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Emergency telecommunications: how we prepare, respond and work with partners during a crisis or disaster

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Preparing for an emergency

The world is continuously facing different types of hazards, from extreme weather events, to tsunamis, earthquakes, vast pandemics, and other geological and human made related hazards. The impact is even worse for those living in remote and isolated areas with no access to basic information and communication facilities.

Canadians need access to telecommunication networks to access 911 services, but also to obtain information about an evolving emergency and response measures that are being put in place.

Emergency telecommunications play a critical role in disaster risk reduction and management. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are key to monitor the environment, analyze the information to deliver early warnings and alerts, and in the immediate aftermath of disasters by ensuring timely flow of vital information.

During a crisis or disaster

We act as a liaison with:

How we respond and work with partners

In the event of an emergency or disaster


Together, with our partners we also develop:

Laws that impact our work

Through the Department of Industry Act, the Radiocommunication Act, the Telecommunications Act and the Broadcasting Act, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) is the federal department responsible for:

The Emergency Management Act gives emergency management responsibilities to each government minister. Ministers are to identify the risks that are within or related to their area of responsibility including those related to critical infrastructure and do the following:

These and other Acts of Parliament can be found on the Department of Justice website.

Under Public Safety Canada's Federal Emergency Response Plan, ISED is responsible for Emergency Support Function #2 – Telecommunications.

Our support role encompasses:

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