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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses claim against Island Corridor Foundation

Snaw-Naw-As (Nanoose) First Nation was seeking return of reserve land as railway sits unused

What’s in a name? Ladysmith’s historical streets re-examined

Several streets in downtown Ladysmith are named after generals that served in the Boer War

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Retired Ladysmith master mariner publishes memoir of a life at sea

John Anderson’s book: Of Times and Tides is a vivid memoir of decades in the shipping industry

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

‘Queue jumpers’ not welcome in B.C. as COVID-19 U.S. cases rise: Horgan

Premier Horgan said he’s heard concerns that Americans have stopped at Vancouver hotels instead of heading to their destination

US officer resigns after photos, connected to death of black man in 2019, surface

Elijah McClain died, last summer, after police placed him in a chokehold

Black worker files discrimination complaint against Facebook

Oscar Veneszee, Jr. has worked as an operations program manager at Facebook since 2017

Nestle Canada selling bottled water business to local family-owned company

The Pure Life bottled water business is being sold to Ice River Springs

Major B.C. salmon farm tests new containment system to curb sea lice infestations

System “essentially eliminates” contact between wild and farmed fish stocks, says Cermaq

Most Read