In order to respond to an emergency, individuals and governments must be prepared.
Emergency preparedness includes all activities, such as plans, procedures, contact lists and exercises, undertaken in anticipation of a likely emergency. The goal of these preparedness activities is to make sure that the government is ready and able to respond quickly and effectively in the event of an emergency.
For emergencies involving public health, Health Canada provides support and scientific expertise to assist the Public Health Agency of Canada in its preparedness activities.
Under the Federal Nuclear Emergency Plan, Health Canada leads the Government of Canada's preparedness activities for radiological and nuclear emergencies. The Department:
Preparedness exercises are designed to test how well the plans and procedures work during simulated emergency situations. Such exercises help the government identify strengths as well as any problems or inadequacies in preparedness plans and procedures so that these can be addressed before, not after, an actual emergency.
In this section, you can read more about nuclear emergency preparedness planning and some of the national, provincial and international exercises that Health Canada has led or has participated in.