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Posted: September 21, 2020

RDEK getting emergency preparedness funds

Local, regional, and Indigenous governments in communities throughout the province have been approved to receive their share of up to $3.4 million in provincial Community Emergency Preparedness Funds (CEPF), while an additional $14.5 million from the CEPF is being allocated to new project intakes over the next several months.

A total of $25,000 will be coming to the Regional District of East Kootenay  for the East Kootenay Emergency Program Indigenous Cultural Awareness Training.

“The province will continue to support our communities as we work to keep British Columbians prepared from the threat of emergencies,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “The Community Emergency Preparedness Fund supports the projects that municipalities and First Nations have identified as necessary to keep their communities safe, so it’s an excellent example of how we are effectively working together to improve public safety and resilience throughout B.C.”

The CEPF is a suite of programs designed to enhance the resiliency of local governments, First Nations communities and their residents.

The province provides the funding, which is administered by the Union of BC Municipalities. Recent CEPF approvals include:

* $690,000 for Indigenous cultural safety and cultural humility training;

* Up to $2.8 million for flood risk assessments, mapping and mitigation planning.

The current funding for flood-risk assessments, mapping and mitigation planning will be released to communities that have highly ranked projects from the most recent intake that was oversubscribed. The funding for Indigenous cultural safety and cultural humility training has already been allocated to communities.

The cultural safety and cultural humility CEPF stream supports eligible applicants to provide emergency management personnel with training to more effectively partner with and assist Indigenous communities during times of emergency. This includes increasing opportunities to educate emergency management personnel, emergency management professionals in training, and others working in the emergency management system on the history of Indigenous peoples, as well as the concepts of cultural safety, cultural humility and its importance to Indigenous peoples.

“We learned many lessons during the unprecedented wildfire and flooding seasons in 2017 and 2018, including the importance of working together to improve emergency services for First Nations communities,” said Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness. “We’ve worked hard as a government to make sure communities are prepared for emergencies, and this funding has been a key part of that effort.”

For future intakes of the CEPF, the province is also announcing the allocation of the remainder of available funding, which includes:

* $7.9 million for structural flood mitigation (Nov. 20, 2020);

* $2.5 million for flood risk assessments, mapping and mitigation planning (January 2021);

* $2 million for Emergency Support Services training and upgrades (February 2021);

* $2.1 million for Emergency Operations Centres and training (March 2021).

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