Transportation and Infrastructure

Province invests over $80 million in emergency preparedness

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Transportation and Infrastructure

Province invests over $80 million in emergency preparedness

Contacts
Media Relations
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
250 356-8241
(flickr.com)
Contacts
Media Relations
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
250 356-8241

Backgrounders

Breakdown of over $80 million in emergency preparedness funding

As part of over $80 million announced today, the Province of British Columbia is providing the following funding:

Union of British Columbia Municipalities – $32 million

  • Funds will establish a Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF) that will support disaster response and recovery through structural mitigation, investments in flood risk and emergency evacuation route assessments, and capital purchases, exercises and training for Emergency Social Services (ESS).
  • In order to reduce social and economic disruption and better protect families, property and the environment, $20 million is being provided to plan and implement structural mitigation projects in B.C. Portions of this funding will meet the demand of shovel ready projects such as floodways, dikes, and pump stations.
  • The Province is also providing $3 million of the CEPF for flood risk assessments, floodplain mapping, and flood mitigation plans. This funding will help local governments identify locations and critical infrastructure at high levels of flood risk, determine how often flooding may occur, and identify strategies for mitigating flood impacts.
  • ESS teams, which provide residents up to 72 hours of lodging, clothing and food following an emergency, are essential to the well-being of British Columbians in times of need. The Province is also providing $4.2 million to bolster training and purchase equipment for these local public safety volunteers. While ESS teams in B.C. are equipped to respond to smaller events in their own communities, this funding support will help build local government capacity to respond to larger or catastrophic events.
  • Recent wildfires in Fort McMurray highlight the need to assess and protect communities with single evacuation routes, or evacuation routes which pose other hazards, such as susceptibilities to landslides or floods. The Province is contributing $1 million to evacuation route assessments for emergencies posed from major hazards such as fire, floods and HAZMAT incidents.
  • The Province is also allocating $3.8 million toward the purchase of EOC generators and training. As a result of Exercise Coastal Response, British Columbia’s first full-scale and provincially-led earthquake exercise held in 2016, the need to aid local authorities in the purchase of EOC generators, and to improve training, EOC information technology infrastructure and operational functionality was identified.

Nicomen Island flood protection – $10.5 million

  • Funds invested for dike and pump upgrades to the Fraser Valley Regional District’s Nicomen Island diking system.
  • The 35-kilometre system of dikes at Nicomen Island, located on the Fraser River northeast of Abbotsford, is in many areas, too steep or too low and could pose a hazard in a major flooding event. The Fraser Valley Regional District will use $6 million of this funding to widen the dikes to increase stability, and in turn protect agricultural lands and a Lakahahmen First Nation community.
  • The remaining $4.5 million will be allocated to the existing pumping system infrastructure which supports these dikes. The pumping system upgrades will increase the functionality of the pumps to better cope with flooding, and will allow all pumps in the system to function concurrently.

Abbotsford flood protection – $10 million

  • In order to prevent further erosion to the Fraser River’s banks and the dikes protecting the Matsqui floodplain in Abbotsford, funds will support the design and implementation of a long-term solution. The City of Abbotsford and the Province will engage with First Nations, and in particular the Sumas First Nation, to develop a long term strategy to significantly reduce the risk of dike failure, while protecting fish habitat and the traditional fishery of the Sumas First Nation on this stretch of the Fraser River.

BC Search and Rescue Association (BCSARA) – $5.5 million

  • $5 million to provide essential supports to first responders (such as critical incident stress management and technical certifications), and fund the continuation of the SAR prevention program, AdventureSmart. It will also support the acquisition, maintenance and upgrading of equipment, including communications equipment and rescue equipment.
  • $500,000 to fund a pilot project for the BCSARA for the use of Public Safety Broadband Network Deployable Systems, which are basically portable communications networks. These networks will aid emergency responders in locations where conventional communication infrastructure is damaged or non-existent.

Chilliwack McGillivray Pump Station – $4.2 million

  • Through the BC Disaster Mitigation Program, funds will support the McGillivray Pump Station, increasing the pumping capacity to meet the standard to protect against a 1-in-100 year rainfall event. It will benefit the area confined by the dikes of the Fraser River along the Trans-Canada Highway to the north, Vedder River dikes to the south, Lickman Road to the east and Vedder Canal dikes to the west, protecting a 30-square-kilometre floodplain area.

