The Cariboo Regional District will be using a $25,000 grant to fund some of the portable equipment that is required for its new Emergency Operations Centre in Williams Lake.

The Province with Emergency Management BC announced 63 local and regional governments and first nations communities have been approved to received their share of nearly $1.5 million dollars in provincial emergency preparedness to emergency operation centres and related emergency training.

“We’re going to be getting some mobile screens and conference equipment so that we can have more flexibility in where we can have meetings and how we can display information during emergencies,” said CRD manager of communications, Emily Epp.

“Also we’re going be using that money to buy a dedicated mapping printer for our emergency operations centre which means that during emergencies our regular business and mapping can carry on and we’re not taking over our printers.”

The Cariboo Regional District’s new Emergency Operations Centre will be in the space they have currently been renting to Raymond James Ltd.

Epp said they are hoping to start construction quite shortly, and that their goal is to have it up and running in time for the wildfire season in July.

“We’re really excited to have this dedicated space for us to manage emergencies out of,” she said.

“It’s been a challenge with the increased intensity and duration of emergency response that the CRD has been facing in the midst of our regular business. We often take over our board room and we can’t use that meeting space, and it’s quite limited.”

“This new space means that our regular business can keep going while we serve our residents on a regular side of things as well as responding to emergencies. It will just really improve our efficiency.”

The CRD has allocated $252,000 in its 2019 budget for constructing and renovating the space that will serve as its new EOC.