Communities throughout British Columbia that have been partial to flood risks in the past are reportedly receiving approximately $9.5 million in provincial emergency preparedness funding. (Black Press files)

Vulnerable B.C. communities receive funds for structural flood mitigation

Communities throughout British Columbia that have been partial to flood risks in the past are reportedly receiving approximately $9.5 million in provincial emergency preparedness funding.

Per a news release issued by the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, in collaboration with Emergency Management BC, the funding is being made available for structural flood mitigation, such as pump stations and dikes.

The Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) has released the funding for the structural flood mitigation component of the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund.

This funding is part of a $33.5 million plan which was designed to help communities prepare for — and potentially respond to — natural disasters across the province.

“When we released the first round of funding, I talked about how critically important these programs are to assist our most vulnerable communities,” said Mike Farnworth, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “The flooding we continued to see in the province this year shows this funding is more vital than ever to make sure communities are prepared.”

Jennifer Rice, the Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness echoes Farnworth’s statement.

“Emergency preparedness is everyone’s job, and with this funding, we can help communities become more resilient,” said Rice. “It’s just one more way we’re helping communities lessen the impacts of emergencies and disasters.”

There are three major areas in which the funding is focused on, with the first being dedicated to non-structural flood mitigation. This includes community risk assessments, flood mapping and also involves planning for flood mitigation.

Furthermore, the funding also focuses on emergency social services, including developing the kinds of registration systems, protocols and procedures to streamline the delivery of social services to affected communities.

Finally, the funding provides both emergency operation centre equipment and additional supplies, such as cots, blankets and emergency social services volunteer training.

Future funding, which is expected to come in 2019, reportedly will focus on the planning of evacuation routes, mapping and building routes out of communities that only have one major road in and out of town.

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