District of Kent’s Hammersley Pump Station – $4.17 million

  • The District of Kent will receive $4.17 million to expand and upgrade the Hammersley Pump Station which is located approximately 6km west of Agassiz and conveys run-off from the Mountain Slough watershed. This project will expand and upgrade the current pump system to better protect local agricultural lands and nearby Federal Correctional Centre infrastructure.

Fraser Basin Council – $2.43 million

To better understand and mitigate flooding hazards along the Fraser River and southern coast, the Province also invested $2.43 million in three Fraser Basin Council (FBC) projects:

  • $1 million will support the FBC in conducting an inventory and engineering assessment of all orphan or unmanaged dikes in British Columbia. This assessment will evaluate the structural conditions of the dikes and determine the cost to upgrade the dikes to provincial standard and to acquire at-risk properties. The goal of this project is to assess the risks to local communities and to help facilitate the transfer of diking authority to local governments.
  • $800,000 will go toward a seismic assessment of existing Lower Mainland dikes to withstand seismic events, which will provide vital information about risks and vulnerabilities in those communities. This funding will allow for the field testing of almost 50 structures. This information will provide vital information toward developing seismic design guidelines for diking infrastructure.
  • $330,000 will support the cross-sectional sonar survey of the Fraser River bottom to assist the FBC in its proposed development of flood-hazard analysis tools and modelling of the floodplain. This data will also assist in upgrades to the current river model used for freshet forecasting, to provide more accurate information to the public and stakeholders.
  • $300,000 through the BC Disaster Mitigation Program is also being provided to the Fraser Basin Council for a geotechnical investigation and dike seismic guideline update.

The Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction –$2.1 million

  • This project will create seismic hazard maps which detail the threats of earthquake shaking and potential for liquefaction and landslides in multiple Metro Vancouver municipalities. Emergency program coordinators and municipalities will be able to use the information generated by this project to inform emergency planning and land-use decisions, and to support the prioritization of mitigation efforts for buildings and other infrastructure.

Fire Chiefs Association of BC – $1.73 million

  • Of this funding, $1 million will support the development of a governance framework for road rescue services in B.C. At present, road rescue services in B.C. do not have a high-level governance framework to support training and equipment replacement. This funding will aid the FCABC in developing this framework and better liaise between road rescue teams, EMBC and other stakeholders. The FCABC will also identify, prioritize and allocate funds for training and the acquisition of rescue equipment.
  • Another $630,000 will be directed toward fire prevention for at-risk homes. Funds will support home fire safety inspections and, if required, up to two smoke detectors in identified single-family, at-risk homes in B.C.
  • And $100,000 of the funding will help to facilitate alternative fuel training for fire departments. This safety training program provides the tools and information that first responders need to safely handle emergencies involving alternative fuel vehicles, including: electric, hybrid, hydrogen fuel cell, bio-diesel and gaseous fuels such as compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, liquid propane gas, and their recharging or refuelling stations.

Local community flood prevention, risk assessment and mapping – $1.5 million

  • This funding will support flood risk assessments, floodplain mapping and mitigation planning for 10 communities across B.C.: Cache Creek, Chetwynd, Dawson Creek, Elkford, Fernie, Lumby, Nelson, Sparwood, the Squamish Lillooet Regional District, and Telkwa.

Canada Task Force 1 (Heavy Urban Search and Rescue or HUSAR) – $1 million

  • This funding will replace aging equipment, provide maintenance for equipement, and provide skills training for the team. Based in Vancouver, these first responders are trained to provide search and rescue services in large scale, urban building collapses.

Marine Environmental, Observation, Prediction and Response Network – $800,000

  • This funding supports research, analysis and modelling to evaluate the potential response and resiliency of local communities impacted by natural hazards that affect marine transportation links and port infrastructure (e.g. major earthquakes). The results will help inform local authorities on the development of their emergency preparedness plans.

