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Funds prepare North Okanagan-Shuswap districts for disaster

Victoria doles out $880,000 to 19 communities to develop and upgrade emergency notification plans
The Adams Lake Indian Band, along with the North Okanagan and Columbia Shuswap regional districts, have received funding from Victoria to keep people safer and more informed during emergencies. (CSRD photo)

To keep people safer and more informed during emergencies, the province is providing funding to 19 communities to develop and upgrade emergency-evacuation-route plans and public-notification plans.

Among those getting funds are the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO), Adams Lake Indian Band (ALIB), and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD).

“Recent wildfires in remote regions of B.C. have put communities at risk of being cut off from the rest of the province, highlighting the need for good, advanced planning to ensure residents are able to evacuate safely,” said Bowinn Ma, Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness.

“We also know that First Nations and local governments have the most up-to-date information to provide to people to keep them safe. These funds will help ensure British Columbians can leave the area safely when a disaster hits, and will improve emergency notification, alerts and communication to people during emergencies.”

More than $880,000 is being provided through the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF) to communities to develop and update plans, such as local emergency-alerting systems, that provide information to people in the event of an emergency.

The RDNO receives $30,000 for emergency communications and to develop and update the Grandview Bench Evacuation Route Plan near Grindrod and the Larch Hills Cross-Country Ski area.

The Adams Lake Band also collects $30,000 for an emergency route review and governance policy development.

The CSRD picks up just under $30,000 ($29,940) for community evacuation route planning and the Alertable Awareness Project.

“When emergencies happen, First Nations and local governments are on the front lines,” said Jen Ford, president, Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM). “This pool of funding is instrumental in supporting local communities to prepare and resource themselves for disaster response and mitigation unique to their circumstances.”

READ MORE: Wildfire south of Kamloops over 7,000 hectares, though with favourable forecast

READ MORE: 48 hour film competition opens to Okanagan film geeks

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