Building back better: Emergency Management Assistance Program Strategy Guide
First Nations' Emergency Management is a shared responsibility among the First Nation and/or Tribal Council, the federal government, the provincial/territorial government, and most importantly, the individual citizens. When emergency response and recovery goes beyond the capacity and resources of the individual citizens and the First Nations/Tribal Councils, the Emergency Management Assistance Program (EMAP) can be accessed to help deal with the emergency event.
The EMAP serves on reserve residents who have evacuated due to a probable, imminent or an occurring threat; it also serves those on reserve residents that have damages to their primary residence. Finally, this program aims to meet the unique needs of First Nation communities following an emergency event.
Building back better is a guiding principle of the United Nations Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. An analysis of build back better international guidelinesFootnote 1 identifies seven key principles that support community recovery and risk reduction:
- Enhance physical resilience to natural hazards through structural design improvements;
- Employ hazard-based land-use planning for developments
- Provide social, cultural and psychological support to aid community recovery
- Improve the economic climate through livelihood support
- Coordinate multi-disciplinary stakeholders and their functions with clear role allocation for efficient and effective implementation
- The use of legislation and regulations to guide and facilitate recovery operations
- Community consultation, consult and consider community view to provide appropriate solutions
These principles pave the way for the First Nations and government/agency partners to ensure that the implementation of the EMAP is conducted in a clear, organized and culturally sensitive partnership.
To facilitate First Nations' access to comparable emergency services, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) coordinates emergency management service agreements among First Nations, provinces/territories and sometimes third party organizations. These service agreements vary region to region in scope, parties, roles and responsibilities as reflected in the negotiation outcomes for each arrangement. Ultimately, the arrangements ensure that First Nations have access to and are integrated into the provincial/territorial emergency response system.
Where the First Nations are covered by a service agreement in their region, the terms and conditions of that agreement will be read first. This Strategy Guide will, in this case, be used as a guide to address any gaps or issues not covered under the service agreement.
This document is intended to guide Emergency Management personnel in the implementation of the EMAP to support risk reduction and community recovery. With the implementation of this policy document, ISC and the First Nations will have the tools to support First Nations to build back better following an emergency event.
Building back better is a recovery framework that centres on supporting the restoration of communities and assets in a manner that achieves two things:
- Reduces the vulnerability of First Nation communities to disasters
- Strengthens the First Nations' community resilience
First Nations, tribal councils, provincial, territorial and other emergency service partners will be supported to adopt and implement activities that support the EMAP build back better goals.
This Strategy Guide is to be read/used in conjunction with the EMAP Terms and Conditions.
All activities that support risk reduction and community recovery fall under the rubric of either response and recovery of an emergency event. The following provides a list of response and recovery activities as covered under the EMAP:
This section describes activities that address immediate impacts of an emergency event, including, but not limited to social, cultural, and mental health aids available to a community in their response to an emergency event.
- Response Assistance: Clarifies supports available to First Nation communities to respond to imminent or occurring emergency events
- Emergency Social Supports: Short term social supports to ensure the health, safety and cultural well-being of evacuees
- Temporary Displacement Assistance: Supports for individuals who remain evacuated for more than 60 days
- Search and Recovery: Supports efforts to recover an individual (or individuals) when the first response effort is not successful and the well-being of the community remains at risk due to the increased levels of stress.
- Emergency Transportation and Repatriation Assistance: Clarifies the supports available to First Nation communities for emergency transportation and repatriation related expenses
Consists of measures taken post-emergency to repair and restore community conditions to appropriate levels. This rebuilding phase may include a mitigation component to reduce the vulnerability of an impacted First Nation.
- Recovery Assistance: This section provides eligibility criteria for First Nations partners to receive assistance under the EMAP
- Mitigation Measures: This section provides guidance on how the EMAP supports structural design enhancements towards physical resiliency and protection against future emergency events
- Personal Losses: This section provides the process to support community individuals in the recovery of their personal property losses post-emergency event
- Response and Recovery Process Policy: This section outlines the operational and expenditure submission processes for response and recovery activities carried out in the event of a small- or large-scale disaster on reserve
In the event that Emergency Management personnel are unsure of the eligibility of a response or recovery activity as a result of an emergency event, they may forward the question to the Emergency Management Assistance Program's Emergency Management Coordinator of the ISC Regional Offices or Policy Manager at ISC Headquarters.
Response involves the undertaking of appropriate and necessary actions to protect First Nation lives, property, and the environment, and to reduce economic disruption once it is determined that an emergency event is imminent or occurring. The EMAP Response Assistance Policy provides assistance to First Nation communities who incur incremental costs during the response phase of an EMAP-eligible emergency event.
The Policy is based on regionally comparable standards but remains flexible to account for the unique needs of First Nation communities as guided by community leadership, officials, and members. The Policy should be read in conjunction with the EMAP's Terms and Conditions and the policy suite, Building Back Better: A Strategy Guide for Emergency Management Assistance Program Response and Recovery Supports.
Response to imminent threat versus Response to occurring event
In the context of EMAP, emergency event response costs fall under two categories:
- Response to imminent threat: An imminent threat can be defined as an emergency event that has a high probability of occurring in the near future. The identification of an imminent threat may trigger pre-emptive actions aimed at mitigating more substantial potential damages.
- Response to occurring event: Response activities consist of actions designed to protect health and safety and address the short-term effects and consequences of an emergency on community members, culturally significant lands (i.e. burial sites, etc.), or community infrastructure or homes. Response includes but is not limited to: agency response, resource coordination, organizational structure, protection and warning systems and communications.
Overview of the Response Assistance Policy
First Nation communities are eligible to receive Response Assistance through the Policy for all individuals who normally reside on reserve, regardless of whether or not they have Indian status. Where First Nation individuals and/or individuals who normally reside on reserve have insurance that covers any eligible services, they will not be eligible for reimbursement through the Policy for the supports that are already covered by their insurance agency, a third-party service provider or another authority or program.
EMAP-eligible costs are available for all types of primary home occupancy arrangements on reserve, band-owned critical infrastructure on reserve as well as culturally significant community infrastructure (i.e. graveyards, etc.).
Response costs should align with provincial rates, but remain flexible to account for the unique needs of First Nation communities as guided by community leadership, officials and members. For instance, increased costs associated with remoteness and/or with lack of or limited access to provincial equipment and/or services may be considered eligible.
To the best of their ability, and to avoid the risk of assuming full or partial costs, First Nations partners and ISC personnel should maintain early and frequent communications to ensure that communities are aware of and in alignment with the policies and eligibility parameters of the EMAP's Terms and Conditions to ensure that they receive appropriate compensation for activities incurred to respond to an imminent or occurring threat. Prior concurrence from ISC regional and/or Headquarters personnel is strongly recommended before any emergency response expense is engaged to confirm eligibility of costs. Emergency response activities should also be authorized by a Band Official and align with provincially comparable standards and/or Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) guidelines.
