Resiliency Centre for wildfire evacuees set to open in Kamloops | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Resiliency Centre for wildfire evacuees set to open in Kamloops

The Resiliency Centre is located in the North Hills mall in Kamloops and is a collaboration of government and non-governmental agencies to provide supports for wildfire evacuees.
July 19, 2021 - 7:00 PM

A one stop shop for wildfire evacuees is opening in Kamloops tomorrow to meet the complex needs of evacuees who continue to flee fires in the Thompson Nicola Regional District, often with only a pre-packed bag in hand.

The Resiliency Centre, located at North Hills mall on the North Shore, is lined with long tables, soon to be filled with both government and non-governmental agencies. These agencies have the tools to support evacuees in most areas, helping them obtain contact with their insurance companies, file vehicle loss claims and receive mental health services.

Recovery manager Dale Kronebusch is a contractor hired by the regional district to oversee the ambitious project. This is not his first time coordinating such a facility, having organized something similar in response to the Elephant Hill fire in 2017.

“I learned this kind of response is really essential,” Kronebusch says. “Some evacuees don’t have a pre-packed bag because they didn’t have time. They have lost their identification and everything. Meeting their needs right away can bring down their stress levels. This is a rounded support approach. Basically, an evacuee can enter the facility and go from table to table receiving help.”

Kronebusch says the Insurance Bureau of Canada and Service Canada will be participating, as well as Service BC. There are several non-governmental organizations onboard. Team Rubicon, a not-for-profit volunteer company, recruits, trains, equips, organizes and deploys veterans to aid in disaster response operations around the world. 

“We will be coordinating with Team Rubicon and the Red Cross,” Kronebusch says. “Also the Samaritan’s Purse, faith-based NGO’s, the First Nations Health Authority and likely the Interior Health Authority. It will be a full house."

The Resiliency Center opens tomorrow, July 20, and will be open seven days per week from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The hours may be adjusted to better meet needs. Kronebusch intends to facilitate mobile resiliency team as soon as possible that will travel to locations in the province where evacuees are concentrated.

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