Fortune Creek Drainage and Diking District, Township of Spallumcheen - $800,000

  • This funding will improve flood protection of the area currently administrated by the Fortune Creek Drainage and Diking District by improving the current berm and dredging the channel. The Township of Spalllumcheen also agreed to accept the operation and maintenance of this berm if the government decides to transfer it at some time in the future, allowing this berm to be part of Spallumcheen’s flood mitigation planning into the future.

Cowichan Tribes – Clem Clem Village Erosion Protection - $720,000

  • From the BC Disaster Mitigation Program, funds are for erosion protection along one section of the Koksilah River and two sections of the Cowichan River to protect homes, infrastructure and important cultural and archaeological sites.

The Salvation Army of BC – $700,000

  • This funding will support the provision and retrofitting of Salvation Army mobile feeding vans deployed during emergency, and the delivery of mass feeding training seminars and Emergency Social Services (ESS) training for volunteers and emergency program coordinators in local communities. This training will enrich the long-term emergency preparedness and resilience planning of local communities.

Pemberton Valley Diking District – $600,000

  • From the BC Disaster Mitigation Program, funds will support floodplain mapping for the Pemberton Valley Diking District. This funding will create new modernized floodplain maps for portions of the Lillooet River valley between Lillooet Forest Service Bridge and Lillooet Lake; the lower Birkenhead River; the Ryan River; Miller Creek; and Pemberton Tributary channels. Present floodplain mapping for these areas dates back to the early 1990s and is now outdated for proper flood emergency response planning and flood protection infrastructure upgrade planning.

Port Renfrew and Pacheedaht First Nation – $550,000

  • From the BC Disaster Mitigation Program to the Capital Regional District (CRD), the funds will replace existing obsolete tsunami sirens with new warning technology to help residents to be informed quickly in the event a tsunami threatens the region. The tsunami siren upgrades will include voiceover capability and remote activation, expanding the audible warning zone to include the Pacheedaht First Nation community. The proposed system will have the potential to provide early warning prior to an earthquake actually occurring which could allow residents time to drop, cover, and hold on.

Avalanche Canada – $500,000

  • Funding will support services Avalanche Canada provides including daily forecasts for much of B.C.’s mountainous backcountry, the development of avalanche safety education for recreational users, and the delivery of awareness seminars at schools throughout the province. Avalanches are the deadliest natural hazard in Canada and 80% of all fatalities occur in BC. Avalanche Canada’s programs and services play a vital role in BC’s winter tourism.

Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (APEGBC) – $500,000

  • The funding creates a training program for APEGBC members to make it easier to access their professional assistance and, in turn, better protect the overall safety of British Columbians in the aftermath and recovery phase of a catastrophic seismic event. This $500,000 project will support the delivery of post-earthquake building assessment training for qualified professionals, such as inspectors, engineers, architects, and those identified as post-earthquake administrators. The goal of the project is to create a professional community with the specialized skills to provide post-earthquake structural assessments and aid in the immediate response and recovery efforts of all levels of government.

Strathcona Regional District - $500,000

  • This funding will provide seismic upgrades to the Quadra Island Community Centre, which serves as the area’s Emergency Operations Centre during catastrophic emergencies.

Pender Island Fire Department - $370,000

  • This funding will assist with completing the construction of a live-fire training facility. The grant follows the hard work done locals in fund-raising for site preparation. This will enhance training that improves fire safety, significantly reducing the travel costs for departments in the region to access such training.

Cowichan Valley Regional District – Koksilah-Cowichan Bay Flood Mitigation - $300,000

  • From the BC Disaster Mitigation Program, funds will support the re-opening of a historic side channel that was closed off and infilled reducing flood levels on an annual basis on adjacent roads and properties. The reopening of the side channel will act as a high water floodway and will reduce impact on lower tributaries. The development will also provide an opportunity to develop a management zone for large, woody debris in the lower river area.

Invermere Toby Creek Armouring & Diversion Bar – $300,000

  • Funds will help with a flood mitigation project along Toby Creek. Portions of the municipality of Invermere's Wilmer Road are at significant risk of seasonal flooding. When low water levels allow, the site will be reinforced with large rocks and other materials to help divert water and prevent erosion.

