2021 was a tough year for British Columbians. The frequency and magnitude of events impacting the province was unprecedented and have undoubtedly helped to frame disaster risk reduction as a common theme among a general public demanding action and answers from governments and corporations alike. The tragic events which unfolded in the town of Lytton on June 30th 2021 helped spotlight the best of the emergency management community, our ability to respond selflessly and to rally to support communities in need. However, it also highlighted some collective vulnerabilities, assumptions and misunderstanding around how communications are a vital piece of any emergency operation which is often overlooked. Through our presentation, we would like to use examples from the 2021 wildfire and atmospheric river events as a case study to share our experiences and demonstrate our commitment on how we work to ensure our communities are best protected from an isolation event like the one experienced in Lytton. We will examine how we can support response agencies on the ground when/if the worst happens and how you can factor these lessons into your planning and preparedness programs moving forward. We will spotlight some of our processes, tools, and capabilities we have in our toolkit that enabled us to regain the initiative even amongst significant loss and destruction of our own assets and how we were able to assist recovery efforts as quickly as possible. Our intent is that through this presentation and sharing our own lessons learned and experiences that the audience will come to better understand their own risk around communications, the vulnerabilities they may be exposed to, what TELUS can do to assist them and how best to engage us and access these capabilities when required. Finally, we hope to demonstrate the extent of the positive results possible when we are able to be part of the team.


Edd Bennett 

Risk Management Manager, Emergency Response & Business Continuity (ER & BC) | TELUS

Edd is a resilience, continuity and emergency management specialist who works as a member of TELUS' Emergency Response and Business Continuity Team . His background and professional experience is a combination of 16 years in continuity operations across Telecoms, Insurance, Human Resources and Information Technology in the UK & Canada. Alongside his civilian career, he has 20 years service with the British Army Reserve including 2 operational tours of Afghanistan and multiple deployments on international exercises. His expertise is focused on helping organizations build resilience capabilities focusing on business continuity, emergency response, physical security, operations/exercise planning and preparedness training programs.