The City of Prince George and the Canadian Red Cross have signed an agreement that will see the Red Cross become the lead organization delivering Emergency Support Services in Prince George.
“The Red Cross is the premier organization in the world for providing emergency support services and post-disaster recovery,” said Mayor Lyn Hall. “Our community will benefit significantly from the experience and expertise that the Red Cross brings.”
The agreement is the result of ongoing planning by the City of Prince George to enhance local emergency preparedness. The phased transition will start September 2019.
The Red Cross has similar arrangements with 11 other municipalities and regional districts in British Columbia, including the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary and the City of Victoria.
Under this agreement, the Red Cross will provide Emergency Support Services for Prince George residents displaced from their homes due to a local emergency. The service is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week, and includes the provision of food, lodging, clothing, and other immediate needs for people displaced by emergency events for up to 72 hours.
The Red Cross will also support the City of Prince George in larger emergency events such as the 2017 and 2018 wildfires, which saw thousands of people displaced and seeking refuge in Prince George.
Efforts to increase Red Cross volunteer capacity in Prince George are underway. Red Cross offers volunteers flexible schedules and full training. “Red Cross Emergency Support Services volunteers received specialized training, allowing them to integrate into [the] local emergency structure,” said Elysia Dempsey, Director of Emergency Management for the Canadian Red Cross.
Residents interested in giving back to the community can sign up at RedCross.ca/volunteer or attend a public information session at the Prince George Conference and Civic Centre on Thursday, July 25, at 7:00pm.