It is late in the evening and the fire is moving quickly. To avoid being trapped by the smoke and flames, your family and your neighbours are quickly being evacuated.
Everyone is safe for now, but you wonder how you will manage to take care of your family until it is safe to return home. You have no food, clothes, or a place to stay, not even a toothbrush, or food for the dog, and as you scrambled to leave your home you neglected to grab your wallet.
What you soon learn is that your local Emergency Support Services (ESS) team has already set up a reception centre at a community hall well beyond the fires reach. The Central Okanagan’s ESS team, made up of volunteers from the community, has been trained to deal with whatever emergency or disaster should occur, whether it be a flood, apartment fire, earthquake, forest fire or other disaster.
There is a role for ESS in any emergency situation involving the evacuation of residents, and now that our region is in crisis, your local ESS volunteers are prepared and have begun to put their plan into place.
This communities ESS Team has a strong base of dedicated volunteers; however since people sometimes move or their family obligations change, there is always a need for more energetic and enthusiastic individuals to join the ESS team. The qualities necessary in an ESS volunteer include:
• A concern for people affected by disaster
• Good communication skills
• Ability to work well in a team
If you are interested in becoming an ESS volunteer, the ESS team would like to hear from you. To become an ESS volunteer, please contact the Catherine Williams at 250-215-1789.