Keremeos, Princeton to share emergency co-ordinator

  • Jan. 3, 2019 10:03 a.m.

A dedicated emergency co-ordinator for Keremeos and Princeton will be hired thanks to a provincial grant.

Under the Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen a grant was put in for to the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund administered by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities.

Last week it was announced that the RDOS was successful in the second intake of the fund focussed on Emergency Social Services.

The RDOS will receive $75,000.

“This project will improve ESS program delivery, training, retention and support to ESS programs within the region by creating a dedicated central co-ordinator to create stronger, more resilient ESS programs,” a release from the province stated.

The funding is part of a $33.5-million plan designed to help communities prepare for, and respond to, disasters.

Related: Most people in B.C. too ‘lazy,’ ‘apathetic’ to prepare for disasters: poll

“Emergency social services represent a lifeline for individuals and families who have been evacuated and need help,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “These volunteers provide a vital service to British Columbians during their greatest hour of need, and this funding will help communities better support this vital emergency function.”

Intake 2 of Emergency Social Services funding under the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund closed on Oct. 5. Twenty-five applications have been approved for Emergency Social Services training, volunteer recruitment and retention, and the purchase of equipment. Another 10 applications are being reviewed.

“During the unprecedented flooding and wildfires this past couple of years, I’ve seen first-hand how emergency social services volunteers work tirelessly to make a difference,” said Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness. “Emergency social services provide a first step forward for a community that has suffered an emergency by providing assistance to meet immediate needs and helping people find a path forward after an emergency.”

The CEPF is a suite of programs designed to enhance the resiliency of local governments and their residents. The Province provides the funding, which is administered by UBCM and divided into five streams:

• Flood Risk Assessment, Flood Mapping and Flood Mitigation Planning

• Emergency Social Services

• Emergency Operations Centres and Training

Related: Keremeos seeks evacuation preparedness funding

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@TaraBowieBC
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