Bill Adams of the Insurance Bureau of Canada says insurable natural disaster costs are rising rapidly.

Emergency preparedness fund increases

B.C. increases fund to $80 million for flood protection, earthquake preparedness and rescue training and equipment

Flooding and a major earthquake are the biggest risks facing B.C. residents, and the only response is to be as ready as possible.

That’s the assessment of Bill Adams, regional vice-president of the Insurance Bureau of Canada, as he praised the B.C. government for increasing its financial commitment to disaster readiness.

“We cannot prevent extreme weather or earthquakes, but we can and we should understand the risks better and take prudent action to mitigate those threats,” Adams said at a funding announcement at the B.C. legislature Wednesday. “We must emphasize prevention over reaction, and improve the capacity of our communities, our families and our neighbours to build increased resilience.”

The province is dedicating $80 million to the cause in the coming fiscal year, up from $65 million this year. That includes $20 million for structural flood protection projects, as well as evacuation and flood risk assessments in communities around the province.

Adams said a changing climate has contributed to increased extreme weather events, with insured losses from natural disasters now costing more than $1 billion a year in Canada.

But the biggest threat to B.C. is a megathrust earthquake on the Cascadia subduction zone off the coast of Vancouver Island. The last big one was in January, 1700, wiping aboriginal villages from the B.C. map and sending a massive tidal wave that struck Japan nine hours later.

People on the outer coast could have as little as 15 minutes to move inland, and the Lower Mainland would suffer extensive damage from the shaking.

Organizations receiving funding for preparation in B.C. include:

• Canada Task Force One, the heavy urban search and rescue unit based in Vancouver, $1 million

• Salvation Army of B.C. to provide and retrofit mobile feeding vans and train volunteer and emergency program co-ordinators in communities, $700,000

• B.C. Search and Rescue Association, for a pilot project to develop portable communication networks, $500,000

• Avalanche Canada, to provide daily forecasts and education, $500,000. Avalanches are the deadliest natural hazard in Canada, and 80 per cent of fatalities occur in B.C.

 

Just Posted

Dynamiters prepare for main camp

The Kimberley Dynamiters will host their main camp on Aug. 30 - Sept. 1 at the Civic Centre

UPDATED: MV Balfour ferry returns to service

The 65-year-old ferry had been out of action for a month

Kiara Ker earns bronze at U17 National Basketball Championships

This was the third time the local basketball player represented Team BC at the national level

Vehicle stolen from downtown Fernie found torched at transfer station

RCMP are seeking witnesses to the theft of a yellow 2002 Subaru… Continue reading

Rossland council urges minister to kill Jumbo Glacier Resort project

Mayor writes letter panning ski resort on environmental, legal, and economic grounds

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Nearly 50% of Canadians experience ‘post-vacation blues’: poll

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

More women may need breast cancer gene test, U.S. guidelines say

Recommendations aimed at women who’ve been treated for BRCA-related cancers and are now cancer-free

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Most Read