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Health Emergency Management BC

Health Emergency Management British Columbia (HEMBC) is a program of the Provincial Health Services Authority that provides emergency management leadership and support to the health authorities in BC.
HEMBC provides expertise, education, tools, and support for the BC health authorities to effectively mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from the impacts of emergency events; ensuring the continuity of health services.

HEMBC staff work across the province, directly with facilities and programs to support a range of activities, including:

  • Development of emergency plans
  • Training and education
  • Emergency exercises
  • Emergency response
  • Recovery
  • After action / lessons learned process.
In addition, HEMBC provides Fire Safety services to Fraser Health, Providence Health Care, the Provincial Health Services Authority and Vancouver Coastal Health. 



Emergency Preparedness

Natural disasters may be beyond our control, but there are ways to reduce the risk and the impact of whatever emergency we might face - whether natural or human-induced. It is important to have emergency supplies ready at both home and work.

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Emergency Preparedness Week takes place May 7 to 13, and encourages Canadians to be prepared to cope on their own for at least the first 72 hours of an emergency while rescue workers help those in urgent need. This special week is a national effort of provincial and territorial emergency management organizations, and Public Safety Canada.

By taking a few simple steps, you can become better prepared to face a range of emergencies – anytime, anywhere. It is important to:

  • Know the risks – Although the consequences of disasters can be similar, knowing the risks specific to our community and our region can help you better prepare.

  • Make a plan – It will help you and your family know what to do.

  • Get an emergency kit – During an emergency, we will all need some basic supplies. We may need to get by without power or tap water. Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours in an emergency.

The Great British Columbia ShakeOut, an annual earthquake preparedness drill, takes place Thursday, October 17 , 2019 at 10:17 a.m. At this time, people across the province will ‘drop, cover and hold on’ for two minutes; the time it takes for the shaking to stop during an earthquake.

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Located in an earthquake prone region, BC experiences over one thousand minor earthquakes each year. As health care professionals, we need to be aware of the impact a major earthquake could have on the people we serve and the demand for health services. Preparing today can help with a faster recovery and limit the devastating effects of major seismic activity.

If you are not engaged in a critical function involving direct patient care, at 10:17 a.m. drop to the ground, take cover under a table or desk and hold on as if a real earthquake was occurring.

While taking cover, look around and imagine what would happen in a major earthquake. What would fall? What would be damaged? What steps can be taken to make your environment safer? Consider what to do after the shaking stops.

Visit www.GetPrepared.ca for more resources to help you and your family prepare for all types of emergencies.

Wildfires and Seasonal Hazards

The BC wildfires of 2017 and 2018 were unprecedented in both scale and impact. These fires have had severe consequences for the populations affected; with many communities experiencing ongoing mental, physical, social and economic impacts.

In partnership with provincial health system stakeholders, HEMBC has developed a BC Health System Wildfire Response Plan detailing roles, responsibilities, and expectations of the health system during wildfire response. It outlines the emergency response structure of the provincial health system as well as the coordination processes and information required to support wildfire response across the health system.

The BC Wildfire Service is part of, and mandated by, the Government of British Columbia to:

  1. Deliver effective wildfire management and emergency response support on behalf of the Government of British Columbia
  2. Protect lives and values at risk
  3. Encourage sustainable, healthy and resilient ecosystems

For more information on wildfire health and safety please refer to the following websites:

Interior Health
Information for Professionals

Doctors of BC

Doctors of BC is a voluntary association of 14,000 physicians, residents and medical students in British Columbia.

Our vision is to promote a social, economic, and political climate in which members can provide the citizens of BC with the highest standard of health care, while achieving maximum professional satisfaction and fair economic reward.   

Provincial Health Officer

The Provincial Health Officer is the senior public health official for BC, and is responsible for monitoring the health of the population of BC and providing independent advice to the ministers and public officials on public health issues.

BC Centre for Disease Control

BCCDC provides health promotion and prevention services, analytical and policy support to government and health authorities, and diagnostic and treatment services to reduce communicable & chronic disease, preventable injury and environmental health risks.



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SOURCE: Health Emergency Management BC ( )
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