Emergency Preparedness Week is Every Day

A pile of rubble blocks the roadway, a mudslide cuts off access to a nearby highway, an earthquake crumbles the route you take to work…

During Emergency Preparedness Week, you may be thinking about how such scenarios could affect your world.

At the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, what some people consider an emergency is generally part of our regular business. Every day, we plan and take steps, knowing how critical the highway system is to British Columbians who need medical care, supplies and services. The economy and people’s well-being depend on a safe and reliable highway system.

When a flood, slide or spill happens on our highways, we work with our maintenance contractor partners to re-open the route as soon as possible.

The ministry’s contracts with highway maintenance companies require the companies to meet strict standards for emergency preparedness and response, and to be ready to respond. Maintenance contractors have contingency plans, just in case, to handle different situations like being short-staffed. They are also able to move people and equipment from other places, or hire local equipment and equipment operators.

Critical routes are pre-identified, so it’s understood which highways will be cleared first. Depending on the situation, the ministry might work with other agencies. For example, during last summer’s fire season the ministry supported the Ministry of Forests. In a widespread disaster, there is a command structure, where the ministry works with municipalities and other government agencies, as part of the Provincial Emergency Program.

Each ministry work unit has a business continuity plan, so that if its office building or staff members are impacted by a disaster, it can continue to deliver critical public services. Keeping essential services going is the priority.

Should things take a turn for the worse on B.C.’s highways, the ministry and our transportation partners are ready. For us, Emergency Preparedness Week is every day!

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3 Responses to Emergency Preparedness Week is Every Day

  1. Ernest R. McLean on February 20, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    This may not be an emergency situation in the broad sense of the word but it is as far as my health is concerned( I am &^ years of age) I have stage 3c throat cancer, (I leave for Kamloops at 6:00am every Monday and return from Kelowna every Friday) I also have heart problems and a stroke. we have constantly asked JPW Road & Bridge to fix the public road (Warren Road Pritchard B.C.)and they keep ignoring the problem the mud is so thick only a four x four can make it up the hills. ( a car or ambulance hasn’t a chance of making it up or down the road). we have asked many times for gravel to be laid down. I understand that the gravel was budgeted many years ago but the budget was used for other projects. Please contact me.There are three family’s which live here also my neighbour Dale Stewart was rushed to royal inland hospital on February 15 for a blood clout in his stomach because of the road condition he was forced to have his wife drive there 4×4 truck. Please,Please can something be done before someone dies.

    • tranbceditor on February 23, 2016 at 4:30 pm

      Hello Ernest,

      Thank you for connecting with us here. We have sent your concern forward to the local area manager for review.

    • tranbceditor on February 25, 2016 at 9:13 am

      Thanks again for contacting us here. Further to your message our ministry road maintenance contractor, JPW Road & Bridge Inc. ( JPW ) reports that road surface conditions are improving with the recent Spring-like weather. We have asked JPW to assess Warren Rd for possible inclusion in their future road improvement program. In the interim JPW has committed to undertaking the necessary drainage and surface improvements to ensure the road remains passable to all regular vehicle traffic. Should you have any further concerns, we encourage you to contact the ministry’s Road Area Manager, Peter Gooch, in Salmon Arm. Peter can be reached at 250 833-3371 or by email at Peter.Gooch@gov.bc.ca
      Hope that this helps!

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