Northern Rockies Regional Municipality

Emergency Preparedness Reminder

Emergency Operations Centre Communications Bulletin May 4, 2016

 

While we all watch and learn of the devastating events that are currently happening in Fort McMurray, many questions are coming forward from our own community regarding emergency preparedness and the safety & security of NRRM residents. We would like to take this time to encourage all residents to familiarize themselves with what they can do to prepare their own families in the event of an emergency or evacuation.

What happens during an emergency?

In the event of a major emergency in the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality, the Emergency Response Plan (ERP) and the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) will be activated. The EOC is established in order to facilitate and manage coordinated response and recovery operations and to support emergency response personnel in the field. It is the EOC where coordination and decisions are facilitated, and where all official communications regarding the emergency will originate.

The Northern Rockies has a detailed ERP that was updated in 2013. One of the mandates of the EOC is to ensure that accurate and timely information is distributed to everyone. To help meet that mandate, residents can be assured that the EOC is in contact with agencies such as Wildfire BC, Prince George Fire Centre, RCMP, BC Ambulance, and Emergency Management BC on a daily and sometimes hourly basis during an emergency event.

What can you do to be prepared?

Natural disasters and emergencies are not something we think about day-to-day; however, events such as the current one in Fort McMurray can strike any community and it is up to all of us to be ready and to be prepared.

While we do have a community Emergency Response Plan, no community is equipped is handle all the demands of a catastrophe. Help your community and your family by preparing yourself. Make sure everyone in your family knows what to do before, during, and after an emergency.

If an emergency happens in our community, it may take emergency workers some time to reach you. You should be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for a minimum of 72 hours.

Visit Get Prepared or Prepared BC to get more information about knowing the risks, making a plan, and what to include in your 72-hour emergency kit in the event of an emergency or evacuation. You can also visit our Emergency & Safety webpage for links to additional information on emergency preparedness.

What do I need to know in an emergency?

Should the need arise to put any residents of the Municipality on notice for potential evacuation; the EOC will issue an Evacuation Alert. The NRRM EOC will use every means possible to communicate the alert including social media and radio. The alert will contain information regarding the emergency and the potential threat. It is during this time that families and residents should review their own personal emergency plans and touch base with friends and family members in the community to make sure everyone has a plan.

Should the EOC need to issue an evacuation order, full details of the emergency and the threat will be communicated along with instructions for the evacuation.  In the event of an evacuation order, routes and designated reception centres will be identified at that time. For those residents that have no other means such as friends or family they can rely on, our Emergency Response Plan has provisions to provide assistance to those who require it.

All emergency communications will be distributed by every means possible, but it is important to seek out credible sources of information so all residents can make informed decisions for the safety of their family. In the event of an emergency, official communications will be distributed through the Municipal webpage www.NorthernRockies.ca and through our Facebook page. Local media outlets will also be used when available.

 We encourage all residents to take some time to sit down and talk to their family about making a family emergency plan. We can’t always prevent disasters from happening, but we can be prepared.

 Erin La Vale
Emergency Program Coordinator/EOC Director
Northern Rockies Regional Municipality

 

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