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Fraser River Freshet Emergency Activation

SEPAR Members Respond

The Fraser River is experiencing one of the largest flows in recorded history. Warm temperatures are accelerating the snow melt in the interior of the province. This could result in a once per hundred year flood. 

On Sunday May 13, Tuesday May 15 and Wednesday May 16, the Surrey Emergency Program - Amateur Radio (SEPAR) was activated by the Emergency Coordinator for the City of Surrey. We had a good turnout and I'd like to thank everyone that helped out at this activation.

We had a really good showing and Surrey Fire Service & the Surrey Emergency Program are happy with the help we provided. Also, a thanks to SARC for the use of the repeater.

This is a great example of how valuable SEPAR, as an integral part of the Surrey Emergency Program, can be. Other parts of Canada and the United States have the ARES program and those Amateur operators, while invaluable are not usually tied to the City, and are therefore not asked to volunteer for an activation that is not primarily communication oriented. SEPAR while we would like to have a communications component, is still available to the City, and BC (as City and Emergency Management BC volunteers). 

Personally I would like the City to continue to make use of us in times of need.

While this was not primarily a communications activation, we did find a way to make use of our ability to communicate by radio. Several times I was asked to confirm an issue from the command trailer and I was able to do that much faster than those that only used cell phones.  The times I did have an issue communicating, I could have resolved it without a cell phone call, had I remembered that we had designated a couple of simplex frequencies.

Below is a link to the BC River Forcast Centre for information about warnings, advisories and evacuation due to the freshet and flooding in British Columbia.

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