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News Archive for May, 2011

The Exceptional Work of the Athabasca County FCSS Team during the Slave Lake Crisis

The Athabasca County Family and Community Social Services (FCSS) team is responsible for an area which extends over a significant amount of north-eastern Alberta. While there is a primary Reception Centre identified as the Regional Athabasca Multiplex and alternate county locations, the FCSS team can respond as a fully functional mobile Reception Centre team able to meet  the needs of displaced citizens throughout the county.

The recent Slave Lake fire and town evacuation was a devastating incident that necessitated a large scale reception centre to be set up at the Regional Multiplex. This involved the full activation of the FCSS Reception Centre Team and multitudes of volunteers. The Slave Lake emergency was the first “real opportunity” for the FCSS team to activate, set-up and conduct a reception centre. Given the inclusion of more than 1000 displaced residents and their pets, the FCSS Reception Centre Team rose to an unprecedented level. The FCSS team created a caring and positive/supportive atmosphere as they set up the Reception Centre and throughout the processing of the displaced casualties.

The FCSS team demonstrated that they are well aware of their respective roles and responsibilities in the event of an emergency and were very supportive of other functions throughout the processing of evacuees.

ERMC is proud to have been a part of the development process of the Athabasca FCSS team. Having recently worked with the team on a similar but small scale evacuation exercise in 2010, it was felt that this team was capable and willing to selflessly give of their time to establish and conduct a fully functional reception centre.

Marcellus F Adamkewicz, Consultant
ERMC

WIldfires in Slave Lake, Alberta

The Province of Alberta has called in hundreds of extra firefighters to battle a fire that was still considered out of control Monday after destroying 40 per cent of the Town of Slave Lake. The fire was officially considered out of control as of Monday 6 pm mdt.

Most of the destruction happened in the south-eastern section of Slave Lake, where half the homes were consumed by flames Sunday. Town hall and many downtown businesses were destroyed.

Almost all 7,000 residents have been evacuated from the town, hundreds going to evacuation shelters in Athabasca, Westlock and Edmonton.

According to the Province–as of Monday evening, about 800 to 1,000 people were at the Athabasca shelter, 195 were in Edmonton and 46 people were staying in the town of Westlock.

Westlock and Athabasca, both communities receiving the Slave Lake evacuees, have been extremely proactive in preparing for emergencies. On October 19th, 2010 Athabasca County conducted an exercise in which they practiced setting up a reception centre and receiving simulated evacuees from an effected wildfire area. They actually trained for an identical emergency to what they experienced this week. Last month, the County of Westlock completed developing their new Municipal Emergency Response Plan (ERP) and trained key personnel in its activation.

Both the Athabasca exercise and the County of Westlock ERP were accomplished with the consulting assistance of ERMC, an Edmonton based emergency preparedness professional consulting firm. While ERMC regrets the fact that these events have occurred, and we are proud to have helped prepare these communities in their proactive response.

Westlock and Athabasca were prepared to quickly respond to the displaced people of Slave Lake. The forward thinking of these communities means that they are proactively ready to help their neighbours in the most trying of situations.

Download this Press Release as a PDF

 

 

Why Japan Won’t Abandon Their Dependence on Nuclear Power

Japan won’t abandon nuclear power any time soon—because they can’t. Not even if they would like to and here is why. Japan is the third largest consumer of oil but has no oil reserves of its own to speak of, instead relying heavily on OPEC countries for their oil imports. Japan has 55 operating nuclear facilities with more in construction and still more being planned. They have invested heavily in nuclear power in order to reduce their dependence on foreign oil imports. Japan has already reduced it’s dependency on foreign oil by thirty percent. Japan’s long history of earthquakes and seismic activity have helped Japan become world experts when it comes to earthquake related sciences. Buildings in Japan’s major cities have the highest seismic safety ratings of any buildings in any cities anywhere.

Yet the recent earthquake showed that even with the most advanced warning systems and precautions, nuclear power remains a risky business in a country so seismically active. The world]s current oil situation further complicates things for Japan. Other than China, most countries are reducing imports of oil and racing to develop new technologies and forms of energy including wind and solar power to reduce their oil dependencies. Japan is a small, overcrowded island nation with limited resources and a huge appetite for them. There simply is no other way at this time to change over to any other form of energy.

Recent events in Japan further the claim by other nervous nations close to Japan that the nuclear industry in Japan needs to be slowed and re-tooled with yet higher safety measures installed. Until Japan strikes a new balance between their energy needs and what they consume they will continue to rely heavily on nuclear power for energy. The rising cost of oil and the dwindling supply worldwide will of course affect countries just like Japan. Countries who do not have a supply of oil of their own. That dependency on a strained supply, will help to ensure Japan’s nuclear dependency. Until a viable, new source or form of energy is developed there will be 55 or more nuclear power plants sitting on one of the most seismically active regions on the planet.

 

How Important is Your Reputation?

For the past 50 years the central paradigm of marketing has been branding. Typically branding focused on such branding standards as logos, product packaging and positioning. Brand was distributed through advertising and public relations. Customers were segmented and profiled and their feedback gathered through surveys and occasional focus groups.

Brand owners could rely on solitary quality of their customers. If they complained, it was directed towards customer support.

Over the past ten years the importance of branding has diminished as companies have begun to adapt to a new paradigm which called reputation.

What is Reputation?

  1. The general estimation in which a person is held by the public.
  2. The state or situation of being held in high esteem.
  3. A specific characteristic or trait ascribed to a person or thing: a reputation for courtesy.

Reputation is what others say and think about you. This is compared to branding which is

what you say and think about yourselves. Branding can influence reputation, but today

reputation has a greater impact upon branding: greater and also faster.

Reputation is a changing algorithm of “validity” + “reliability” + “positioning” x gossip

Reputation has a changing velocity. It can be stable for a long time and then suddenly and very quickly change. That change is usually the changing volume of gossip.

Validity:

Validity is the strength of our conclusions, inferences or propositions.

Reliability…

Reliability represents the consistency of delivering.

Reliability is the consistency of your measurement, or the degree to which an instrument measures the same way each time it is used under the same condition with the same subjects. In short, it is the repeatability of your measurement. A measure is considered reliable if a person’s score on the same test given twice is similar. It is important to remember that reliability is not measured, it is estimated.

Different companies, products or people are expected to deliver certain results. Hip nightclubs deliver fashionable people, a certain ambience. Differing customer networks have very different

perceptions of what constitutes hip, fashionable, etc. Nightclubs lose their fashionable tag through some small shift in perception that transmits fast through different networks. It may stay fashionable to one network long after another network has rejected it as excruciatingly passé.

Stakeholders have to be able to rely on you delivering what they expect you to.