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General News · 11th August 2020
Shaun Koopman
Dear Cortes Island Community Member

I hope you are having a safe and fun summer. My name is Shaun and I am your Protective Services Coordinator for the Strathcona Regional District. The purpose of this post is to request a moment of your time to provide your valuable input.

Throughout the rest of 2020, I will be updating the Cortes Island Community Wildfire Protection Plan (2011) and the Cortes Island Evacuation Plan (2016). I have been blessed to work as your Protective Services Coordinator for the Strathcona RD since June 2016. My understanding is the previous Wildfire and Evacuation Plans, which were compiled before my tenure here, were developed with little to no public input or consultation. My hope is that this time around that will be different. My original plan was to do this public consultation in person, but unfortunately due to the physical distancing recommendations of COVID-19 an approach of an initial website/physical survey questionnaire followed by virtual of conference call based focus groups is a safe path forward.

A Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) assists local governments in identifying the risks of wildland/urban interface fire within and surrounding their communities. The Cortes Island Evacuation Plan establishes procedures for orderly and coordinated evacuation of the island, in the event that a threat deems a portion of the island unsafe to occupy. The information provided by the survey responses will inform the development of the Community Wildfire Protection Plan and Evacuation Plan. When a draft plan has been developed, future community forums will take place to build community resilience and awareness, and as a process of continuous improvement.

My hope is that this engagement will help to reduce the wildfire risk, provide a better understanding of the evacuation requirements of Cortes Island and enhance both community resilience and relationship between residents and the emergency program. I would like to thank the members of the Cortes Island Emergency Planning Committee and Cortes Island Emergency Support Services Team who provided their input and feedback into the development of this survey.

Surveys may be submitted by:
· Mail – complete the survey that was mailed to you this week and return to the SRD in the pre-paid postage envelope:
OR
· Online - complete the fillable survey on www.srd.ca/Cortes-Evacuation-Survey
Survey submissions must be received by September 30, 2020.

We would like to hear if you have an opinion on this matter. If you have additional thoughts on this topic that are not covered by the survey, please feel free to include them in the space provided.
For more information on this project, please visit www.srd.ca/Cortes-Evacuation-Survey or contact Shaun Koopman, SRD Protective Services Coordinator at 250-830-6702 or skoopmansrd.ca.