More Emergency Preparedness Funds For Port Coquitlam
Port Coquitlam, B.C. – April 3, 2023… Port Coquitlam will continue to ramp up its emergency preparedness efforts this year with the help of a provincial grant.
The City has received about $26,000 in Community Emergency Preparedness Funding from the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) for its Emergency Support Services (ESS) program, which provides support to evacuees during disasters and major emergencies.
The grant will help fund technology for improved evacuee management, new storage for supplies and equipment, high-visibility and cold-weather apparel, and resources for ESS volunteer training as well as recruitment, which is now under way.
“We’re always thankful to receive financial support for critical services like emergency preparedness,” Mayor Brad West said. “As we see from events in B.C. and around the globe, a major emergency can happen at any time, without warning. This new funding will allow us to improve how we can support our community and its residents at a time when they are at their most vulnerable. It’s a complement to our ongoing emergency preparedness efforts to ensure the safety and resilience of the City and community.”
ESS is one aspect of the City’s comprehensive Emergency Preparedness Program, which prepares the City and community for major emergencies through planning, equipment stockpiling, training and community education.
ESS activities include setting up reception centres and supporting residents with food, clothing, lodging and other resources.
The new technology – such as a dedicated laptop, printer and portable internet source – will help the City utilize the provincial Evacuee Registration and Assistance (ERA) tool. New mobile filing cabinets will help with transporting and storing supplies for reception centres and group lodging.
Volunteers play a critical role in this work, and the new funding will help update the ESS volunteer recruitment, onboarding and training programs. The new apparel will also help keep staff and volunteers warm and safe during responses.
“All of these incremental improvements to our emergency preparedness resources help add up to a more robust response when disaster strikes,” said Cllr. Steve Darling, Council’s designate for community safety matters. “We also want to emphasize that everyone in the community has a role to play when it comes to preparing for emergencies. One of our big focuses is on community education because the more individual residents and businesses are prepared, the faster the community will come through a major emergency.”
Volunteer this Spring for Emergency Support Services
Port Coquitlam is recruiting seven to 10 more ESS volunteers this spring. Opportunities include roles in community education, ESS documentation, emergency communications (inclusive of amateur radio), equipment and supplies, and pet services.
Learn more and apply at portcoquitlam.ca/epvolunteers or contact email@example.com.
Visit Quake Cottage May 13 at May Days
Want to experience what an earthquake feels like? Visit Quake Cottage at the Emergency Preparedness display at this year’s May Days at the May Days Market on Wilson Avenue (adjacent to the Port Coquitlam Community Centre) on May 13 from noon to 6 p.m.
The eight-seat earthquake simulator allows people to safely experience what a major earthquake feels like. EP staff and volunteers will also be on hand with resources and information to help households prepare for an earthquake or other emergencies.
Party in the Square – part of this year’s May Days centennial celebrations – will take place 12-10 p.m. in Terry Fox Hometown Square at Port Coquitlam Community Centre, following the Rotary May Day Parade that starts at 11 a.m. Visit portcoquitlam.ca/maydays for information.
The longer residents and businesses can be self-sufficient after an emergency, the more resources the City can dedicate to restoring services, clearing roads and other response and recovery activities.
Community resources include:
- Free Alertable app for emergency alerts and notifications specific to Port Coquitlam. Info: portcoquitlam.ca/alertable.
- Free three-hour Community Courses on personal preparedness, crime prevention and basic fire suppression, with classroom and hands-on training. Held 9 a.m. to noon on May 6, Sept. 9 or Dec. 2 at No. 1 Fire Hall, 1725 Broadway St. Info and register: portcoquitlam.ca/ep.
- Online and downloadable information at portcoquitlam.ca/ep, including the Are You Prepared? guide for residents and Emergency Preparedness Toolkit for Businesses.
For more information about the City’s emergency planning and preparedness resources, visit portcoquitlam.ca/ep or contact 604.927.5466.
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Manager of Communications & Administrative Services
City of Port Coquitlam