The District of Hudson's Hope wants to expand its ability to provide emergency social services for residents, adding capacity to host 50 displaced residents in the event of a large-scale emergency such as a structure fire.
The district has made a $23,016 grant application to the Union of BC Municipalities' Community Emergency Preparedness Fund, which would provides cots and other supplies to run an emergency reception centre. Funding is provided by the province and overseen by the UBCM, with First Nations and municipalities eligible to apply.
District council approved the recommendation at its Jan. 24 meeting after receiving the prepared application from Fire Chief Brad Milton. A team of ESS volunteers would be trained to run the reception centre, with five residents having already expressed interest.
Mayor Dave Heiberg says the expansion of services is worth pursuing, especially to help elderly and other vulnerable residents during a time of crisis.
“It really could be anything, what if we had a heat wave – we could open up the arena and let people in there, some of our more vulnerable folks that can’t escape the heat and things like that," said Heiberg. "Or if we get a cold weather event and people’s power goes out, we can accommodate."
Heiberg added the reception centre could be also used regionally as an emergency operation centre, helping neighbouring communities within the Peace River Regional District.
“If the regional district had an event somewhere, we could support. There’s all kinds of options available, and the good news is that it won’t cost us anything to get the grant, if we get it,” said Heiberg.
Tom Summer, Alaska Highway News, Local Journalism Initiative. Email Tom at email@example.com