Canadian Medical Association

When disaster strikes, whether natural or human-induced, physicians and other health care providers play a critical role in saving lives, reducing suffering and protecting public health. 

This page provides resources and information to help you understand the principles of crisis management so you can better prepare for and respond to disasters and emergencies. 

What is crisis management?

Crisis management refers to the activities and measures taken to prevent, prepare for, respond to, manage, mitigate and recover from hazards.

Hazards are events that can lead to injury or loss of life, property or environmental damage, or social and economic disruption. They include earthquakes, wildfires, pandemics, landslides, tsunamis, floods, severe weather events, hazardous material spills and other mass-casualty incidents.

Good crisis management can enhance medical response to an emergency situation.

When it is embedded in plans and strategies, crisis management can help create a more resilient health system. The key to effective crisis management is ensuring the health care system is prepared well in advance of any hazards or emergencies.

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