On the same day as a tsunami scare impacted parts of Vancouver Island early that morning, the Regional District of Nanaimo board approved a grant application to purchase and install equipment for the emergency operations centre.
At its Jan. 23 meeting, the board endorsed an application for a $24,000 grant that would help fund nine dedicated handsets, two portable MSAT (satellite) phones and a GIS capable laptop with external data storage.
Tuesday’s agenda stated the nine handsets would be for each of the assigned sections within the EOC; the two portable satellite phones are consistent with satellite phone equipment used by other levels of government in B.C. and Canada within EOCs; and the GIS-capable laptop can enable quick and efficient setup of mapping software and data records, with the benefit of portability in the event that the EOC needs to be moved, or if the RDN servers weren’t functioning.
There would be annual operational costs for software licensing on the phones and establishing the accounts for the satellite phones.
The phones would cost $3,024 per year and can be set up with a pre-paid card in the amount of $500, which can be topped up in case of an emergency.
If there were extra costs beyond the $500 pre-paid card because of an emergency, the money could be recovered from the province if the EOC was activated, staff shared in the agenda.
The grant is through the Union of British Columbia Municipalities Emergency Preparedness Fund. The province, through UBCM, established a grant opportunity to help support the purchase of equipment to improve emergency operations centres. The grant can be used toward 100 per cent of the project costs up to $25,000.
The RDN also applied for another UBCM grant for flood mapping in October, 2017.
— NEWS Staff