Emergency communications

VECTOR volunteers

The City has a dedicated Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) designed to act as a coordination and communications centre for any large emergency or disaster events that impact Vancouver. It has been designed and built to withstand a major earthquake. 

If telecommunications infrastructure is damaged, telephones, mobile phones, and internet may not work. The City and the Vancouver Police Department have set up a partnership with amateur radio operators called VECTOR. Those in VECTOR have agreed to provide emergency backup communication for the City during a disaster or emergency.

What is VECTOR

VECTOR (Vancouver Emergency Community Telecommunications Organization) is community service organization. The organization includes both licensed amateur radio operators and other communications volunteers

During an emergency, VECTOR will set up communications stations in every reception centre or shelter, and provide communications to Emergency Support Services Headquarters and the City Emergency Operations Centre. Its volunteers may also help to locate emergency personnel if phones are not working and provide damage assessment information from the scene of a disaster if needed.

How to volunteer for VECTOR

You need to be a VECTOR member to volunteer. 

You can become:

  • A full VECTOR member if you hold a current Amateur Radio Licence
  • An associate member if you do not hold a licence, but understand how to operate a short-wave radio

Find out how to apply for a membership