First responders on the side of the Island Highway near the boundary between Lantzville and Nanoose Bay. The RDN will study evacuation routes in the area. NEWS BULLETIN file photo

RDN to develop small- and large-scale evacuation plans

Regional District of Nanaimo and District of Lantzville receive funding for work

An area of the region with transportation challenges will take a closer look at evacuation route planning.

The Regional District of Nanaimo and the District of Lantzville were each approved for $25,000 Community Emergency Preparedness Fund grants from the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, according to an RDN press release.

The regional district noted that the funding will be used to create a combined evacuation plan for Lantzville, Electoral Area E (Nanoose Bay) and the Snaw-Naw-As First Nation.

“The project will consider both small evacuation scenarios and how to co-ordinate a mass evacuation of the communities,” the RDN press release notes.

A staff report from December noted that vehicle traffic can “bottleneck” in the Nanoose-Lantzville stretch of the Island Highway “and in some sections, there is no detour route for emergency responders.”

“We have worked since 2010 to continuously improve emergency preparedness planning for the Nanoose area of our region with the District of Lantzville and Snaw-Naw-As First Nations,” said Ian Thorpe, RDN chairman, in the release. “This grant is appreciated from the province and a great example of how various levels of government can work together to help residents be better prepared for emergencies.”

The release notes that evacuation route planning aims to identify roles and responsibilities, populations, assembly points, traffic patterns, transportation, routes, emergency social services, communication and more.

The December staff report noted that there will be consultation with community associations and stakeholders and public events.

For links to RDN emergency program resources, click here and here.

RELATED: RDN seeks funding to help plan evacuation routes for Nanoose Bay



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

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