- The BC government has a number of Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) and partnerships in place to support response and recovery efforts during disasters.
- Here are some examples of agreements that may be applied in an earthquake:
- Signed in 2007, an MOU between B.C. and Alberta speaks to further partnership, the recognition of mutual aid qualifications across borders, liability for acts or omissions of individuals providing mutual aid, access to workers' compensation benefits for individuals providing mutual aid, and the reimbursement of costs associated with providing mutual aid.
- The B.C. government has a number of MOUs with the federal government in place including a Westcoast Tsunami Warning document signed in 2008
- The Province also has an MOU in place with the RCMP that allows the province to utilize RCMP radio communications systems in times of disaster.
- An agreement with the City of Vancouver provides the Province with access to the city’s Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) unit.
- Two agreements were signed in 2012 with the Canadian Red Cross:
- An MOU designating the Canadian Red Cross Society (CRCS) as auxiliary to government to help in the event of a major disaster, and
- A Letter of Understanding for the deployment of Red Cross Emergency Response Units (ERU) and Field Assessment Co-ordination Teams (FACT).
- Both of these agreements assist the Province in building catastrophic disaster response and recovery capacity. More formal and consistent emergency management planning between provincial agencies and the CRCS is expected to yield faster, more effective, and less expensive emergency response operations, particularly for larger events.
- The Canadian Red Cross is only one of many humanitarian aid agencies that assist British Columbians during disaster and emergency events. The Province works co-operatively with partners such as The Salvation Army, Mennonite Disaster Services, St. Vincent de Paul, St. John Ambulance, Samaritan’s Purse, and many others to ensure gaps are filled and the needs of British Columbians are met.
- B.C. also has agreements with a number of U.S. states including Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and Oregon, and multiple MOUs with Washington State on spills, fire suppression, public health emergencies and others.
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