Find Important Emergency Management Updates Here!

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Interim Disaster Recovery Framework

Interim Disaster Recovery Framework  now available on the EMBC website, under the Resources for Community Recovery Managers section.

The Interim Disaster Recovery Framework is the first edition, and will be further validated and developed based on feedback from all recovery partners. The framework provides guidance to re-establish social, cultural, physical, economic, personal and community well-being through inclusive measures that reduce vulnerability to disaster, while enhancing sustainability and resilience. Additionally, the framework leverages an existing, proven provincial system – BC Emergency Management System – to coordinate and escalate recovery actions and establishes provincial roles and responsibilities, governance, accountability, and coordination.

This framework could not have been created without the participation of numerous internal and external partners – a big thank you is extended to everyone who was involved and to those who will make contributions in the future.

Emergency Management BC

Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General

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REVISED POLICY – DECLARING A STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

EMBC has undertaken a comprehensive review of the document “Declaring a State of Local Emergency in British Columbia” and the revised guidelines are now posted to the web at EMBC Guidelines. The changes to the document include:

  • Clarification for State of Local Emergency (SOLE) extensions and inclusion of the signature of the head of the local authority on the extension request form.
  • Clarification of proof of publication requirements for SOLEs, extensions, and cancellations to show the minister that the local authority meets the legislative requirements under the Emergency Program Act. The local authority must cause the details of the declaration, extension, or cancellation to be published by a means of communication that the local authority considers most likely to make the contents of the declaration known to the population of the affected area.
  • Updated example of a SOLE extension request.

In addition to these changes, a new form has been developed for use in requesting a SOLE extension, and it is posted to the web at Emergency Operation Centre Forms and Templates. Print and Fax versions of the forms are available upon request.

Please take the time to become familiar with the revised material and call or email with your questions/comments.

Emergency Management BC

2.03 Support to LA when Declaring a SOLE EMBC PROCEDURES Jan 2019

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REVISED POLICY – DECLARING A STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

EMBC has undertaken a comprehensive review of the document “Declaring a State of Local Emergency in British Columbia” and the revised guidelines are now posted to the web at EMBC Guidelines. The changes to the document include:

  • Clarification for State of Local Emergency (SOLE) extensions and inclusion of the signature of the head of the local authority on the extension request form.
  • Clarification of proof of publication requirements for SOLEs, extensions, and cancellations to show the minister that the local authority meets the legislative requirements under the Emergency Program Act. The local authority must cause the details of the declaration, extension, or cancellation to be published by a means of communication that the local authority considers most likely to make the contents of the declaration known to the population of the affected area.
  • Updated example of a SOLE extension request.

In addition to these changes, a new form has been developed for use in requesting a SOLE extension, and it is posted to the web at Emergency Operation Centre Forms and Templates. Print and Fax versions of the forms are available upon request.

Please take the time to become familiar with the revised material and call or email with your questions/comments.

Emergency Management BC

2.03 Support to LA when Declaring a SOLE EMBC PROCEDURES Jan 2019

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EMBC Policy Review

EMBC has undertaken a comprehensive review of policies 5.07 Workers’ Compensation Coverage and 5.08 Liability Coverage (5.07 was previously on the web as Injury, Disability and Accidental Death Coverage). They have been revised and are now posted to the web at EMBC Policies.

5.07 Workers’ Compensation Coverage

Fundamental changes have been made to this policy suite. All references to Injury, Disability, and Accidental Death Coverage have been removed as it is not correct. The Province provides workers’ compensation coverage for volunteers in BC, and the language in this revised policy accurately reflects that relationship. (Other policy suites that reference Injury, Disability, and Accidental Death Coverage will be updated and replaced in the upcoming weeks.)

Policy:

  • Inclusionary language has been added regarding the Province’s workers’ compensation relationship with non-volunteer fire department staff.
  • Additional Definitions have been added for clarity.

Procedures:

  • The Procedures were restructured to place the types of situations requiring reporting before the reporting procedures.

FAQs:

  • All references to Injury, Disability, and Accidental Death and Weekly Indemnity Coverage have been removed.
  • References to WorkSafeBC (WSBC) coverage has been changed to workers’ compensation coverage for accuracy and clarity.
  • References to WSBC maximum benefits have been removed to keep the document current in future. Interested volunteers can check with WSBC for current maximum benefits figures.
  • References to age minimums/maximums have been removed. Policy 1.05 Public Safety Lifeline Volunteer Registration outlines EMBC’s age requirements to be a registered volunteer.

