Council Makes Emergency Preparedness A Priority

The District of Sparwood has been diligently working to make emergency preparedness a top priority. Two new programs, the Vulnerable Persons Registry (VPR) and the Evacuation Notification System (ENS), have been launched to improve public awareness and response during a critical event or emergency.

The Vulnerable Persons Registry - unique to Sparwood, was developed when District staff identified a gap in their vital information, regarding individuals in the community who are most at risk. The goal of the registry is to provide first responders with quick access to critical information about a registered individual who would require assistance if they needed to be evacuated in an emergency. This voluntary registry will ensure that first responders and emergency support services’ teams are better prepared to provide assistance when needed or available. In addition, it is the hope of the District that the registry will help alleviate anxiety and safety concerns for those who will require assistance during a critical event.

This registry is intended for individuals who due to their age, illness, trauma, disability or another reason are unable to take care of themselves or protect themselves against harm. It promotes communication between vulnerable persons, the people who support them and first responders.  Registration is voluntary and FREE. Another tool at the hands of residents is the Evacuation Notification System (ENS) launched by the Regional District of East Kootenay earlier this summer. This system powered by Voyent Alert!, will help keep residents and property owners, in the East Kootenays, informed of any evacuation orders or alerts issued during critical events such as wildfires, floods or hazardous materials incidents. The system allows users to pin multiple locations and will send out notifications to anyone with pins in defined order/alert areas via text, phone calls (both landline and cell) and for smartphone users, via a dedicated app on their phones.

This service is FREE and anonymous. It is available to all residents and property owners in the East Kootenay. Whether you live in a municipality, a rural area, or you own a second home within the region, you will receive a notification if you have subscribed and there is an evacuation alert or order affecting your chosen locations.

“We urge all residents and property owners to sign up for the ENS and encourage our vulnerable populations to take the time to register on the VPR. It is our hope that these new tools will help provide our residents with some peace of mind during a stressful time in their lives. When an emergency occurs, not only do our citizens need to know what is happening right away, but our first responders need this vital information to help them respond without delay,” says Sparwood Mayor, David Wilks.

For more information or to register: