Avert Magazine

Avert’s 2023 top stories of the year

December 18, 2023
By Avert staff

As the year wraps up, Avert is sharing the top 10 most-read articles on our website in 2023.

Jim MacDougall (left) and Andrew Mitton, incident commander with the Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office (NSEMO), look over the track of hurricane Fiona at the provincial co-ordination centre in Dartmouth, N.S. Avert's look at the storm response is the No. 9 most-read article of 2023. Photo courtesy Communications Nova Scotia.

As we head into the new year and turn the page on record-breaking hazard seasons in Canada, we took a look at our own data to share what articles made an impression to our disaster and emergency management audience in 2023.

10 | Disaster by choice: Our actions creating catastrophe

In the tenth most-read spot, professor and author Ilan Kelman explains why disasters are neither natural, nor sudden, unusual, or unpredictable. “The disaster is the creation and perpetuation of vulnerability,” Kelman writes.

9 | How Nova Scotia’s EMO managed Atlantic Canada’s worst storm


An inside look at Nova Scotia EMO’s response to post-tropical storm Fiona last year landed in the No. 9 spot on our most-read list. Jason Mew and Lori Errington shared with Avert their takeaways from their time leading the EMO during the storm.

8 | All Hands on Deck: Let’s end ‘performative leadership’

Emergency manager Alishia Ivany’s reflection on the role of meaningful leadership to encourage and support underrepresented voices is the No. 8 most-read article this year. The first in Avert’s All Hands on Deck column, Ivany urges leaders to encourage those who are ready to disrupt the disaster and emergency management field.

7 | From blue bird to black swan: What X means for disaster and emergency management

Taking the seventh spot on our list, emergency management professional Tiana Putric explores how X’s new policies will affect the field, and suggests ways disaster and emergency management officials can adapt their strategies and tools.

6 | Opinion: Facing the reality of wildfire in Canada

Kelvin Hirsch, retired director of forest research with the Canadian Forest Service, authored the No. 6 most-read article. Hirsch urges collaboration when it comes to managing the risks from wildland fire, noting it is a shared responsibility of individuals, neighbourhoods, communities, businesses, and all levels of government.

5 | 16 emergency managers on improving Canada’s DEM system

Landing squarely in the middle of our list is a submission from researchers David Etkin, Domini Baldasaro, and Stephanie Etkin. Their article summarizes interviews with 16 disaster and emergency management practitioners and academics in Canada to shed light on key areas for improvement.

4 | How EMOs across Canada orchestrate emergency management

The fourth most-read article is a look at how each province and territory in Canada structures its EMOs. “The fundamentals remain the same: making sure all involved understand what needs to be done, plan together to deliver what’s needed, matching physical and human resources and finding a way to help,” says Geoffrey Downey on behalf of the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization.

3 | Lessons observed: Looking back on decades of emergency management

In the No. 3 spot on our list, 30-year emergency manager Ernest MacGillivray reflects on how the field has changed over the years, and what challenges and opportunities lie ahead.

2 | Eager to serve: Meet Team Rubicon Canada

Avert’s profile on Team Rubicon Canada made the No. 2 spot in our top 10 list of most-read articles. “We’re at 103 missions, and we’re continuing to grow so we can be there for even more communities in need,” COO Steve MacBeth says.

1 | Opinion: An emergency manager’s 5 rules of leadership

Municipal emergency manager (and Avert editorial advisory board member) Jay Shaw’s five rules of leadership was our most-read article of the year. Each rule, he shares, is a foundational skill that can ensure effectiveness in the emergency management profession

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