Emergency program overview

The municipal Emergency Program is responsible for preparing the organization and community for major emergencies and disasters. Details on the various functions of the Emergency Program are described below.

Emergency Plans

Whistler’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) is the Emergency Program’s guiding document and outlines how the municipality will handle a major emergency or disaster in Whistler. There are several Annexes to the CEMP that focus on specific functions or hazards.  These are listed below.

Emergency Planning Committee

The Emergency Planning Committee, a committee of Council, advises Emergency Program staff on matters related to emergency preparedness and response.

Emergency Operations Centre

In the event of a major emergency or disaster, municipal staff are trained to activate the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC)—a facility where key municipal staff and other agencies gather to coordinate an emergency response. Emergency Program staff work in collaboration with local first response agencies (e.g. RCMP, Whistler Fire Rescue Service and the BC Ambulance Service), Emergency Management British Columbia and other community organizations to develop and implement plans to protect the community during major emergencies and disasters. 

Training and exercises

Whistler emergency exercise. Photo credit: Mike Crane

The municipality regularly coordinates emergency mock exercises to confirm and update emergency plans and practice coordinated emergency responses with partner agencies.

Emergency Program Volunteer Teams

The Whistler Emergency Program includes an Emergency Support Services Team and an Emergency Radio Team (ERT). These volunteer groups offer essential services to the RMOW and the public during emergencies.

In an emergency or disaster, the Whistler Emergency Support Services (ESS) team will provide short-term assistance to people in Whistler who are forced to leave their homes because of the event.  This assistance includes food, lodging, clothing, emotional support and family reunification.

The ERT provides emergency communications, primarily through amateur radio, if normal communications systems fail. ERT volunteers provide communications between emergency sites and the Emergency Operations Centre, as well as in neighbourhoods, schools and ESS Reception Centres to coordinate emergency relief efforts.

Public education

The Whistler Emergency Program helps to prepare the community for emergencies through various public education initiatives.

Emergency Preparedness Workshops

The Whistler Emergency program offers free Emergency Preparedness workshops. More information is available View workshop details.  

Emergency Preparedness Week

The Whistler Emergency Program participates annually in Emergency Preparedness Week, a national awareness initiative coordinated by Public Safety Canada in collaboration with the provinces, territories, partners and local governments.

Great BC ShakeOut

The Resort Municipality of Whistler participates in the annual Great BC ShakeOut, the world’s largest earthquake drill. This is an opportunity for community members to practice how to stay safe during an earthquake and become more aware about the need for emergency preparedness.


RMOW Emergency Program