Riprap stockpile – $125,000

  • From the BC Disaster Mitigation Program, funds will support the purchase of riprap to have ready and accessible for deployment during emergency events such as flooding.

City of Vancouver – $100,000

  • In order to help prepare for an earthquake, the Province is providing Vancouverites with the means to help themselves. This funding will empower Vancouver neighbourhoods through an expansion of the disaster-support hub pilot project to prepare for the ever-present threat of earthquakes. Disaster-support hubs are designated locations where the public can initially gather to coordinate your efforts and offer assistance to other members of your community.

Provincial Emergency Program Air (PEP Air) – $100,000

  • Currently, PEP Air relies on verbal position updates and manual maps to estimate aircraft positions and locations of interest when searching for overdue or downed aircraft, or in supporting ground search and rescue teams. This funding will enable PEP Air to purchase flight tracking and mission management tools and equipment to improve operational safety and effectiveness.

Canadian Red Cross – $100,000

  • The Canadian Red Cross will procure disaster relief supplies (cots, blankets, personal hygiene products, baby supplies, cleaning kits, etc.) and strategically pre-position them at Red Cross facilities throughout B.C. This will allow communities to access this vital equipment quickly after a disaster.

Science World (City of Vancouver) – $25,000

  • Funds will allow Science World to waive admission during national Emergency Preparedness Week in May when they host Lower Mainland students and help to educate them through presentations and interactive learning materials about the importance of being prepared for natural disasters.
$32 million for local government emergency preparedness

As part of over $80 million announced today, the Province of British Columbia is providing the Union of BC Municipalities with $32 million in funding to establish a Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF) that will support disaster response and recovery through structural mitigation, investments in flood-risk and emergency evacuation route assessments, Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) IT equipment and backup generators, and capital purchases, exercises and training for Emergency Social Services (ESS).

In order to reduce social and economic disruption and better protect families, property and the environment, $20 million is being provided to plan and implement structural mitigation projects in B.C. Portions of this funding will meet the demand of shovel-ready projects, such as floodways, dikes and pump stations. The Province is also providing $3 million of the CEPF for flood-risk assessments, floodplain mapping, and flood mitigation plans. This funding will help local governments identify locations and critical infrastructure at high levels of flood risk, determine how often flooding may occur, and identify strategies for mitigating flood impacts.

ESS teams, which provide residents up to 72 hours of lodging, clothing and food following an emergency, are essential to the well-being of British Columbians in times of need. The Province is also providing $4.2 million to bolster training and purchase equipment for these local public safety volunteers. While ESS teams in B.C. are equipped to respond to smaller events in their own communities, this funding support will help build local government capacity to respond to larger or catastrophic events.

Recent wildfires in Fort McMurray, Alta. and Tennessee’s Smokey Mountains highlight the need to assess and protect communities with single evacuation routes, or evacuation routes which pose other hazards, such as susceptibilities to landslides or floods. The Province is contributing $1 million to evacuation route assessments for emergencies posed from major hazards such as fire, floods and HAZMAT incidents.

The Province is also allocating $3.8 million toward the purchase of EOC generators and training. As a result of Exercise Coastal Response, British Columbia’s first full-scale and provincially led earthquake exercise held in 2016, the need to aid local authorities in the purchase of EOC generators, and to improve training, EOC information technology infrastructure and operational functionality was identified. These upgrades will facilitate effective emergency response communications and integration with surrounding communities and regional partners, in order to enhance local authorities’ communications infrastructure, improve the ability to capture records of events and decrease the reliance on the availability of local electricity.

$10 million in support for public safety partners

As part of the more than $80 million announced today, the Province is investing approximately $10 million in public safety partners, with whom it collaborates, to improve the overall preparedness and resilience of British Columbians. This includes:

Fire Chiefs Association of BC –  $1.63 million

  • Of this funding, $1 million will support the development of a governance framework for road rescue services in B.C. At present, road rescue services in B.C. do not have a high-level governance framework to support training and equipment replacement. This funding will aid the FCABC in developing this framework and better liaise between Road Rescue teams, EMBC and other stakeholders. The FCABC will also identify, prioritize and allocate funds for training and the acquisition of rescue equipment. The remaining $630,000 will be directed toward fire prevention for at-risk homes.

