Volunteers from the Comox Valley are working to assist wildfire evacuees displaced from their homes in the B.C. Interior.
Emergency Management BC has requested Comox Valley Emergency Support Services to provide two weeks of online support.
Volunteers will meet virtually with people forced out of their homes, to help get registered, and find vital resources, information and supports.
A provincial state of emergency was issued on Tuesday in response to hundreds of wildfires burning in B.C., and an extended weather forecast for hot and dry conditions in the interior and southeastern parts of the province.
“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,” explained Howie Siemens, Comox Valley Emergency Programs Coordinator.
“Use of the EMBC online portal allows our volunteers to provide support across the province, virtually, right from home.”
In a release, the Comox Valley Regional District described members of the Comox Valley team as “dedicated, enthusiastic, caring and passionate volunteers, committed to helping community residents in the event of a disaster.”
“These individuals are eager to be involved, support the community and help others in their time of need,” the district added.
Volunteers receive training regularly on how to support both themselves and evacuees during emergencies and disasters.
Those who have had the chance to volunteer in this capacity often report the experience as positive and life-changing.
“Our volunteers are dedicated to helping whenever and wherever 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,” said Siemens.
Anyone interested in becoming a member of the team can call 250-334-8890 or email [email protected] More information about emergency services in the Comox Valley can be found at: www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/services/emergency-management.