Over the last several years there have been a number of changes which have impacted, and are expected to impact, emergency management activities throughout the world. Within the Omineca Beetle Action Coalition region, the infestation of mountain pine beetle (MPB) in the forests, changes in climate, and increases in industrial traffic present the potential for increased threats to communities. Communities have worked hard to prepare for and manage the current level of emergencies and disasters and plan for any subsequent changes as a result of these phenomena.
Many local governments within the OBAC region have prepared plans to deal with a wide range of emergencies. The most common form of emergencies or disasters that are planned for, and responded to by communities within the OBAC region include: hazardous materials spills; flooding; wildfires; severe weather (such as snowstorms); and industrial accidents.
OBAC communities are generally well prepared for emergencies or disasters and have made best use of the existing resources available to them. However, inter-community and cross-regional collaboration between governments, practitioner organizations and professionals can assist in further developing and ensuring that all communities will be able to deal with potential increases in frequency and severity of emergencies and disasters. Ensuring a state of readiness to protect people and property against natural or human-caused emergencies and disasters is paramount and can support the region’s overall diversification efforts.
In some cases, neighboring communities already work together in formalized arrangements. In many situations, the relationships are not currently defined. Efforts to work together must fit with First Nations and local government leaders’ and emergency practitioners’ interest level and ability to participate. This document reflects the good work done so far and presents ideas on additional opportunities for collaboration between senior and local governments, and First Nation communities. Although First Nations are included as possible participants in many of the actions, First Nations communities’ participation will be entirely dependent on individual community needs, priorities, and interests. OBAC looks forward to helping to facilitate this during project implementation and incorporating ideas and opportunities as the project evolves.
This report identifies recommendations and actions that use local and regional resources to their fullest potential and suggests solutions to the unique challenges of the region by presenting opportunities for inter-community and cross-regional collaboration. OBAC looks forward to continuing to support discussions between neighbouring communities, local businesses, and leaders of regional initiatives.