Fredericton updates emergency plan after post-tropical storm Arthur

Fredericton updates emergency plan after post-tropical storm Arthur

The City of Fredericton is partnering with the Salvation Army to provide an emergency shelter equipped with a generator — but the piece of equipment comes with a price.

The generator is expected to cost $230,000 to install and up to $5,000 annually to operate.

Wayne Tallon, director of the city's Emergency Measures Organization, said there was a gap identified in the city's emergency measures plan following post-tropical storm Arthur in July 2014, when it became apparent a facility was needed to house people overnight in case of long-term power outages.

- Arthur hits Maritimes: Post-tropical storm causes widespread blackouts 

From that point, Tallon said the city did its due diligence looking at the facility and amenities the Salvation Army was able to offer. 

Emergency preparedness 

"The Salvation Army has been a long-term partner with us in our Emergency Measures Organization and after they had heard we were looking for such a facility they came forward and offered us their facility," he said.

The facility on St. Mary's Street, which includes a sanctuary, food bank, gymnasium, meeting rooms, counselling offices, and a commercial kitchen facility, can house about 100 people each night.

"It was a very attractive proposition and that's why we're going with it," said Knorr.

Tallon said that number would be sufficient, as often times people in those situations turn to family or friends for overnight care. 

The facility can also serve meals to 250 to 350 people three times a day.

Tallon said the city and the Salvation Army have an agreement the facility has its own staff to take care of the building. 

However, through the Emergency Measures Organization, Tallon said the city will work to ensure operations run smoothly in the event of another storm like Arthur.

The city also looked into Willie O'Ree Place to use as a shelter. Instead, the city plans to use Willie O'Ree Place and the Grant-Harvey Centre as warming stations and reception centres, as well as for water. 

As a result of the building code, Tallon said those facilities can't house people overnight.