If disaster strikes, there is a concern communities in Nanaimo Regional District Electoral Area E, Lantzville and the Nanoose First Nations will experience delayed emergency response times due to access issues.
There is only one road going in and one road going out of these communities in Electoral Area E (Nanoose Bay), which has been identified in the 2010 Community Wildlife Protection Plan as having an extreme fire hazard. Seablush Drive and Morello Road were cited as priority areas in 2017 and 2018 as requiring evacuation plans.
The Regional District of Nanaimo wants to address this issue and plans to tap into the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund initiated by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities in 2017. The criteria of the funding now includes evacuation route planning.
Although Seablush Drive and Morellor Road were identified as priorities, there is a need for evacuation route planning for the entire Electoral Area E, Lantzville and Nanoose First Nations.
The RDN and the District of Lantzville are eligible to apply for grant funding. The RDN will make the application for Area E and also on Lantzville’s behalf.
The collaboration between the RDN and Lantsville, staff indicated, will increase funding and also provide the ability for a more comprehensive plan with co-ordinated multi-agency response to evacuation needs.
“With Highway 19, a main traffic artery on theIsland with as many as 700 vehicles per hour travelling in each direction, bisecting our communities, it is a critical need to complete evacuation routeplanning for the RDN Electoral Area E, the Districtof Lantzville and Nanoose (Snaw-Naw-As) First Nation,” said Lantzville CAO, Ronald Campbell, in their letter of support to the RDN’s application for funding. “With support through the UBCM funding program, we look forward to our staff working with our partners to complete this initiative in 2019.”
The RDN board approved the grant application for $25,000 for the completion of evacuation route planning.