We can all protect our communities by being prepared for emergencies
This summer many local governments across BC and Canada have faced major wildfires, evacuations, and emergency management situations, and the trend will be escalating risks in the future. I have heard all summer from residents, especially on Hornby and Denman, about concerns and anxiety as we enter this new world of high heat and dryness. Through the CVRD, we are lucky to have excellent and dedicated volunteer fire departments in all 5 communities in Area A, a professional and competent emergency management staff to rely on for the whole Comox Valley, and local emergency volunteer committees. We also have plans in place for emergency situations.
For example, recently we completed the first emergency mass evacuation guidelines for Denman and Hornby islands – plans that would help coordinate and guide our evacuation approach in a catastrophic event. On an ongoing basis, the most important thing we can do in all of our Area A communities is prevention: including not taking risks and deep care year-round with fires; fire smarting our properties and homes; and being prepared in case of a major earthquake or long power outage. I do hope we never have to face the sort of situations places like Yellowknife, Kelowna, Salmon Arm, Hawaii, and so many other places have faced this summer, but we need to adjust our mindset to a new risk profile with drier summer and more intense storms in winter on the coast. Never hesitate to contact your local fire department for free advice on how to fire smart your property and home, or reach out to me if you have questions as we continue to build out strong emergency policies and procedures both regionally and locally.
Daniel Arbour, CVRD Area A Director