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Series S491 - Emergency Management files

Arrival of film "A Queen is Crowned" Vancouver air raid exercise Evacuation in event of fire [part one] Evacuation in event of fire [part two] Radiation in industry [lecture] Lecture on aspects of a nuclear reaction Minister's Conference National Conference of Emergency Health Services Civil defence plans in Vancouver area Lecture on atomic energy and radiation and interview regarding civil defence

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Emergency Management files

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  • Textual record

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of series.
  • Variations in title: Previously entitled Operational files (Vancouver Emergency Program fonds).

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  • 1937-1998 (Creation)
    Vancouver (B.C.). Risk and Emergency Management Division

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Physical description

  • 5.26 m of textual records
  • 0.01 m of graphic material
  • 15 tape recordings

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Administrative history

The Risk and Emergency Management Division was created in 1992 by the amalgamation of the Vancouver Emergency Program (formerly the Vancouver Civil Defence Board), and the Risk Management Program.

In 1951 the Province of British Columbia passed the Civil Defence Act, assigning responsibility to the Provincial Secretary and providing grants to local governments to set up defence programs. Consequently, in 1951 the City established the Vancouver Civil Defence Board and the position of Civil Defence Coordinator. The primary function of the Board was civil disaster preparedness; accomplished through the conduct of emergency operations exercises and training programs, and liaising with provincial and federal bodies to prepare for emergency operations during and after potential civil disasters such as earthquakes, fires, acts of terrorism and hazardous material spills. These activities have expanded to include staff training, public education, administration of the City's Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and implementation of the Council approved emergency management initiatives.

In 1974 the Provincial Secretary changed the name of the function from Civil Defence Branch to the Provincial Emergency Program and requested local governments to change their terminology accordingly. In response, the Vancouver Civil Defence Board was renamed the Vancouver Emergency Program.

In 1985, in response to rising liability insurance premiums, City Council made the decision to establish a self-insurance program to handle liability claims against the City. A Risk Management Program was formally established as a division of the Department of Finance in February of 1987. The Program was designed to administer the self-insurance program and to handle liability claims against the City, as well as to advise other departments and civic bodies on minimizing risk of loss or damage to third parties. It also manages the City's insurance portfolio and administers the deductible reserve, initiates third party collection proceedings to recover damages and administers the self-insurance liability reserve.

In 1992 the Risk Maangement Program was joined with the Office of Emergency Management to form the Risk and Emergency Management Division, still within the Department of Finance. In 1995 Risk and Emergency Management became a division of the City Corporate Services Group.

Name changes evolved as follows:
Vancouver Civil Defence Board, 1951-1974;
Vancouver Emergency Program, 1974-1992;
Risk Management Program, 1987-1992;
Risk and Emergency Management Division, 1992-.

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Scope and content

Series contains administrative and operational files pertaining to earthquake preparedness; emergency exercises; training programs and seminars; emergency communications and social services; and transportation of hazardous materials. Series also includes Civil Defence publications, a set of maps (1961), and news clippings (pred. 1956-1966). 1985, 1987 and 2000 transfers arranged in filing number order; 2002, 2003 transfers arranged in file order.

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Physical condition

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Transferred in 1985, 1987 and 2000.


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Some files are restricted under Section 22 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Access to files requires permission of an archivist.

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File list available.

Associated materials

The films which came with this unit have been transferred to the British Columbia Archives and Records Service, Sound and Moving Images.

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