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  July 2017

BC Wildfires Show Importance of Emergency Management

Tens of thousands of British Columbians have been forced to evacuate their homes due to dangerous wildfires. Thousands more have been stunned by the alarming images in the media, wondering when this devastation will end.

A situation like this demonstrates the importance of proactive emergency management. For any natural disaster—fire, flood, extreme heat or other events—being prepared in advance can create a faster, more efficient response. Preparation can also increase a community's resilience, so that in case of disaster the impacts are minimized. In the age of climate change, disasters are likely to be more frequent and more intense.

In June, BCREA recommended the new government increase resources for climate change adaptation and mitigation, and that adaptation be streamlined across all ministries. Events like the current fires reinforce the need to improve resiliency, better understand the risks we face, and increase and reap the benefits of investments in adaptation and mitigation measures to help communities respond.

While we advocate for long-term resilience planning, helping with the current wildfire crisis is paramount. BCREA is matching funds donated by the 11 BC real estate boards to local wildfire relief efforts, up to a total of $40,000.

Additionally, REALTORS Care®, a national program from the Canadian Real Estate Association, is encouraging donations to the Canadian Red Cross's British Columbia Fires Appeal. Donations will provide relief in the form of emergency food, clothing, shelter, personal services and other necessities to help assist with recovery and resiliency.

By responding to current crises, while planning for a more resilient future, REALTORS® and communities across BC can best prepare for a changing weather reality.

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