Economic Disaster Recovery

Economic Disaster Recovery Program

Following the 2013 devastating floods in Alberta, the British Columbia Economic Development Association (BCEDA) reached out to our counterparts in Alberta – Economic Developers Alberta (EDA) and offered assistance in the development and implementation of and Economic Disaster Recovery Project (EDRP).  We offered to build on the work already done by BCEDA in British Columbia following a devastating mill fire in one of our member communities. 

This initiative saw teams of volunteers from BC and Alberta visit ten different communities to develop plans for the community to follow to help rebuild the local economy.  Recommendations were also sent to the Government of Alberta and recommendations will be provided the Government of British Columbia in the fall of 2014.  These recommendations lay out specific initiatives that the Province of BC could do to better assist communities to recover from a major disaster.

As part of the EDRP, BCEDA and EDA developed the following Economic Disaster Recovery Toolkit.  Click here for Press Release. The Economic Disaster Recovery Toolkit (Canadian Version) has been funded in part by the following EDRP partners: The Government of Alberta, Ministry of Innovation and Advanced Education; RBC; Shell Canada Limited; the Canadian Red Cross; and the Consulate General of the United States of America, Calgary.

The EDRP team also partnered with the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), based in Washington, D.C., and its “Restore Your Economy” team to obtain additional economic disaster recovery resources and expertise.  As a result, we are pleased to present a Canadian Version of a similar toolkit that was prepared and launched by IEDC in June 2014 titled “Leadership in the time of crisis”. We thank IEDC for allowing us to use and customize their content to the Canadian context. While many U.S. case studies are still included in this toolkit, we have tried to insert Canadian examples where possible.  Disasters are universal and whether it was in the US, Canada or elsewhere, the steps to recovery are virtually the same.  The difference may be in the level of support provided by Federal or Provincial agencies in the recovery efforts. 

We hope this toolkit provides you with the motivation and information needed for local communities to begin the process of better planning for recovery following a disaster.

Over time, BCEDA will continue to develop additional resources and linkages to tools that will help communities overcome a disaster.   As resources are made available we plan on creating a one-stop shop of disaster preparedness and post-disaster economic recovery resources, tools, event announcements as well as opportunities to connect with peers through social media groups.   Working with our other partners, like IEDC, this section of our website will expose readers to the critical issues and challenges, highlights lessons learned in the response and recovery process, as well as suggest resources and best practices to use in restoring the local economy after a disaster. This will include articles, whitepapers, presentations, briefings, documents, website links, and other relevant resources to assist your community in the disaster preparedness or recovery process.


The Recovery and Resiliency Roadmap - A Toolkit for Economic Preparedness.pdf


Chapters (the following links will allow you to download each specific chapter)

  1. Toolkit Introduction (overview, economic development challenges and issues with disasters, assessing the damage, federal aid, etc)
  2. Disaster Overview (trends and impacts, types and phases of disasters, disaster declaration, role of government)
  3. Disaster Preparation Measures – Building Capacity for Recovery (organization business continuity, engaging business community, training for small business, communication before a disaster, resources)
  4. Small Business Assistance (Business recovery centres, financing for small business)
  5. Business Retention and Expansion Before and After a Disaster (BRE, disaster preparedness activities for BRE, Strategies for retaining business after a disaster, Financing)
  6. Assessing the Economic Impacts of a Major Disaster (Impact studies, stakeholders and their roles, timing, process of conducting impact studies)
  7. Crisis Communications (Audiences, Creating a strategy before a crisis, maintaining communication channels, dispelling rumors, unified responses, external communications)
  8. Navigating the Federal System of Disaster Assistance Programs
  9. Strategic Planning for Disaster Recovery
  10. Distressed Neighborhood Revitalization Post Disaster
  11. Economic Diversification after a Disaster


Organizational Partners



Funding Partners