Natural disasters, such as interface wildfires, floods, landslides, technological or environmental accidents, such as chemical spills; or service disruptions, such as power failures during the winter or severe storms, can strike any community at any time. If you're unprepared for a disaster, it can shatter your life.
Each year, thousands of people face emergency situations that could change their lives forever. Don't be caught off-guard. Know the hazards in your area and take the time now to assemble your family 72 HR GRAB & GO emergency kit. Getting your family prepared for an emergency may seem like a lot of work, but it will be easier if you do a little at a time, as your resources and budget permit. The important thing is to start preparing now. The more you do to prepare, the more confident you will be that you can protect yourself and your family when disaster strikes.
The following PDFs provide detailed information and personal plans to help prepare for flood, fire, or any emergency situation.
Floods are the most frequent natural hazards in Canada, and the most costly in terms of property damage. Floods can occur in any region, in the countryside or in cities. In the past, floods have affected hundreds of thousands of Canadians. They can occur at any time of the year and are most often caused by heavy rainfall, rapid melting of a thick snow pack, ice jams, or more rarely, the failure of a natural or human-made dam.
For information on debris flow hazard awareness CLICK HERE.
Landslide is a general term used to describe the down-slope movement of soil, rock and organic materials under the influence of gravity. It also describes the landform that results.
British Columbia's steep, mountainous terrain, its complex geology, its high precipitation, both as rain and snow, its abundance of unconsolidated glacial sediments, and its geographic position astride the earthquake zone that surrounds the Pacific Ocean, all combine to make our province particularly susceptible to landslide activity. In fact, in British Columbia the loss of life and damage to property caused by landslides is greater than losses caused by other natural hazards such as earthquakes and flooding.
As our cities, towns, roads and highways steadily encroach onto steeper slopes and mountainsides, landslide hazards become an increasingly serious threat to life and property. However, by understanding the answers to the following questions, we may be able to lessen the effects of landslides.
To view wildfire that are burning in your area, visit the BC Wildfire Services.
TIPS FOR IN AND AROUND YOUR HOME
The RDCK Fire Services has four structural protection units (mobile sprinklers) and firefighters trained to operate them. These units can be deployed to help keep homes safe from the imminent threat of wildfire.
Stay informed with the current air quality at the BC Air Quality site.
Interior Health has helpful information to find out the effects of wildfire smoke.
Visit Drive BC to find out about possible road closures.
In extreme conditions, some people may want to make arrangements to stay with relatives, friends or neighbours. Listen to weather forecasts and instructions from local officials, as reception or warming centres may be set up in your community. Keep an eye out for neighbours who may be at-risk in severe conditions. Always follow the instructions of first responders and local emergency officials.
Ensure a supply of basic essentials in your home for at least 72 hours. If you must leave your home on short notice, remember to take your emergency "grab and go" kit. This should include"
A: An evaucation alert is a warning about a potential imminent threat to life and property. It is a precautionary measure. It is meant to give affected residents within an impacted area time to prepare in case they are told to evacuate.
If you live outside of the evacuation alert zone but are concerned about the fire situation, you may wish to prepare for possible evacuation or self evacuate.
A: Check out the helpful information at the Emergency Info BC government site or Ready for Wildfire site. In emergency situations, residents in high risk areas should listen to the local media and follow the instructions of local emergency and transportation officials. Prepare ahead by organizing an emergency supply kit with necessary prescription medications, personal toiletries, a change of clothing, insurance papers and other important documents and valuables.
A: The South East Fire Centre makes a recommendation to the RDCK based on the fire's current status. The boundaries of the zone can change as conditions change. Also, residents outside of the evacuation alert zone may use their own discretion to prepare for an evacuation order or to self evacuate.
A: Please contact the RDCK so that we can verify that you are in the alert zone. Please call 1-800-268-7325 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A: This in an order issued by the RDCK to residents within the affected area that are to leave the area immediately.
If you are evacuated, local officials will provide you with information about the location of a Reception Centre. Everyone must register at the Reception Centre. This ensures that we know you are safe. We can then communicate this infomation to concerned family and friends.
Short term assistance for immediate needs of food, shelter, clothing and emotional support may be available at the Reception Centre. Emergency Social Services volunteers provide assistance to people for the first three days after a disaster. Assistance includes assessment and referral to services you may need, short term help for food, clothing and shelter, emotional support and family reunification.
A: ONLY if it's safe to do so and if you have the permission of the local government and emergency personnel. Security will be in place.
A: It is recommended that you find an alternate place to stay with local accomodations, family or friends. The Reception Centre will be able to provide you with detailed information at the time of the evacuation.
A: If you are issued an evacuation alert, prepare by having cages for your pets, as well as food and food/water bowls. Also make sure that your pets are wearing identification. Emergency Social Services will have limited space for evacuated pets. If possible, please arrange to have your pets stay with friends or family.
For general information on wildfires, please visit the Province of BC's site.
Winter weather has arrived in much of the country. Do you know the signs of hypothermia, and what to do if you get frostbite? Read on to make sure you're ready for cold weather.
Most power outages will be over almost as soon as they begin, but some can last much longer - up to days or even weeks. Power outages are often caused by freezing rain, sleet storms and/or high winds which damage power lines and equipment. Cold snaps or heat waves can also overload the electric power system
During a power outage, you may be left without heating/air conditioning, lighting, hot water or even running water. If you only have a cordless phone, you will also be left without phone service. If you do not have a battery-powered or crank radio, you may have no way of monitoring news broadcasts. In other words, you could be facing major challenges.
You can greatly lessen the impact of a power outage by taking the time to prepare in advance. You and your family should be prepared to cope on your own during a power outage for at least 72 hours. This involves 3 basic steps:
To stay notified when a disaster or emergency strikes in the RDCK, sign up for our Emergency Alert Notification System. Click on the red box below to sign up instantly:
The content on this page was last updated June 6 2016 at 9:54 AM