Questions about disaster planning for people with disabilities

Absences at a meeting organized by Disability Alliance BC raises questions for an ESS volunteer.


Saturday, Sept. 30, I had the opportunity to attend a full day training session presented by Disability Alliance BC. Information provided said it was for anyone in positions of responsibility during emergencies and disasters (emergency managers, ESS directors and volunteers, first responders, disability groups, service providers, etc.)

I have to say I was shocked to find the only people in attendance were ESS volunteers, disability groups and service providers.

Noticeably absent were first responders, fire chiefs or other fire personnel, anyone from the Town of Smithers, and representatives from nearby Indigenous communities.

These are the people we entrust with the evacuation and care of people with disabilities in our town. Do we have any idea what their plan is, and how the people with disabilities will be evacuated in case of an emergency? Is there a written plan and, if so, how do we obtain access to this plan so that we can coordinate with our plan?

This raises many questions.

Fay Van Horn

Ess volunteer