RDOS Emergency Program Review community focus groupsNews 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 during a series of facilitated community focus groups to gather feedback on the RDOS Emergency Program.
The community focus groups are intended to be participatory and will include facilitated group discussions. Each focus group is scheduled to begin promptly at the advertised time.
The community focus groups will investigate the public’s perception of how the emergency program is working now, where it needs to go, and what can be done to close the gap. The Regional District is looking for direct feedback from RDOS rural residents to help determine the service delivery needs and funding structure for future emergency programming.
An electronic facilitated community focus group is scheduled for Tuesday, February 28, 2023, at 7:00 pm.
The online meeting link will be posted on RDOS Regional Connections. This focus group will also include facilitated group discussions.
Sharing your experience and knowledge through the community focus groups will directly inform the recommendations that arise from this review.
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.
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
Toll Free 1-877-610-3737