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British Columbia seeks economic recovery volunteers for communities impacted by wildfires

Photo credit: CBC News

British Columbia is experiencing unusually large wildfires that are displacing residents and forcing businesses to close. As of Monday, an estimated 40,000 people have been ordered to evacuate from their homes.

The British Columbia Economic Development Association (BCEDA) has initiated its Economic Disaster Recovery Program, and is calling for volunteers to serve on Economic Recovery Teams to assist wildfire-impacted communities once fires have been contained.

The Economic Disaster Recovery Program was formed in 2013 to mobilize volunteers to assist communities in Alberta devastated by some of the worst flooding in province history. From its experience there, BCEDA published the Recovery and Resiliency Roadmap: A Toolkit for Economic Preparedness (PDF), a best practices document on post-disaster economic recovery strategies adapted from IEDC Restore Your Economy resources. BCEDA has also released a guide of 10 steps businesses should take (PDF) to prepare for evacuation.

Without jobs and income, few residents will remain in affected areas. In order for communities to recover, local businesses need to open their doors as quickly as possible, workers need to get back to work, and public services, infrastructure, and utilities that support business activity need to be operational.

You can help make that happen. If you are interested in helping British Columbia communities in their recovery, please complete this form.

Download the new Recovery for Resiliency Roadmap: A Toolkit for Economic Development Preparedness published by BCEDA