Emergency Programs Branch
The City of Richmond’s Emergency Programs Branch undertakes planning to maximize the protection of life, public infrastructure, private property, and the environment in the event of an emergency. To meet this mandate, the Emergency Programs works closely with local first response agencies and other City departments to develop plans and programs which outline the City’s mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery measures.
Emergency Operations Centre
In the event of an emergency, the City will activate its Emergency Operations Centre (EOC). The EOC is a facility where key City personnel and other response agencies gather to provide policy direction to the on-site incident commander(s), co-ordinate resource requests from the site(s), and manage all non-site activities. To ensure the EOC is in a constant state of readiness, staff regularly test communications equipment and maintain an inventory of essential supplies.
Emergency Management Plan
The City’s Emergency Plan provides overall direction to guide the City’s actions to prepare for, respond to and recover from major disasters. The plan identifies the key hazards which threaten our community, priority actions to be taken by threat, roles and responsibilities of staff and key response agencies responsible for managing the City’s response and recovery from disasters.
To support the Emergency Management Plan, hazard-specific and departmental plans are developed. These plans provide more detailed information such as staff and volunteer callout procedures, forms and templates and detailed site procedures.
Emergency Support Services
Emergency Support Services (ESS) are services provided on a short-term basis to preserve the emotional and physical well being of those affected by emergencies. These services, generally offered for 72 hours after an event, may include emergency food, clothing, lodging, transportation, and counselling. ESS is funded Provincially and administered by local government. Trained volunteers and staff assess the needs of the individuals affected and provide referrals to local businesses and organizations for the service.
Volunteers are relied upon in all aspects of an ESS response. Emergency volunteers receive in-depth training to provide: personal assistance to evacuees, play an active role at a reception centre, participate in community special events, attend regular meetings, conduct personal emergency preparedness workshops, and much more. The City of Richmond has partnered with the Canadian Red Cross to deliver Emergency Support Services (ESS) to Richmond residents displaced by fire and other emergencies. For more information on volunteering, and to apply, visit the Canadian Red Cross.
Reception Centers and Group Lodging Facilities
During an emergency, the City may establish reception centres and group lodging facilities to assist evacuees in the affected area. A reception centre is any safe gathering place individuals may obtain information and receive assistance. Group lodging facilities have cots and blankets set up in large areas to accommodate evacuees for a longer period of time. Depending on availability and type of incident, the City will set up reception centres and group lodging facilities in spaces such as community centres, places of worship, and hotel conference rooms.
Prior to any reception centre or group lodging facilities opening to the public, City staff will undertake an evaluation of the building to ensure it can be safely occupied and used as intended. Trained staff and volunteers will then open and manage these facilities. The location of reception centres and group lodging facilities will be shared on the City’s website, social media, and through other trusted sources of information listed here.
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