Kamloops ,BC—The emergency evacuation reception centre which opened on Monday, November 15, to assist residents of Merritt who have been impacted by the devastating flooding in their community. The Emergency Services Support (ESS) team working on behalf of Emergency Management BC, is comprised of dedicated volunteers who have been working with urgency to help register and provide supports to hundreds of Merritt residents throughout the week, and will continue to work as long as help is needed.
To volunteer with ESS, a minimum 20 hours of training is required. Currently, the ESS team is comprised of City staff and trained volunteers to operate the reception centre. Residents who are interested in volunteering and completing training to assist with future events are encouraged to register at Kamloops.ca/ESS.
“Kamloops is an amazing community—we know you want to help our neighbours, but we are unfortunately unable to accept donations at the McArthur Island ESS reception centre.” said Carmin Mazzotta, the City’s Social, Housing, and Community Development Manager. “We are overwhelmed with the outpouring of support from residents to provide donations and encourage residents to direct donations to local non-profit and charitable organizations who care for people in need.”
An ESS reception centre is set up to provide for immediate essential needs of people affected by a disaster. This assistance includes food, lodging, clothing, emotional support, and family reunification. Receptions centres are not set up with the means and capacity to receive, sort, and store donations such as food, supplies, or clothing.
Meaningful ways to help:
• donate cash, food, gas cards or gift cards to the Kamloops Food Bank
• donate cash or gift cards to other local non-profit and charity donations such as the Thompson Nicola Cariboo United Way
• donate clothing to local thrift stores
• register to volunteer at Kamloops.ca/ESS
Residents of Merritt that have been evacuated due to flooding and require supports should register online at ess.gov.bc.ca and then go to the emergency evacuation reception centre at McArthur Island Sport and Event Centre to access referrals to needed supports. The reception centre located at 1655 Island Parkway is open 8:00 am–6:00 pm daily. This will help ensure that your loved ones and communities know where you are and know that you are safe. If you do not require Emergency Support Services, simply register online at ess.gov.bc.ca.