A letter from Graham Knox, Director of Emergency Management for the BC Ministry of Agriculture:
The province of BC has activated the Southwest Provincial Regional Operations Center (SW PREOC) to support the response to the 2018 lower Fraser River freshet and the potential for flooding. Additional PREOCs have also been activated in other regions of the province due to the flooding situation and the following information is also applicable to those impacted regions. The Ministry of Agriculture is providing support to Local Governments, First Nations, and agricultural producers through the PREOC. Below we have attached a number of links to provide producers with key information and resources to assist them in preparing, responding and recovering from potential flooding and related impacts.
Producers requiring assistance should first contact their Local Government or First Nation Band Council. Local Governments and First Nations can in turn seek any additional support they require by contacting the SW PREOC.
Key preparedness considerations:
- Plan early for potential livestock relocations
- Remove pesticides, fuels and other hazardous materials from areas at risk of flooding
- Protect wells from flood water intrusion
- Register with Premises ID program to ensure emergency planners and responders have critical information about your operation
The River Forecast Center https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water/water/drought-flooding-dikes-dams/river-forecast-centre posts key information regarding flood warnings and advisories, snow pack information and current flow models for some waterways. Flood warnings can be accessed at: http://bcrfc.env.gov.bc.ca/warnings/index.htm
During an emergency event, your local government or band council is a key source of information, here are some of our area regional district links.
- Chilliwack: http://www.chilliwack.ca/main/page.cfm?id=907
- District of Kent: https://www.district.kent.bc.ca/dh-emergency-services.html
- City of Abbotsford: https://www.abbotsford.ca/public_safety/emergency_program/flood_preparation.htm
- District of Mission: https://www.mission.ca/2018-freshet-updates-information/
- City of Maple Ridge: https://www.mapleridge.ca/459/Emergency-Preparedness
- City of Surrey: http://www.surrey.ca/city-services/704.aspx
- City and Township of Langley: https://www.tol.ca/at-your-service/public-safety/fire/emergency-management/
- City of Richmond: https://www.richmond.ca/safety/prepare/howto/during/flood.htm?PageMode=HTML
- Fraser River Regional District: http://www.fvrd.ca/EN/main/services/emergency-services/emergency-preparedness.html
- Metro Vancouver: http://www.metrovancouver.org/services/electoral-area-a/services/emergency-planning/Pages/default.aspx
- City of New Westminster: https://www.newwestcity.ca/services/public-safety/emergency-management
Some reminders of operational items to consider in preparing for an emergency are available at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/farming-natural-resources-and-industry/agriculture-and-seafood/farm-management/emergency-management/factsheets/900_200-3_emergency_preparedness.pdf Section 1.2 deals with flooding. Other links including notes on well disinfection are available at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/business-market-development/emergency-preparedness/flood-preparedness
Safety tips for floodwaters and how to sandbag effectively are available at https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018PSSG0021-000832
Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) has been announced for some events in BC in relation to flooding. For more information on DFA go to: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/emergency-response-and-recovery/disaster-financial-assistance and for a list of eligible events please go to: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/emergency-response-and-recovery/disaster-financial-assistance/eligible-events . If you and your operation have been impacted please take a moment to look at eligibility criteria to see if this program may apply to you. There are also links to cleanup and recovery information on these pages. Remember that whether you are dealing with a program or your private insurer, careful document any impacts and costs is important and that photos are a great documenting tool.
Please circulate this to your members to ensure they have this important information.
Director, Emergency Management
BC Ministry of Agriculture