The Resort Municipality of Whistler’s Emergency Program is responsible for preparing the organization and community for major emergencies and disasters.
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.
Whistler’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan outlines how the municipality would handle a major emergency or disaster in Whistler.
The Resort Municipality of Whistler has also recently updated its Evacuation Plan.
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 local disaster, the upper floor of the Public Safety Building is converted into an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC). BC Ambulance, Vancouver Coastal Health, Whistler Transit Ltd., School District #48, Whistler Search and Rescue and many other agencies have a reserved spot in the EOC to coordinate the emergency response between the various agencies.
Emergency Preparedness Week
The Resort Municipality of Whistler 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 f community members to practice how to stay safe during an earthquake and become more aware about the need for emergency preparedness.
The municipality regularly coordinates emergency mock exercises to confirm and update emergency plans and practice coordinated emergency responses with partner agencies.
- In May 2016, the RMOW participated in a full-scale emergency mock exercise to test the municipal Evacuation Plan.
- In June 2014, the RMOW participated in an interagency wildfire exercise.
- In October 2014, the RMOW participated in an interagency hazardous materials mock exercise at the Whistler Sliding Centre.
In the event of municipal emergency, an Emergency Alert will be posted on the home page of the municipal website whistler.ca. Regular updates and situation reports will be posted on the municipal website as new information becomes available.
Information will be broadcast through local media including radio and television. It is important that people follow any instructions provided.
If you live or work in the area where the emergency is occurring and first responders think you may be at risk, a first responder or municipal official may come to your door. It is important to follow the instructions they give you.
Emergency Social Services
In an emergency or disaster, the Whistler Emergency Social 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 ESS team is comprised of 40 volunteers trained to assist people in emergencies.
Emergency Radio Team
The Whistler Emergency Program includes an Emergency Radio Team (ERT), which includes 12 certified volunteer radio operators, who will provide emergency communications, primarily through amateur radio, if normal communications systems fail.
The ERT team can 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.
During an emergency, the whistler.ca website, social media, and local radio station Mountain FM will be used as the primary information outlets. A public information hotline may also be established during a crisis.
Emergency Preparedness Workshops
The Whistler Emergency program offers free Emergency Preparedness workshops that will help you learn how to:
- Prepare for, respond to and recover from wildfires, floods, earthquakes and other disasters;
- Prepare for your pets in an emergency
- Reduce possible damage to your property
RMOW Emergency Program Coordinator
Emergency Social Services