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 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:
- The Emergency Program Act describes the powers and duties of the provincial government and local authorities in emergency planning.
- The Emergency Program Management Regulation outlines the responsibilities of government ministries and corporations in an emergency, and describes the duties of the Minister of Justice in providing emergency support services.
- The Local Authority Emergency Management Regulation specifies what must be included in local emergency plans, and states the powers and duties of the local authority in emergency planning.
- The Compensation and Disaster Financial Assistance Regulations defines the process a person or local government must follow to request compensation after a disaster.