Response to imminent threat
Process and Timeline
- Identification of an imminent threat
First Nation partners, ISC personnel and, in some cases, provincial/territorial authorities, should work together to identify any imminent threat or risk which could potentially exacerbate an emergency event and/or impact the health and safety or critical infrastructure of a First Nation community. It is strongly recommended that the identification of the imminent threat be confirmed by a report from another relevant authorityFootnote 1 detailing the issue, identifying the potential hazard and laying out options for addressing it while ensuring that any pre-emptive actions taken will not create problems elsewhere or at a later time.
- Confirmation of imminent threat and eligibility of pre-emptive actions
ISC's Regional Emergency Management Coordinator and Headquarters discuss the necessity of pre-approving emergency response activity costs to help the community address the imminent threat and mitigate future consequences (refer to Eligible Costs below).
Pre-approved response activities should align with EMAP's Term and Conditions, provincial norms and/or TBS guidelines, and should be mindful of potential cross-sector funding overlap with other Departmental programs as well as other potential imminent response activities conducted within the province or territory.
- Identification and addressing imminent risk factors in partnership with at-risk First Nations
ISC's Regional Office will work with at-risk First Nation partners to identify localized risk factors and coordinate appropriate response activities along with relevant partners and third party service providers. ISC's Regional Office can provide at-risk communities with information about the available pre-approved supports and work with them to ensure they receive appropriate compensation for activities incurred to respond to an imminent threat.
- Response to imminent threat process and project completion
Once the imminent threat is confirmed and at-risk infrastructure has been identified based on risk assessments and local knowledge of the community, ISC's Regional Office assesses proposals or cost submissions for pre-emptive activities received from identified at-risk First Nation communities based on the pre-approved supports confirmed in phase two. If needed, ISC's Regional Office can arrange advance payment for the costs associated with responding to the imminent threat as per Departmental policies, based on estimates. As per the normal funding process, the First Nation will be reimbursed 100% of the eligible incurred costs once invoices for the completed activities are submitted to the Department upon the completion of response activities.
Response to occurring event
Process and Timeline
During an emergency event that threatens the health, safety and holistic well-being of First Nation members, critical infrastructure, or cultural sites, the impacted First Nation(s), ISC personnel and third party service providersFootnote 2 should work together to assess the situation, determine effective and rapid response approaches, and ensure ongoing program and service delivery to the community in line with conventional service standards.
Compliance with Evacuations Orders
In acknowledgement of the inherent rights of First Nations leadership and officials, and their knowledge of the vulnerabilities and strengths of their communities, First Nations are the authority when it comes to declaring evacuation orders or alerts within their communities. First Nations, ISC officials, and provincial and third party partners should work collaboratively when emergency threats are identified or occurring to determine an effective approach to secure the health and safety of community members. This may involve sheltering in place or undertaking response activities such as full or partial evacuations. In all response activities, whether the community elects to shelter in place or engage in other response activities, all partners should consider and accommodate the unique needs and disaster-related risks of priority and vulnerable individuals, including children, the elderly, and those with health challenges, in order to avoid undue harm. It is also recommended that evacuation orders or alerts be validated by technical advice and/or level of risk or threat.
Under the federal Emergencies Act (1985), ISC officials can recommend an evacuation order but have no authority to legally bind a First Nation community or individuals to comply with an evacuation order, unless the emergency event is declared a public welfare emergency as per section 6 (1) of the Emergencies Act (1985). Therefore, in cases of emergency events falling outside of the category of public welfare emergency, partners should work collaboratively to support communities and their membership in safely responding to an emergency event.
If an evacuation order is declared in a particular region and community members and/or leadership have decided to remain in their community, parties may wish to incorporate the use of waivers of provision and understanding which could be signed by community leadership and/or members to confirm that they are aware of and acknowledge the risks.
Eligible expenditures include the labour, management and equipment costs incurred by the operating authority, including First Nations themselves, to respond effectively to an emergency, protect people and infrastructures, and properly control and mitigate damages.
Eligible costs include, but are not limited to:
- Labour costs
- Incremental wage costs, including mandatory employment related costs such as Canada pension plan (CPP), employment insurance (EI), workers compensation (WC) (for temporary new hire for period of emergency and/or for overtime related to the EMAP-eligible emergency event for existing employees);
- Incremental costs related to the care, feeding and accommodation of human resources, specialist contractors, consultants, etc.Footnote 3.
- Equipment rental costsFootnote 4
- Rental or purchaseFootnote 5 of special equipment required to respond to emergency event (i.e. Excavator; Single or Double Axel; Grader; Dozer; Loader; 4x4 Pilot Truck; etc.);
- Rental of vehicles required to respond to emergency event (i.e. aircrafts, trucks, etc.)Footnote 6;
- Cost of fuel for response vehicles;
- Cost of insurance for rental equipment and vehicles.
- Costs associated with responding to an imminent threat
- Costs for pre-emptive measures such as snow removal around houses and critical infrastructuresFootnote 7, ditch and culvert clearing, purchase and installation of culvert gates, sandbagging, ice breaking, rental/purchase of residential sump pumps for flood-prone houses, control burnFootnote 8, fire breaks/guards, clearing debris around houses, boarding up windows; etc.
- Other costs
- Evacuation costsFootnote 9;
- Shipment of food and water into community to respond to a threat to provision of necessities as a result of an eligible emergency eventFootnote 10;
- Administrative fees (EMAP will only consider administrative fees that are included in the proponents' initial, approved proposal).
Ineligible items include, but are not limited to:
- Response activities meant to protect secondary residences (i.e. cottages, etc.);
- Capital maintenance repairs and equipment purchaseFootnote 11, including for vehicle(s), special equipment or medical equipment.
Emergency social supports
Overview of emergency social supports
All on reserve residents, regardless of Indian status and/or Band membership, are eligible to receive emergency social supports.
An evacuation (full or partial) is necessary when the health, safety, and/or general well-being of an individual or community are threatened as a result of an emergency event (e.g. flood, wildland fire, tornado, hurricane, etc.). The EMAP supports First Nations by funding emergency social supports to on-reserve residents for the duration of an emergency event, up to a maximum of 60 business days from the first day of an evacuation; funded social supports include accommodation, transportation, food, incidentals, clothing, health and mental wellness supports, etc. When the evacuation exceeds 60 business days, the Temporary Displacement Assistance policy applies; this longer-term support includes accommodation, seasonal clothing, and health and mental wellness supports.
ISC Regional Offices are responsible for ensuring that every First Nation community is provided with information about what supports are available to them in the event of an emergency; this includes the program criteria that provides the First Nations with what they will be financially covered for and what conditions need to be met to ensure the financial coverage.
