VICTORIA, B.C. – Over one hundred local governments and First Nation communities are approved to receive their part of $4.2 million in provincial emergency preparedness funding.
The emergency preparedness funding is part of the nearly $69.5 million Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF), which was designed to help communities be prepared and respond to disasters.
This investment from CEPF will support Emergency Support Services (ESS), they provide short-term, essential supports to British Columbians that are impacted by disasters. The investment also supports Emergency Operations Centres (EOC), equipment, and emergency training at the community level.
The Province will also be investing more than $2.3 million into communities for the current ESS funding stream, in addition to the $1.9-million investment in locally run EOCs. There is also an additional $600,000 that is approved in principle but is still pending further information from communities.
Since the Budget Update in September 2017, communities and governments throughout the province have received more than $48 million through the CEPF.
The CEPF has many programs that are designed to enhance the resiliency of local and regional government, First Nations communities, and their residents. The Province provided funding is administered by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities and is divided into seven streams:
- Flood risk assessment, flood mapping, and flood mitigation planning
- Emergency support services
- Emergency operations centres and training
- structural routes
- Indigenous cultural safety and cultural humility training
- Volunteer and composite fire departments equipment and training
Emergency Management BC has been working on modernizing the ESS program and has transitioned it to a more digital platform to help deliver supports to evacuees that are impacted by floods and fires. The pilot program in 2019 was successful as well as the real-life scenarios like the recent flood evacuations near Williams Lake and in the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, the evacuee registration and assistance tool has been launched provincewide.
This tool, evacuee registration, and assistance tools allow evacuees to self-register online rather than in person. This ensures timely supports and enables evacuees to maintain a safe physical distance during the COVID-19 Pandemic, helping to protect them and the volunteers, communities, and ESS partners.