Emergency operations centres (EOCs) in the Tri-Cities are getting more support to ensure smooth response in the event of a natural disaster.
Communities in the region received $90,000 in B.C. government grant funding this week in hopes of strengthening its recovery strategies.
This includes $30,000 each for EOCs in Port Coquitlam, Port Moody and Anmore.
The Tri-Cities is no stranger to certain natural disasters, if recent years have shown what climate change-related events can be capable of.
While very few homes have needed to be evacuated, wildfires are a threat to the roughly 5,000 properties along the northeast corridor — known as the "wildland-urban interface."
Additionally, low-lying areas were flooded from several atmospheric rivers, most notably the heavy rain in fall 2021 that saw Port Coquitlam parks and streets turn into small ponds.
"A centralized location that the people of Port Coquitlam can turn to in the wake of a natural disaster is so important for our community," said Mike Farnworth, Port Coquitlam MLA, deputy premier, solicitor general and public safety minister, in a statement on Wednesday (May 24).
"Having this space is not only vital for the safety of all our people, but helps families plan their own home emergency plan."
The provincial funding stems from the $3-million Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF), downstreamed to more than 100 B.C. First Nations and local governments.
Broken down, the Tri-Cities' share will be utilized as follows:
- $30,000 = Port Coquitlam EOC, situational awareness enhancements and staff training
- $30,000 = Port Moody EOC, bolstering 2023 operational readiness for EOC and ESS
- $30,000 = Anmore EOC, general operations
Some of the money will also be used for purchasing and installing much-needed equipment, as well as supplies to maintain emergency preparedness.
"Preparing for emergencies is incredibly important in the face of climate related natural disasters," said Rick Glumac, Port Moody-Coquitlam MLA, in the same release about his riding.
"Seeing both Port Moody and Anmore get funding for Emergency Operations Centres is a great step to making sure we're ready for any natural disaster that comes our way."
B.C. committed $180 million to the CEPF this past February, a government statement reads, for a total investment of $369 million for nearly 1,500 emergency operations projects since 2017.