Early and frequent communications between the ISC Regional Offices and the First Nations, prior to and during an emergency event, are important to ensure First Nations' awareness and alignment with this Strategy Guide and the EMAP Terms and Conditions. This will also help to ensure that First Nations avoid the risk of assuming full or partial costs in the event of a self-evacuation.
Where First Nation individuals and/or on-reserve residents have insuranceFootnote 2 that covers any eligible services, they will not be eligible for reimbursement through the EMAP for the supports that are covered by their insurance agencyFootnote 3.
EMAP Emergency Social Support will be accessible to First Nation residents under the following criteria:
- The evacuation from a primary residence was in response to an emergency eventFootnote 4 which posed an imminent threat to the health and safety of the on-reserve residents; and,
- The evacuated individuals are registered as evacuees with the province/territory, third-party service provider (e.g. the Canadian Red Cross), or through the First Nation/Tribal Council, and the list is provided to ISC's Regional Office.
The objective of EMAP is to ensure that First Nations have access to comparable services to those provided to off-reserve residents pursuant to provincial or territorial standards. Where provincial/territorial rates are not available, the Government of Canada's National Joint Council's Travel Directive for accommodations, meals and incidental rates and allowances will be applied.
The EMAP will reimburse the First Nation/Tribal Council or third party service provider for up to 100% of the eligible associated costs related to the evacuation.
Guidelines for registration on evacuation lists
When it is safe and reasonable to do so, the EMAP requires the evacuated community's officials or the designated third party organization to provide the following:
- The number of individuals evacuated
- Household information: including the names and ages of all household residents and the identification of each head of household
- Identification of the house/residence (e.g. street name/house number) in which they were residing (for verification purposes in the recovery process).
This information will assist in the effective administration of the emergency social supports during evacuations and during community recovery.
In the event that community residents are away from the community at the time of an evacuation, these community residents can be added to the evacuation list. Example registration form can be provided by Emergency Management Assistance Program's Emergency Management Coordinator of the ISC Regional Offices or Policy Manager at ISC Headquarters.
In order to receive emergency social supports and temporary displacement assistance, evacuated community residents must be on the evacuee list.
Under EMAP, the following Emergency Social Supports may be eligible for reimbursement:Footnote 5
- transportation from the evacuated community to a safe location (e.g. host community) in circumstances where individuals do not have their own means of transportation
- air transportation for remote fly-in communities
- transportation to reunite family members separated during an evacuation
- transportation within host community (e.g. for medical appointments)
- food per diems or meals (amounts provided will align with provincial/territorial rates if available, or federal travel directives)
- game meat and other traditional foods can be sourced at an extra expense for groups at evacuation centres (this includes costs associated with accessing a facility to prepare the traditional foods, where available)
- per diems for personal hygiene products and infant care items (e.g. diapers, formula, laundry supplies)
- where individuals had to evacuate suddenly and were not able to pack, seasonal clothing may be considered eligible on a one-time basisFootnote 8
6. Health & Mental Wellness Supports:
- where on-site supports are unavailable or oversubscribed, mental health counselling services and access to medical and First Aid servicesFootnote 9
- culturally appropriate healing services
- family reunification services
7. Special Services:
- child-friendly spaces (e.g. recreational activities, etc.)
- child care services
- child-specific counselling services
- language translation services
- navigational supports/services to assist individuals in the host community
- security costs at evacuation centers
- transitional educational services
- animal care for pets (e.g. pet food, boarding)
- costs associated with tending to livestock on rural properties on-reserve
9. Supports for Utilities during Evacuation
During evacuations, First Nation residents will be asked to leave utilities (heating) on in their homes and community buildings (e.g. band offices, water plants, schools, etc.). This will help to prevent ancillary damage to the structure, such as pipes freezing, food spoiling, rust and mould due to moisture build up, and foundation or structural damages.
Where an emergency event causes damage to homes and/or community buildings and it is clear that the damage is beyond repair, utilities do not need to be left on.
Utility supports for evacuated homes/buildings during an emergency event may be eligible under the following circumstances:
- A home remains vacant after an evacuation due to damages caused by an emergency event.
- The utilities (heating/electricity) must remain on to prevent further damages until repairs can be completed or the home is determined to be unsalvageable.
- Reimbursement will only be eligible from the start of the first billing cycle after the evacuation occurred until either:
10. Child-Friendly Spaces
In the event of an emergency evacuation, child-friendly spaces are an eligible emergency social support under EMAP. A child-friendly space is a program that supports the resilience, health and well-being of evacuated children and youth and is conducted in a safe, child-friendly and stimulating environment.
Child-friendly spaces can reduce the risk of physical and psychological harm that whole communities are exposed to following an emergency event. The program will strive for the introduction of normal routine for the children and youth, expand an evacuee's support network, and reduce the risk of physical harm/injury (the potential for mistreatment has been proven to increase during periods of high stress and social dislocation). Child-friendly spaces also provide parent(s)/guardian(s) with respite from their children so they might have time to access support services for their own well-being, and/or tend to some emergency-related responsibilities.
11. Cultural Continuity
Cultural continuity during the aftermath of an emergency is also essential for an individual's health and well-being. EMAP emergency social supports will reimburse for costs related to access to traditional foods, traditional counselling/healing, language translation, etc. during an evacuation.
Temporary displacement assistance
Temporary Displacement Assistance is provided through EMAP for community residents evacuated from their primary residence for more than 60 days. This assistance is intended to align with, and support First Nations' recovery process and ensure that timelines are consistent with the inspection report. See section Recovery Assistance below.
Following the initial 60 day period,Footnote 12 the evacuation will transition into an expected and/or planned long-term event. The EMAP's emergency social supports will continue to be provided, but pursuant to the Temporary Displacement Assistance policy.
Continued income support is also available to individuals in need; the process to ensure this will be determined through departmental consultation with the impacted community leadership and/or administration.
EMAP will reimburse up to 100% of eligible Temporary Displacement Assistance expenses based on the program's Terms and Conditions.
First Nations may be eligible for EMAP's Temporary Displacement Assistance, under the following criteria:
- an emergency event threatening the health and safety of on-reserve residents exceeds 60 days
- the First Nation requires extended evacuee services beyond 60 days to repair damages to homes and/or critical infrastructure prior to returning home; in this case, the First Nation officials will need to provide requirements outlined in Recovery Assistance below
Eligible Temporary Displacement Assistance may include the following supports:
- Accommodation (wherever possible, accommodation should be a rental home/apartment and not a hotel or group lodging arrangement)
- Utilities and telephone bills may be eligible
- For evacuations exceeding 60 days, a clothing allowance may be eligible (amounts must align with provincial/territorial rates where available and will be deducted from personal losses claims — see section (Personal Losses below).
