The province is allocating over $1.8 million to 54 communities for emergency operations centres. The funding will support eligible applicants to buy equipment and supplies to maintain or improve their operations centres and enhance their capacity through training and exercises, according to a news release from the province.
“This funding for emergency operations centres is crucial and it will give communities a boost in their ability to respond,” said Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety and solicitor general. “Though the approval of funding for these projects has been going on for some time, recent extreme wildfire events demonstrate just how vital emergency operations centres are in responding to emergencies.”
Since the September 2017 budget update, communities and governments throughout B.C. have received more than $67 million through the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF). Successful applicants for the latest round of funding are all around B.C.
“Emergency operations centres are the hub of response and recovery in an emergency event,” said Jennifer Rice, parliamentary secretary for emergency preparedness. “This is how responders and experts are able to come together day-to-day and work together to get a community through the worst times and find a path forward. This funding is going to help them improve those operations so they can respond to whatever emergencies come their way.”
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 the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) and 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 route planning
- Indigenous cultural safety and cultural humility training
- Volunteer and composite fire departments equipment and training