Planning for and Responding to Emergencies in the Courts New, Free

Develop a plan to respond to and continue court operations during an emergency.

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Cover page for Planning for and Responding to Emergencies in the Courts
English / French


This free 34-page handbook provides guidance for courts to proactively develop response and continuity plans to prepare for and minimize the impacts of emergency situations, such as natural disasters, extreme weather events, and pandemics.


This handbook includes emergency preparedness and business continuity planning considerations. It offers guidance on anticipating and mitigating the impacts of different emergency scenarios on people, property, and the environment. It also focuses on providing uninterrupted access to justice and facilitating the return to normal operations.

This handbook includes two major stages in preparing for an emergency:

  • Taking stock of regular court operations, including both the needs of court users and the resources required to function, and considering how they may be affected by an emergency
  • Developing a plan to respond to the emergency and continue operations in the face of its effects


As courts are generally equipped to deal with short-term emergencies, such as minor building fires or short-term power outages, this handbook focuses on emergencies that will affect court operations for a length of several days to months. For guidance on immediate emergency response, see the CCOHS Emergency Planning fact sheet.

Target Audience

  • Anyone responsible for emergency preparedness and business continuity planning for courts

This publication was developed by the Action Committee on Modernizing Court Operations, in association with CCOHS.

Although every effort is made to ensure accuracy and completeness of the information, it is understood that CCOHS makes no warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of such information and assumes no liability for any damages or loss suffered as a result of any inaccuracy or incompleteness therein.


The CCOHS Difference

CCOHS publications are unique in that they are developed by subject specialists in the field, and reviewed by representatives from labour, employers and government to ensure the content and approach are unbiased and credible.


Although our publications are protected by copyright, permission for non-commercial reproduction may be provided.

Please use our Copyright Authorization Form to request permission, or contact us for more information.