- Seasonal clothing (e.g. winter coats, hats, boots, etc.) may be eligible on a one-time basis as required
- Laundry may be eligible if use of a washer/dryer is not available in rental accommodation
- Health and Mental Wellness Supports:
- Where on-site supports are unavailable or oversubscribed, mental health counselling services (e.g. for post-traumatic stress disorder, general anxiety disorder, panic disorder, etc.)
- Culturally appropriate counselling/healing services
- Exceptional Circumstances:Footnote 13
- Travel costs to ensure effective disaster recovery (e.g. travel of Chief and Council to host communities or to community for essential meetings or inspections for recovery planning, governance capacity building, etc.)
- Individual travel costs for burials and family reunification
- Special Services
- a. Child-friendly spaces (e.g. recreational activities such as movie nights, child care services in child friendly spaces, etc.) to a maximum of $500 per child per year on a prorated basis, not including regular child daycare
- Language translation services
- Transitional educational services
Cultural continuity and wellness services for evacuations exceeding 60 days
In circumstances where First Nations are displaced from their community as a result of an emergency event for more than 60 days, support to fund cultural services/activities may be provided. The provision of this service can assist community residents in dealing with the stress associated with displacement. The correlation between displacement due to emergency events and stress is well documented internationally.Footnote 14
Requests for services and/or activities under this heading will be considered case-by-case based on the criteria provide below. There is no established list of eligible services or activities under this heading by design. The criterion respects the diversity among First Nations, and in doing so, it is for the community to identify their own cultural and mental wellness needs while dealing with displacement from their communities.
Evacuated community officials will be asked to provide the following to meet program eligibility for cultural or recreational activities and/or services:
- What is the activity/service and how it will support cultural continuity and/or reduce psychosocial stress?
- What is the estimated number of the participants?
- Who is the target audience (e.g. children, youth, adults, seniors, etc.)?
- What are the estimated costs of the activity?
- What are the event dates?
- What are the planned activities?
- How will the activity/service be implemented?
- Does the activity involves returning to traditional territories?
- How is the health, safety, accommodation and other basic needs of the participants being addressed?
- Did the Chief and/or Council provide a signature of support?
Cultural continuity and mental wellness requests will be directed to the Emergency Management Coordinator of the ISC Regional Offices for handling. Upon request, a form for Funding Application for Cultural and Recreational Services will be provided by the Emergency Management Coordinator of the ISC Regional Offices to support the First Nation in the application process. ISC will notify the First Nation official(s) about service/activity eligibility review findings within 5 business days.
Emergency Management Assistance Program's search and recovery policy
Search and recovery versus search and rescue
Search and Rescue in Canada is a shared responsibility among federal, provincial/territorial and municipal organizations; the mandated federal departments include: Public Safety Canada; the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; the Canadian Armed Forces; and, the Canadian Coast Guards. ISC has no official role in Search and Rescue activities within Canada.
Search and Recovery is a distinguished effort that commences when Search and Rescue has ceased due to the unlikelihood of finding the person(s) alive. ISC, under compassionate grounds, may fund Search and Recovery efforts for First Nation communities once all Search and Rescue efforts have ceased.
Criteria for Search and Recovery:
- The lost/missing person normally resides on reserve
- The person is believed to have gone missing within the vicinity or surrounding areas of the First Nation's land baseFootnote 15
- The decision to transition from Search and Rescue to Search and Recovery has been done jointly in consultations among the Band officials, the Search and Rescue (SAR) officials and ISC officials (recovery activities may also be impacted by weather conditions)
- The Band will provide confirmation that the Search and Rescue efforts have ceased and will submit a formal request to ISC to support the Search and Recovery efforts, the estimated costs
- for health and safety considerations, trained Search and Recovery personnel should be used to lead the extended search
- Volunteers are required to be certified and trained for Search and Recovery (or Search and Rescue)
- The length of the recovery efforts will be determined in consultation with the Band officials, the Search and Recovery officials and ISC. Extensions of the effort will be reviewed every seven days
The following costs are eligible for reimbursement by ISC:
- aircraft costs (plane, helicopter, pilot, fuel, drones)
- cost of fuel for recovery vehicles only (i.e. boat, truck, 4 x 4, ski-doo)
- divers (travel, accommodation, food)
- liability insurance for trained volunteer search and recovery personnel
- professional search and recovery specialist
- food for the recovery teams (professionals and volunteers)
- repairs for rented search equipment damaged during the search and recovery operation
For clarity, the following costs are not eligible for reimbursement by ISC:
- medical (equipment, transportation, treatment)Footnote 16
- travel cost for family members of the lost/missing person(s)
- band employee services (to be considered as volunteer)
- remuneration for volunteers
- renting of vehicles other than those specific to the recovery operation;
- administration and operational costs
- funeral costs
- personal items
The ISC Regional office will submit, on behalf of the First Nation(s), the request, including invoices, for reimbursement of eligible costs to the Emergency Management Directorate at ISC Headquarters.
Emergency Transportation and Repatriation Assistance
The EMAP Emergency Transportation and Repatriation Assistance Policy provides assistance to First Nation communities who incur transportation expenses related to the coordination and/or support of emergency evacuations and repatriation activities related to an EMAP-eligible emergency event. The Policy is based off of regionally comparable standards but remains flexible to account for the unique needs of First Nation communities as guided by community leadership, officials, and members. The Policy provides clarity to First Nation partners, regional coordinators, and third party partners on the eligibility parameters and the Program's authority to provide assistance to First Nations communities who incur costs related to emergency transportation and repatriation. The Policy should be read in conjunction with the EMAP's Terms and Conditions and the policy suite, Building Back Better: A Strategy Guide for Emergency Management Assistance Program Response and Recovery Supports.
Overview of the Emergency Transportation and Repatriation Assistance Policy
The assistance is available to First Nations communities who have incurred transportation expenses related to the evacuation of community residents from their primary on-reserve residence due to an imminent or existing threat to health and safety and who are registered on an approved Band, third-party service provider, or regional evacuation list. This assistance is not based on financial needs of the community or the individuals the community is assistingFootnote 12. As per the normal funding process, the Program can provide this assistance to First Nation communities, not individuals. Individual claims for transportation and repatriation assistance should be directed to community leadership, who then can submit requests for assistance to the Program. Assistance is also available to third party service providers or support personnel who are authorized by the community or another authority to assist with the evacuation or to accompany evacuees when these costs are not supported under another authority (i.e., personal support workers, guardians, or family members of vulnerable personsFootnote 13). The community is eligible to receive support through the Policy for all individuals who normally reside on reserve, regardless of whether or not they have Indian status. If an individual was not in the affected community at the time of the event prompting evacuation, but has since been added to an approved evacuation list, the community is also eligible to receive assistance for the safe evacuation or repatriation of this individual(s) too. Communities are eligible to receive additional repatriation assistance to support the safe evacuation or repatriation of individuals who are unable to travel at the agreed upon time of evacuation or repatriation as determined by the emergency management coordinating authority(ies) due to an unanticipated and/or uncontrollable circumstance (i.e. a medical or family emergency).
