The City of Prince George is training upwards of 250 staff and other personnel in a new digital registration system that would greatly improve service to evacuees and others requiring support services during times of emergency.
Over the past two summers, Prince George welcomed a total of 14,000 wildfire evacuees. Each of those evacuees registered for supports such as food and accommodation by using a paper-based system provided by the province. Since then, the city has been working with Emergency Management BC to implement a digital system that would reduce the time needed to register evacuees and decrease the number of staff and volunteers required at the Emergency Reception Centre.
Emergency Management BC has developed the online system and is working with four local governments – the City of Prince George, City of Kamloops, the Regional District of Central Okanagan, and T’Kemloops First Nation – to pilot and implement the system through the summer. The training session in Prince George is the first one to be delivered.
Training began yesterday and is continuing today.
“So far, the training is showing us that initial registration is a bit quicker than the paper-based system,” said Brad Beckett, the City’s Emergency Support Services Director, in a news release. “The bigger time savings will be realized when we renew registrations and provide additional vouchers for services such as accommodation and food, since all of their personal information will be instantly accessible from their initial registration. This system also provides the opportunity for people to self-register online, potentially from a mobile device. This would also greatly improve service from the Emergency Reception Centre.”
The city is continuing to work with the province to finalize the system.