Our goal is to ensure that the District of Hope remains safe and is prepared in the event of an emergency or disaster, by helping the community to become resilient when dealing with emergency situations. We provide:
- Leadership to all volunteer and staff teams in our District who will be called upon during an emergency event.
- Coordination of regional emergency services with the Fraser Valley Regional District through training and exercises so teams can share skills and better anticipate challenges prior to an actual event.
- Support for preparedness and resiliency initiatives throughout the District.
Emergency Operations Centre
In the likely or actual event of an emergency, the District will activate its Emergency Operations Centre (EOC). The District’s Emergency Response and Recovery Plan provides the structure and guidelines for establishing and operating the EOC along with the policies and procedures to effectively respond to any emergency or disaster that may occur within the District’s boundaries. Specifically, the Plan outlines the structure that the District of Hope will utilize to manage and coordinate response and recovery efforts during an emergency or disaster, including function descriptions and checklists, forms for documentation purposes, hazard specific contingency plans, activation procedures and an EOC facility plan.
BC Emergency Management System (BCEMS)
The District’s Emergency Program is based on the BC Emergency Management System (BCEMS). BCEMS provides a standardized framework for emergency management and has five main components:
- Operations and Control: includes a common organizational structure and control method for managing personnel, equipment, facilities and resources; enhances communication between agencies during planning and response and provides an organizational structure based on the Incident Command System;
- Qualifications: establishes a standard for the management of each functional area and level within the System;
- Technology: establishes the use of common technology in support of emergency operations;
- Training: mandates the training of designated personnel to meet the established standards.
- Publications: mandates distribution of a common set of forms, reports, instructional terminology and other written material.
Current Concern: Fire – Interface (Wildfire)
The term “interface fire” refers to the area in which a fire impacts an area of settlement and forest. In the interface, structures and vegetation are sufficiently close that a wildfire may spread to structures or a structural fire may ignite trees and vegetation. Interface fires are managed using unified command with the Ministry of Forests and the Hope Fire Department. In cases where a fire is burning outside the District boundary, key EOC Staff will stay advised of the dangers and risk to the community and will activate the EOC.
Communication with the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD), and Provincial authorities also take place to maintain up-to-date situational awareness, aid in planning, and anticipate required resources.
When it is determined that an evacuation is required, the warnings must be timely and accurate. While the main concern is the preservation of life, those displaced from their homes or businesses may experience inconvenience, anxiety and fear. These evacuation alerts and orders will be distributed via all available communication channels. These channels include; local radio, District website, social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc), District staff and volunteers going door-to-door, and the FVRD Alert Warning system - Alertable.
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In case it is determined that evacuations are necessary, the District will follow the provincial standard of a three staged evacuation process.
Stage 1 Evacuation Alert
The Alert highlights the nature of the danger and that people should begin to prepare for an evacuation, should it become necessary. The Evacuation Alert may allow for the population at risk to begin an orderly preparation to voluntarily leave the affected area, within a specified time frame. However, the reality of the situation may require immediate action with very short notice.
Stage 2 Evacuation Order
The population at risk is ordered to evacuate the area specified in a formal written order. As such it does not allow for any discretion on the part of the population at risk. They must leave the area immediately and follow any instructions if included such as; utilizing authorized routes, reporting to nominated evacuation centres, etc.
While the evacuation order is in effect, the area in question will have controlled access and that a pass may be required to regain access to the area.
Stage 3 Evacuation Rescind
The population at risk is allowed to return to the area previously evacuated, having been advised that the danger has passed. There is the possibility that the danger may manifest itself again and the Evacuation Order might need to be reissued.
To best effect an evacuation, the District will utilize predetermined evacuation plans and maps. Included here is the general evacuation map which divides the District into zones/areas
Ultimately it is your responsibility to be prepared and know what to do in an emergency. Below are links to various resources and guides in order to help you be prepared: