Canada-US Enhanced (CAUSE) V Resiliency Experiment

November 2017

Project Summary

ISR conducted the fifth installment of the Canada-US Enhanced Resiliency Experiment (CAUSE) in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia (BC), and Whatcom County in Washington State (WA). This experiment tested numerous emerging emergency response technologies and capabilities. These technologies were used to support emergency operations in border communities in both Canada and the US in a joint response to a Mt. Baker eruption scenario.

The Canada-United States Enhanced (CAUSE) Resiliency experiment series is a collaborative effort between Defence Research and Development Canada’s Centre for Security Science (DRDC CSS), Public Safety (PS) Canada, and the United States (US) Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology (S and T) Directorate First Responders Group (FRG).

The fifth experiment in the series, CAUSE V, involved the extensive use of the Public Safety Broadband Network (PSBN) by both mobile and fixed site users in Canadian and US Emergency Operation Centres (EOC) as well as in the field. A series of trials were conducted to demonstrate the various capabilities of the network in providing First Responders with priority access to bandwidth and network coverage during a major emergency event. Field personnel additionally utilized the PSBN to upload images and video of the simulated emergency. This data was used to develop a Common Operating Picture (COP) through the use of ArcGIS Online for use by both US and Canadian EOCs to plan, prepare and respond to the emergency based on available resources. Data from numerous sources were available on the system, including damage assessment reports (Survey123), photos of flooding and lahar damage (DragonForce), and links to drone footage (live feed online).

The COP and available interoperable technology was also used to coordinate with Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) representatives at the border when the crossing of emergency resources was required in order to prioritize these emergency crossings.

CAUSE V also explored the use of digital volunteers in emergency management. The digital volunteers were given the opportunity to monitor simulated social media through ISR’s ResponseReady tool and identified trends and shared results of this data with emergency management officials. This information helped inform decision making by officials.

The CAUSE V experiment enabled emergency responders and emergency response planners in Canada and the US to share planning documentation interchangeably during the experiment, and had access to key information from field survey and damage assessment teams to aid decision making and enhance cross border emergency planning and decision making.

Back to Projects