- British Columbians forced from their homes by fire, floods, earthquakes or other emergencies may receive emergency social services provided through Emergency Management BC’s emergency support for up to 72 hours.
- Services may include food, lodging, clothing, emotional support, information about the crisis, and family reunification.
- There may also be specialized services such as first aid, child minding, pet care and transportation.
- Mobile Support Teams are located throughout the province to provide mentorship and additional support when requested.
- Capable personnel can also be called in from all across North America and internationally in the event of a catastrophic event.
- Numerous other relief agencies may be deployed upon request when mass feeding is required.
- Under the Emergency Program Act (bclaws.ca) , Municipalities, First Nations communities and Regional Districts are responsible for responding to emergencies in their areas, including providing emergency social services.
- The emergency social services programs depend on volunteers to plan and provide these services, including:
- Each year about 5,000 British Columbians volunteer as emergency social service volunteers.
- May be activated in a large event to provide immediate needs for evacuees
- Expanded services such as:
- Emotional Support
- First aid and other health services
- Child minding
- Pet care, and
- The services offered at reception centres vary depending on the type of emergency.
- Group lodging is a safe place where people can go to sleep and eat
- Expanded services may also be provided in a group lodging facility
- Lodgings are often located in community centres, recreation centres, churches or schools, and could even be located in a tent depending on what is available in the community.
- Whether or not group lodging is opened depends on many factors including the size of the emergency, the availability of commercial lodgings and the number of responders.
B.C. Earthquake and Tsunami Exercise
Exercise Coastal Response is Western Canada’s first, full-scale earthquake and tsunami response is a test of the BC Immediate Response Plan (IRP) that outlines the steps that the Province and its partners will undertake in the immediate aftermath of a massive earthquake. The goal is to exercise elements of the IRP and strengthen relationships among and across partners and stakeholders to enhance operational co-ordination. Learn more about Exercise Coastal Response