Emergency Management

Emergency Management BC (EMBC) is the province's lead coordinating agency for all emergency management activities, including planning, training, testing and exercising.

This work is done in collaboration with local governments, First Nations, federal departments, industry, non-government organizations and volunteers. Steps taken in advance of a disaster will strengthen the province's emergency response, and help British Columbians along the road to recovery.

Reports

Strategic Review of 2017 Wildfire and Freshet Flooding Seasons

The 2017 wildfire season was unprecedented in British Columbia’s recorded history, and the spring flooding that preceded it resulted in hardships for many residents. More than 1.2 million hectares were burned and about 65,000 people were displaced as a result of the 2017 wildfires, while about 2,500 people were forced from their homes by freshet flooding.

On Dec. 4, 2017, the B.C. government announced an independent review of the 2017 wildfire and spring freshet seasons. Co-chaired by George Abbott and Chief Maureen Chapman, the review team held a series of open houses and met with First Nations, local governments and other groups of British Columbians affected by wildfires and flooding that year.

On April 30, 2018, Abbott and Chapman delivered their final report, entitled Addressing the New Normal: 21st Century Disaster Management in British Columbia. On May 10, 2018, the B.C. Government released its initial response to the report. 

On Oct. 31, 2018, the B.C. Government released its action plan addressing the 108 recommendations in the Abbott/Chapman report, while considering recommendations from other recent reports. A six-month progress report on that action plan was released on April 30, 2019.

Addressing the New Normal: 21st Century Disaster Management in British Columbia (PDF, 16.2MB).

News release about the launch of the review and terms of reference (Dec. 4, 2017)

News release about the government’s response to the report (May 10, 2018)

News release about the action plan (October 31, 2018)

Action Plan (PDF, 841 KB)

News release about the action plan’s six-month progress report (April 30, 2019)

Government's Action Plan: Responding to Wildfire and Flood Risks - April 30, 2019 Update (1.2MB)

2017 Freshet and Wildfires: Provincial After-Action Report

Emergency Management BC led a comprehensive internal After Action Review post the 2017 Freshet and Wildfires.  Input was obtained through a collaborative process with key partners engaged in emergency management including provincial ministries, local and federal governments as well as First Nations. The report identifies areas for continuous improvement along with suggested actions.

2017 Freshet and Wildfires: Provincial After-Action Report (PDF, 16MB)

2017 Wildfires - Opportunities to Minimize Rural Impacts

At the time, the 2017 wildfire season was unprecedented in British Columbia’s recorded history. Over 1.2 million hectares were burned and about 65,000 people were displaced as a result of the fires.

Following the 2017 fire season, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development commissioned a study to assess the economic implications of that year’s wildfires and identify opportunities to minimize potential impacts on rural communities.

The final report, 2017 Wildfires – Opportunities to Minimize Rural Impacts, was completed in the fall of 2018. It summarizes the impacts by economic sector in regions affected by the 2017 wildfires.

The report also outlines a Recovery Action Plan that identifies opportunities for rural economic recovery and development. The plan’s underlying focus is the B.C. government’s role in supporting long‐term economic growth in rural communities, with its recommendations grouped into four categories:

  • Preparedness:  managing land and resources to minimize the negative impacts of wildfires or other disasters
  • Response: enhancing response during emergency and recovery efforts
  • Business development: encouraging private sector investment and employment
  • Rural resilience: cultivating diverse and viable rural communities

Read the 2017 Wildfires – Opportunities to Minimize Rural Impacts report (PDF, 5.63MB).

EMBC Strategic Plan & Annual Report

Learn more about Emergency Management BC's vision, mission and goals in the 2014/17 Strategic Plan (PDF, 2.39MB).

Learn more about the progress made preparing for, responding to, recovering from and mitigating emergencies in the following annual reports:

2014 Earthquake Preparedness Report

Beginning in March 2014, Henry Renteria (former head of California’s Office of Emergency Services) conducted a stakeholder consultation regarding issues and priorities with respect to earthquake preparedness.

2014 Earthquake Preparedness Report (PDF, 3.5MB).