Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness. FIle photo

Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness. FIle photo

Bulkley-Nechako Regional District gets almost $25,000 in ESS funding

The money will fund a mobile ESS unit

The Bulkley-Nechako Regional District will receive almost $25,000 in funding from the provincial government for emergency social services (ESS).

The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General announced today (Dec. 12) it had released $2 million in provincial emergency preparedness funding.

The BNRD will receive $24,864 for a mobile ESS unit, which will support rural and remote surrounding areas where there is limited ESS capacity.

The funding is part of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF), which was announced in September 2017. The funding is part of a $33.5-million plan designed to help communities prepare for, and respond to, disasters.

“Emergency social services represent a lifeline for individuals and families who have been evacuated and need help,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “These volunteers provide a vital service to British Columbians during their greatest hour of need, and this funding will help communities better support this vital emergency function.”

The second intake for funding closed Oct. 5, 2018. Twenty-five applications have been approved for Emergency Social Services training, volunteer recruitment and retention, and the purchase of equipment. Another 10 applications are being reviewed.

“During the unprecedented flooding and wildfires this past couple of years, I’ve seen first-hand how emergency social services volunteers work tirelessly to make a difference,” said Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness. “Emergency social services provide a first step forward for a community that has suffered an emergency by providing assistance to meet immediate needs and helping people find a path forward after an emergency.”

The CEPF is a suite of programs designed to enhance the resiliency of local governments and their residents. The Province provides the funding, which is administered by UBCM and divided into five streams:

* Flood Risk Assessment, Flood Mapping and Flood Mitigation Planning

* Emergency Social Services

* Emergency Operations Centres & Training

* Structural Flood Mitigation

* Evacuation Routes

The next deadlines to apply for the program are:

* Feb. 1, 2019: Emergency Operations Centres and Training Intake 2

* Feb. 22, 2019: Flood Risk Assessment, Mapping, and Mitigation Intake 2

* Oct. 25, 2019: Structural Flood Mitigation Intake 2

READ MORE: Vanderhoof wants emergency social services centre, not their decision to make

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