Canada Task Force 1 (Heavy Urban Search and Rescue or HUSAR) – $1 million

  • This funding will replace aging equipment and enable team skills training and maintenance. Based in Vancouver, these first responders are trained to provide search-and-rescue services in large-scale, urban building collapses.

Marine Environmental, Observation, Prediction and Response Network – $800,000

  • This funding supports research, analysis and modelling to evaluate the potential response and resiliency of local communities impacted by natural hazards that affect marine transportation links and port infrastructure (e.g. major earthquakes). The results will help inform local authorities on the development of their emergency preparedness plans.

The Salvation Army of BC – $700,000

  • This funding will support the provision and retrofitting of Salvation Army mobile feeding vans, and the delivery of mass feeding training seminars and Emergency Social Services (ESS) training for volunteers and emergency program coordinators in local communities. This training will enrich the long-term emergency preparedness and resilience planning of local communities.

BC Search and Rescue Association – $500,000

  • $500,000 will go toward a pilot project for the use of Public Safety Broadband Network Deployable Systems, which are basically portable communications networks. These networks will aid emergency responders in locations where conventional communication infrastructure is damaged or non-existent.

Avalanche Canada – $500,000

  • Funding will support services Avalanche Canada provides including daily forecasts for much of B.C.’s mountainous backcountry, the development of avalanche safety education for recreational users, and the delivery of awareness seminars at schools throughout the province. Avalanches are the deadliest natural hazard in Canada and 80% of all fatalities occur in B.C. Avalanche Canada’s programs and services play a vital role in B.C.’s winter tourism.

Provincial Emergency Program Air (PEP Air) – $100,000

  • Currently, PEP Air relies on verbal position updates and manual maps to estimate aircraft positions and locations of interest when searching for overdue or downed aircraft, or in supporting ground search and rescue teams. This funding will enable PEP Air to purchase flight tracking and mission management tools and equipment to improve operational safety and effectiveness.

Canadian Red Cross – $100,000

  • The Canadian Red Cross will procure disaster relief supplies (cots, blankets, personal hygiene products, baby supplies, cleaning kits, etc.) and strategically pre-position them at Red Cross facilities throughout B.C. This will allow communities to access this vital equipment quickly after a disaster.
Over $3 million announced for seismic improvements

As part of over $80 million announced today, the Province is investing over $3 million in funding to support emergency management and preparedness projects will increase the overall resiliency of British Columbia.

The Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction – $2.1 million

  • This project will create seismic hazard maps, which detail the threats of earthquake shaking and potential for liquefaction and landslides in multiple Metro Vancouver municipalities. Emergency program coordinators and municipalities will be able to use the information generated by this project to inform emergency planning and land-use decisions, and to support the prioritization of mitigation efforts for buildings and other infrastructure.

Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (APEGBC) – $500,000

  • This funding will help create a training program for APEGBC members to make it easier to access their professional assistance and, in turn, better protect the overall safety of British Columbians in the aftermath and recovery phase of a catastrophic seismic event. This $500,000 project will support the delivery of post-earthquake building assessment training for qualified professionals, such as inspectors, engineers, architects, and those identified as post-earthquake administrators. The goal of the project is to create a professional community with the specialized skills to provide post-earthquake structural assessments and aid in the immediate response and recovery efforts of all levels of government.

Strathcona Regional District – $500,000

  • This funding will provide seismic upgrades to the Quadra Island Community Centre, which serves as the area’s Emergency Operations Centre during catastrophic emergencies.

City of Vancouver – $100,000

  • In order to help prepare for an earthquake, the Province is providing Vancouverites with the means to help themselves. This funding will empower Vancouver neighbourhoods through an expansion of the disaster-support hub pilot project to prepare for the ever-present threat of earthquakes. Disaster-support hubs are designated locations where the public can initially gather to coordinate your efforts and offer assistance to other members of your community.

Science World (City of Vancouver) – $25,000

  • Funds will allow Science World to waive admission during national Emergency Preparedness Week in May when it hosts Lower Mainland students and helps to educate them through presentations and interactive learning materials about the importance of being prepared for natural disasters.

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