Campbell River Search and Rescue will be conducting a door-to-door wildfire evacuation order exercise on Tuesday Oct. 29. Photo submitted

Wildfire exercise could have Campbell River Search and Rescue knocking on your door

CR SAR aims to visit homes within the boundary of Harrogate, Erickson, Highway 19A and Hilchey Roads

Campbell River Search and Rescue (CR SAR) will be conducting a door-to-door wildfire evacuation order exercise on Tuesday, Oct. 29.

Between the hours of 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., CR SAR will aim to visit every home within the boundary of Harrogate, Erickson, Highway 19A and Hilchey Roads.

What does the exercise mean for residents within the boundary?

• Two members of Campbell River Search and Rescue carrying identification may come to the door from 7 – 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 29 and provide wildfire evacuation information.

• Residents will not be asked to leave their home.

• A coloured piece of flagging tape will indicate that the home has been visited during the exercise and CR SAR will remove the ribbon at the end of the exercise.

If residents prefer that CR SAR not come to their door during the exercise, please contact SRD Protective Services Coordinator Shaun Koopman at 250-830-6702 or skoopman@srd.ca to be placed on the ‘DO NOT KNOCK’ list.

The purpose of this training exercise is to help CR SAR be prepared to assist the RCMP in the event of an emergency that requires an evacuation. The evacuation team (led by RCMP and CR SAR) will use biodegradable, two-foot coloured ribbons to indicate the exercise status of all premises.

“Residents in the boundary area can expect to see a ribbon tied around the front door-knob when their door can be seen from the road,” says Campbell River Search and Rescue Manager Dylan Baker. “If their door is not visible from the road, a ribbon will be tied where it is visible from the street, possibly at the driveway entrance.”

“In the event of a real community emergency, the SRD has agreements in place to use municipal facilities, schools or privately-owned buildings to serve as Emergency Support Service facilities for reception centres, staging areas, or group lodging facilities,” says Strathcona Regional District Chair Michele Babchuk. “Our community mass notification system Connect Rocket would be the first way the public would be notified about a real evacuation and location of the facility where they should gather. Residents are encouraged to sign up at https://strathconard.connectrocket.com.”

If residents receive an evacuation alert or notice, prepare for pets’ safety by having kennels, food and water bowls ready with proper identification on. Emergency Support Services will likely have limited space for pets. If possible, arrange beforehand to have pets stay with friends or family. The Canadian Animal Disaster Response Team (CDART) may be called to assist with animal care. A local CDART team has not been formed yet as more volunteers are needed.

To volunteer assisting animals during an emergency or for more information on community evacuations, emergency plans and maps, visit www.srd.ca/community-emergency-plans-and-maps or contact SRD Protective Services Coordinator Shaun Koopman at 250-830-6702 or skoopman@srd.ca.

The Strathcona Regional District is a partnership of four electoral areas and five municipalities providing services to approximately 44,000 residents.

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