United States, Mexico & Canada 2017-2018

Background: GEG was contracted by the American Red Cross to provide strategic and technical support to the North American Humanitarian Response Summit (NAHRS), an initiative designed to engage the American Red Cross, Mexican Red Cross, Canadian Red Cross and their respective governments in efforts to increase efficiencies and better align operational procedures in cross-border disaster response, and improve relevant policy and diplomatic relations.

Requirement: Provide technical assistance in designing the content of events, co-facilitation of meetings and relevant contextual information related to the overall project.

GEG Contribution: From the beginning of the NAHRS initiative, GEG worked with the American Red Cross to design a project management platform through which the five NAHRS events could be effectively managed. The first deliverable that GEG produced was the NAHRS Synthesis Report. The Synthesis Report provided context to the NAHRS project as whole and structure for the three country Preparatory Sessions, including recommended catastrophic disaster scenarios and event agendas.

After supporting with the design and facilitation of the NAHRS Initial Convening Meeting in Washington, DC, GEG partnered with Urban Resilience Platform to build country-specific disaster scenarios on interactive online platforms for use at the three country Preparatory Sessions. In partnership with the American Red Cross and the respective National Societies, GEG worked to prepare and facilitate the Preparatory Sessions in Mexico City, Mexico; Tucson, USA; and Ottawa, Canada, through dynamic and engaging discussions centred around the catastrophic disaster scenarios.

The culminating event of the project was the Summit, which took place March 13th-14th, 2018 in Washington, DC. More than 130 participants attended, including representatives from the three National Societies; their respective federal, state, provincial, and local government entities; academic institutions and partner organizations. Notable events and outputs from the Summit include:

  • Keynote address from FEMA administrator Brock Long
  • An agreement to stand up a North American catastrophic disaster planning working group
  • Tripartite agreement to prioritize catastrophic disaster planning moving forward

Outcomes from the Summit will be implemented through the North American Humanitarian Response Initiative (NAHRI), the new phase for the project moving forward. For access to NAHRS resources and documentation, please visit the Global Disaster Preparedness Center’s website at


Urban Resilience Platform

Urban Resilience Platform (UR Platform) is a data-enabled consulting firm supporting communities overcome disaster risk. UR Platform developed the interactive online simulations for the NAHRS Summit, which were used by GEG as the foundation for the tabletop exercises at the preparatory sessions.

Stephanie Brown Live Scribing

GEG contracted with Stephanie Brown to live scribe during the NAHRS Concluding Summit. Stephanie completed six murals over the course of the two day event, visually capturing outputs from the Summit conversations in real time. These murals are included below.

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