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Wildfires

BCEDA is watching the wildfires currently burning throughout the province, and the devastation that they bring. We encourage every community to ensure that they, and their business community, are prepared in the event of a disaster such as a wildfire. Resources to aid in this preparation can be found below. 

We encourage communities to prepare and check back to this page for more info as the situation unfolds, and new assistance programs are announced.


Resources 

Resources for Wildfire Impacted Individuals & Businesses 2021 (Live Document) - A document of resources that is constantly being updated as new information and resources are released. Check back in on this document regularly for up-to-date information regarding the wildfires including:
  • Emergency Reception Centre locations
  • Red Cross financial assistance information
  • Comfort/Resiliency Centre locations
  • Accommodation & Supplies
  • Pet/Livestock care & information
  • Health resources
  • Information on replacing lost ID
  • Links to Regional District emergency websites

Protecting Your Business/Community Data - Some communities and businesses may think that backup is sufficient for disaster recovery. However, when a business experiences an important IT outage, they realize sooner than later that having copies of data is not enough to keep the business running. Disaster Recovery and Data backup go hand in hand to support business continuity and are the foundation of a solid IT security strategy.
FREE Emergency Access to BC BusinessCounts - As part of our Economic Disaster Resiliency and Recovery Program, the BC Economic Development Association is offering every Indigenous, local and regional government in BC the opportunity to upload your Business License data to our BC BusinessCounts system for free.  Losing all of your business data by not being prepared will slow your chance for recovery. All data is stored in Canada and will only be accessible to you and BCEDA. BCEDA does not use your data for any reason. In the event of an evacuation order issued for your community, we will assign you a temporary access to the system so that you can communicate with your businesses quickly throughout the evacuation and during the recovery.
Business Impact Survey - Has your business been impacted by the BC Wildfires? 
  • Direct Impact
  • Road Closure
  • Staff unable to attend work
  • Community was evacuated as a precaution
  • Delivery interruption
  • Perception that we were closed
  • Other
Please answer this short survey. The responses will help distinguish businesses’ and communities’ short and long-term needs. We are sorry that you may be experiencing challenges due to the wildfires, and BC Economic Development Association will do everything we can to help you. 

The BCEDA collects this information to share in an aggregate format with Provincial, Indigenous, Local and Regional Governments. No confidential information will be shared unless you request a follow-up call. All information is stored in Canada by Softlanding.

Printable Business Impact Survey Flyer for EOC
Top 10 Steps to Prepare Your Business for Evacuation - A document that can be made available to businesses in your community to aid in, and encourage, preparation for an evacuation scenario. It highlights the 10 steps necessary to prepare a business for an evacuation.
Local Economic Recovery & Restart Toolkit - This toolkit provides a collection of resources developed to assist local councils, organizations and individuals involved in community economic recovery following an emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires and floods. 

Topics Include:
  • Local Economic Recovery Committees
  • Managing Economic Recovery Centres
  • Economic Recovery Action Plans
  • Economic Recovery Communication
  • Mental Health
Templates Include:
  • Local Economic Recovery Committee - First Meeting Agenda
  • Economic Recovery Manager - Duties and Responsibilities
  • Media Release - Opening of an Economic Recovery Centre
  • Economic Recovery Centre Intake Form
  • Economic Recovery Centre Daily Briefing
  • Economic Recovery Communication Strategy

BCEDA Economic Recovery & Resiliency Manual - This manual is adapted from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) disaster preparedness toolkit titled “Leadership in the Time of Crisis” and incorporates information from The Recovery and Resiliency Roadmap: A Toolkit for Economic Preparedness. This condensed version offers a streamlined edition highlighting the information required for economic development practitioners and local leaders.


Community Futures Wildfire Business Support - Community Futures created this website to provide resources, support, and direction to businesses who may be impacted by the 2021 wildfires; this information is updated regularly. There is currently no funding secured for financial support of affected businesses however, there are resources available to assist with disaster mitigation and recovery. 



Background

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