Ramping up the front lines in fight against flood
Winnipeg, MB – Official forecasts for this flood season is predicting moderate to major flooding along the Red, Souris and Assiniboine Rivers in the province of Manitoba. In Saskatchewan there are similar warnings and forecasts for north of Saskatoon and the Moose Jaw/Regina areas.
“No matter the forecast, The Salvation Army is prepared, ready and able. We will be there to meet the need,” says Debbie Clarke, Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) Director for Prairie East.
As part of the ramping up strategy for a front line response by The Salvation Army, training is underway to prepare Emergency Disaster Services volunteers. April 12 – 13 saw 58 participants receive training in two courses from The Salvation Army Natural Disaster Training Program. Additional training will take place April 26 – 27 at Beaver Creek Camp, just 20 minutes south of Saskatoon, SK.
During the first courses participants were introduced to The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) and how it responds and mobilizes to meet the unique challenges of providing support and care during a natural disaster. The second course covered training in emergency food services and safe food handling and delivery. In addition to these two courses, the Saskatchewan training will also include training in Emotional and Spiritual Care.
“In these courses,” explains Clarke, “participants are trained how to quickly and efficiently respond to crisis during a natural disaster. This training sets a standard that ensures Salvation Army volunteers are prepared to respond to an EDS event.”
During a response to a natural disaster or some other emergency crisis, The Salvation Army EDS team works closely with all levels of government. In localized emergencies, this would typically involve just municipal government and resources. As the scope of an emergency increases, this could also include provincial and federal governments and resources as well as other service agents.
The first step to initiating a response is notification of the emergency. Typically, this notice comes from emergency first responders such as Fire and Paramedic Services, Police Services or government emergency measures offices. In the event of an expected crisis, such as spring flooding, discussion and planning take place with all service and emergency providers well in advance. These meetings help iron out logistics, identify needs and potential impact. Depending on what is identified The Salvation Army mobilizes to address the needs it is able to meet.
For upcoming spring flooding concerns, The Salvation Army has stock piled supplies such as emergency kits containing personal care items, clothing and other necessities. Logistical requirements have been reviewed and procedures put in place to quickly respond to flooding with food, clothing, emotional and spiritual care.
In Thompson, The Salvation Army has a Community Response Vehicle (CRV) on standby to address any event taking place in Northern Manitoba. The Salvation Army also has two CRVs in the Winnipeg area that are on standby to respond to events in southern and central Manitoba. In Saskatchewan, there are two CRVs prepared to meet needs that may arise from emergencies in that province. As both Saskatchewan and Manitoba are part of the Prairie division, resources in both provinces are able to quickly and efficiently shared and tasked throughout the division.
If you would like to be a part of the front lines by making a donation or to volunteer with The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services, please call (204) 975-1033 in Manitoba, (306) 757-3111 in Southern Saskatchewan, or (306) 244-9114 in Northern Saskatchewan to learn about how you can give hope today and make a difference in your community.