How The City Is Prepared

How the City is Prepared
Emergencies and disasters, either natural or man-made, can happen in any community at any time. Sometimes prior warning is provided, but many times this is not the case. The result can cause disruptions to services such as electricity, gas and water, impact how we communicate, and may deplete local resources for response and recovery.

Emergency planning is a continuous process of assessment, preparation, exercising, response and evaluation. Every municipality in British Columbia is responsible to develop and maintain emergency plans to mitigate and prepare for, respond to, and recover from disaster. The Emergency Management Program Bylaw establishes the legislative framework for these municipal plans.

Maple Ridge shares similar risks with Pitt Meadows and as a result, the Emergency Management Office also works to develop emergency plans and maintain an emergency response structure under a joint operating agreement between the two municipalities.

Guided by an appointed Emergency Planning Committee, these plans aim to ensure the safety of citizens, the protection of property, the environment and the local economy when a disaster strikes.

MITIGATION


To prevent or lessen the impact of disasters


The first step to preventing or lessening the damaging effects of natural and man-made disasters on the community
is to identify local hazards and determine the potential impact to our residents, infrastructure, city operations, environment and businesses. Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows have identified the following as the
key threats to our communities:

An analysis of these hazards has also been conducted to develop a better understanding of their potential effects. This is commonly referred to as a hazard risk vulnerability analysis. This is what the City uses to develop mitigation strategies and response plans in an effort to prevent or lessen the impact.

PREPAREDNESS


PLAN for AN EFFECTIVE RESPONSE through education, communication and practice


Priorities of preparedness include identifying and training key personnel in their response and recovery roles, building relationships and agreements with government and non-governmental agencies, maintaining equipment and valuable resources, conducting exercises to test and improve plans, and the development and delivery of educational programs to inform residents and business owners on the risks of disaster, and what they can do to be better prepared. Read more about Maple Ridge’s Emergency Planning.

COMMUNITY AWARENESS

 
We all have a role in preparing for emergencies. Ensuring that you, your family, your pets, and your business are ready for a disaster makes the community more resilient. Being individually prepared lessens the chance of personal suffering, economic loss and psychological impacts caused by major disasters. In a major emergency, residents may be on their own for a minimum of 72 hours. To help residents understand the risks, develop their emergency plans, and take action, we aim to deliver key emergency preparedness messages to the public by:

  • delivering Preparedness Workshops;
  • providing information to inform residents of local risks, how to prepare and the related mitigation
    and preparedness activities;
  • hosting special events and attending community events to raise community awareness.

RESPONSE


YOUR EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PLAN IN ACTION


Actions in direct relation to an imminent threat, developing emergency, or immediately following a disaster with the goal to save lives, reduce economic loss and prevent suffering. Included in a response may be the activation of the Emergency Operations Centre, evacuating a neighourhood, declaring a local state of emergency to preserve order, assessing damage, establishing shelters for evacuees through Emergency Support Services, enforcing Disaster Response Routes and delivering emergency services such as police, fire and ambulance.

RECOVERY


GETTING BACK TO NORMAL


To restore community life services to normal levels and reduce future vulnerability through improved planning processes. Recovery involves restoring basic services, removing debris, repairing damaged infrastructure, and caring for those who have been displaced. Planning for recovery also includes promoting and encouraging the business community to develop business continuity plans.