The Cowichan Valley Regional District is exploring ways to better prepare for major emergencies.
CVRD Emergency Program Coordinator April Diver is making the rounds to local governments with a presentation that lays out the gaps and recommendations in the current emergency management system and the potential of tying up the loose ends for the benefit of all.
“There is some lack of clarity on whether municipalities or the regional district are responsible in some areas, and gaps exist,” Diver explained. Her local tour highlights the appropriate resources to address those gaps, and whether they should be addressed at the municipal or regional district levels.
The gaps aren’t just about emergency responses, she noted but in emergency management governance, analyzing hazards, mitigating risk, preparedness, training, communications, and recovery.
The Cowichan region is susceptible to a number of major emergencies including but not limited to: flooding, droughts, wildfires, apartment fires, earthquakes and more.
“Local governments are working together to ensure these gaps are addressed. This would include coordination, and funding,” Diver explained.
Ladysmith has already approved the recommendations and now Lake Cowichan has as well.
“Ever since I started in politics, municipalities wanted to get away from regional districts but it doesn’t make any sense with the services there,” Lake Cowichan Mayor Bob Day said following Diver’s presentation to town council. “It makes more sense to draw a little more tax money from the larger tax base.”
“The CVRD would be the leader but we still would have to have our own separate plan,” he noted. “They’ve got the resources.”
Presentations are slated next for Duncan and North Cowichan councils and will wrap with a visit to the CVRD board room in September.