Local governments and First Nations in the Cowichan Valley have received $200,000 from the province to enhance communications during emergencies, like the windstorm (pictured) that hit the region in 2018. (File photo)

Local governments and First Nations in the Cowichan Valley have received $200,000 from the province to enhance communications during emergencies, like the windstorm (pictured) that hit the region in 2018. (File photo)

Cowichan region receives $200,000 for emergency operations centres

Provincial funding to pay for emergency communications improvements

The Cowichan Valley will receive $200,000 in provincial funding to support the work of emergency operations centres in the area.

The funding will be used by the Cowichan Valley Regional District, Cowichan Tribes, City of Duncan, the Municipality of North Cowichan, Malahat First Nation, Town of Lake Cowichan, Stz’uminus First Nation, and the Town of Ladysmith to pay for emergency communications enhancements in the region.

Overall, local governments and First Nations in 54 communities have been approved to receive their share of more than $1.8 million in provincial emergency preparedness funding.

The intent of this funding from the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund, is to support eligible applicants to buy equipment and supplies to maintain or improve their emergency operations centres and to enhance the capacity of these local emergency co-ordination hubs through training and exercises.

Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan, said the funding for emergency operations centres will help the Cowichan Valley prepare for emergency events.

“Improving emergency communications across many of our smaller communities will go a long way towards building a stronger emergency response here in the Cowichan Valley,” said Routley.

“This funding for local governments and First Nation governments will help ensure they are well-equipped to protect people, businesses, and infrastructure in times of crisis.”

Mike Farnworth, minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, added that the funding is crucial, and it will give communities a boost in their ability to respond to emergencies.

“Though the approval of funding for these projects has been going on for some time, recent extreme wildfire events demonstrate just how vital emergency operations centres are in responding to emergencies,” he said.

Emergency Preparedness