Welcome to our second newsletter for Emergency Preparedness Month! Every May, BC Renal and our Emergency Management Committee raise awareness about the importance of emergency preparedness through various campaigns and initiatives (including our two monthly newsletters). While our first newsletter was geared toward patients, this edition features info and resources primarily intended for health professionals.

Resources for health professionals

Emergencies can happen at any time, without warning. If you’re a kidney health professional, knowing what to do and how to respond is crucial. To learn more, check out these key resources available on our website:

BC Renal resources to support Emergency Task Group activation include:

Important reminder to staff: Please review your patient's contact information in the Emergency Module in PROMIS, if possible 2x per year. 

The latest in emergency management: BC Renal launches the Hemodialysis Emergency Response Team (HEST)

In response to ongoing climate-based disasters, BC Renal launched the Hemodialysis Emergency Response Team (HEST) earlier this year.

The groundbreaking program first entered development following extreme floods in the Interior and Fraser Valley in fall 2021 and has been described by project manager Sarah Thomas as “a pivotal strategy in agile emergency response.” The team employs 12 nurses from various health authorities, all of whom are prepared to work in any dialysis unit across the province on short notice, thereby addressing historical barriers to moving specialized nurses across regions.

“Given our current climate, there’s a growing need in health care for proactive approaches to emergencies – not just reactive ones,” says Sarah. “HEST has the potential to set the curve, inspiring similar teams nation-wide.”

To learn more, read our feature article here!

Looking back: emergency preparedness in 2023

As BC Renal and the Emergency Management Committee continue advocating for increased emergency preparedness, we also reflect on valuable lessons from previous years. Last fall, the Emergency Management Committee (in collaboration with Health Emergency Management BC) hosted a provincial emergency response tabletop exercise, simulating a real–time earthquake response scenario over a full day.

During the exercise, participants were guided by BC Renal’s Emergency Management Plan; they subsequently used their learnings to identify areas of improvement for planning documents and future instances where emergency response exercises would be effective. This initiative and others informed the ongoing refinement of BC Renal’s emergency preparedness resources and our organizational approach to emergency planning and management.

Take our quiz and you could win a prize!

The theme of our second monthly quiz is “Personal Preparedness!”

Test your knowledge here and enter a draw to win one of two emergency preparedness kits.


Emergency Prep Quiz

Patient resources

Looking for more resources to share with your patients? Check out this webpage, featuring essentials like our "Emergency Preparedness for Dialysis Patients" handbook or 1-minute video on emergency preparedness.

The BC government has also released several new tools to help people prepare and stay informed during emergencies – most notably, the Emergency Ready Planner, which allows users to create a personalized plan in just 30 minutes.

More info and resources

Thanks for helping us make Emergency Prep Month a success!