Local Authority Emergency Planning

Local authorities in B.C. range from small isolated communities with limited resources and very specific risks, to large metropolitan areas with complex risk profiles and extensive resource capabilities to meet response and coordination challenges. Emergency plans should be developed to the level required to meet the communities’ needs and address the risk profile. Plans should practical, feasible and easily understood by the staff and volunteers responsible for conducting emergency operations in the community.

The planning process should include representatives of local organizations and local government departments with identified roles in response and recovery.  Members of the community that will be affected by an emergency should also be consulted.

Plans are living documents that should be updated regularly based on changes in risk environments, personnel, technology, jurisdictional responsibility, or regulations.  

The following should be considered when local authorities are developing emergency plans:

  • Plans must meet legislated requirements;
  • Plans must be based on risk profiles;
  • Plans should be flexible and scalable to meet the needs arising from the emergency regardless of the hazard or size of the event;
  • Plans should focus on actions and procedures;
  • Explanatory and background information should be kept to a minimum in plan documents;
  • Plans should be modular keeping individual sections small enough to be effectively used during an emergency;
  • Consistency must be maintained between planning documents and training curriculum; and
  • The CSA Z1600 Standard is a valuable tool to use when developing plans.