The Regional District of Nanaimo spent $25,000 of grant money to acquire, retrofit and equip a trailer for emergency support. (Submitted photo)

RDN bolsters its emergency support services

RDN board presented with update on emergency services at April 9 committee of whole meeting

The Regional District of Nanaimo took advantage of grant money to bolster emergency preparedness.

An emergency services update was given to RDN directors at an April 9 meeting, and a staff report showed $74,000 in grants were spent in 2018 and 2019 on emergency preparedness measures. Among the expenditures listed in the accompanying report were $25,000 for an emergency support services trailer, $24,000 for emergency operations centre equipment and $25,000 to complete evacuation route planning. The District of Lantzville also received $25,000 for evacuation planning.

The RDN bought a cargo trailer with $25,000 in Union of B.C. Municipalities’ Community Emergency Preparedness Fund money for emergency social services granted in 2018, Catherine Morrison, RDN emergency services manager, told the News Bulletin. It was retrofitted to accommodate emergency service needs, according to the report, and a workspace was constructed and supplies, such as tents, tables and a generator, were purchased.

“It’s a mobile emergency support services trailer,” said Morrison. “So what that does is it allows us to set up a mobile reception centre on site of an emergency or a disaster.”

RELATED: RDN to develop small- and large-scale evacuation plans

The RDN was also granted $24,000 from the UBCM fund in 2018, but for emergency operation centres and training, and the money went toward its emergency operations centre. The RDN bought phone line handsets, a geographic information system-enabled laptop computer and two satellite phones. According to the report, the project came in under budget and the budget was amended in January to authorize purchase of a pair of radio communication laptops, protective cases, two tablet computers and a projector and screen.

The money for evacuation planning covers the Nanoose Bay, Lantzville and Snaw-Naw-As First Nation areas.

The RDN is also working on a comprehensive hazard, risk and vulnerability assessment for its electoral areas, as well as Parksville and Qualicum Beach. Work for that will be done at the same time as a national disaster mitigation program flood assessment project, which will form a blueprint for “risk-based decision making.” The report said the assessment document will also augment present and future RDN emergency-related planning.

The RDN has held engagement sessions with stakeholders for the assessment project previously and has one more scheduled for June. It is slated for completion in September, according to the report.

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