Earlier this month, British Columbia celebrated Emergency Preparedness Week from May 1-7.
For tourism businesses to be ready for anything, the Tourism Emergency Management Committee (TEMC) has released a new BC Tourism Emergency Management Framework.
“Every single person connected to the tourism industry demonstrated incredible strength and leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis that prompted last year’s heat event, floods, and wildfires,” said Honourable Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture & Sport, in an announcement.
“Tourism operators and staff were unsung heroes during these difficult times as they pivoted quickly to realign their businesses and keep locals and visitors safe. Together, through the BC Tourism Emergency Management Framework, we are building a plan, so we are prepared to strengthen the support of the unique needs of our locals and visitors during emergencies and continue to build back stronger by making our province even safer.”
The scheme aims to ease vulnerabilities and risks in the industry and lessen the potential impacts on visitor experiences during emergencies by focusing on mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.
Under the framework, the Tourism Emergency Response Team (TERT) will be deployed when an incident occurs. The team will facilitate information dissemination, enhance mutual assistance operations, and coordinate an overall response.
Furthermore, the operational plan, refreshed annually to respond to current needs and conditions, includes resources such as a training plan for tourism organizations, tourism emergency response plan to guide response to an emergency event, and a communications plan.
The plan also involves the creation of prepared bc guides for tourism operators to plan for emergencies as well as an annual work plan monitored by the TEMC to support continuous improvement of the system and reflect current priorities and conditions.
The TEMC members include the Tourism Industry Association of BC (TIABC), the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture & Sport (TACS), and Destination BC. Also on the committee are Indigenous Tourism BC, BC Destination Marketing Organization Association, BC Regional Tourism Secretariat, and Emergency Management BC.
Other organizations may be invited to advise the committee, such as B.C. government agencies and tourism organizations, to ensure that tourism partners collaborate, play a role, and are aligned with the BC emergency management system.
To learn more about the new framework, click here.
British Columbia Wireless Alerting System to Include Wildfire Threats
Also announced as part of the recent Emergency Preparedness Week, the Alert Ready system in British Columbia will expand beyond tsunami warnings and Amber Alerts to include imminent threats from floods and wildfires beginning this year.
According to a press release, the wireless alerting system is online and ready to be utilized for flooding and will include wildfire threats by early June.