As the wildfire situation continues to evolve in the North Okanagan, the City of Vernon has received several requests for information about how to better prepare for the possibility of an emergency. This is an important question for all residents and visitors to consider, regardless of where they are located in the region.
To help you and your loved ones feel better prepared to effectively face an emergency and stay safe, PreparedBC provides the following recommendations:
An emergency plan is a is a playbook for how you and your household will respond to disasters, including wildfires. Knowing what to do will reduce anxiety and help keep you focused and safe. Start by downloading a fill-in-the-blanks emergency plan. When you’re done, communicate your plan with everyone in your household, and make copies for grab-and-go bags at home, at work and in your vehicle.
In the event of a wildfire, you may need to leave home quickly. Take time now to build grab-and-go bags for each member of your household so you’re not caught off guard. Do you have pets? Do you have young children? Are you a foster parent? Are you caring for seniors or people with disabilities? If yes, prepare and customize bags specific to their needs.
We all play a critical role in mitigating wildfire risks around our homes and properties by undertaking FireSmart activities. Simple measures can make a significant difference to the survivability of structures by decreasing the intensity of a wildfire and slowing its spread.
Complete the FireSmart home assessment to see what changes will make the greatest difference in reducing your home’s risk.
Additional safety reminders:
- Ensure your vehicle has fuel. The tank should always be at least half-full
- If you know someone who may not have access to the internet or regular news updates, share emergency preparedness information and resources with them
- With limited hotel and camping accommodations available during the high summer season, consider making a plan to stay with family or friends in a safe location, in the event of an evacuation
- Know the evacuation stages
- Evacuation Alert: This means be ready to leave on short notice
- Evacuation Order: You are at risk. Leave the area immediately
- Evacuation Rescind: All is currently safe and you can return home
Receive updates from the City of Vernon:
To receive updates from the City of Vernon, subscribe to email updates through our website here. You can also follow the City on our social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@CityofVernon).
Stay informed on the latest wildfire information and evacuation notices in the North Okanagan and across BC by visiting accurate and reliable information sources:
- BC Wildfire Service: bcwildfire.ca
- BC Wildfire Service updates on White Rock Lake fire: http://bcfireinfo.for.gov.bc.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/OneFire.asp?ID=855
- Regional District of North Okanagan: rdno.ca
- Okanagan Indian Band: okib.ca