Sandra Milne, 2019/2020 Rotary Club of Ladysmith President and the LSS Interact Club presented 5 Emergency Preparedness Kits from Disaster Aid Canada to the Mayor Aaron Stone, Fire Chief Chris Geiger and Bill Drysdale from Ladysmith Search and Rescue. The event was held in front of the Fire Hall on Friday June 12. 
Emergency Preparedness Kits - Continued
After acknowledging that the gathering was held in the unceded territory of the Stz’uminus People, Rotary President Sandra Milne said, “As a local citizen and former teacher and as a Rotarian, I am proud of the continued positive relationship built over the past 50 years with the Town, the schools  and other organizations and service groups who all strive to make Ladysmith a safe place to live, work and play. 
Providing the Emergency Preparedness Kits is an initiative of the Rotary Club of Ladysmith and the Ladysmith Senior Secondary Interact Club after consultation with former Fire Chief Ray Delcourt and Ladysmith Search and Rescue. The Clubs raised $5,000.00, funded in large part by a BC Gaming Grant. Contents of each Emergency Preparedness Kit includes a 260 sq ft 3 room tent, solar lanterns, water filtration kits, tools, cooking equipment, comfort supplies and much more. 
The Kits will be stored in various locations around Ladysmith for use in an emergency such as a forest fire, typhoon, earthquake or tsunami. The tents could be used as temporary housing for a family, a first aid station or medical triage centre. 
Ladysmith Rotarian and current Executive Director of Disaster Aid Canada, Gerry Beltgens was inspired by a recent project of the Rotary Club of Sooke in partnership with the Sooke Emergency Services groups to provide 13 Disaster Aid Emergency Preparedness Kits to the community. “After witnessing the devastation in the Bahamas from Hurricane Dorian and the large evacuations in BC and Alberta due to the 2016 and 2017 Forest Fires; I saw a similar situation potentially facing our own community,” said Beltgens.
Disaster Aid Canada (DAC) is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Ladysmith and supported by Rotary Clubs across Canada. DAC is managed and governed by Rotarians, is a registered Canadian Charity and a Member of Disaster Aid International, an association of Disaster Response organisations around the world. Disaster Aid International is an official Collaborative Organisation of Rotary International. “Although more commonly recognized for our International efforts, it is extremely gratifying to be involved in local community initiatives such as this,” said Frank Elsom, DAC President.
The Rotary Club of Ladysmith is celebrating its 50th year as a Service Club in Ladysmith through 2020/2021. “Watch for ongoing events over the next year as we celebrate our 50th year of Rotary in Ladysmith and as soon as we are allowed to gather, there will be cake!” said incoming President Eileen Beltgens”
Disaster Aid Canada has recently moved its operations from Victoria to Ladysmith. Emergency supplies and tents will be stored in Ladysmith as it is an economical, central location with quick access to transportation, airport and ferries. There will be over 100 tents and materials for Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief Kits stored in Ladysmith for international and domestic relief programs.
Current DAC projects include relief for flood victims in Fort McMurray and a Covid -19 food and PPE relief program for marginalized Mayans in Guatemala. Other recent Disaster Aid projects include a relief program for bushfire victims in Australia and shelter and shelter and comfort supplies for the victims of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas.
For more information on Rotary Club of Ladysmith visit
For more information on Disaster Aid Canada visit