The supports offered through this Policy are available to evacuated First Nations communities who incur incremental transportation costs associated with response- and recovery-related travel and transportation, when not already covered by a third-party service provider or another authority. For long-term evacueesFootnote 14, this includes costs associated with the transportation of basic and essential personal property and furnishings during the repatriation phase if evacuees purchased such items for their temporary accommodations.Footnote 15
To the best of their ability, and to avoid the risk of assuming full or partial costs, ISC personnel and First Nations partners should maintain early and frequent communications to ensure that communities are aware of and in alignment with the Program's policies and the eligibility parameters of the EMAP's Terms and Conditions. Costs which fall outside the eligibility parameters and authorities of the Program will not be eligible for reimbursement.
Eligible Costs for Evacuations
- Transportation Costs associated with Evacuating during Short and Long-Term Evacuations:
- Travel Costs: Transportation costs incurred by communities who are experiencing an EMAP-eligible emergency event and who are supporting and/or coordinating the safe evacuation of community members due to an imminent or existing threat to health and safety. This may include chartered transportation services, fuel costs, and other necessary costs associated with renting or procuring evacuee transportation as determined jointly by First Nation partners and Program personnel.
- Transportation of Necessities: The transportation of immediate necessities and essential baggage which adheres to the standardized weight and size limits stipulated by the third-party transportation service provider (i.e. airlines, chartered bus services, etc.)Footnote 16.
- Unidentified Basic and Essential Items: The transportation of basic and essential items which are not identified within regional schedules of losses or ISC's Damage Assessment Package or which exceed third party standardized weight and size limits may be eligible when justification is provided. This may include, but is not limited to:
- Child care necessities
- Medical supplies which are not covered under another program or authority (i.e. First Nations and Inuit Health Branch)
- Transportation Costs while Evacuated for Short and Long-Term Emergency Evacuations:
- Medical Transportation: Costs associated with medical transportation for evacuated individuals and communities, or the transportation of medically essential items, may be eligible when these costs are not covered under another authorityFootnote 17, including the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch.
- Post-event recovery activities: Costs associated with returning to an evacuated community to participate in recovery activities. This includes, but is not limited to, travel to establish a recovery plan, assess damages, and meet with community officials or industry experts to document claims, among other relevant recovery activities.
- Travel for Cultural Continuity and Wellness: Travel costs associated with culturally significant or wellness activities as detailed in the Emergency Social Supports Policy and the Temporary Displacement Assistance Policy of the Building Back Better Strategy Guide may be eligible.
- Animals and Livestock: Costs associated with transporting animals (including emotional support or service animals) and livestock to and from kennels or other accommodations for the duration of the evacuation may be considered where these costs are not covered under another program or authority.
- Transportation Costs associated with Repatriation for Short-Term EvacueesFootnote 18:
- Travel Costs: Transportation costs incurred by communities who are coordinating and/or supporting repatriation activities following an imminent or existing threat to health and safety. This may include chartered transportation services, fuel costs, and insurance for rented vehicles.
- Transportation of Necessities: The transportation of immediate necessities which adhere to the standardized weight and size limits stipulated by the third-party transportation service provider (i.e. airlines, chartered bus services, etc.)Footnote 19.
- Unidentified Basic and Essential Items: The transportation of basic and essential items which are not identified within regional schedules of losses or ISC's Damage Assessment Package of the Building Back Better Strategy Guide or which exceed third party standardized weight and size limits may be eligible when justification is provided. This may include, but is not limited to:
- Child care necessities
- Transportation Costs associated with Repatriation for Long-Term EvacueesFootnote 20:
- Transportation of Necessities: Communities are eligible to receive transportation assistance for long-term evacuees to return basic and essential itemsFootnote 21 to their community once their primary residence has been repaired or restored. For remote or fly-in communities for which chartered flights are required, individuals are entitled to transport all basic and essential items home. Flight sizes will be determined based on repatriation and flight logistics and community needs.
- Items which do not constitute Basic and Essential Items: Costs associated with transporting additional items that do not fit in the procured truck or chartered flights and which are not considered basic and essential necessities as detailed in regional schedules of losses or ISC's Damage Assessment Package of the Building Back Better Strategy Guide are the responsibility of the community, family, or individual. If the additional items constitute basic and essential necessities (i.e. medical equipment) transportation costs may be eligible with supporting justification and provided that they are not covered under another authority or program.
Non-Eligible Travel and Transportation Costs for Short & Long-Term Evacuees
Ineligible items include, but are not limited to:
- Additional costs incurred for transporting overweight or oversized luggage or excess baggage which does not constitute a basic and essential necessity as identified in regional schedules of losses or ISC's Damage Assessment Package of the Building Back Better Strategy Guide and for which no justification is provided.
- The transportation of business and/or recreational items such as carpentry tools or outdoor equipment for which no justification is provided.
- Non-essential travel costs and/or transportation of goods to and from the community during the evacuation (except when defined as eligible within this policy or other policies included in the Building Back Better Strategy Guide).
- Transportation costs for persons who have missed flights scheduled as part of an agreed upon repatriation plan or scheduled repatriation transportation outside of an agreed upon repatriation plan without supporting justification (i.e. a family or medical emergency, or another unanticipated and uncontrollable circumstance).
- Incremental costs associated with self-evacuating to locations other than the community-approved shelter or community when supporting justification is not providedFootnote 22.
Emergency event recovery costs, under the Emergency Management Assistance Program (EMAP), are eligible under this policy if recovery efforts are valued at less than $10 million. Community recovery projects estimated over $10 million are subject to the Response and Recovery Process Policy.
In the context of the EMAP, recovery refers to the measures taken after an emergency event to repair and restore impacted community infrastructures. This rebuilding phase may include a mitigation component to reduce vulnerabilities. The affected First Nation is responsible for taking the necessary actions to ensure that the community and/or its properties can be restored to pre-disaster condition.
To receive EMAP funding for an emergency recovery project, the First Nation is required to obtain, and provide to ISC, an inspection report that details the damages caused by the emergency event on primary residences or infrastructure. Secondary residences, such as cottages, are not considered eligible.
Recovery activities involving the complete rebuilding of infrastructure are eligible for EMAP funding. To replace pre-existing infrastructure, EMAP funds are transferred and delivered under ISC's Capital Maintenance and Facilities Program and authorities.
