Emergency management exercise program

Emergency Management B.C. (EMBC) is the lead agency for the development and coordination of provincial-level exercises. Exercises validate plans, test procedures and provide realistic training for staff. They're also a good way to test facilities, equipment and resources. Exercises foster relationships, confirm expectations and maintain rapport with key partners. Aside from an actual emergency event, exercises offer the highest degree of realism to test the province’s preparedness for emergency events.

Coastal response exercise series

The coast of B.C. is vulnerable to a catastrophic earthquake, with the potential for major impacts to public health and safety, significant loss of life and billions of dollars in damage to critical infrastructure. The Coastal Response exercise program focuses on testing the province’s operational readiness for a catastrophic earthquake. The first Coastal Response exercise was successfully run in 2016, the next will be held in 2022.

About exercises

An exercise is a simulated emergency in which participants carry out actions, functions, and responsibilities that would be expected of them in a real emergency. Exercises can be used to validate plans and procedures, and to practice prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery capabilities.


Well-designed and executed exercises are the most effective means of:

  • Testing and validating plans, policies, procedures, training, equipment, and interagency agreements
  • Training personnel and clarifying roles and responsibilities, as supported by plans and procedures
  • Improving interagency coordination and communications
  • Identifying gaps in resources and training, and identifying areas for improvement
  • Improving individual and organizational performance through practice
  • Demonstrating provincial, community, and organizational resolve to prepare for emergencies as part of due diligence


The exercise program is run out of EMBC headquarters in Victoria. The program team coordinates with partners to ensure full provincial preparedness. Some of these partners include provincial ministries, federal departments, First nations and local communities.

Exercises are developed by EMBC’s Exercise Specialist; however, EMBC also works with other ministries, agencies and partners to support the development and execution of a number of exercises to address various hazards affecting B.C.


Depending on the focus of the exercise and the hazard it’s meant to address, exercises have been held in different locations. To learn more about where some exercises have been held in the past, please visit our Past Exercises page.

Exercise funding

Funding is a mixture of provincial, federal and local communities funding, which is agreed on by all participants prior to the commencement of the exercise planning.