UPPER NAPPAN – The Canadian Red Cross is seeking support from Cumberland County municipalities to better prepare its communities for disasters.
In a presentation to Cumberland County council on March 6, Red Cross supervisor Mona O’Brien asked for $20,000 for the program, which would be the first of its kind in Canada. Council suggested the cost could be shared between all units in Cumberland’s regional emergency measures organization (REMO.)
Through the program, which would employ someone for a 12-month term, the county would be studied to determine what partners are available in the form of organizations that would provide services in an emergency, and what their needs are.
“We’d like to reach out into Oxford, Springhill, Parrsboro… all the outlying areas,” said O’Brien. “We would look at what organizations are there, what their needs are, and how we can assist them in being more prepared as individuals, organizations and altogether as a community.”
Upon completion of the program, automatic partnerships would be formed between the Red Cross, REMO and the communities themselves, according to O’Brien, who said the program could be extended on a year-to-year basis, if deemed successful.
The largest humanitarian organization in the world, the Red Cross also has strong grassroots membership, with an office in Amherst and volunteers across the county.
O’Brien was introduced at the meeting by Cumberland REMO co-ordinator Jim Hannon.
“(This program is) about enhancing the resiliency in our community, a segment of emergency planning and management I haven’t been able to in the last 10 years reach out to and get to,” said Hannon. “Every municipality is going to benefit from it.”
Council agreed to include the request in its REMO budget deliberations.