The Williams Lake Fire Dept. controls traffic on Fox Mountain Road during the wildfire on Thursday, May 24 in 2018. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Williams Lake, Quesnel, recipients of evacuation route planning funds

Both Williams Lake and Quesnel are recipients of $25,000 each targeted at evacuation route planning

Sixty local and regional governments and First Nations communities have been approved to receive their share of approximately $1.5 million in provincial emergency preparedness funding to support evacuation route planning.

Since the September 2017 Budget update, communities and governments throughout British Columbia have received more than $17 million through the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF). Now, another 60 applicants are receiving up to $25,000 each, specifically for evacuation route planning. The successful applicants are in every corner of B.C.

Both Williams Lake and Quesnel are recipients of $25,000 each.

READ MORE: B.C. businesses evacuated due to e-mailed bomb threat, also received in U.S.

“We can’t predict exactly when a disaster may hit, but we can help our partners prepare so that if people have to be evacuated, they’re doing so in the safest, best way possible,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “Investing in communities and people is top of mind, and this is another step toward ensuring people’s safety in the event of a large-scale emergency situation.”

Funding for the evacuation route planning component of the CEPF was announced at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities’ (UBCM) convention in September 2017. This funding is part of a $33.5-million plan designed to help communities prepare for, and respond to, disasters.

“The programs and projects announced today will help make our cities and towns more resilient,” said Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness. “On the heels of two of the worst flood and wildfire seasons in our province’s history, we need to work together to help our communities prepare for emergencies so they are better positioned to respond and recover.”

READ MORE: CRD and 100 Mile begin evaluating safe return for evacuated residents

The CEPF is a suite of programs designed to enhance the resiliency of local governments and their residents. The Province provides the funding, which is administered by UBCM and divided into five streams:

* Flood Risk Assessment, Flood Mapping and Flood Mitigation Planning

* Emergency Social Services

* Emergency Operations Centres and Training

* Structural Flood Mitigation

* Evacuation Routes

The next deadline to apply for funding from this program is Oct. 25, 2019, regarding Structural Flood Mitigation Intake 2.

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