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Preparing for future extreme heat in the Okanagan-Similkameen

Regional District of the Okanagan-Similkameen to host public sessions
The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen, local municipalities and First Nations are working on a project to build resiliency to extreme heat. (File photo)

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is working to tackle future extreme heat events with a new project.

The project begins with gathering information including feedback from the public through engagement sessions across the region.

The RDOS is working together with local Indigenous bands and municipalities, including Keremeos and the Lower Similkameen Indian Band.

Funding the project is the Union of BC Municipalities, with the aim of making the region more resilient to future extreme heat events.

The project will map risk areas and identify vulnerable populations, and then develop actions for public and private facilities including upgrades for cooling centres, as well as further policies for emergency response to extreme heat events.

Sessions will be hosted by RDOS throughout May and June in-person and online to gather feedback from the public, particularly from residents willing to share their experiences with past extreme heat events.

In-person workshops in the Similkameen are June 4, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Princeton & District Community Skills Centre, and June 5, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Similkameen Recreation Centre in Keremeos.

In the South Okanagan, workshops will be held on May 21, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. at the Oliver Community Hall; May 22, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Sonora Community Centre in Osoyoos; May 23, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Summerland Curling Club and June 6, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. at the Okanagan Falls Recreation Centre.

Registration is advised ahead of time and can be done through the RDOS’s Regional Connections website.

Online sessions are also scheduled to take place through May, and require registration online. Those sessions are scheduled as follows:

•May 15, 10 a.m. to noon: virtual collaborative workshop with first responders and health organizations and service providers.

• May 16,10 a.m. to noon: virtual collaborative workshop with RDOS/municipal staff/recreation facilities staff.

•May 29, 10:00 a.m. to noon: virtual collaborative workshop with community groups and service providers who support vulnerable groups.

•May 30, 2024, 10 a.m. to noon: virtual collaborative workshop withprovincial groups and business organizations.

The RDOS is also planning an online survey that will be launched at a later date.

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Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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