Local and regional governments in 18 communities have been approved to receive their share of more than $12 million in provincial emergency preparedness funding to support structural flood mitigation projects.
The intent is to support eligible applicants to prevent, eliminate or reduce hazards through structural flood mitigation projects.
Since the September 2017 Budget Update, communities and governments throughout B.C. have received more than $40 million through the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF). The successful applicants for the latest round of funding are in every corner of the province.
“In order to reduce the risk to British Columbians from hazards like flooding, we’re investing in mitigation projects,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “We know that to improve public safety and create resilience among people and families, it’s critical to plan ahead with the aim of preventing disasters where possible and lessening the impact they have on our communities.”
Funding for the structural flood project component of CEPF was announced at the September 2017 convention of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM). This funding is part of a nearly $69.5-million plan designed to help communities prepare for, and respond to, disasters.
“We’re proud to invest in disaster mitigation and improved resilience for British Columbians across the province,” said Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness. “This funding will help keep communities safer and improve outcomes in the event of an emergency situation.”
The CEPF is a suite of programs designed to enhance the resiliency of local governments, First Nations’ communities and their residents. The Province provides the funding, which is administered by UBCM, and is divided into seven streams:
- flood risk assessment, flood mapping and flood mitigation planning
- emergency support services
- emergency operations centres and training
- structural flood mitigation
- evacuation routes
- volunteer and composite fire departments equipment and training
- Indigenous cultural safety and cultural humility training
In May 2019, the Province announced the above-mentioned new, sixth stream of CEPF funding for volunteer and composite fire departments. Proponents, including First Nations communities, local governments and society-run departments, were able to apply for their share of $5 million to go toward equipment and training.
The Province created a seventh stream with $1 million for Indigenous cultural safety and cultural humility training. This brings the CEPF total to $69.5 million and opens eligibility to all First Nations’ communities.
The next deadlines for applications are:
- March 13, 2020, for emergency operations centres and training
- April 17, 2020, for evacuation route planning
A backgrounder follows.