Emergency Support Services Authorities & Legislation

When 'Local Authorities' are mentioned in the Emergency Program Act, we are referring to local governments, municipalities and regional districts. Local authorities are responsible for responding to emergencies including the provision of food, clothing, shelter, and transportation for their residents. Local authorities can ask the provincial government for help with emergency planning and response.

Provincial Policy & Procedures

Emergency Management BC (EMBC) supports Local Authorities fulfill their legislated mandate through policy 5.03 Evacuee Living Assistance. Policy 5.03 provides definitions for evacuee and primary residency and sets program eligibility criteria and evacuee responsibilities. The policies and procedures under 5.03 form the framework under which ESS operates and are the basis for decision making at the Local and Provincial Government levels.

First Nations

First Nation Governments are supported in fulfilling this role through a service agreement between EMBC and Indigenous Services Canada (ISC). Under this agreement, Provincial government support is available for First Nation communities. Local authorities are encouraged to integrate their disaster planning, preparedness and response with neighbouring First Nations.

When the term local authority or community is used in the Emergency Support Services Field Guide (PDF) it includes First Nations as well, although First Nations communities do not have responsibilities under the Emergency Program Act.

Legislation & Regulations

British Columbia’s emergency management legislation includes: