With the recent sailing cancellations of the Queen of Capilano due to extreme weather, I thought I’d take this opportunity to remind residents of a few things worth noting should we find ourselves without a way on and off the island overnight.
Emergency Support Services (ESS) is a province-wide program made up of local volunteers working together to provide for the immediate needs of people evacuated from their homes due to emergencies such as flooding, fires or earthquakes. Essential services provided include food, clothing, lodging, registration and family reunification. If travelers are stranded on Bowen Island, they are encouraged to stay with friends or family and to take care of their own needs if they are able, however ESS is available stranded travelers unable to support themselves. This also applies to Bowen residents on the mainland who are unable to return home. In this case, ESS on the North Shore is likely to assist with food and lodging for Bowen residents unable to take care of their own needs for the time that they are unable to return home.
The municipal Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) is likely to be activated to monitor the situation, to share information with residents and stakeholders and to support the ESS response. The EOC is likely to be located at the Satellite Fire Hall on Adams Road or at Municipal Hall and would be staffed by trained municipal employees and volunteers.
On December 20, Bowen Island Municipality’s EOC was activated to monitor the weather event and ferry cancellations and the EOC was demobilized that same evening once the ferry service resumed.
The municipality invested in a public notification system in 2017, called BowENS, that can be used to share relevant information with residents in an emergency by phone, text or email. Residents are encouraged to sign up for BowENS either online at bowenislandmunicipality.ca/ens or by calling municipal hall at 604 947 4255. You can also monitor the municipal website for information in an emergency.
Listen to the radio in the event of a disaster that disrupts normal methods of communication such as phone and internet.