RDN renews emergency centre pacts

Board endorses five-year extension on use licence starting April 1.

The Regional District of Nanaimo is renewing agreements with seven facilities throughout the electoral areas that will continue to serve as emergency centres during a disaster.

The Reception Centre License of Use Agreements are being extended for another five years between the RDN and the Nanoose Bay Activities and Recreation Society, the Arrowsmith Agricultural Association at Coombs Fairgrounds, the Lighthouse Community Centre Society, Bowser and District Branch (211) of the Royal Canadian Legion, Gabriola Senior Citizens Centre Association, Cedar Community Association and the Cranberry Fire Protection District. The agreements went into effect on April 1.

The RDN, under the Emergency Program Act, is mandated to provide reception centres during emergencies and disasters where evacuees displaced from their homes can get help from Emergency Support Services volunteers. The type of assistance that may be provided at these centres include food and incidentals, referrals for accommodations, family reunification and other event information.

Over the years, the RDN has established these reception centres throughout the electoral areas through license of use agreements.

The RDN purchased and installed Emergency Generators at the Lighthouse Community Centre, Coombs Fairgrounds, Gabriola Rollo Centre and Cedar Community Hall. The terms of use for the generators were not included in the previous agreements and had been added to the agreement renewals. Terms of maintenance have also been added to the Bowser Legion, Cranberry Hall, and Nanoose Bay Activities & Recreation Society as those groups own their own emergency generators. The RDN will provide a stipend to assist with annual inspection and maintenance costs.

Within District 69, the Oceanside Emergency Support Services team has access to three additional reception centres in the City of Parksville and the Town of Qualicum Beach.

Staff indicated that having multiple designated reception centres across the region allows the ESS teams to respond to an emergency as quickly and efficiently as possible. The RDN approved the renewal of the use agreements as the previous agreement was scheduled to expire on March 31.

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