Emergency & Disasters

A Virtual BC First Nations Emergency Management Forum 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

EDB banner

BCAFN Emergency and Disaster Bulletins

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.

Provincial State of Emergency Extended to December 14, 2021

Impacted Indigenous Communities Report #16


DATE: December 1, 2021   Hazards: FLOODING (Atmospheric River Event Nov 13-15 and Nov 27-30)

  • EMBC Regional Offices: 3 PREOCs Activated: Vancouver Island and Coastal Region; 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.

Weather: On the heels of moderate to heavy precipitation on the coast in the past day and half (Nov 30), the temperature has warmed in many communities. Salmon Arm was forecasted to reach 17c today (Dec 1), breaking the single day high temperature record for December. Further precipitation is forecasted for the evening and overnight (including an additional 70mm at the Coquihalla Summit) and some areas have seen significant snowmelt (Fraser Valley and North Shore). These conditions may affect watersheds that are recovering from the recent peak on Monday.

Flood warnings have been upgraded for the following rivers and areas: Coldwater, Coquihalla, Chilliwack, Lower Fraser Valley, Lower Nicola, Similkameen, Spius Creek and Tulameen. Flood watch remains in place in the South Coast, including Squamish.

Temperatures are expected to drop tomorrow before the next round of precipitation arrives on Saturday. This next system is predicted to bring a more modest amount of precipitation and will largely bypass B.C. Most rivers are expected to recover over the weekend with the breaks in the weather.

Overview: All PREOC’s reporting that the situation is deteriorating.
The province is responding to catastrophic damage to major routes between the Lower Mainland through to Hope and the remainder of the province. Fuel and travel restrictions remain in place under the Emergency Program Act (EPA). Ministry of Transportation (MOTI) advises the Coquihalla (Hwy 5 and Hwy 8) will take months to repair. Canadian Red Cross is providing in person registration services in Abbotsford, Kamloops, Duncan, Princeton, Merritt and Chilliwack. More in person locations will open in early December including Salmon Arm.

Read the full report

Past reports

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.  


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