City evacuation plan to be updated

·2 min read

The City of Merritt is one of 28 communities approved to receive part of $1 million in provincial emergency preparedness funding which will support evacuation route planning.

“Preparation is the key to being able to effectively recover from an emergency,” said Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness. “I’m encouraged to see so many of B.C.’s communities working on evacuation plans so they can be ready to respond if the need arises.”

Back at the end of March 2020 council voted unanimously to apply to the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF) for a grant which would be used to modernize the City’s emergency plan, which had not been updated since 2006.

“It’s to make sure that when we have an emergency, the plans are relevant, and we have up to date information,” said Will George, Manager of Economic Development.

“Something that community members should be aware of is lots has changed, especially on the technology side, since 2006. We want to make sure this evacuation plan is updated and we’re able to communicate information in the emergency around evacuation routes, so that’s really how it’s relevant and why it’s needed.”

Merritt will receive $17,500 through the Evacuation Route Planning stream of the CEPF funding.

“This funding will be used to identify who and what is needed to ensure the safe movement of people from a variety of possible threats,” said George.

“The scope of the evacuation plan will also encompass support to and from surrounding First Nation and TNRD Communities.”

“Through this program, we’ve been able to help communities better prepare for emergencies so they can be more responsive and resilient,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

“These funds for evacuation route planning will help ensure more British Columbians can escape safely in case a disaster hits, and these communities can rest easier knowing they have a solid plan in place to keep people safe from harm.”

Morgan Hampton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Merritt Herald