In a proactive move to bolster emergency preparedness and safeguard communities during crises, the Province of British Columbia is injecting more than $880,000 into 19 localities. This funding initiative, facilitated through the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF), aims to fortify evacuation-route plans and public-notification strategies. The announcement comes on the heels of recent wildfires in remote areas of B.C., underscoring the imperative need for meticulous planning to ensure seamless evacuations.
Bowinn Ma, Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness, emphasized the crucial role of advanced planning in averting risks during emergencies. The initiative aligns with the overarching goal of ensuring residents can evacuate safely, particularly in regions prone to natural disasters. Acknowledging the frontline position of First Nations and local governments during emergencies, the Minister expressed confidence that these funds would empower them with the latest information to keep citizens safe.
Strategic Funding Allocation
The allocated funds from CEPF will be instrumental in various projects across the province. Noteworthy initiatives include:
Cowichan Valley Regional District
- Objective: Developing and reviewing evacuation route plans, considering geography, transportation modes, and other factors affecting route availability.
District of North Vancouver
- Objective: Strengthening tri-municipal operational readiness for evacuations and enhancing integrated community resilience across the North Shore.
Kitasoo Xai'xais First Nation
- Objective: Identifying evacuation routes, assessing transportation capacity, and developing an effective notification system for clear communication of evacuation procedures.
Cariboo Regional District
- Objective: Assessing the existing road network connecting 108 Mile Ranch, identifying bottlenecks, obstacles, and proposing alternative routes as necessary.
Substantial Provincial Investment
This funding injection follows the Province's commitment in February 2023, where $180 million was allocated to CEPF, bringing the total provincial investment to $369 million since its inception in 2017. The funds have played a pivotal role in supporting over 1,500 projects for disaster preparedness and climate-related emergencies in First Nations and local governments.
Testimonials and Project Impact
Emily Dicken, Director, North Shore Emergency Management
Highlighting the significance of CEPF, Dicken emphasized its role as a catalyst for collaborative projects, bringing together municipalities and First Nations to enhance resilience across North Shore communities.
Cari McIntyre, Emergency Planning Coordinator, Comox Valley Emergency Program
McIntyre shed light on the Comox Valley Regional Evacuation and Public Notification Planning project, emphasizing its focus on traditional knowledge and technical data to support regional partners in disaster response.
Aaron Stone, Board Chair, Cowichan Valley Regional District
Stone underscored the importance of grant funding in improving modernization of services, ensuring safe community support during emergencies, and minimizing distress through the development of evacuation-route plans.
Extensive Program Impact
With a total provincial investment of $164 million provided to date through CEPF, this initiative underscores British Columbia's commitment to fostering community resilience and preparedness. Administered by the UBCM on behalf of the Province, the fund continues to play a pivotal role in supporting tailored projects addressing the unique needs of diverse communities.
For more detailed information about the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund and disaster- and climate-risk reduction, visit:
Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness
Community Emergency Preparedness Fund Recipients
The Community Emergency Preparedness Fund, administered by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, supports projects enhancing the resilience of First Nations and local governments in responding to natural disasters and climate change. The following recipients will receive over $880,000 in provincial Community Emergency Preparedness Funds:
- Adams Lake Indian Band: Emergency Route Review and Governance Policy Development
- Burnaby: Evacuation Route Planning Toolkits - NW Quadrant (Brentwood) and Crisis Communications Strategy
- Cariboo Regional District: 108 Mile Ranch and Surrounding Area - Evacuation Route Plan
- Columbia Shuswap Regional District: Community Evacuation Route Planning and Alertable Awareness Project
- Comox Valley Regional District: Evacuation and Public Notification Planning (Regional partners: K’ómoks First Nation, Cumberland, Comox, Courtenay)
- Cowichan Valley Regional District: 2023 East and Central Cowichan Evacuation Routes (Regional partners: Ladysmith, Duncan, North Cowichan, Lake Cowichan)
- Fraser Valley Regional District: Electoral Area E Evacuation Guide
- Kitasoo Xai’xais Nation: Klemtu Evacuation Route and Notification Plan
- Leq’á:mel First Nation: Evacuation Route Plan and Development of Public Notification Plan
- Metchosin: Public Notification Plan
- Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation: Gold River and Tsa’xana Evacuation Planning Partnership (Regional partner: Gold River)
- Nelson: Public Notification and Emergency Route Planning
- Nooaitch Indian Band: Emergency Communication and Evacuation Route Plan
- North Okanagan Regional District: Emergency Communications and Grandview Bench Evacuation Route Plan
- North Vancouver District: Evacuation Route Plan and Exercise
- Strathcona Regional District: Quadra Island Evacuation Guidelines and Tsunami Notification Guidelines
- Tahltan Nation: Public Notification and Evacuation Route Planning
- Thompson-Nicola Regional District: Evacuation Route Review
- Tsay Keh Dene Nation: Evacuation Route Planning
For more information, please visit .