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

Just Posted

Quesnel RCMP investigating hit and run on Quesnel River Bridge

Bridge traffic reduced to single lane alternating

B.C. First Nation hopes to offer new visitor experiences in 2021

Travellers reminded to check for updates on access to Title Lands if visiting this summer

Local war hero ceberating 100 years of life

Derek Beningfield records his grandfather’s history ahead of his 100th birthday on July 14

Editorial: Thanks for the memories

Sasha Sefter says farewell to our readers

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Washington’s NFL team drops ‘Redskins’ name after 87 years

The franchise was given the name back in 1933, when it was still in Boston

Most Read