B.C. funds emergency support services for evacuees in nearly 60 communities
March 31, 2023
By Avert staff
Nearly 60 B.C. communities are getting a chunk of $2.2 million in provincial funding to improve and modernize emergency support services (ESS) for evacuees during disasters.
Sourced from the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund, the money will go towards equipment purchases, expanding volunteer capacity, and the move to digital ESS programs.
Around 30,000 people use ESS in B.C. each year, the government said in a news release.
“British Columbians who are forced to evacuate their homes often rely on provincially funded emergency support services that are delivered in partnership with First Nations and local governments,” said Bowinn Ma, B.C.’s Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness. “This funding will help communities build up capacity to better deliver these supports to people during very stressful situations as we continue modernizing and improving ESS.”
Funding will go to 57 projects throughout B.C., including:
- sea-cans for three sub-regions to store ESS supplies such as cots, blankets and generators and a trailer in the East Kootenay Regional District;
- emergency food rations in the event that an emergency cuts off access to Port Alice;
- equipment to establish a 100-bed group lodging facility in Abbotsford;
- ESS trailer and backup solar power system to enable McLeod Lake Indian Band to set up a mobile reception centre;
- an ESS volunteer recruitment campaign, training for volunteers, and laptops in the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen; and
- Emergency Pet Services Training through the Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team, and a trailer for group lodging and pet services supplies on Bowen Island.
The province said a focus of the funding was on promoting knowledge sharing, enhancing mutual aid between communities, and allowing applicants to act as host communities for evacuees.
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