Personal Preparedness

If there is one thing that we have learned about emergency situations and mother nature over the past three or four years, it's to expect the unexpected.  Although the RDEK has three Emergency Programs that can activate during emergencies, individuals and families can do so much in advance to be prepared.  Simple things like having an emergency kit on hand, understanding the difference between an evacuation alert and an evacuation order, had having -- and testing - a family emergency plan can make the difference when emergencies happen.

This page contains a number of links we hope will be helpful.  From the high-level basics of hazard awareness, to the nitty gritty of how to sandbag, there is a wealth of information at your finger tips.

Is Your Family Prepared to be Self Sufficient for at least 72 Hours in Case of an Emergency?

Here are some steps you can take to prepare:

1.  Know the Hazards

The top three in the East Kootenay are wildfire, flood and hazardous materials incidents; however, there are over 40 identified hazards in BC. Some hazards are even closer to home. Try going on a Home Hazard Hunt to find common hazards and take steps to reduce the risk.

2.  Prepare an Emergency Plan

Emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility.  Everyone has a part to play – the individual, private business, volunteer organizations, and government agencies.In a major emergency, help may take some time to arrive.  Members of a family may become separated.  Each family’s situation is unique and you are in the best position to plan for your needs.  Help yourself to be prepared by putting together an Emergency Plan for your home and family. Some things to think about:

  • where the exits are from your home and neighbourhood
  • a meeting place to reunite with family or roommates
  • a designated person to pick up your children should you be unavailable
  • close-by and out-of-town contact persons
  • health information
  • a place for your pet to stay
  • the location of your fire extinguisher, water valve, electrical box, gas valve and floor drain.

Take half and hour to prepare a customized plan for your family. For help and an online planning tool, click here

3. Assemble an Emergency Kit

For a complete list, visit the Get Prepared website.

4.  Practice Your Plan

The best way to be prepared is to physically go through the steps that might be needed in an emergency.  To practice in your home, think of some possible scenarios that might occur.  Actually go through the motions of what you would do, using your plan as a guide.  Here are a few scenarios to get you started:

  • You’re sleeping in bed when you are awoken by the smell of smoke. What do you do?
  • A police office knocks on your door to tell you that you need to evacuate because a wildfire started just a few blocks away. It’s hot and the winds are blowing in your direction. You have to leave immediately. How do you make sure everyone gets away safely and stays in touch afterward?
  • The small creek next to your house is rising because of heavy rainfall. Who do you call for help?
  • Your neighbourhood is placed under an evacuation order while you are away at work. Your kids are due back from school in a few hours. How would you make sure that everyone can connect?
5. Get Involved

The key to an effective response to an emergency is being prepared.  There are already many dedicated people working in the community for this goal.  Knowing what we are up against, and, more importantly, knowing what to do about it reduces the fear of the unknown associated with emergency situations. 

Help yourself by helping others in your community.  Become involved. No matter what your talent, your help is appreciated. 

Rewarding volunteer opportunities in emergency preparedness are available locally from these, and other, community organizations:

For more information about any aspect of emergency preparedness, please contact Simran Sandhu, Emergency Planning Coordinator at or 250-489-6908.

Flood Preparedness:

TO REPORT FLOODING: 250-489-9677

Other Flood-related Resources
Cleaning Up After the Flood
Evacuation Information:
Evacuation ALERT Checklist

For the checklist, view pdf here.

Evacuation ORDER Checklist

For the checklist, view pdf here.

Wildfire Preparedness:

The BC Wildfire Service is the best source of information for local wildfires, fire bans and restrictions, and more. Visit and click on the Interactive Map for the latest fire information.

TO REPORT FOREST OR WILDLAND FIRES: Cellphone: *5555 or 1-800-663-5555

2023 Fire Season Preparedness Brochure

For the brochure, view pdf here.

BC Farm/Ranch Wildfire Plan Guide (Climate Action Initiative/Investment Agriculture Foundation BC

For the guide, view pdf here.

The Farm/Ranch Wildfire Plan Guide/Workbook (FireSmart BC)

For the guide/workbook, view pdf here

Other Helpful Links
  • Emergency Management BC also has a lot of information on everything from emergency preparedness to fires and floods.
  • PreparedBC - Preparedness information and guides to help you put together an emergency kit, develop a household emergency plan, connect with your neighbours.
  • - An interactive map that shows where smoke is coming from.
  • - The best source for information on local wildfires, including an interactive map.
  • Air Quality Health Index - Find the current and forecast Air Quality Health Index.
  • Drive BC - Road closures / highway conditions.
  • FireSmart BC - Simple steps you can take to drastically reduce your property's risk.
  • BC Hydro - website on what to do during a power outage, and stay up to date with current outages.
  • Red Cross - Power outages: Before, During and After.
  • Red Cross: Emergency and Disaster Services - resources to help locate specific emergency and disaster services available in affected cities.
Business Preparedness
10 Steps to Prepare Your Business for Evacuation

Information from BC Economic Development Association. link HERE.

1. Protect your information - back up electronic files using a USB stick, emailing them to yourself,
backing up to an online ‘cloud’ and grabbing your laptop, external hard drive, or computer tower if

2. Pack insurance and registration information for all commercial vehicles in your evacuation kit. 

3. Preparing for an Insurance Claim - take pictures and/or a video of your business pointing out key
equipment. Don’t forget to take a copy of your insurance documents with you.

4. Remove any uncertainty as to what staff should do in an emergency. Assign tasks to help staff
respond as quickly as possible. Make sure you have their contact information and out of area

5. Turn off utilities – electrical and water, and remove any fire hazards that may be near the building.
If you are evacuated, leave your gas service on. If fire or emergency officials request FortisBC to do
so, they will turn off the utility service as a precautionary measure, or if there is an immediate threat
to FortisBC infrastructure.

6. Empty cash from your cash register and seal in an envelope. Sign the envelope, the cash amount
and the date across the seam. If you go to use any of this cash in your evacuation efforts, be sure to
track how much of it you spend and if it is a business-related expense.

7. Make sure you have a list of links to emergency information. 

8. Create a list of emergency phone numbers and key contacts, be sure you have access to this list if
you are evacuated.

9. If there is an environmental threat 50 km or further from your place of business, you may still be
eligible to register for business interruption insurance.

10. Contact suppliers about a potential delivery disruption (if applicable) and/or contact customers
about a potential disruption in services (if applicable).


Last edited: Mon, June 19, 2023 - 1:56:53