Preparing your household for an evacuation order

  • Aug. 7, 2018 1:30 a.m.

Many parts of British Columbia are experiencing intense fire activity these days, and based on the weather outlook, this will continue for the foreseeable future.

Residents of areas currently experiencing wildfires are urged to prepare ahead in case of an evacuation alert or order. Hopefully, such a situation won’t happen in the Campbell River area but it’s good to know what to do should an order come about. A local emergency was declared for the Nanaimo Lakes area near Nanaimo this week due a growing fire southwest of the city.

RELATED: Evacuation order issued due to wildfire near Nanaimo

In such stressful circumstances, the most important thing to remember is to stay calm, listen to local public officials, and if possible, access online social media channels like the Emergency Info BC Twitter page or your local government website for information updates.

In the event an evacuation alert is issued for your area:

* Prepare to leave your home on short notice.

* Stay tuned to your local authority’s public information channels, as well as Emergency Info BC for updates: http://www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca

* Have your emergency kit and important documents ready to go, which should include things like insurance and personal papers, such as birth certificates. You should also pack:

* Several days’ clothing.

* Medicine/prescriptions.

* For your children, comfort items, like a favourite toy or colouring books to help keep them busy.

* For your pets, leashes, carriers and pet food.

* Consider collecting precious photos and mementoes that cannot be replaced.

As well, please check in on any family, friends or neighbours who may need a helping hand due to mobility or other issues.

In the event of an evacuation order, you must leave the area immediately. Local authorities will not ask you to leave without good reason, and failing to leave when asked to by officials puts yourself and others at risk. When an evacuation order is issued:

* Wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes to help protect you from unforeseen hazards.

* Collect family members, or go to the place designated in your family plan as a meeting place.

* Plan to take your pets with you. Do not leave them behind. Because pets are not permitted in public shelters, follow your plan to go to a relative or friend’s home, or find a pet-friendly hotel.

* Grab your emergency kit and follow the directions to the identified reception centre.

* Follow the routes specified by emergency officials. Avoid shortcuts, as they could take you to a blocked or dangerous area.

* Take critical items already in your kit (medicine, purse, wallet and keys).

* Take your pets in kennels or on a leash.

* Close all doors and windows. Close and latch gates, but do not lock them.

* Take a cell phone, if you have one.

* If there is time and it is safe to do so, shut off water at the main line into your home, and switch off electricity at the breaker panel. Leave natural gas service on.

* Stay well away from any downed power lines.

* If you go to an evacuation centre, sign up with the registration desk so you can be contacted or reunited with your family and loved ones.

* Contact your out-of-area emergency contact (identified in your personal emergency plan) to let them know what has happened, that you are okay, and how to contact you. Alert them to any separated family members.

Your local authority officials will advise you when it is safe to return home.

Learn More:

Keep up-to-date on the provincial wildfire situation: www.bcwildfire.ca

For information on evacuation orders and alerts, visit Emergency Info BC: www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca

Just Posted

Authorities call for calm as fires burn near Zeballos

Authorities are asking residents not to panic as several wildfires burn near… Continue reading

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Strathcona Regional District looks at Gold River transport links

Study would be part of broader one looking at transport connections in remote areas

Resident’s water rate case against City, SRD sneaks in under deadline

Case should continue in Supreme Court this fall

Community garden at Campbell River’s new hospital study needs volunteers

Project will provide input into the design of the garden at the facility

B.C. company patents Sasquatch, the country’s first homegrown hops plant

Created by Hops Connect, Sasquatch hops are being grown commercially for the first time in B.C.

Farmers ponder impact of alternatives to pesticides being banned

The nicotine-based pesticides scientists have linked to a rising number of honey bee deaths will be phased out of use in Canada over a three year period starting in 2021.

Time to kick maverick Tory MP Maxime Bernier out of caucus, Scheer urged

Conservative MP Maxime Bernier is taking issue with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s oft-repeated message of diversity in Canada, calling it a form of “radical multiculturalism.”

Thousands of police officers expected at regimental funeral in Fredericton

Two civilians were killed in a shooting in Fredericton that also claimed the lives of two police officers.

2 girls, hand-drawn map in hand, sneak out of B.C. home for adventure

The pair’s escape has transit police reminding commuters to report unusual behaviour

Ex-B.C. teachers’ union leader among latest pipeline protesters to get jail time

Twelve people have been sentenced for violating court order to stay away from Kinder Morgan terminal

B.C. not prepared for a Humboldt Broncos bus crash, group says

An air ambulance advocacy group wants an overhaul of B.C.’s emergency medical system in rural regions

Most Read