5.08 Liability Coverage

Minor changes for clarification have been made in all three documents:

Policy:

  • The General statement has been revised to clarify what coverage the Province provides under what circumstances, and to remove references to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (all Ministry references have been removed – the coverage is provided by the Province).
  • The Policy Statement has been revised to reflect that these statements are separate and stand-alone.
  • In Conditions/Responsibilities, the language in the descriptions of how the three Actsapply to liability coverage has been tightened, a statement on “Other Insurance” has been added, and “Liability Coverage for Volunteers in Respect of Medical Acts” has been added to provide broader clarification than was originally provided under “Good Samaritan Act”.

Procedures:

  • Clarification has been added that volunteers must sign in daily on the Task Registration Form to be covered.
  • Reporting procedures have been added.

FAQs:

  • Language in the FAQs has been revised for accuracy.

Please take the time to become familiar with the revised material and call or email with your questions/comments.

Brenda Scott
Regional Office Administrator, Vancouver Island Region

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EMBC Seeks Feedback on 2018 Freshet and Wildfire Season – On-Line Survey

We again experienced a very challenging series of landslide, flooding and wildfire impacts to our communities in 2018.  We continue to capture valuable lessons from the past two years and are working towards implementing changes that will collectively improve our ability to manage these incidents and to better provide communities with the support that they require.  This year we did not embark on the same extensive after action review process that was conducted in 2017 but have capitalized on seasonal workshops as a forum to collect input from communities.  The exception is the formal review process that is being conducted for the communities in the Northwest region who had the majority of wildfire impacts in 2018 and did not experience a major regional event in 2017.

We want to assure you that your voice is important and it is for that reason that we are fully supportive of community-led reviews and EMBC will continue to fund and participate in these activities as much as possible.  We also wish to remind communities that every interaction with a Regional Manager is an opportunity for feedback and input.  We want to hear your stories and your ideas.

As part of the review process, EMBC has developed an on-line survey that will assist in capturing your perspectives and we hope that you will take the time to add your voice.  The survey is currently live and will remain active until at least January 15th , 2019.  If you feel you may need more time please let our office know and we will look at extending the survey beyond this date.

We also want you to know that we are working on a number of improvements that we hope to have in place prior to the 2019 freshet and wildfire seasons.  As we progress this work we may be reaching out to communities for information, to contribute to the work or simply to review and comment on approaches that are developed.  It is important to us that the changes we make are meaningful and will result in better support to the communities that we serve.

Stan Bates | Executive Director, Operations

Emergency Management BC

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Inter Municipal Emergency Radio System (IMERS) Licensing Project

If you own/operate a radio on the Inter Municipal Emergency Radio System (IMERS) you are reminded that you must hold an Industry Canada license in addition to the letter of permission for access to the frequencies from Metro Vancouver. If you do not know if your agency holds a license please contact Industry Canada – Spectrum Management (604) 930-8691.

 Also for your reference, the most recent version of the IMERS Manual 2016 is attached.

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Winter 2018 Support Reminder

With the arrival of cooler and wetter winter weather the following information may be of some assistance to you. If you have any questions about these items, training or anything else EMBC related please reach out to your regional manager.

Power / Natural Gas Outages:

Should community residents approach your local emergency program for assistance during power / natural gas outages, here is a recommended protocol to follow:

  1. If the resident has an emergency medical need they should be advised to call 911 or their local emergency number for emergency medical help;
  2. If the resident has a medical concern that is not an emergency, they should be referred to Health Link BC:
    • 8-1-1 is a free-of-charge provincial health information and advice phone line available in British Columbia. The 8-1-1 phone line is operated by HealthLink BC, which is part of the Ministry of Health.
    • By calling 8-1-1, you can speak to a health services navigator, who can help you find health information and services; or connect you directly with a registered nurse, a registered dietitian, a qualified exercise professional, or a pharmacist. Any one of these healthcare professionals will help you get the information you need to manage your health concerns, or those of your family.
    • For deaf and hearing-impaired, call 7-1-1.
  3. If the caller does not have a medical need but is seeking accommodation, they can be advised to:
    • Stay with a neighbour, family member, or a friend who has power / natural gas; or
    • Move to a hotel/motel that has power / natural gas (there is no funding assistance available for alternate accommodations due to power or gas outage).

