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

‘Best of Cloverdale’ contest returns

Voters can cast ballots once a day until Sept. 5; enter to win $250 gift card for Save-On-Foods

Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society doing ‘better than we were expecting’ amid COVID-19

At one point, the board thought it might have a donation shortfall of $250,000

Delta artist John Horton named to Order of British Columbia

Honour for significant contributions made to the appreciation and safety of B.C.’s coastal history

Man arrested in ‘after-hours club crackdown’ in Whalley, Surrey RCMP say

Police say they received information about clubs, parties ‘springing up’ at commercial properties

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

FURTHER UPDATE: Body removed from Maple Ridge hotel after large police presence

A large contingent of Mounties were at the Art Infiniti Hotel Friday afternoon and evening

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

PHOTOS: Moving day for 110-year-old Fraser Valley heritage house

Chilliwack heritage house makes 1.7-kilometre journey to new location

Plainclothes Abbotsford police officer deletes cellphone video after drawing gun on innocent man

‘They never asked me what I was doing there, strictly came out with guns, threatening to shoot me’

CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for Aug. 7

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Most Read