Over 100 First Nations communities and local governments are getting their share of $4.2-million in funding from the B.C. Government.

The $4.2-million is part of the almost $69.5-million Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF) which is set aside to help communities respond and prepare for potential disasters.

Funding from the CEPF will go to support short-term, essential supports, as well as emergency support services (ESS). The money will also support emergency training and provide funding for emergency operations centres (EOC) around British Columbia.

“I’m pleased to see so much interest from communities across B.C. in improving ESS and increasing the capacity of their EOCs,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “In B.C., local and First Nations governments lead the initial response to emergencies and disasters in their communities, and this funding will help give them the tools necessary to make sure everyone in B.C. impacted by an emergency is looked after and kept as safe as possible.”

The current ESS funding system is being bolstered by $2.3-million from the Province, while an additional $1.9-million is going to local EOCs. The B.C. Government said since September 2017, more than $48-million has been distributed through the CEPF to communities and governments.

“I know how critical it is to be prepared for any possible emergency scenario,” said Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness. “When it comes to emergencies in B.C., it’s not a matter of if one will happen, but when. This funding is another step we’re taking as a government to help communities be ready for when disaster strikes.”

The CEPF covers varying streams pf funding such as:

  • Flood risk assessment, flood mapping and flood mitigation planning
  • Emergency support services
  • Emergency operations centres and training
  • Structural flood mitigation
  • Evacuation routes
  • Indigenous cultural safety and cultural humility training
  • Volunteer and composite fire departments equipment and training

While the B.C. Government provides the funding, the program is administered by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) and distributed to communities for implementation.

Here’s a list of local funding for the Kootenays:

Emergency Support Services

  • Central Kootenay Regional District
    • IT equipment for ESS modernization
    • $25,000
  • Kootenay-Boundary Regional District
    • Modernization technology kits
    • $24,250
  • Sparwood
    • ESS modernization
    • $20,000
  • Castlegar
    • IT equipment in support of ESS modernization
    • $9,410
  • ʔaq’am
    • ESS equipment and storage
    • $8,008

Emergency Operations Centres

  • Kootenay-Boundary Regional District
    • Exercises and training plan development
    • $25,00o
  • Castlegar
    • Furniture upgrades
    • $25,000
  • Kimberley
    • Upgrade project
    • $ 24,970
  • ʔaq’am
    • EOC capacity building
    • $21,750
  • Creston
    • Supplies and equipment
    • $18,750
  • Nelson
    • EOC enhancement project
    • $18,265

MORE: Full List of Emergency Preparedness Funding (B.C. Government)