Damages sustained on First Nation infrastructure from an emergency event may often require only repairs, rather than a complete replacement/rebuilding. Repair or restoration of housing and infrastructure may include mitigation recovery measures which reduce the long-term vulnerabilities of an impacted structure. For major repair and restoration projects which are eligible for EMAP funds, ISC's Capital authority must be used.
EMAP-eligible costs are available for all types of home occupancy arrangements on reserve (i.e. private ownership, rental regime, social housing).
Under the EMAP, mitigation measures refer to activities that are designed to eliminate or reduce the impact of future emergency events on primary residences in order to protect lives, property, the environment and to reduce economic disruption.
Non-structural mitigation measures during a recovery project can include activities undertaken to reduce or avoid possible impacts of future emergency events, and include the application of engineering techniques to achieve hazard-resistance and resilience in structures or systems. This includes better design and construction of buildings to make them more resilient to potential emergency events and/or hazards.
Eligible alterations in a repair or rebuild may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- underground pipes to prevent freeze damage
- elevating flood-prone structures
- bracing buildings for wind damage
- using mould resistant drywall, weeping tile, weather resistant shingles, etc.
- building homes without basements to prevent future flooding
- adding design upgrades as mitigative enhancements over and above strictly complying with current building codes requirements
Other eligible recovery mitigative enhancements that may be eligible for inclusion in a community's Emergency Management Assistance Program recovery plan are:
- Modification of the hazard including removing, eliminating or reducing the size of the hazard. Examples include:
- preventing slope erosion by planting vegetation
- deepening or dredging water channels to improve water flow
- Segregate the hazard by keeping it away from people and assets. For example, include, as part of land-use planning, create buffer zones around hazard sites.
Structural mitigation measures, which are available through ISC's capital authority, are not eligible through the EMAP. If structural enhancements are recommended by a qualified professional (i.e. capital equipment purchase or permanent protective infrastructure that did not exist before an emergency event) the enhancements may be considered eligible under other federal programs, including the Capital Facilities and Maintenance Program Structural Mitigation Program: the First Nation Infrastructure Fund.
Recovery assistance and mitigation measures funding requirements and process
Following an emergency event that causes property and/or infrastructure damage, the impacted First Nation(s) and ISC officials work together to assess the situation, determine effective approaches to repair the damages and ensure ongoing program and service delivery to the community.
The impacted First Nation will need to obtain a certified inspection report of damages (outlined below under Process). To be eligible for the EMAP funding, the First Nation's certified inspection report will need to include recommended mitigation measures. The First Nation will also need to provide a recovery plan with a detailed design, timelines for construction with major milestones, a cost-benefit analysis and a value for money analysis for the proposed mitigation measures. The recovery plan should be provided to ISC, in the form of a written proposal, within 60 days after it has been deemed safe to return to the community. Professional costs related to the development of the recovery plan are eligible for reimbursement.
Enhancements that are mainly designed to increase operational capacity (such as traffic volume, productive output), functionality, floor space, or life-cycle duration are not eligible for reimbursement.
The Protocol for INAC — Funded Infrastructure is the Departmental capital planning directive and guidelines for infrastructure remediation policy document that the First Nations will need to comply with for funded mitigation projects.
First Nations with insuranceFootnote 17 may be eligible for reimbursement through the EMAP for the remainder of the amount not covered by their insurance contract or for the deductible.
For large-scale disasters (EMAP-eligible response and recovery cost estimates exceed $10 million for one First Nation), a completed All-Hazards Risk Assessment is required from the First Nation as a part of the recovery project. The cost for this assessment is also an eligible expense for the EMAP reimbursement. An All-Hazards Risk Assessment is also recommended for recovery projects under $10 million.
Process and timelines
ISC's Regional Emergency Management Coordinator will call the impacted First Nation Chief and/or Band official within five (5) business days of emergency event to advise them of the Departmental Emergency Recovery Assistance process. A detailed process check list for First Nations will be provided by the ISC Regional Emergency Management Coordinator for additional guidance on the recovery assistance and mitigation measures processes.
First Nation obtains and submits an inspection report of damages
Post-emergency event, an official assessment report detailing all damages in the community will be required by ISC. The impacted First Nation is responsible for hiring the qualified professionalFootnote 18 with experience and qualifications commensurate with the scope and complexity of the project being undertaken.
The cost of the damage assessment report is eligible for reimbursement through the Emergency Management Assistance Program. Where required, ISC can arrange a 90% advance payment for the inspection costs, based on estimates. To be reimbursed 100% for inspections, the First Nation is required to submit an invoice for the inspection and share the inspection report with ISC.
The damage assessment report is due to the ISC regional office within 60 business daysFootnote 19 from the end of the emergency event. It is recommended that additional available supporting documents be submitted to verify the extent of the damages.Footnote 20
The report should:
- verify that the damages were caused by the emergency event;
- provide estimated costs to repair the damages;
- provide estimated timelines to repair the damages; and
- identify any potential mitigation measures against future emergency disasters.
For extensive mitigation measures, the report should also:
- detail all proposed mitigation measures;
- describe how the identified mitigation measures will improve the community's resiliency to future emergency disasters; and
- provide a detailed description and breakdown of the costs.
A 'Recovery Plan' is also required if the estimated recovery cost (including the estimated costs of long-term evacuation) exceeds $1.5 million. This plan must include:
- Detail of time, activities and expenditures required to restore the community to pre-disaster condition; and
- An engineer's validation of the estimates which should provide the least costly repair option needed to meet statutes, regulations, policies, codes, directives, standards, protocols, specifications, guidelines and procedures applicable to specific capital projects (as listed in the Protocol for Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) — Funded Infrastructure).
ISC review inspection report and identifies a source of funding
ISC will review the damage assessment report and identify a source of funding within 60 business daysFootnote 21 of receiving all required documents from the First Nation applicant, per the Departmental approval process.
ISC's regional office will notify the First Nation in writing on the status of their recovery assistance application once a decision has been determined or within 60 business days of the First Nation submitting all required documents.
Recovery process and project completion
Where applicable, the Protocol for INAC — Funded Infrastructure policy will be used to guide the First Nations' recovery project. Once the recovery project is completed, the First Nation will send a completion certificate and/or final report to the ISC regional office.
It is also recommended that First Nations update (or create) their community's Emergency Management Plan.
Personal losses refer to an individual's basic and essential property from their primary residence that sustained damage due to an EMAP eligible emergency event (flooding, wildland fire, severe storms, earthquakes, etc.). Through EMAP, ISC may reimburse costs incurred by the First Nation residents in the clean-up, restoration, repair, and replacement of basic and essential property.
Home owners and/or tenant insurance provides for recovery costs for losses after an emergency event. The EMAP is not a substitute for private insurance.
