a variety of posts within Environment Canada including operational forecaster, training and software implementation section head, aviation forecasting program supervisor and outreach program supervisor. Geoff has been a WPM since 2004 providing context and information to the media and emergency managers before, during and after severe weather events. He also coordinates the CANWARN volunteer storm spotter program in Ontario and is a member of the Ontario Provincial Flood Forecasting and Warning Committee.

Northwestern Ontario is no stranger to damaging summer storms. Recent years have seen occurrences of tornadoes, damaging windstorms, hail and flooding rains in many parts of the Northwest. Join Environment Canada Warning Preparedness Meteorologist Geoff Coulson as he talks about some of the more noteworthy summer weather events of the last number of years. Geoff will also discuss the factors that are needed for severe thunderstorms to form and how you can stay on top of developing weather situations through Environment Canada’s weather website at or its Weatheradio broadcast network.

Karen-Denise Cyr and Colleen Watts, Incident Command Systems

Are you ready? Mobilizing and Managing Volunteers for Disasters

The impact of a disaster is often so catastrophic that no level of government, community agency, organization or group can provide all of the services required. Traditionally, organizations turn to volunteers to fill these gaps in service. The challenge is mobilizing not only the current volunteer force, but being prepared to tap into the resources of networks and community volunteers that may converge upon an organization in a time of need. Screening, assessing skills for placements, and orientating volunteers in a timely way becomes paramount. The manager must have clearly defined roles for volunteers yet remain flexible to the changing dynamics of the disaster.

Using the Incident Command System (ISC), this workshop will provide guiding principles, suggested induction and screening practices and typical job descriptions for a health care setting to support disaster mitigation, preparedness, and response and recovery efforts. This workshop will also be of value to organizations from any sector engaging volunteers to support Disaster Management activities.

Ella West, Risk Management

Ms. Ella West is Director, Customer Certification and Enterprise Risk Management and the Privacy Officer for MTS Allstream. She has been with MTS Allstream, since March 2001. She is responsible for defining, deploying & managing the Customer Certification program including:

  • Customers’ requirements for information security including: policies, processes, procedures and controls;
  • SAS 70 /S.5970 audit program including scope;
  • Customer compliance requirements with respect to other standards and certifications (such as ISO, PIPEDA, ITIL, COBIT) to meet contractual requirements.

Since joining MTS Allstream in 2001, she has worked with a wide variety of quality initiatives including developing a Balanced Scorecard and Customer Driven Enterprise Process Model. Prior to joining Allstream, Ms. West was Operations Leader and Quality Leader for APW (Allied Power) Milton operation, producing ATM machines for the Banking industry. Ms West also gained experience in Process and Software Management in the Computer Industry in the 11 years spent at Westinghouse Canada as Quality Manager for the Defence Industry Arm.

Ms. West has been a volunteer with the Canadian Red Cross for 25 years; Ella is an Instructor Trainer for Canadian Red Cross Disaster Management and is an active member of the Disaster Response Team. She has deployed in Disaster Management as Team Leader and Operations Leader in Canada, United States and most recently in Sri Lanka (for the Tsunami).

Ella West, Emergency Lodging, Shelter Management

The objective of the Emergency Lodging service is to provide, as quickly as possible, safe, temporary lodging to persons in need of this service in a disaster or emergency.
After taking this workshop, participants will understand the significance of:

  • The emergency lodging service and the services/roles required to support it.
  • The procedures required to obtain and organize the lodging facility, human and material resources.
  • Adherence to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) guidelines for the emergency lodging service.
  • The establishment and maintenance of accurate records and appropriate reports.
  • Collaboration with stakeholders and partners to ensure and effective lodging service.