With the St. Mary River fire burning close to both Kimberley and Cranbrook, and over 500 properties on alert, as well as the Ladnar Creek fire near Sparwood putting some properties under alert Sunday, here’s what to do if your property is listed.
Evacuation orders can come quickly, and create an air of panic and indecision. Being prepared with a grab-and-go bag can reduce the stress of an evacuation order considerably.
According to information from the province of British Columbia, your grab-and-go bag should contain:
- Food (ready to eat) and water
- Phone charger and battery bank
- Small battery-powered or hand-crank radio
- Battery-powered or hand-crank flashlight
- Extra batteries
- Small first-aid kit and personal medications
- Personal toiletries and items, such as an extra pair of glasses or contact lenses
- Copy of your emergency plan
- Copies of important documents, such as insurance papers and identification
- Cash in small bills
- Local map with your family meeting place identified
- Seasonal clothing and an emergency blanket
- Pen and notepad
The Regional District of East Kootenay also has detailed information for those on Evacuation Alert or under an order.
This includes making sure that you have everything your pet will need, including food, water, leash or muzzle, and any medications.
If you have livestock, the alert period is the time to relocate it. During an evacuation order, roads are needed for human evacuation and you may not be able to move livestock.
Top Crop Garden, Farm and Pet in Cranbrook is currently keeping a list of property owners who can take livestock, as well as a list of those needing a place for their animals. You can call 250-489-4555 if you’d like to get on either list.
The alert is also time to move your RV. Again, they may not be allowed on the road if an evacuation order is in effect.
Make sure all of your vehicles have at least half a tank of gas.
If an evacuation is ordered you may have very little time. The RDEK has the following suggestions if an order goes into effect:
- Gather your grab-and-go bags and emergency plan.
- Gather pets and pet supplies.
- Do NOT shut off your natural gas when you receive an evacuation ORDER. If requested by emergency officials, FortisBC will turn off natural gas service as a precautionary measure, or if there is an immediate threat to infrastructure.
- Close all doors, garage doors, and windows.
- Leave the area immediately. Choosing to remain puts yourself and others in danger.
- Do not try to move any RVs, boats, trailers, or ATVs. Movement of these items is not possible during an evacuation ORDER and should have been done during the evacuation ALERT stage.
- Follow all directions from officials and evacuate using the route(s) they’ve identified.
- Visit www.rdek.bc.ca or your municipal website for news and updates. If you have not already done so, sign up for the Regional Evacuation Notification System on www.rdek.bc.ca Register with the designated ESS Reception Centre. Instructions are provided on the Evacuation Order
- Wait for the evacuation to be rescinded before returning home.
You can also sign up for the RDEK’s Evacuation Notification System so you can receive notifications via text or phone. You can register online here.