Summerside working with charity on new comprehensive emergency plan
'It's so important that we're thinking about this now'
Samaritan's Purse, a charity that helped homeowners across P.E.I. with post-Dorian cleanup, is helping the city of Summerside put together an emergency plan for future extreme weather events.
Representatives with the charity met with city officials for an emergency preparedness session on Thursday.
"We like to follow up in areas where we've responded to a disaster," said Steve Gross, national recovery manager for the charity. "Figure out if there's a way to partner with both the churches in the area as well as the municipality in helping build some community resilience."
The organization received about 200 calls from residents in Summerside, Kensington, and Cavendish asking for help after the post-tropical storm in September.
Preparing for future weather events
Volunteers also spent five weeks after the post-tropical storm removing approximately 2,000 trees along with debris, and providing other aid.
"What it allows us to do is share some of the things we've learned in other disaster contexts across Canada," Gross said. "Through that we're able to help them be better prepared the next time something comes along."
These volunteers, they did it on their own dime. They didn't get paid to come out and do this.— Tracy Linkletter, executive pastor, Summerside Community Church
While the city was able to respond quickly, officials said the municipality needs to put together a comprehensive emergency plan to prepare for the next weather event.
The city also presented Samaritan's Purse with a cheque for $5,000 for its post-Dorian help.
"These volunteers, they did it on their own dime. They didn't get paid to come out and do this," said Tracy Linkletter, executive pastor at Summerside Community Church.
"It was just heartwarming to meet these people, they were in our church building, they were living there in this time."
Linkletter said the city's emergency management plan should include an emergency shelter where people can spend the night when they can't be in their home.
"It's so important that we're thinking about this now. When you've been through it, you realize the gaps of what wasn't there."
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With files from Tom Steepe