The city will be providing an update on progress being made on its Emergency Strategic Plan at the April 29 city council meeting. The city is currently in year-one of a five-year strategic plan aimed at improving the city’s readiness for all foreseeable emergencies.
“Prince George is the hub of emergency management in northern B.C.,” said Adam Davey, manager of Emergency Programs with the city. “We are collaborating with First Nations, BC Wildfire Service, Emergency Management BC, Regional District of Fraser-Fort George, Northern Health Authority, School District 57, industry, and others to increase and streamline emergency planning and response.”
Evacuation Map Released
The report includes an evacuation map of the city, which will help emergency officials communicate with residents should a local evacuation order or alert be issued. The map is based largely upon the current city garbage collection map, due to the fact that residents are already familiar with the map’s coloured zones.
The map features the five garbage pick up zones as well as four zones within the city that do not currently fall within a garbage zone. The map also indicates the location of the city’s reception centre for evacuees at Exhibition Park, as well as 18 schools, which will serve as community evacuation assembly points. The city worked closely with School District 57 to pick the locations of the community evacuation assembly points, which were selected based on their centrality and traffic flow in each evacuation zone.
Public Open House and Wildfire Plan
The city will be hosting a public open house on May 15 to show the progress of the emergency program and community wildfire protection plan to the public and to answer questions. The open house will be held at the Prince George Conference and Civic Centre on Wednesday, May 15. Further event details will be published when they are available.
Emergency Planning and Training Exercises
This spring, the city has been hosting a series of training exercises in order to train staff, external agencies, and emergency personnel and refine the evacuation plan. The final exercise will be a “rehearsal of concept drill” held at Kin 1 on May 17. Following the exercise series, staff will provide council with a final report about the lessons learned during the events, and update the official evacuation plan.
In the near future, several other steps will be taken to improve the City’s emergency readiness, including:
- Piloting Emergency Management BC’s new digital Emergency Support Services (ESS) Registration system.
- Incorporating a new ESS staffing model that provides business continuity and service delivery to residents and evacuees.
- Working with volunteer partner agencies to enhance cooperation during emergencies.
- Completing an ESS modernization project and entering into an ESS Service Agreement with the Canadian Red Cross
- Conducting Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) planning with partner agencies.
- Implementing a Community Wildfire Protection Plan.
More detailed updates about these and other emergency-related activities will be provided as they become available.