EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS TO REFOCUS
Recently the local newspapers reported that the City of Port Coquitlam has "served notice" to opt-out of the Northeast Sector Emergency Preparedness (NESEP) program. Anmore and Belcarra Councils have also reviewed their involvement in NESEP, and at a joint meeting on March 1st came to the conclusion that our communities would be better served by refocusing emergency preparedness planning back to the local level. As a consequence, both Anmore and Belcarra have also "served notice" to opt-out of NESEP.
The decision to refocus came from the recognition that in a significant emergency, such as a major earthquake, the rural communities would be "on their own" and unassisted for at least 72 hours. The reality is that the resources of the Tri-Cities would be focussed on their high-density urban areas, and rightly so. The question is: "How do we best prepare for a major emergency?"
The Village Councils envision an emergency planning group that involves the two municipal Protective Services Committees, SVFD, Anmore Elementary School, BC Hydro (Buntzen Recreation Area), GVRD (Belcarra Regional Park), Camp Sasamat and Camp Howdy, operating under the banner "Sasamat Emergency Preparedness Committee".
Both communities already have Emergency Preparedness Plans that are excellent starting points for the broadened scope. By identifying the resources needed for a significant emergency, and redirecting the annual NESEP contributions to acquiring those resources, our communities will be further ahead and better prepared.
Any resident wishing to participate in the emergency preparedness planning process is invited to contact Councillor Jennifer Glover, Chair of Belcarra's Protective Services Committee.
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Village of Belcarra
4084 Bedwell Bay Road
Tel: (604) 937-4100
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