Compensation is available to First Nation community residents who do not have insurance that covers the damages to basic and essential personal items that were caused by the emergency event. To be eligible, First Nation residents are required to provide a declaration confirming they do not have insurance for damages to their basic and essential personal items. Community residents with insurance will be required to share a copy of their insurance policy with ISC Departmental officials; insured residents may be eligible for reimbursement through EMAP for the remainder of the amount not covered by their insurance contract. Eligible claims must be the result of the emergency event, confirmed and documented. Upon request, a Damage Assessment Package will be provided by the Emergency Management Coordinator of the ISC Regional Offices to support the First Nation in the process.
Reimbursed amounts will be in accordance with the relevant provincial schedules of losses. It is from these schedules that community residents will identify their losses. In the event that a region (province) does not have a standardized schedule of losses, the Damage Assessment Package provided by the Emergency Management Coordinator of the ISC Regional Offices can be used. If an item is not included in the schedule of losses, but constitutes a basic and essential item for an individual or family, the item may be eligible when supporting justification is provided. For remote communities, extra costs for shipping replaced items will be eligible and amounts will be indexed.
Claiming personal losses: the process
Following an emergency event that causes damages to individuals' personal items, the First Nation Chief and Council and/or Band Administration is responsible for hiring a qualified professionalFootnote 22 with experience and qualifications commensurate with the scope and complexity of the project being undertaken, to assess all damages within the community caused by the emergency event.
Damage Assessment Package
ISC will provide a Damage Assessment Package for the incident. The Chief and CouncilFootnote 23 and/or the Band Administration will ensure that claims in the Damage Assessment Package are verified by a qualified professional (e.g. an inspector/adjustor). The Damage Assessment Package is to be returned to the appropriate ISC regional office once all claims are completed and verified.
Damage Assessment Packages
Damage Assessment Packages will be distributed to community residents on a per family unit basis. A family unit is defined as an adult(s) and their dependents/children that live in a single dwelling. In the event that multiple families reside in one dwelling, one member of the household will be appointed the "head of household" and they will be responsible for submitting claims for major household appliances and communal items that sustain damages during an emergency event (i.e. kitchen appliances, washing machine, dryer, etc.). The other family(ies) that resides in the dwelling will submit claims as "heads of family unit" and will be eligible to receive compensation for their personal items.Footnote 24
Community residents are responsible for making efforts to minimize damage to property once it is safe and reasonable to do so. All repairs and expenses should be documented by the claimant(s) in order to receive compensation. The completed Damage Assessment Package must include a list of damages, photographs of damages, proof of repairs and/or expenses (if already undertaken), and finally, a declaration verifying that the claimant does not have insurance for the incident in question. All Packages must be submitted by the First Nation to the ISC regional office within 60 business days after the threat to life from the emergency event is over and community residents are allowed to access their homes.
ISC evaluation and assessment
Once the Packages have been received, the ISC regional office will conduct a preliminary review of the claims to assess eligibility. The assessment will consist of two stages:
- Confirmation that claimant is eligible for assistance (this may be done through an evacuation list (if evacuated), proof of residency, inspection reports, etc.)
- Review of claims to ensure requested items are eligible for reimbursement; items must constitute basic and essential necessities of life.
Within 60 business days of being received, the regional office will provide compensation funds to the First Nation's Chief and Council and/or Band Administration with a detailed breakdown of the amount allocated for each claimant. Up to 100% of the eligible requested funds will be flowed to the First Nation; the Band is responsible for distributing funds to the appropriate community residents. ISC will require a proof of transfer within 60 business days of the community receiving the transfer, as per the normal reporting process. Once the proof of transfer to individual familiesFootnote 25 is received, requested administrative costs will be provided to the First Nation.
Response and Recovery Process Policy
The purpose of this policy is to outline the operational and expenditure submission processes to be followed when a First Nation experiences an eligible event for which assistance is requested. Processes for both small and large scale emergencies are described.
This Policy should be read in conjunction with the EMAP's Terms and Conditions; the policy suite, Building Back Better: A Strategy Guide for Emergency Management Assistance Program Response and Recovery Supports; and the INAC Directive on Recipient Audit.
Emergency Claims Policy Process — Small Scale Emergencies
Criteria of a Small Scale Emergency
The EMAP process for responding to a small-scale emergency event is triggered when the following conditions are met. Initial cost estimatesFootnote 23 will include response and recovery costs, inclusive of those associated with evacuations and evacuee services.
- Initial cost estimates indicate that the total anticipated EMAP eligible response, recovery, and evacuee related costs that will be incurred in relation to one on-reserve First Nation, in response to one event, will not exceed $10 million in total; OR
- Initial estimates indicate that the total anticipated EMAP eligible response and recovery costs that will be incurred in relation to all on-reserve First Nations impacted by the same event in a specific province or territory, will not exceed $20 million in total; OR
- Initial estimates indicate that the total anticipated EMAP eligible response and recovery costs to be incurred by a single funding recipient in a specific province or territory will not exceed $10 million in a single fiscal year.
Operational Process for Small-Scale Emergencies
Response and recovery procedures will vary from region-to-region, community-to-community, and event-to-event. This policy is meant to serve as a general guideline detailing the recommended steps to be followed for small-scale events. Generally, it is expected that ISC Regional Offices will not require surge capacity support from Headquarters for a small-scale event. However, if the complexity of a small-scale emergency requires it, surge capacity support could be provided upon request.
Small-Scale Response Procedures
- A First Nation(s) which experiences an EMAP eligible emergencyFootnote 24 event should activate its emergency response plan(s).
- At the discretion of the community, and depending on the scope and severity of the threat, the community's response capacity, and the community's emergency plan, the community may contact emergency response partners to support with their response to the emergency. This may include: ISC Regional Office, provincial emergency officials, Tribal Councils, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB), the Canadian Red Cross, or other relevant partners and third party supports.
- If requested, the ISC Regional Office will work with the First Nation(s) and the appropriate partners, to allocate resources and determine what assistance is required to support the coordination of response activities.
- The ISC Regional Office will maintain communication with Headquarters Ops and provide situational awareness, as needed.
- When and where requested by First Nation partners and/or other coordinating authorities, the ISC Regional Office will support with the coordination of recovery activitiesFootnote 25, guided by the policy suite, Building Back Better: A Strategy Guide for Emergency Management Assistance Program Response and Recovery Supports and EMAP's Terms and Conditions.
- When needed, ISC Regional Offices will consult with Headquarters Ops for assistance in determining EMAP eligibility of incidents and/or activities.
Claims Review Process
- Processing Response and Recovery Claims: Claims will be processed in accordance with standardized regional processes and in accordance with the policies outlined in Building Back Better: A Strategy Guide for Emergency Management Assistance Program Response and Recovery Supports.
