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

More than 300 teens take to the polls at Mount Douglas Secondary for mock federal election

‘This is a pretty engaged generation,’ says Mount Douglas Secondary social studies teacher

Access: A day in the life using a wheelchair in Victoria

Black Press Media teamed up with the Victoria Disability Resource Centre to learn about barriers

Popular food truck to open restaurant on Oak Bay Avenue

Dead Beetz Burgers adds brick-and-mortar restaurant

CRD aims to reduce solid waste going to Hartland Landfill by a third by 2030

District launches public engagement campaign for waste reduction strategies

Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin receives first poppy in Legion-led ceremony

The ceremony is one of the first steps to kick off the 2019 poppy campaign

VIDEO: Explosion, fire sends woman running from Saanich home

Heavy smoke in the area, crews on scene

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Most Read