Canadian Firefighter Magazine

New tools for flood preparation in B.C. communities

By CFF Staff   

Headlines News Emergency & disaster management emergency preparedness flooding

April 24, 2023, British Columbia – People living in communities on the front lines of extreme flooding will soon have access to new tools to better prepare for floods, reports the B.C. government.

The Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness and the Ministry of Forests are investing $8.69 million for flood-hazard mapping by March 2024, including funding to support B.C.’s Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy. This investment also leverages $4.33 million in federal funding through the Flood Hazard Identification and Mapping Program with Natural Resources Canada.

The first five flood-hazard mapping areas, which include about 70 communities, are along the Fraser and Nechako rivers in the Prince George area, the Bulkley and Skeena rivers from Houston to downstream of Terrace, Shuswap Lake and the mainstem rivers that drain into it, the Nicola and Coldwater rivers, and the Coquihalla and Fraser rivers from Yale to Mission.

Flood-plain mapping provides a detailed understanding of potential flooding, informing a variety of projects that can help reduce the impacts of flooding, as well as supporting local decisions by First Nations and local governments to establish appropriate zoning and flood construction levels.


Flood-hazard mapping starts with an updated understanding of potential river flows and the impacts from climate change. A model of the regions’ land and rivers is then created to estimate the depth, velocity and extent of different flood flows. These results are shown on maps for community and public use in land-use planning, emergency planning and flood-risk reduction decisions.

This work is part of the province’s overall vision for flood mitigation. Engagement for the Provincial Flood Strategy revealed that robust flood-hazard mapping is needed to understand and manage flood risks in B.C.

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