An emergency is a harmful event that has wide-scale impact on a community. Emergencies can be directly health-related, such as pandemic influenza, SARS and West Nile virus. More commonly, emergencies are related to events that have health consequences. Examples include hazardous substance releases, earthquakes, multiple causality incidents, severe weather events and technological disruptions.
Island Health is constantly working to reduce the risk of disaster and ensure strategies and trained staff are in place to provide an effective response in the event that disaster occurs.
BC's Mobile Medical Unit
BC's Mobile Medical Unit is a state of the art, mobile medical facility. It is a hospital on wheels that can respond to emergency or disaster needs throughout the province.
Learn more about BC's Mobile Medical Unit (video, 4 minute 43 seconds).
Emergency Management Cycle
The Disaster Management Cycle illustrates the ongoing process VIHA uses to reduce risk, to ensure strategies are in place and staff are trained to provide an effective response, and to assist in the recovery and restoration after a disaster has occurred.
Mitigation: Action taken to decrease the likelihood that an emergency will occur and eliminate or reduce the loss of life and property related to an act that cannot be prevented
Preparedness: Developing policies and protocols, emergency operations centre, training, planning, coordination, and exercise for potential crises
Response: Action taken to effectively contain and resolve the crisis or emergency
Recovery: The process of assisting individuals in the healing process and restoring operational activity
Influenza pandemics have occurred regularly throughout history. During the H1N1 pandemic in 2009/10, VIHA put its Pandemic Response Plan into action effectively. We review and update the detailed internal pandemic plan annually and are ready to meet the health care needs of the communities we serve in the event of any future pandemics.
Island Health's plan is consistent with other plans, particularly those developed by the governments of Canada and British Columbia. It also incorporates information specific to our region.
- BC Pandemic Influenza (Ministry of Health)
- Canadian Pandemic Influenza Plan for the Health Sector (PHAC).
Emergency Management Resources
The following web links provide more information about Island Health's resources related to Emergency Management:
The best action for the citizens of BC to take at this time is to be prepared for an earthquake or tsunami. Update and refresh your home preparedness kit and family preparedness plan.
- General preparedness information
- Emergency preparedness for people with disabilities
- Emergency preparedness for kids
Health Emergency Management BC (HEMBC)
Royal Jubilee Hospital, Room 159
1952 Bay Street
Corporate Director: Gerry Delorme