RDOS Emergency Program Review surveyNews Article
Have your say on the future of emergency management in the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS). The RDOS Board of Directors has commissioned a review of the emergency management program to be completed by April 30, 2023. The Board is seeking your input via the RDOS Emergency Program Review survey. The survey focuses on how the emergency program is working now, identifying where it needs to go, and what can be done to close the gap. Public meetings will follow the survey.
The online survey is posted on the RDOS Regional Connections interactive website.
Paper copies can be mailed upon request and will be available for pick-up at the following locations:
- RDOS Head Office, 101 Martin Street, Penticton
- Osoyoos Town Hall, 8707 Main Street, Osoyoos
- Riverside Community Centre, 148 Old Hedley Road, Princeton
- Similkameen Recreation Centre, 311-9th Street, Keremeos
- Okanagan Falls Recreation Centre, 1141 Cedar Street, Okanagan Falls
The RDOS Emergency Program Review survey opens Tuesday, January 17, 2023, and closes Friday, February 17, 2023.
Local governments operate within the context of provincial and federal laws, regulations, and policies that also affect how the Regional District responds to major emergencies. However, the RDOS is seeking to optimize the emergency program to serve the essential needs of citizens wherever possible within the RDOS mandate.
In 2006, the Regional District established a service to provide an emergency management program for the 15 jurisdictions within the RDOS geographic boundaries. Residents and property owners within the RDOS have experienced increasingly frequent and more severe events, and more people are being impacted by these events directly and indirectly. The consensus of hazard, risk, and vulnerability data for B.C. suggests we can expect this trend to continue and worsen even as we continue to have ‘good’ and ‘bad’ years in terms of the impact of hazard events such as floods and wildfires
In response to this situation, the Regional Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) is operational for longer periods, drawing more staff away from their regular duties to attend to the most urgent priority of public safety. This trend has resulted in increased strain on existing local government staff and resources and strain on the higher number of affected residents and property owners where the hazard event exceeds their ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from the event.
Sharing your experience and knowledge through this survey will directly inform the recommendations that arise from this review. Thank you for your participation, and please consider sharing the survey link widely with your network of RDOS friends, family, and neighbours. This will help ensure as many voices as possible will be heard. Most importantly, the RDOS wants to hear about gaps and issues you have experienced during major-emergency events in the region and how many of you have been impacted.
The RDOS Emergency Program Review survey is mainly check box answers to keep the time required to complete it short. Each section also has text box options so you can share information in your own words.
The survey is in three parts:
Part 1: General questions
Part 2: Existing emergency management program strengths, improvement areas and gaps
Part 3: Recommendations for positive change in the areas of emergency preparedness, response and recovery
For further information, please visit the RDOS Emergency Program Review project page at https://rdosregionalconnections.ca or contact Greg Bonderud, RDOS Emergency Program Coordinator.
Mark Pendergraft, Chair
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen
Emergency Program Coordinator