If a community calls on evacuation assistance, Kapuskasing Town Council wants to be ready whenever that happens. Council approved a recommendation on Monday to allow for phase one of a plan to host a maximum of 200 evacuees in the Westside of town.  That will allow for the evacuees to get meals and medical attention in one easy accessible location. Mayor Dave Plourde says safety is the biggest concern.

“So if there is an emergency situation that arises that our community remains safe and so does theirs,” he said. “We have to think that there is no COVID-19 that has been identified in their community if they were to evacuate. So we have to make sure that anyone is evacuated stays safe.”

Plourde says the plan also calls for notification of council and municipal officials of the evacuation without any formal meeting being called.

“All to often calls for emergency happen when it’s the most convenient so this allows us to be part of the program and make decisions quickly,” he said.

Town Administrator Guylain Baril says consultation of Ontario Provincial Police and Sensenbrenner Hospital would also take place to ensure their availability.

First Nation communities didn’t have to evacuate this spring due to low rivers from a mild spring. That potential evacuation risk remains in effect during the summer and early fall due to forest fire season.