Natural disasters—such as floods and wildfires—or technological or environmental accidents like chemical spills or transportation incidents can strike your community at any time. If you're unprepared for a disaster, it can shatter your life. Your best defense is to be prepared.
This page will help you learn about how to prepare for disasters that might strike here in the Kootenays. Click on one of the topics below to learn more about:
Here's what you will find on this page:
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. PDF] 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.
In potentially life-threatening circumstances, the RDCK—with the support of Emergency Management BC—may issue an Evacuation Alert or an Evacuation Order to residents living in a hazard area. Any Evacuation Alerts or Orders will be communicated through the RDCK Emergency Notification System, as well as via our website and Facebook page, and through local media. In the event of a flood or other emergency, stay tuned in to your local radio station. Sign up today to receive free emergency notifications by phone or email.
British Columbia's one-stop-shop for disaster readiness—has created tips, tools and resources to make emergency readiness easy. Visit their website to learn how to prepare your home, family, business or neighbourhood for potential disasters.
The following resources created by PreparedBC provide detailed information and personal plans to help prepare for flood, fire, or any emergency situation.
Public Safety Canada works in collaboration with other federal departments and provincial and territorial governments, academia, national associations and non-governmental organizations to strengthen national emergency preparedness. Visit their Emergency Preparedness web page to learn more about how the federal government is helping to keep communities safe and resilient.
Protecting public safety is the priority of government. When emergencies occur, several agencies must work together to assist people with evacuation and access to shelter, clean water and food. Municipalities and regional districts have emergency plans in place to protect their citizens. The Province assists local government in being prepared before disaster strikes and will activate the provincial emergency management structure to support local emergency operations centres (EOC) during emergencies. Learn more about our Emergency Management Program in the RDCK.
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 & Go Kit". PDF The most important items are:
What is the purpose of an evacuation alert?
How do I prepare for an evacuation?
How is the area in the evacuation alert determined?
What if I'm in the evacuation alert zone as identified on maps but I didn't receive a notice from emergency personnel?
What is an Evacuation Order?
May I return briefly to my home during an Evacuation Order?
Where will I stay if I'm evacuated?
If I'm evacuated, will my pets be taken care of?
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 (see the 72 HR GRAB & GO emergency kit). This involves 3 basic steps:
Visit the Outages & safety page of the BC Hydro website for more information and tips.
The content on this page was last updated November 7 2018 at 2:09 PM