Forty-nine First Nations and local governments throughout B.C. will receive provincial funding to help reduce risks from future disasters related to natural hazards and climate change.
A total of $23.4 million from the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF) will support communities to better prepare for, mitigate and respond to climate-related emergencies, such as floods and extreme temperatures.
“The climate crisis will continue to increase the risk of natural disasters in British Columbia over the years ahead. Local governments and First Nations are important partners in ensuring that communities are prepared for what will come and we’re taking action to support them in this critical work,” said Bowinn Ma, Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness. “The projects enabled by this funding will make a big difference for First Nations and communities throughout B.C. in their efforts to keep lives and livelihoods safe from potential disasters.”
The Disaster Risk Reduction – Climate Adaptation stream under the CEPF supports the Province’s Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy. The CEPF is administered through the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) and funds projects that strengthen the resilience of First Nations and local governments in responding to and preparing for natural disasters and climate change.
Funding may be used for:
- risk mapping, risk assessments and planning, such as the development of a hazard map;
- land-use planning, such as amendments to relevant plans, bylaws or policies;
- purchasing equipment, such as monitoring equipment;
- delivering community education; and
- small-scale structural projects.
Funding will go toward projects throughout B.C., such as:
- designing upgrades for the Chilliwack Creek drainage pump station, which serves as a crucial component of the community’s flood-protection system;
- a new dike on the Coldwater River in Merritt;
- a climate and disaster risk assessment for T’lat’lasik’wala First Nations;
- misting stations to keep people cool during extreme heat in Victoria; and
- dike-breach modelling in Squamish.
CEPF is a suite of programs divided into several funding streams, which includes public notification and evacuation planning, emergency support services and extreme heat risk mapping, assessment and planning.
The next intake for the Disaster Risk Reduction – Climate Adaptation stream will close on Feb. 24, 2023.
Budget 2022 provides a historic investment of $110 million toward CEPF, for a total of $189 million. Since 2017, First Nations and local governments have been approved for more than $100 million through CEPF for more than 1,100 projects that help communities mitigate and prepare for disasters and climate-related emergencies.
For information about the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund, visit the Union of BC Municipalities’ website: https://www.ubcm.ca/funding-programs/local-government-program-services/community-emergency-preparedness-fund
Learn about the Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy: www.gov.bc.ca/BC-Adapts