In the wake of recent natural disasters – including the massive earthquake in the Sichuan province of China, Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, the Saint John River flooding in New Brunswick and devastating tornadoes along the Eastern U.S. coastline – experts from more than 40 countries will convene in Toronto, June 15-18, 2008 to stress the importance of emergency preparedness, mitigation and response, as part of the 18th World Conference on Disaster Management (WCDM).
“When disaster strikes, no one is left untouched,” said Adrian Gordon, President and CEO of the Canadian Centre for Emergency Preparedness (CCEP), which is presenting the event in partnership with Diversified Business Communications. “From emergency management professionals and first responders, to health professionals who treat victims, to companies that provide technology and solutions, to everyday people at home, we all need to learn how to adopt and continuously evolve to meet the challenges we face in this rapidly changing world.”
WHAT: 18th World Conference on Disaster Management (WCDM)
WHEN: Sunday, June 15 – Wednesday, June 18
WHERE: Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building 222 Bremner Blvd., Toronto, Ontario, Canada
In addition to severe weather events, Gordon noted that the rise in outbreaks of infectious diseases, and the threat of pandemic also remain very real concerns. “In 2007, there were 88 confirmed cases of Avian Influenza (bird flu) worldwide and so far this year there is a clear upward trend, the United States is currently experiencing its biggest measles outbreak since 2001, and the number of children infected with hand-foot-mouth disease in China has risen to just under 10,000,” he said.
The World Conference on Disaster Management brings together industry experts from around the world – including police, fire, EMS, public health, security, IT disaster recovery, military and government personnel, as well as professionals in emergency management, business continuity, risk management, emergency communications and community emergency planning – to learn, plan, and network “so that we can be better prepared in the future,” Gordon explained.
The only conference of its kind to cover the full spectrum of disaster management issues, the four-day event will explore individual, community and business resiliency to disaster on all fronts, including global warming, pandemics and infectious diseases, natural disasters, security threats, business disruptions, terrorism and more. The expert roster of keynote speakers includes:
- Ontario Deputy Minister of Emergency Planning and Management Jay Hope (12:15 – 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, June 18);
- Director, Risk Management Unit, La Trobe University (Melbourne, Australia), Carl Gibson (8:30 – 9:30 a.m., Monday, June 16);
- Associate Professor, Emergency Management (School of Health and Human Services), Southern Connecticut State University, Scot Phelps (1:45 – 2:45 p.m., Monday, June 16);
- Founder and President, EMS Solutions (Hensonville, N.Y.) Regina Phelps (8:30 – 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, June 17);
- Managing Director, Visor Consultants (London, U.K.), and Special Advisor to CCEP, Peter Power (1:45 – 2:45 p.m., Tuesday, June 17);
- President and CEO, DRI International John Copenhaver (8:10 a.m., Wednesday, June 18);
- Former Director, National Hazards Center, University of Colorado Dennis Mileti (8:30 – 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, June 18);
- Chair, Communication Division, Center for Communications and Business, Pepperdine University (California) Robert C. Chandler (10:00 – 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, June 18).