Emergency Info

Updated: June 3, 2017 @ 8:35 PM

Self-Fill Sandbag Stations Set Up - With rising waters across the Province as spring run-off begins, the RDEK is encouraging residents living near waterways or in flood-prone areas to take steps now to be aware and prepare. We have established numerous sandbag stations around the region so they are available to anyone wishing to be proactive in sandbagging if they wish.

Sandbag stations are located at:

  • Centennial Centre in Kimberley
  • the City of Cranbrook Public Works Yard
  • Wasa Community Hall
  • Hosmer Pub
  • Jaffray Community Hall
  • Windermere Fire Hall parking lot
  • the east side of the old barn beside Mountainside Golf Course in Fairmont. 

The sandbag stations have sand and bags; however, residents need to bring their own shovels and gloves.   Sandbags should be filled ½ to ¾ full with the ends folded over for best compaction and effectiveness when placing them.

While there is no new active flooding in the East Kootenay, water levels are running high in many channels and with both warm weather and precipitation in the forecast, are expected to rise.  The most effective tool in the toolbox is early preparation and prevention. Residents who are concerned they may be impacted by water levels need to take steps now to prepare themselves. At the emergency management level, we are working cooperatively with all the municipalities and First Nations in the East Kootenay and are ready to provide support as needed.

Residents who see, or are experiencing, wide-scale flooding are encouraged to report it to the Provincial Emergency Coordination Centre at 1-800-663-3456. This is the fastest and most ef-fective way to activate local emergency management personnel.

Disaster Financial Assistance Approved for the entire RDEK (including municipalities) for Those Affected by Flooding

On the heels of heavy snowfall over the winter in many parts of the region and the onset of the spring melt, many people have been affected by flooding between March 5 and April 10, 2017.  In recognition of the scope and scale of the flooding, Emergency Management BC has authorized Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) for those affected across the entire Regional District of East Kootenay (including all municipalities).

Those who may qualify for this assistance include: home owners, residential tenants, small business owners, farmers, charitable organizations and local government bodies, who were unable to obtain insurance to cover these disaster-related losses.

Application forms must be submitted to EMBC by June 25, 2017; however, the sooner they are submitted, the better.  Before applying, applicants should first check with their insurance agent to determine if their current insurance policy provides coverage for the resulting damage. As part of the DFA qualification process, the applicant’s insurer will be asked to provide a letter indicating that the applicant could not have purchased insurance to cover these disaster-related losses.

The DFA website is: http://www.gov.bc.ca/disasterfinancialassistance.  There you will find the DFA Application Form, ‘Disaster Financial Assistance Guidelines for Private Sector’, information bulletins about DFA and insurance and ‘One Step at a time – A Guide to Disaster Recovery’. 

Application forms are also available through RDEK offices in both Cranbrook and the Columbia Valley.

Once an application has been submitted, EMBC will confirm eligibility and contracted evaluators will contact eligible applicants to explain the DFA program requirements and schedule an onsite visit.

If you experienced flooding, keep copies of receipts, photos of the flooding and damage, and keep a record of your time. 

This is not an RDEK program, but we know a number of East Kootenay residents have been affected and want to make sure people know there may be some assistance available. If you have questions, please contact EMBC at 1 888 257-4777 (toll-free) or visit the website: http://www.gov.bc.ca/disasterfinancialassistance

General Emergency Informaiton:

Being prepared BEFORE an emergency happens is critical.  Here are some great resources to help you and your family be aware of the stages of evacuation, some of the basics related to personal preparedness and more.

Personal and Family Emergency Preparedness

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 to assemble your family emergency kit. During an emergency, you and your family could be on your own for an extended period of time. Emergency services may not be readily available, as increasing demands are placed on responders. It may take emergency workers some time to get to you as they help those in most critical need. As well, access to phones, gas, water, sewer and electrical services may be cut off. Learning how to be personally prepared and building a 72 hour kit is vital.

Some items you should include in a 72 hour emergency kit include:

  • Food (non spoiling)
  • Water
  • A manual can opener
  • A crank or battery powered flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra cash
  • A copy of your emergency plan and contact information

For further information on getting prepared and building a 72 hour kit, visit http://www.getprepared.gc.ca


Understanding the levels of evacuation:

There are three key stages in the evacuation process:

  • Evacuations Alert: Local authorities issue a warning about an imminent threat to life and property and people in the defined area should be ready to leave on short notice.
  • Evacuation Order: When an evacuation order is issued by the local authority, people should leave the area immediately.
  • Evacuation Rescind: People under an evacuation order may return. An evacuation order or alert may be reinstated by the local authority if the threat returns.

Preparing for an Evacuation:

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. If you are evacuated, local officials will provide you with information about the location of a reception centre. You are encouraged to register all family members at the reception centre so, emergency responders know that you are safe.

Last edited: Sat, June 03, 2017 - 7:35:15