To provide a Checklist of lessons learned from international responses to terrorist events for use in community emergency response planning in order to facilitate recovery and healing for victims and survivors.
In the event of a terrorist attack or mass victimization event in Canada, communities must be prepared to mitigate the negative effects on victims and survivors. TerrorVictimResponse.ca provides easy access to information resources for emergency management, law enforcement and government officials who may be required to deliver tangible support to persons harmed. Ensuring that victims and survivors can recover and normalize their lives is critical in fostering community resilience. Communities must be prepared to meet the immediate, intermediate and long-term needs of victims and survivors of terrorist acts/mass victimizations and can do so by incorporating victims into their official response plans. Victims and survivors must not be an afterthought.
Why Plan Ahead?
TerrorVictimResponse.ca encourages communities to develop a comprehensive response plan which will positively impact the resiliency of victims, survivors and communities in the event of a terrorist incident on Canadian soil by offering a Checklist officials are encouraged to compare against existing response plans. Response plans must go beyond immediate emergency response and physical rescue/recovery of victims to identify support and after-care measures that will be offered to victims and survivors over the short, medium and long-term. Existing systems for emergency management or terrorism planning have been based primarily on a public safety model of disaster response that focused on saving lives and ensuring citizens’ immediate safety. For the most part, these models were not developed to take into account the human impact of mass criminal incidents. Response plans should recognize the social, psychological, and economic toll that might manifest itself in physical or emotional reactions.
Providing online access to lessons learned allows officials to meet the complex needs of victims and survivors in the aftermath of terror, which increases the likelihood of recovery and benefits all Canadian communities. TerrorVictimResponse.ca allows for 24/7 access to practical information and tools that can be operationalized by front-line responders in the event of an attack, including: local emergency response agencies/officials; provincial and federal government emergency response planners; policy makers; health care officials; academics; psycho-social response coordinators; victim and crisis response services and other interested parties.