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Vulnerable Persons Registry

The Community Geomatics Centre (CGC) and Accessibility Sault Ste. Marie developed the concept of a GIS-enabled vulnerable person’s registry (VPR) in 2003. Both organizations spent from 2003 to 2007 working to make the concept a reality. Approval to proceed was granted by the City of Sault Ste. Marie, PUC Inc. and the Sault Ste. Marie Emergency Management Committee in 2007. An advisory panel was created and the terms of reference defined. November 2009 marked the beginning of the development phase for the VPR whereby the program attracted over twenty-five local partners. The VPR officially became available to residents of Sault Ste. Marie on October 20, 2011.  

The VPR is a comprehensive model that is the first-of-its-kind in North America and improves the safety of registrants during power outages, home emergencies and large-scale emergencies. As a result of its direct integration with the dispatch systems and the local utilities GIS solution, this tool is not only useful on a daily basis, but also during disasters or emergencies requiring evacuation.

Hosted by the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre, the VPR is an internationally recognized, award-winning service that is free, voluntary and confidential.  Key information is securely provided to local first responders, and where authorized PUC Inc. and Canadian Red Cross, in order to improve the safety of vulnerable citizens during emergencies. The VPR also includes an emergency preparedness component to help educate registrants and the public, since it is still a personal responsibility. 

The VPR model has been designed to be transferable with the hopes of assisting other communities implement similar emergency planning services.

For more information, please visit the VPR website at www.soovpr.com or contact the VPR Coordinator, Naomi Thibault.

To view the evaluation of the one-year VPR pilot click here.

Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre