The Shuswap Emergency Program (SEP) was formed in 1999 with the amalgamation of three local authorities: the CSRD's Electoral Areas C, D, E and F, the City of Salmon Arm and the District of Sicamous. SEP provides emergency planning, mitigation, preparedness and recovery for the geographical area which encompasses the Shuswap region.
SEP covers approximately 6,500 square kilometres with an estimated permanent population of 35,000 residents, which routinely swells to over 100,000 during the summer tourist and cottage season.
SEP is a well established, active program of volunteers and local authority staff who are all trained in emergency management.
SEP provides response and recovery to major emergencies and is guided by eight response goals:
- Provide for the safety and health of all responders
- Save lives
- Reduce suffering
- Protect public heath
- Protect government infrastructure
- Protect property
- Protect the environment
- Reduce economic and social losses.
During a disaster SEP can:
- Provide personal disaster assistance through Emergency Support Services
- Provide aid to Emergency Agencies
- Declaration of State of Local Emergency
- Coordinate Provincial Funding for Response Costs
- Provide Community Awareness information
- Assist RCMP with planning evacuations
- Provide media relations
- Assist farms with livestock evacuations
- Provide sandbags
- Provide Structural Protection Unit during a fire threat.