Tabletop exercise helps prepare for disasters

What would local government officials do if an interface fire started near Hydro Road in Clearwater?

Dave Marcotte

Dave Marcotte

What would local government officials do if an interface fire started near Hydro Road in Clearwater?

That was the subject of a tabletop disaster planning exercise held April 14 in Dutch Lake Community Centre.

A total of 25 people from agencies such as District of Clearwater, RCMP, Thompson-Nicola Regional District, and highways department took part.

The exercise included putting in place an emergency operations centre (EOC) to deal with the situation, said Leslie Groulx, Clearwater’s chief administrative officer.

Participants gained an understanding of how an evacuation order happens and who issues it – the town mayor.

They also identified hot and warm zones around the fire, completed a risk management profile of the situation, brainstorming who should be involved, where to send evacuees, setting up a reception centre, and so on.

In addition, those present discussed and learned what each agency in attendance would be responsible for.

The entire exercise was developed around the structure of an incident command system, which is a set of policies and procedures designed to improve emergency response operations.