July 18, 2013 - 3:38 PM
In the last decade, the Okanagan has experienced some devastating fires, including the Okanagan Mountain Park wildfire that destroyed more than 230 homes in Kelowna (2003) and the wildfires in Glenrosa (2009) and Peachland (2012). The onset of warm, dry weather brings the possibility of wildland fire activity.
People living in high risk interface fire areas can prepare ahead for possible evacuation by organizing a family emergency kit with necessary medications, personal toiletries, a change of clothing, identification, insurance papers and other important documents and emergency items.
Have an escape plan so that all members of the family know how to get out of the house quickly and safely and know where to meet. Discuss a contingency plan so family members can contact each other in case they are separated. Stay alert for changing conditions, listen to your local media and follow instructions of emergency officials.
Make sure you have moved all combustibles away from the house. Your vehicle should be pre-packed with basic items and ready to go. Consider how you would prepare your home if you had to leave quickly. Consider the special needs of any family member that may require additional help and the needs of family pets.
What should I do in the event of an interface fire threat?
If there are reports of interface fires in your area, stay tuned to local radio or television stations for updated emergency information. You can also sign up to receive email emergency notifications from the Regional Emergency Programs website, www.cordemergency.ca
If there is potential of a wildland fire threatening populated areas, officials may issue an evacuation alert.
An evacuation alert means people are warned of possible threat to life and property, and may be asked to leave on short notice. Prepare your home and family now. Get your family emergency kit.
If the threat increases, an evacuation order will be issued and residents are required to leave the area immediately. Follow the instructions of emergency officials. If you are evacuated, register with the local Emergency Support Services Reception Centre. Fire situation updates will be provided to the public through the news media.
When the threat decreases, the evacuation order will be rescinded.
When you return home, you should use caution and exercise good judgment when re-entering an affected area as hazards may still exist.
More information and updates on wildland fire activity can be obtained by visiting www.cordemergency.ca or www.districtofwestkelowna.ca
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013