Please do not refer these calls to EMBC’s 800 emergency lines as we would simply follow the same protocol and your direct assistance saves them an unnecessary step.

Reception / Warming Centres:

  • Warming Centres may be established during prolonged outages that occur during extreme weather conditions. EMBC may issue an operational task # to ensure the health or safety of vulnerable individuals or families and to provide coverage for volunteers.
  • A warming centre is a place for people to go to warm up and get information on how to safely stay warm in their own
  • Fuel and operating costs for generators for government-owned-or-run facilities may be eligible.
  • Rental costs for non-government owned-or-run facilities may be eligible.

Note:

  • Fuel for privately owned generators is not eligible and will not be reimbursed.
  • Local NGOs and Faith Based Organizations may be able to assist their neighbours thus enhancing personal and community resilience.
  • Should individuals be identified with specific needs based on the consequences of the incident, the Regional Duty Manager in consultation with the Provincial Duty Manager may authorize support in line with the provisions under the evacuee living assistance policy.
  • Snow removal is not an eligible response cost. This includes contractors that are hired to remove snow and/or incurred staff overtime costs.
  • Removing snow from private property is NOT an eligible expense.

First Nation and Local Authority Response Costs: 

  • Response means all efforts to save lives, reduce suffering, protect property, and other immediate objectives to reduce threats from emergencies.
  • Only response expenses and staff time over and above normal day-to-day costs are eligible for assistance.

Response Claim Submissions must include: 

  • Summary Sheet – Include a summary sheet for costs claimed on each submission.
  • Invoices – Submit invoices for all goods and services being claimed complete with a purchase requisition that includes justification why the purchase was essential to incident response.
  • Proof of Payment – Include financial reports (i.e., general ledger detail or list of expenses claimed complete with copies of cheques issued) that verify all invoice and payroll costs.
  • GST Calculations – Claim only the portion not recoverable by GST rebate.

Response Claims will be reviewed by EMBC staff, claims that are found to be eligible will be processed for payment and the local authority will be notified via email.

Clarification:

  • Removing fallen trees and other debris from main roads (i.e.: roads that are essential for first responder access) during the response time frame specified by EMBC staff can be claimed under response.
  • Debris removal from secondary and residential streets and debris removal outside of the response time frame is recovery and not eligible under response.
  • If contractors are hired to remove debris, the invoice must clearly show where the work was done (name the street) and when it was done. We need this information to confirm bullets one and two.
  • If staff overtime costs are incurred to remove debris, the local government must separate the costs for debris removal from essential roads during response from any debris removal for secondary and residential streets.
  • Removing debris from private property is NOT an eligible for response expense. If the fallen tree on private property damaged any infrastructure, the property owner’s insurance should cover the damage.
  • Only actual out-of-pocket costs that are beyond what the local government normally incurs will be eligible. For staff overtime, the OT must be actually paid (not banked as time) and it cannot include benefits.
  • If a local government receives funding from any other source such as insurance, donations or sale of bark mulch, the claim must be reduced by that amount.

As with any event if you are anticipating that your costs will be covered by the Province you should check in with the PREOC or the Regional Duty Manager if the PREOC is not activated.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to call your Regional Manager.

Flood Support –  How to Access

Flood support can be obtained by sending in a resource request to an active PREOC or by contacting the EMBC Duty Regional Manager at 1-800-663-3456. EMBC staff will then work with you to determine what resource is best suited to assist you.

 Sand Bags

The following information is required when ordering sand bags:

  1. How many sandbags do you require?
    Note: Due to stockpile configuration some order amounts may be slightly increased to facilitate easier deliveries. Sandbags generally come in bundles of 1000 with 3 bundles per pallet. Try and make your order compatible with the above dimensions
  2. Complete address of where the order is to be delivered?
  3. Hours of operation for this delivery address?
  4. Contact information (name and phone number) for person who will be on hand to receive the order?
  5. Alternate contact information?
  6. Is there a forklift or pallet jack at the delivery address to off load the order?
    Note: Bundles and pallets of burlap bags are very heavy, pallets weigh approx. 1100 lbs, so manual unloading of the order is not recommended, we need to be able to inform the delivery company how the pallets will be getting off the truck, e.g. loading dock/ramp.

Order only the amount of sandbags that you believe will be needed to address the potential flooding in your jurisdiction.

The sandbags are deployed from the provincial stockpile and once the order is delivered, they become your responsibility to store and manage.

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