Emergency Support Services (ESS) reception centres will run more efficiently with the addition of online registration in a provincial pilot project being tested in the Regional District of Central Okanagan. (Al Waters - Kelowna Capital News)

B.C. rolls out online registration to speed up evacuee processing

Central Okanagan district tests province’s streamlined emergency management digital self-registration

Emergency Management British Columbia (EMBC) is testing a new pilot project to streamline registration processes for evacuees affected by floods, earthquakes, wildfires and other natural disasters.

The first phase of the digital ESS System was rolled out in April in the Regional District of Central Okanagan, Kamloops, Tk’emlups te Secwepemc and Prince George.

The pilot project focuses on modernizing and digitizing the Emergency Support Services (ESS) system, allowing for self-registration options.

READ MORE: Gasoline removed from Kelowna’s Playa Del Sol Resort after evacuation

“The province has chosen us because we are a regional district and because of our emergency program—there’s more to it, there are five districts we deal with under our program,” said Sandra Follack, deputy chief of emergency management and communications for the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO).

“We have a lot of activation here,” she added, noting that’s a reason behind the province’s selection of the RDCO for the first rollout of the project.

The project, which is aimed to reduce wait times for evacuees registering at emergency reception centres, will allow for affected individuals to access services more quickly and efficiently.

“Because we do evacuations and sometimes a larger area evacuates at the same time, you’re all just sitting there waiting,” Follack said. “Right now, registration is all done by paper. This is computerizing it and bringing it up to a new era.”

Follack said the digital project is a win-win situation for the province and volunteers working for ESS.

More than 5,000 people across the province volunteer as ESS workers each year, assisting in identifying reception centres and group lodging; working with local businesses, government agencies and service organizations; and providing food and shelter for those evicted from their homes.

READ MORE: Northern Alberta residents start returning home after evacuation due to fire

The new digital registration system would reduce processing time for volunteers, as affected individuals can self-register.

“Allowing residents to register themselves makes registration faster,” Follack said. “We’re trying to make this process as smooth as possible.”

Follack said those experiencing displacement due to evacuation are already under an immense amount of stress and registration at an evacuation centre shouldn’t add to that stress.

“We’re very honoured the province asked us to be a part of this project,” Follack said.


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Business for Sea Otter Eco Tours tripled in 2019

The Eco Tours season runs from May 1 to Oct. 1.

Community volleyball at PHSS

The program was formed for the community and in the hopes of getting youth off of the street.

Port McNeill Library release five-year plan

VIRL recently released its vision and operating plan for 2020 through to 2024/25.

Port Hardy awarded ‘Level 4’ recognition by Green Communities Committee

District awarded Level 4 recognition - ‘Achievement of Carbon Neutrality’.”

2019 FEDERAL ELECTION: North Island-Powell River candidates address other issues of importance

“Other than the topics already discussed, what is the most important issue in your constituency?”

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

The one with the ‘Friends’ photoshoot: Kelowna group recreates TV show intro

A friend’s departure prompted them to create something that really says, “I’ll be there for you”

Most Read