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Village EP Coordinator on the Alert(able)

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

And Phil Folkersen Wants Residents to Join Him

EPC Phil Folkersen

In light of recent emergency events including the wildland fire on June 4 and the recent death of a hiker above the village on Mt. Harvey, The Watershed contacted Emergency Planning Coordinator (EPC) Phil Folkersen for a status update on emergency planning in the Village.

Folkersen has lived in and around Lions Bay for a decade, with homes on Panorama and Bayview before moving to his family's current locale on Highview. In his day job, he works in Emergency Health and Safety as a consultant, and he volunteers with the Royal Canadian Marine Rescue, so the step into the EPC role seemed like a good fit. He's been contracted by Council to create a functional evacuation plan for the Village, among other tasks. Communications are also a priority, he adds, on both an inter-agency level and within the community.

Folkersen says that most of his time as EPC has been spent building relationships and opening lines of communication. Some of these connections have begun to pay off, such as when Brant Arnold-Smith, head of Security and Emergency Management for Metro Vancouver, offered back-up firefighter support to the Village during the June 4 fire.

Folkersen was quick to laud the willingness of the mayor and council to step in personally during the fire emergency. But he says harnessing technology is also important. To that end, as reported in the June 6 edition of Council In Focus, the Village is now equipped with a new emergency communication service called Alertable, which is available for both iOS and Android devices. And Folkersen believes that even non-tech-minded residents can benefit.

"I'm willing to work with anyone who needs help with set-up," he said. "The Alertable system works in multiple ways. You can receive alerts through your cell phone or your computer, but we can also set it up to report to your landline." Folkersen adds that the information is kept strictly confidential, and meets all the standards set by the Canadian Privacy Act.

Emergency Support Services (ESS) Director Mary Brown echoes Folkersen's support for Alertable. "Signing up for Alertable is important from an ESS perspective because one of our roles is to register, track and reunite family members in the event of a disaster. Alertable will tell community members when and where an ESS Registration Centre is opened."

She emphasizes the importance of family emergency plans. Since there's rarely warning before disasters happen, families are often not together at the time. "Alertable is an easy, free, accessible app that can keep you and your family in the know during an emergency or disaster," she says.

Both Folkersen and Brown will attend the upcoming Canada Day event on July 1 at Lions Bay Beach Park, with a table set up to help residents register for the Alertable app. For more information, Folkersen can be reached at

Have questions or concerns about emergency planning in Lions Bay? Leave your comments below or send your thoughts to

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3 comentários

Alertable helped me navigate forest fires all the way to Alberta on a recent drive and it lets us know about a hwy closures and accidents…. Can’t tell you how many times it saved us time and kept us safe. Easy to download and use. You can turn on notifications and it Follows you. If you are heading out on holidays… it will alert you to fires and closures in the area.


Norm B
Norm B
21 de jun. de 2023

It took less than 30 seconds to download from the App store and activate on my phone. Easy and smart. Thank you to our EPC and ESS coordinator.


Thank you Phil and Mary for reminding us of the importance of emergency preparedness. With the current predictions for what may be a record wild fire season this year, this is timely advice.

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