Canada – U.S. experiment tests resilience during emergencies
December 5, 2014 Ottawa, Ontario Public Safety Canada and Department of National Defence
The Honourable Steven Blaney, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence, today recognized the work of participants on both sides of the border in the third Canada - U.S. Enhanced Resiliency Experiment (CAUSE III).
This cross-border initiative consisted of experiments held over the course of November 2014. These experiments were based on two disaster scenarios – the first a Northeastern hurricane, and the second a wildfire in the Western Plains, affecting Alberta, Saskatchewan and Montana.
The hurricane portion of CAUSE III tested the capacity of officials to leverage the potential of social media volunteers to help coordinate disaster recovery efforts. It also examined how existing tools like the Canadian Multi-Agency Situational Awareness System (MASAS), the American Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) and Virtual USA could be used to improve the efficiency of requests for mutual aid and contribute to enhanced situational awareness across borders.
The wildfire scenario focused on the operational ability to interconnect Alberta and Saskatchewan’s provincial radio systems with the Montana statewide radio system. During the scenario a land mobile radio network that covered all three jurisdictions and crossed provincial and international borders was successfully created. The operational efficiency of using deployable Public Safety Broadband Networks in a simulated disaster-response to provide interoperable communications between emergency responders on both sides of the border was also tested. CAUSE III provided the opportunity to test equipment to ensure vital communications can be made across borders during an emergency situation.
- This is the third installment of CAUSE since 2011. CAUSE provides participants with opportunities to use communications technology in a simulated setting to learn how the technology performs under different emergency management circumstances. This information can then be used to confirm the functionality and value of the technology, determine what changes need to be made to improve the technology for operational use, and what procedures and training may be needed.
- CAUSE III is a collaborative effort between Defence Research and Development Canada’s Centre for Security Science (DRDC CSS), Public Safety Canada and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, in partnership with various provincial, municipal and non-governmental organizations
- Canadian efforts for CAUSE III were primarily funded by Public Safety Canada through the Canada-U.S. Beyond the Border Initiative, as this project supports both nations’ key deliverables of interoperability and co-operation in emergency management.
- The Canadian Safety and Security Program, which is a federal program led by DRDC CSS in partnership with Public Safety Canada, also provided funding, and in-kind contributions were provided by all participating organizations
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Public Safety Canada
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