Last night, December 3, a group of stakeholders met to discuss planning and communication in preparation for any weather events or emergencies on the island this winter. This group was made up of representatives from many different agencies on the island including: Salt Spring Fire Rescue, RCMP, Salt Spring Search and Rescue, BC Ambulance Service, Coast Guard, RCMSAR, Ministry of Transportation, CRD Director Gary Holman, CRD Headquarters, the Salt Spring Island Emergency Program, BC Hydro, Emcon, North Salt Spring Water District, Salt Spring Amateur Radio Society, and others who were unable to attend such as School District 64, telus, Shaw, Harbour Air, SSI Transit and Lady Minto.
Brian Bogdanovich, SSI Emergency Program Coordinator has had a key role in working collaboratively to bring all these people together in one place to discuss these issues.
This was the second gathering over the past month to discuss communication strategies between the stakeholders and the EOC (Emergency Operations Centre) so that the information gets to the community members. We have many methods of communicating with the community including PANS (Public Alert Notification System), social media, local media, email, phone, cell phone, radio communications, person-to-person and information boards - depending on what is available in any given situation.
We were pleased to be able to announce the support of the Salt Spring Exchange and the ability to post directly in the Local News section in the event of a community emergency. We have found that so many people use the Salt Spring Exchange regularly and we think that this is a great new resource for us and will be of benefit to the community as well.
"The Exchange is grateful to be one small part of this team working to coordinate communications during emergencies. We're here to help ensure that timely and accurate updates are brought together on the Exchange. This way the thousands of residents and visitors who use the Exchange every day can have real-time updates across all services, all in one location, managed and supported by the Salt Spring Island Emergency Program team with their new direct access publishing abilities on the service." - Christopher Roy, Salt Spring Exchange