Town granted funding to ensure Canada’s safest escape

Residents on Harbour Key Drive shore up defenses against rising water last spring.

The Town of Osoyoos bills itself as providing Canada’s Warmest Welcome. Now it also wants to also deliver Canada’s safest escape.

The Town applied for and received $25,000 in provincial provincial emergency preparedness funding — specifically for evacuation route planning.

It was among 60 local and regional governments and First Nations communities approved to receive a share of $1.5 million made available through the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF).

The money, said Janette Van Vianen, the Town’s Director of Corporate Services, will be used to “complete an Evacuation Route Plan for the Town of Osoyoos.

“The Town will be preparing a [request for proposals] for the preparation of the plan, which will be going out sometime this month,” she said.

“The RFP will provide more details of what the Plan should identify, which will include, but not be limited to, alternative routes and means of transportation, accommodations, resources, vulnerable population needs, etc. in case evacuations are required.”

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen also received $25,000.

“We can’t predict exactly when a disaster may hit, but we can help our partners prepare so that if people have to be evacuated, they’re doing so in the safest, best way possible,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, announcing the funding.

“Investing in communities and people is top of mind, and this is another step toward ensuring people’s safety in the event of a large-scale emergency situation.”

The CEPF is a suite of programs designed to enhance the resiliency of local governments and their residents. The Province provides the funding, which is administered by UBCM and divided into five streams:

  • Flood Risk Assessment, Flood Mapping and Flood Mitigation Planning
  • Emergency Social Services
  • Emergency Operations Centres and Training
  • Structural Flood Mitigation
  • Evacuation Routes

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