Ottawa seeks post-pandemic ideas to prepare for next major disaster

Ottawa seeks post-pandemic ideas to prepare for next major disaster

OTTAWA — The federal government is looking beyond COVID-19 to prepare for the next large-scale calamity — be it another pandemic, a tsunami or cyberattack.

In a notice posted today, Defence Research and Development Canada seeks proposals for studies, technology trials and demonstrations to identify promising ideas to lessen the severity of potential catastrophes.

The agency, an arm of National Defence, is interested in ways of addressing “high impact, low frequency” events — disasters that don’t happen often but have deep and long-lasting effects when they do occur.

The notice says these fall somewhere between relatively common events such as seasonal floods and highly improbably risks such as an asteroid hitting Earth.

They include a major earthquake, industrial disaster or large-scale terrorist attack but also unforeseen threats posed by the adoption of new technologies.

The notice flags interest in two issues highlighted by COVID-19 — the desire for contactless and virtual services, and the need to bolster fragile supply chains, including the movement of goods across international borders.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 16, 2021.

 

The Canadian Press