- Additional Localized Emergencies: A second emergency event that occurs in a First Nation after an initial emergency, for which additional outside support is requested, will be treated as a separate claim from the initial event. The cumulative value of small-scale claims affecting a First Nation or within one region in one fiscal year may affect a decision to deal with these events as a large-scale emergency.
- Auditing: A recipient audit of a small-scale emergency event is not normally required, although an audit may be requested at the direction of the appropriate Departmental authority, if deemed necessary.
In the event that expenses appear to not align with the terms of the funding agreement or EMAP's Terms and Conditions, Headquarters or Regional Office personnel will work with partners to review costs to ensure they fall within the eligibility parameters of the Program and may recommend that an audit be conducted. To the best of their ability, and to avoid the risk of assuming full or partial costs, ISC personnel and First Nations partners should maintain early and frequent communications to ensure that communities are aware of and in alignment with the Program's policies and the eligibility parameters of the EMAP's Terms and Conditions. Costs which fall outside the eligibility parameters and authorities of the Program will not be eligible for reimbursement.
The EMAP encourages and supports impacted communities to develop a recovery project governance framework as part of their recovery activities. The development of the framework is an eligible cost through the EMAP and can be created with reference to the Treasury Board Policy on the Management of Projects and based on the best practices of project management. The framework may authorize the hiring of an event project manager. Depending on the circumstances of the event, a separate project governance framework may be encouraged for each affected First Nation and an individual event project manager may be hired for each First Nation affected by the event.
Emergency Claims Policy Process — Large Scale Emergencies
Criteria of a Large-Scale EmergencyFootnote 26
The EMAP process for responding to a large scale emergency is triggered when one or more of the following conditions are met. Initial cost estimates will include all anticipated response and recovery costs, inclusive of evacuations and evacuee services.
- Initial cost estimates indicate that the total anticipated EMAP eligible response and recovery costs that will be incurred in relation to one on-reserve First Nation, in response to one event, will exceed $10 million; AND/OR
- Initial estimates indicate that the total anticipated EMAP eligible response and recovery costs that will be incurred in relation to all on-reserve First Nations impacted by the same event in a specific province or territory will exceed $20 million; AND/OR
- Initial estimates indicate that the total anticipated EMAP eligible response and recovery costs that will be incurred by a single funding recipient in a specific province or territory will exceed $10 million in a single fiscal year; AND/OR
- The ISC Regional Office indicates that the event, or the cumulative effect of a number of emergency events, exceeds the capacity of regional resources to respond and that surge support from Headquarters is required.
Operational Process for Large-Scale Emergencies
Regional response and recovery procedures will vary from region-to-region, community-to-community, and event-to-event. This policy is meant to serve as a general guideline for the steps to be followed for large-scale events.
In the case of exceptionally large emergency events, it may be necessary to obtain specific authorities for response and/or recovery activities from Senior Departmental Management, the Minister, Treasury Board, and/or Cabinet.
- A First Nation(s) which experiences an EMAP eligible emergency eventFootnote 27 should activate its emergency response plan(s).
- At the discretion of the community, and depending on the scope and severity of the threat and the community's response capacity, the community may contact emergency response partners to support with their response to the emergency. This may include: ISC Regional Office, provincial emergency officials, Tribal Councils, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB), the Canadian Red Cross, or other relevant partners and third party supports.
- If requested, the ISC Regional Office will work with the First Nation(s) and appropriate partners to allocate resources and determine what assistance is required to support the coordination of response activities.
- ISC Regional Offices will maintain communication with Headquarters Ops and provide situational awareness, as needed.
- When and where requested, the ISC Regional Office will support the coordination of recovery activities, guided by the policy suite, Building Back Better: A Strategy Guide for Emergency Management Assistance Program Response and Recovery Supports and EMAP's Terms and Conditions.
- As per the Building Back Better Strategy Guide's Mitigation Measures Policy, a complete all-hazards risk assessment for recovery projects following large-scale emergencies is required as part of the recovery activities in order to mitigate against future risks in the impacted community. The all-hazards risk assessment should be conducted by the First Nation, with the support of ISC or outside professionals if required. The cost for conducting an all-hazards risk assessment is eligible for reimbursement through the EMAP.
- When needed, ISC Regional Offices will consult with Headquarters Ops for assistance in determining EMAP eligibility of incidents and/or activities and may request assistance from Headquarters to provide surge capacity if the event exceeds the capacity of the ISC Regional Office.
The EMAP encourages and supports impacted communities to develop a recovery project governance framework as part of their recovery activities. The development of the framework is an eligible expense through the EMAP and can be created with reference to the Treasury Board Policy on the Management of Projects and based on the best practices of project management. The framework may authorize the hiring of an event project manager. Depending on the circumstances of the event, a separate project governance framework may be encouraged for each affected First Nation and an individual event project manager may be hired for each First Nation affected by the event.
Claims Review Process
- Processing Response and Recovery Claims: Claims will be processed in accordance with standardized regional processes and in accordance with the policies outlined in Building Back Better: A Strategy Guide for Emergency Management Assistance Program Response and Recovery Supports.
- Surge Capacity and Additional Localized Emergencies: If requested by a ISC Regional Office, designated Headquarters personnel may support ISC Regional Office staff, either physically in the ISC Regional Office, or through telework arrangements, until response and recovery activities are complete or until the ISC Regional Office no longer requires support. Surge capacity staff may support operational activities and/or claims processing.
An additional emergency event(s) that takes place after the initial large-scale event will be assessed and processed as a separate file(s). If needed, ISC Headquarters may continue to provide surge capacity support to assist in responding to new emergencies until the Regional Office is able to resume normal operating practices.
- Auditing: Large-scale disasters are subject to financial and operational audits which are conducted in partnership with the Transfer Payments Advisory Service Branch and in accordance with the INAC Directive on Recipient Audit. ISC Headquarters will work with the Transfer Payments Advisory Service Brach to coordinate an audit if required. All funding recipients are subject to being audited, regardless of whether the funding agreement is with a First Nation, provincial or territorial government, or a third party service provider. Such an audit will verify that funds are being used in accordance with the terms of the funding agreement and/or EMAP's Terms and Conditions.
In the event that expenses appear to not align with the terms of the funding agreement or EMAP's Terms and Conditions, or if the total or anticipated total cost of the event exceeds the dollar amounts stipulated above, ISC Headquarters or Regional Office personnel will work with partners, including the Transfer Payments Advisory Service Branch, to review incurred costs to ensure they fall within the eligibility parameters of the Program. To the best of their ability, and to avoid the risk of assuming full or partial costs, ISC personnel and First Nations partners should maintain early and frequent communications to ensure that communities are aware of and in alignment with the Program's policies and the eligibility parameters of the EMAP's Terms and Conditions. Costs which fall outside the eligibility parameters and authorities of the Program will not be eligible for reimbursement.