The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) will receive over $38,000 in funding to purchase and locate an emergency social services work space in the Village of Midway to be used in disaster and emergency events.
According to an announcement from the provincial Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF), the RDKB will receive $38,355. RDKB communications officer Frances Maika said the project will include the purchase of a “storage and work space” to be located in the Village of Midway that will “support Emergency Social services volunteers.”
Maika said the unit will be used as storage for forms, reception centre supplies and disaster response materials. It may also be used as a work space to complete paperwork. By pre-positioning a unit in the area, it will cut down on the time needed to respond to a disaster event, she added.
Maika said the RDKB is working with the Village of Midway to find a suitable space that will be accessible around the clock.
“The project is a priority because in 2018 with the Boundary floods and with regular wildfire events as well, we saw how crucial it is to be ready for a sudden, large ramping up of Emergency Social Service support volunteers to set up reception centres, resiliency centres and other supports for evacuated or otherwise-impacted residents during an emergency and during recovery,” Maika said in an email to Black Press.
The project is in partnership with the Red Cross and the Village of Midway.
Village of Midway Chief Administrative Officer Penny Feist said the village is still determining an appropriate location, but said it will likely be located near or between the arena and curling club on Seventh Avenue, as the community has congregated there in the past and the facilities provide the necessary resources.
Feist said Midway is pleased to have the facility in the village, and said she thinks it will help the Red Cross respond to both large and small scale events when emergency social services are needed by allowing them 24/7 access to their supplies.
This is the second round of funding for the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund, which is designed to “enhance the resiliency of local governments and their residents.” The money is provided by the B.C. government and administered through the Union of B.C. Municipalities, through which the fund was announced in at the September 2017 conference.