The Calgary Zoo found itself under water when tragedy struck Southern Alberta with heavy rainfall and catastrophic flooding—the worst flood in Alberta’s history and most-costly natural disaster in all of Canada. Though the Zoo’s flood response was ultimately successful, with very few animal lives lost, Zoo staff recognized the value in evaluating its efforts to ensure it was well-equipped to face future emergency situations.
As part of our Calgary office’s pro bono commitment, team members invested time and resources to help the Zoo evaluate and improve its emergency preparedness system.
Using a combination of large-group discussions and small-group workshops, our team facilitated a two-day flood-response debrief designed to help Zoo staff identify their successes, challenges and key learnings. From that, we created an emergency response action plan, highlighting areas for improvement and providing detailed recommendations to better equip the team for future response efforts. The Zoo adopted many of the action items recommended, including the creation of a crisis communications plan and training employees on the use of the Incident Command System. Zoo staff even noted that they felt “significantly more prepared” for another emergency.
While we can’t plan for emergencies—we can plan to be well-equipped for response.