Community leaders in east central Alberta were put on alert by Mother Nature on October 2 when a blizzard shut down highway travel both east and west of Drumheller.
Rockyford had to put stranded travellers up in the community centre, as did Delia and Hanna after hotel rooms there filled up with weary travellers.
Now, Wheatland County Family and Community Support Services is hosting seminars for its member communities on how to set up and operate an emergency reception centre.
"We need to learn the roles and responsibilities of these types of activities as community citizens if we're going to host these folks for a couple of days," explained Rockyford mayor Darcy Burke.
"Getting the folks registered, getting them in contact with their families so that their families are aware that they are safe and that they have a place they're staying and not stranded on a highway; just some of the formal procedures that come with hosting people in a reception centre."
Rockyford was also called upon give give sanctuary to people forced to leave Gleichen because of an out of control grass fire a couple of weeks after the blizzard, so Burke thinks these FCSS seminars are just what the doctor ordered.
"I am a board member there (FCSS) and they have put on the hat of doing the reception centre training for all of the municipalities in Wheatland County," he told 99.5 Drum FM. "They are right up to speed on the training and (are) passing that information on to the local communities."
The Rockyford seminar was held on Thursday, December 14. There have also been presentations in Standard and Gleichen. Hussar-Dalum and Rosebud will get their free seminars early in the new year.