Volunteers filled sand bags for flood protection in Maple Ridge Park last year. (Neil Corbett/The News)

Volunteers filled sand bags for flood protection in Maple Ridge Park last year. (Neil Corbett/The News)

Maple Ridge receives $25K for evacuation route development

Provincial funding went to 14 First Nations and local governments across the province

Maple Ridge has received $25,000 from the province for evacuation route funding.

The money is to go towards the development of emergency evacuation route plans to better prepare the community for an emergency.

In total $485,000 was handed out to 14 First Nations and local governments across the province.

Communities can use the money to either update or create new evacuation route plans for residents who do not have an established route to safety in the event of a large-scale emergency.

“As we’ve seen with the past year’s heat dome, wildfires, flooding and mudslides, preparing for emergencies is critical,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

“This funding will go a long way to support First Nations and local governments to help ensure people’s safety during emergencies or disasters,” the minister added.

Evacuation route planning funding is part of the $189-million Community Emergency Preparedness Fund, administered through the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM).

Of the 14 communities receiving this latest support from the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund, nearly half are First Nations communities.

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“Given the increased frequency, intensity and duration of disasters caused by climate change, it’s clear that we need to support essential work that communities are doing, like planning evacuation routes,” said Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness.

“Since 2017, we’ve seen great success with this program as it supports both First Nations and local governments in realizing their emergency preparedness goals.”

This year the province has allotted $2.1 billion of the budget to support the recovery of communities to rebuild from recent disasters and to strengthen their defences in order to protect themselves from future disasters. From this funding, $110 million is for the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund to support local governments and First Nations with their community-led disaster risk reduction initiatives.


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