It appears that volunteers from a mid-Vancouver Island community will be assisting wildfire evacuees online.
Comox Valley volunteers will be providing two weeks of online support, after a request from Emergency Management BC (EMBC), for people who have been forced to leave their homes, according to a statement from the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) on Wednesday.
The volunteers will meet virtually with displaced residents to help them register with the program and find vital resources, information and supports, according to the CVRD.
Comox Valley emergency programs coordinator Howie Siemens says the online portal will allow volunteers to reach more people without leaving home.
“Generally our Emergency Support Services volunteers are recruited to provide support during local emergencies such as a fire, flood or earthquake. They may choose to be deployed to any area across BC,” said Siemens. “Use of the EMBC online portal allows our volunteers to provide support across the province, virtually, right from home.”
The CVRD says volunteers receive regular training on how to support themselves and the evacuees. They say their experience will allow them to help for as long as they are needed.
“This can include disasters anywhere in the province due to shortages of personnel, or to relieve already exhausted volunteers,” said Siemens. “Our Comox Valley team will continue to provide this online support for as long as necessary and will respond if additional resources are requested by the province.”