Today’s Poll

Emergency preparedness in region receives boost

Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
By Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
July 18th, 2023

Three West Kootenay municipalities will receive a boost to their emergency preparedness as climate change keeps assaulting the environment this summer.

The City of Nelson will be receiving $300,000 in grant money to complete a detailed hazard and risk assessment for Anderson and Fell creeks. As well, the City will be engaging in risk management practice and policy development, including creating a framework for consistent, risk-informed decisions.

A hazard, risk and vulnerability analysis (HRVA) in 2019 for Nelson identified wildfire, severe weather and extreme weather — including drought — as the city’s top three hazards.

However, New Denver — along with regional partner Silverton — will be nailing down $797,512 in grant money for foundational activities (risk mapping, risk assessment and planning). In addition, the two municipalities will be engaging in “small scale structural activities.”

The money comes to the West Kootenay through the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund, administered through the Union of British Columbia Municipalities and supports projects that strengthen the resilience of First Nations and local governments in responding to and preparing for natural disasters and climate change.

First Nations and local governments throughout British Columbia will receive more than $44 million in provincial Community Emergency Preparedness Funds (CEPF), which will go to more than 70 projects in 63 communities under the Disaster Risk Reduction-Climate Adaptation program stream.

Funding streams

The money supports a broad range of actions — under the Province’s Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy — to address climate impacts and build resilience in B.C. municipalities.

Funding may be used toward:

• risk mapping, risk assessments and planning (such as the development of a hazard map);

• land-use planning (amendments to relevant plans, bylaws or policies);

• purchasing equipment (such as monitoring equipment);

• delivering community education; and

• small-scale structural projects.

Source: Province of B.C.

Provincial backing

In February 2023, the Province provided $180 million to Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF), bringing the total provincial investment in the program to $369 million since its establishment in 2017.

More than $163 million has been provided to First Nations and local governments through CEPF for over 1,500 projects that help communities mitigate and prepare for disasters and climate-related emergencies. The CEPF is administered by the UBCM on behalf of the Province.

In response to the growing number of climate-related emergencies in B.C., the Province also launched ClimateReadyBC, which provides hazard and mapping tools, risk data and resources to help communities better prepare for future disasters and climate emergencies.

Categories: General