Important information for service providers in B.C.’s North and Interior regarding wildfires

Dear Service Providers and Caregivers,

As you are aware, fire and evacuation season has begun in our regions and we have a number of individuals and families who have been impacted, or may be impacted, in various communities.  The safety and wellbeing of CLBC’s network of supported individuals, families, staff and service providers is a top priority for us.

With the fires currently affecting many areas in our Northern and Interior regions, and the likelihood that this will be continuing for the next months, I have activated a CLBC Emergency Operations Centre team. The purpose of this team, which includes leaders at CLBC’s head office and these two regions, is to monitor fire evacuation alerts and orders and have local teams ready to provide support to affected service providers and individuals who may need special support.

We are reaching out to you with four requests:

  1. Please make sure you are monitoring wildfire information, alerts, and orders in your region. You can find provincial information about wildfires, including all current alerts and advisories on Emergency Info BC or via the BC Wildfire Service mobile app.
  2. Please ensure that you are working with your residential and/or home sharing providers to ensure that they have current and updated emergency plans. These plans should include where they will go in the event of an evacuation and confirm how they will connect with you once they have reached a safe location. Please note, that if there are additional supports required to meet the individual’s disability related needs while evacuated, please connect with your CLBC analyst for assistance.
  3. Where you are supporting individuals and families who are not receiving residential services: please discuss the importance of having an individual emergency plan. Encourage them to create or review their evacuation plan and share it with your agency. Remind them that they can reach out to CLBC for assistance if there are additional supports required to meet the individual’s disability related needs while evacuated.
  4. Please consider where your agency has capacity to assist others in circumstances where supports are needed in an unfamiliar community or surroundings. These would include vacancies or potential space in existing staffed homes or other spaces where people could be housed in an emergency or may require some type of support in their temporary community. Your analyst or another CLBC staff person may also contact you to gather this information to assist us in compiling the resources available in various communities. In prior years we have been amazed by the generosity and support providers have offered each other during fire season.

CLBC has posted information for individuals and families about wildfires on our web site here and distributed it via social media, including asking them to have an evacuation plan in place that includes the phone number of their local CLBC office. We are also distributing posters to evacuation centres inviting people who arrive at the centre who receive CLBC services to call us and let us know they are okay.

We know that this is a challenging and difficult time and appreciate the work that you and your agency have done to support the individuals we jointly serve.  If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your local CLBC manager.

Sincerely yours,

Ross Chilton
Community Living BC

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