Disaster Preparation and Recovery

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Introduction to the BCEDA Economic Disaster Recovery Program

In 2012, the BC Economic Development Association (BCEDA) developed the Economic Disaster Recovery Program (EDRP) to assist the community of Burns Lake, BC following the mill explosion.  Working with the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and RestoreYourEconomy.org, BCEDA established teams of volunteers to visit the community of Burns Lake and develop an Economic Recovery Plan.  The volunteers consisted of experienced economic developers from across Canada who visited the community over a period of four days, held one-on-one meetings, visited businesses, met with Council, local Indigenous communities and other key stakeholders. 

BCEDA continued to further develop the program in order to be better prepared to visit communities in times of crisis and hoped to get the longer term financial support from the Province of BC so that we were ready if needed.  We also raised funds through auctions and in other ways. 

The BC Economic Disaster Program is the first program of its kind in Canada focused on the resiliency and recovery of distressed economies.  As with everything we do, BCEDA has shared our program with others, including our efforts in Southern Alberta following the flooding of 2013.  We are proud of our partner association in Alberta, Economic Developers Alberta, for the program that they have now developed to assist Alberta communities including Fort McMurray following the fires of 2016.

Since 2013, the BCEDA BC Economic Disaster Recovery Program has been involved in the following:

  • Burns Lake Mill Explosion
  • US Economic Disaster Framework Development
  • Southern Alberta Floods
  • BC Wildfires 2017
  • US Virgin Islands
  • BC Floods 2018

BCEDA will do whatever it can within the resources we have available to assist communities in distress.  We depend on the funds raised through our annual Auction at the BC Economic Summit and in generous donations from corporations like FortisBC, Pacific Coastal Airlines, and ASTTBC.  We welcome you to join our efforts.  If you would like to be a volunteer for our programs please complete the information at the following link.  If we find a need we may call upon you for assistance. 

Visit the Forestry Plus webpage for a list of resources for forestry impacted communities.

Community-Delivered Training: Making Resilience and Recovery the New Norm

BCEDA also has developed several workshops that we have delivered in BC and Saskatchewan to help communities be better prepared to overcome the economic impacts of disasters.  A Pre-Disaster plan needs to be developed before the disaster and implementation begins during and after.  This will make it easier for a community to recover and in some cases be better than they were before.  We also offer workshops on Business Continuity Planning.  Recovery requires the business community to also be prepared in order to not become a tragedy of the disaster. 

We offer a 90 minute crash course, a full day condensed but comprehensive session that will get you well on your way to developing a plan, or a two-day extensive session that will provide you with the tools and resources to help you become a more resilient community.  It is available in both a one day condensed, and two day full version. The Business Continuity Program will provide useful tools and information for communities to be better prepared for recovery.  For more information download the 2020 BCEDA Professional Development Catalog or contact Dale Wheeldon by email dwheeldon@bceda.ca


10 Steps to Prepare your Business for Evacuation.

Economic Recovery & Resiliency Manual
In disaster-impacted communities, economic development organizations often lead economic recovery efforts by helping local businesses respond to impacts on their employees, their facilities, and their customer and supply networks. All too often, economic recovery becomes a piecemeal reaction, rather than a planned response, when disaster strikes. The key is to take steps ahead of time to ensure your organization can stay in touch with local businesses after any type of major incident and to set up a plan of action for disaster response and recovery. This manual provides information designed to get your communities started in the pre-planning process for economic recovery. Communities that have a plan in place prior to a disaster can start on the road to recovery immediately and have a better chance of economic recovery.

Click here to download the BCEDA Economic Recovery and Resiliency Manual 

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