The Alberni Valley’s Emergency Operations Centre is located around the corner and below the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District office. (AV NEWS FILE PHOTO)

ACRD, First Nations to partner on regional evacuation route

Union of BC Municipalities grants $82K for route development

  • Mar. 7, 2021 12:00 a.m.

The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, along with project partners the Tseshaht First Nation, the Hupacasath First Nation, and the City of Port Alberni have received nearly $82,000 to create an evacuation route plan for the region.

The grant comes from the Union of BC Municipalities and will enable the partners to identify major and alternate evacuation routes.

The plan will also identify assembly points and will consider transportation methods of those impacted by an evacuation including by foot, boat, bus, and vehicle. The plan will also consider the resources required for an effective evacuation in major and minor emergencies, with consideration and planning into evacuating vulnerable populations.

“While each local government and First Nation in British Columbia is responsible for their own emergency plan, we are proud to be partnering with the Hupacasath and Tseshaht First Nations and the City of Port Alberni on an evacuation plan,” ACRD chair John Jack said.

“This collaboration supports sound emergency management by taking a whole-systems approach to the issue and develops solutions that benefits all residents in the Alberni Valley.”

“We are very proud of the work our Tseshaht Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has done in previous emergencies and we believe working together with local governments through initiatives such as this will support Tseshaht health, safety, well-being, emergency response and preparedness,” said Tseshaht First Nation Chief Councillor Ken Watts.

“We look forward to participating with our project partners to develop an Emergency Evacuation Plan. This is a vital endeavor contributing to the safety and well-being of our community,” Hupacasath Council said in a joint statement.

“Developing efficient evacuation routes is a vital component of a robust emergency plan and although we can’t prevent disasters from occurring, we know through effective emergency preparation measures we can save lives, mitigate the impacts and ensure that all our communities are strong and resilient,” Port Alberni Mayor Sharie Minions said.

The development of the Evacuation Route Plan will occur in 2021 and there will be opportunities for public input into the development of the plan.

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