Public works departments, in general, have an essential role in all phases of emergency management (planning/preparation, mitigation/prevention, response, recovery) and provide a considerable share of the combined effort in them.

Staffing during an emergency event is situational, with participation of various persons and agencies shifting according to specific needs. For instance, in natural events (floods, blizzards, earthquakes, etc.), involvement tends to increase for public works, particularly in the areas of response and recovery. As first responders, public works professionals are responsible for many aspects of emergency response, including assessing damage to buildings and infrastructure; clearing, removing and disposing of debris; restoring lifeline services to their communities; managing traffic and transportation for responders, victims and the public; managing and coordinating municipal vehicles, equipment and manpower; and restoring the infrastructure well after the initial event.

Public works is also integral in emergency planning, hardening, and security of critical facilities, and ensuring a safe public water supply.

Useful Links

APWA Emergency Management Committee

Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) Emergency Management Division

American Water Works Association (AWWA)

British Columbia Water & Waste Association (BCWWA)

British Columbia Association of Emergency Managers (BCAEM)

Emergency Management BC (EMBC)

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) (USA) Online Courses


Emergency Preparedness and Business Continuity Conference (EPBCC)

The Pacific Northwest Preparedness Society and Emergency Preparedness for Industry and Commerce Council (EPICC) came together in 2013 to host a joint conference in order to expand opportunities for, and bring a broader perspective to, the development of emergency management. The conference will continue to cultivate information of specific relevance to the various practitioner groups within the emergency preparedness and business continuity fields.

Vancouver, November 18th to November 20th, 2014

Vancouver Island Emergency Preparedness Conference: "Not If, But When!"

The VIEP Conference is organized by volunteers for volunteers. It brings together dedicated emergency preparedness and response personnel to learn new skills, share experiences and information, and to renew their commitment to helping island communities in times of need. The conference consists of guest speakers, numerous breakout sessions, a networking reception and booth displays.

Sooke, April 24th - 26th, 2015

Case Studies

Coming soon.


Coming soon.