'For the first step it was great': Emergency shelter preparing for future situations
A few dozen P.E.I. residents used the shelter during post-tropical storm Erin
An emergency shelter was open in Charlottetown last night at the Salvation Army Church to protect people from the rain as post-tropical storm Erin hit P.E.I. on Thursday.
The effects of the storm were not as bad as many expected.
Summerside saw the most rain fall with 65 millimetres, Charlottetown saw 33 millimetres and St. Peter's only got 11 millimetres, with the worst wind gusts hitting 57 kilometres an hour at East Point.
A few dozen people came and went at the church on Fitzroy Street as the rain came in intervals, says Mike Redmond who is residential manager at the men's homeless shelter Bedford MacDonald House and is also in charge of the province's emergency shelter hotline.
"We were able to come together as a community along with the province and react to a situation that could have potentially been much much worse," Redmond said.
The shelter provided water and snacks and Redmond said he was proud of the work done by staff with both Bedford MacDonald House and the Salvation Army, and the community support they received.
"It was a privilege for Hunter's Ale House come over with 10 pizzas for us. It was a wonderful gesture," he said.
Redmond said the weather was strange with the rain pouring "like buckets" then stopping for a while.
"People were saturated when they were coming in the door," he said.
Happy to escape weather
People seemed to be just happy to get out of the elements for a while, and Redmond said this was a good "first step in a bigger picture" in preparing long-term for emergency situations through the fall and winter.
"The province is a big part of that, but I think the leadership through the Salvation Army will be critical partners moving forward," he said.
Redmond said the world is facing climate change, there are going to be snow storms and other emergency situations.
"I think we just need to ensure we are prepared and we can service the community at large," he said.
Redmond said they will do a review of how Thursday night's shelter went on Friday.
"For the first step it was great for us to be able to go through the process and now this week we will sit down with the province, the Salvation Army and talk about how it looks going forward."
More P.E.I. news
With files from Laura Chapin