As the wildfire situation continues to evolve in the Okanagan, the City is encouraging everyone in Vernon to take some time to consider whether they are prepared to face an emergency, and if not, what simple steps could be taken right away. This is an important question for all residents and visitors to consider.
Stay informed on the latest wildfire information and evacuation notices in the Okanagan and across BC by visiting accurate and reliable information sources:
- BC Wildfire Service: bcwildfire.ca
- Regional District of Central Okanagan: https://www.cordemergency.ca/ (Lake Country Wildfire, Clifton/McKinley Fire, McDougall Creek Wildfire)
Receive updates from the City of Vernon:
Receive emergency updates from the City of Vernon by signing up to receive notifications through Alertable: www.vernon.ca/alertable or stay up-to-date with email updates through the City of Vernon website.
To help you and your loved ones feel better prepared to effectively face an emergency and stay safe, PreparedBC provides the following recommendations:
- Have an emergency plan
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.
- Refresh your grab and go bags
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.
- Prepare your home
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.
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