Emergency & Disasters

Impacted Indigenous Communities - Report #29

DATE: December 15, 2021   Hazards: FLOODING (Atmospheric River Event Nov 13-15 and Nov 27-30)

  • EMBC Regional Offices: 2 PREOCs Activated: Southwest; and Central operating in response to impacted Indigenous communities and local authorities. EMBC Provincial Emergency Coordination Centre is also activated to support the Regional Offices.

  • First Nation Agency Representatives (including ISC, FNESS, FNHA, and MIRR – Strategic Liaison, Safety and Consultation Branch) participating in multiple operational coordination calls daily and supporting communities as needed.

: With the significantly improved situation, the focus has largely shifted to recovery. The province continues to respond to catastrophic damage to major routes between the Lower Mainland through to Hope and the remainder of the province. The Provincial State of Emergency has been extended until Dec 28. Travel restrictions in place under the Emergency Program Act (EPA) continue, however fuel restrictions were lifted on Dec 14. Ministry of Transportation (MOTI) advises the Coquihalla Highway is set to reopen on Dec. 20, well ahead of the previously projected timeline, for commercial vehicles and inter-city buses. The reopening of Hwy 5 will allow for the removal of the essential travel designation from Hwy 3. MoTI hopes to have Hwy 3 reopen for all travel 24 hours after reopening the Coquihalla.

Recovery Supports:

  • Indigenous communities that have infrastructure damage because of the recent flooding should submit a local government DFA application as soon as possible and no later than March 3, 2022. Local government application forms and additional information are available on the EMBC website: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-management/local-emergency-programs/financial/communities-dfa.
  • Canadian Red Cross (CRC) has an Indigenous Peoples Responders in place for registration teams. Starting Dec 15, the CRC will be providing ESS supports to eligible households. People who remain evacuated are must register with CRC. Online registration is closed and has moved to registration in person and by phone by calling 1-800-585-9559 or visiting one of the locations listed on the CRC website:

http://www.redcross.ca/2021bcfloods to receive in-person supports. The CRC provided a flyer for distribution on Dec 10 with information on how to receive ESS supports.

  • CRC Mobile Emergency Response Teams (ERT) are providing support to impacted individuals from Boston Bar, Hope, and Nooaitch, Shackan, and Cook’s Ferry First Nations at locations in Kamloops, Boston Bar, and Camp Hope.
  • Drywall Disposal Guidance has been shared with all Emergency Programs Coordinators: drywall_disposal_policy_guidance_for_flood.pdf (gov.bc.ca) as well as Debris Management Debris Management Guidelines (gov.bc.ca)
  • Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is also working directly with communities to proactively ensure that funding sources are in place to ensure that there is no gap in service with the December 15th transition.

Read the full report

Past reports

Provincial State of Emergency Extended to December 28, 2021

BCAFN Emergency and Disaster Bulletins


EDB banner

For stranded travelers from community ISC will ensure that evacuee costs will be reimbursed.  This can be arranged through EMBC PREOCs or through bcaandc.do@sac-isc.gc.ca or 604-209-9709 Annette Schroeter if you would like to receive this bulletin.

First Nations' Emergency Services Society



Flood Preparedness

FNESS Emergency Contacts:
(Emergencies are determined to be events that cannot be handled at the community response level)

Wayne Schnitzler, Interim Executive Director, 250-318-8278
Dean Colthorp, Manager Emergency Services Department, 604-838-5711
Larry Price, Manager Forest Fuel Management Department, 250-320-8580

If leaving a message, please provide your name, phone number, email address, community name and emergency concern.
Emergency Contacts listed here gives access to key FNESS individuals who can assist communities with emergency concerns or events. Please see the FNESS department contact lists for dealing with daily operations or business concerns.  

Virtual BC First Nations Emergency Management Forum

This event was held in October 2021 to discuss national and regional emergency management strategies with other emergency management professionals and with experts in the field. The two-day forum was focused on legislation, policy development, emergency management concerns, lessons learned, training and development, policy issues, and government to government relations. Attendees were given the opportunity to hear, first-hand, the latest on issues that impact their nations’ and agencies' programs.

WHO: All BC Chiefs and First Nations Emergency Management professionals

For more information please contact, Cecile Brass, Emergency Management MOU Coordinator, FNLC @ cbrass@fns.bc.ca or (604) 314-8228

BC First Nations Emergency Management Forum Event held October 20, 2021 

View Day 1 recording

BC First Nations Emergency Management Forum Event held October 21, 2021

View Day 2 recording



Have you been instructed to self-register for Emergency Support Services?

If you are on an evacuation ALERT or ORDER, or if you have been displaced from your home due to an emergency AND your Local Emergency Program has instructed you to Self-Register, you can do so here: https://ess.gov.bc.ca

BC gov logo

Disaster Financial Assistance

Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) is now available for local governments and First Nations in regions that may have been impacted by the wildfires that started June 16, 2021.

DFA is available to help community authorities cover disaster-related losses that are not covered by insurance, such as wildfire damage to public infrastructure – including roads, bridges and other publicly owned infrastructure.

Individuals who have been impacted by wildfires are encouraged to contact their insurance representative. Standard home and business insurance policies cover fire damage and additional living expenses – for things like food, shelter and clothing – if residents need to leave their homes because of a mandatory evacuation order issued by civil authorities.

More information about DFA can be found online

FNHA logo

First Nations Health Authority


Accessing medications and providing continuity of care
If you have been displaced by an evacuation, you can visit a pharmacy near you to access an emergency supply of medications you may need. Read more here

Canadian Red Cross: Help Desk for Indigenous Leadership

The Canadian Red Cross, with funding from Indigenous Services Canada / First Nations Inuit Health Branch, has launched a Help Desk resource for Indigenous Community Leadership. The Help Desk is launched in coordination with other Indigenous help desks, such as First Nations Health Managers Association’s InfoPoint.

To access supports, evacuated British Columbians need to register with the Red Cross by calling 1 800 863-6582, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. (Pacific time).

Red Cross Information Sheet pdf

Canadian Red Cross website 

Family Reunification line at 1-800-863-6582


Any pet guardian needing emergency boarding or other assistance is asked to call the BC SPCA Call Centre at 1-855-622-7722 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. After hours please contact your closest ESS at 1.800.585.9559.

FARM: Any agriculture producer who is impacted by flooding should contact their local authority or First Nation for the geographic area they reside in- 911 or local EOC

Indigenous Services Canada Duty Officer or call 604-209-9709 for extended supports available to communities

EMBC Community Recovery contact Matthew Schraeder 250-896-3091