News + Updates

Since May 1st, when the announcement and press release was issued that BCHA was contracted by Emergency Management and Climate Readiness (EMCR) to lead a pilot project to support Emergency Services in housing evacuees during emergencies, significant work has been done on the Emergency Management Booking Portal (EMBP). We are thrilled with the level of engagement, input, and collaboration with the core partners. I am pleased to share the latest developments on the creation of the booking portal, supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, and Sport (TACS).

The purpose of the portal is to assist Emergency Support Services (ESS) responders and commercial accommodation operators to coordinate, expedite and track accommodation booking for evacuee placement. It is designed to streamline administration of booking commercial accommodation as well as provide a snapshot of the availability as well as rooms booking through administration filters for reporting. Funding for this project has been provided by a grant from EMCR to BCHA. The pilot program will focus on the Central Okanagan region, Kamloops, and Prince George, with the potential of adding additional communities to the system during the Summer of 2024. 

Here’s a roundup of our efforts to date, as we move toward the anticipated launch of June 28, 2024.  

Roundtable Meetings & EMBP Working Group

Through weekly meetings, in-person roundtables and an EMBP working group, the development of technological and administrative systems supporting the booking portal is well underway. This collaborative effort involves input from BCHA, EMCR, TACS, and municipal representatives from Kamloops, Kelowna, Prince George. The Kelowna, Kamloops and Prince George Hotel Associations, Tourism Kelowna, Kamloops and Prince George, Local Emergency Services teams, and Northern BC and Thompson Okanagan Regional Tourism Associations are all contributing. We have received valuable questions, comments, feedback, and insights that have been integral to creating a functional, user-friendly booking portal. I am encouraged by our collaborative efforts and would like to thank everyone who has participated.

Continuous Development

The portal is currently in progress and is continuously being built out and fine-tuned based on the feedback we gather. Our aim is to ensure it meets the needs of all users and functions properly once it goes live. Of course we do anticipate some minor blips along the way but are working to minimize these as the portal gets built and tested. The system developer is Meridian Reservation Systems, who provides the technology to make this possible. The test demo’s have been very well received.

Training and Implementation

The focus is to support ESS teams, ensuring expeditious and accurate booking, training sessions will take place over the next two weeks. This will ensure ESS team leads and supervisors will be well-equipped to use the user-friendly portal and to train their volunteer teams. Additionally, the tourism entities and hotels will all have training sessions for process and ensuring individuals are set up for success to support ESS should it be required.

How Can Your Property Get Involved?

We encourage hotels in the Central Okanagan, Kamloops, and Prince George to participate in the pilot portal. Please reach out to us at to express interest or seek further details.

More information on the portal can be found here.
Key messaging for partners and media are available here.