What to do in an evacuation
If there is an evacuation alert or order, this will be relayed to affected residents by emergency personnel/first responders by:
- Door-to-door campaigns
- Radio and/or television broadcasts
- Sirens and mobile public address announcements
If an evacuation is an alert: an alert is notification of potential danger which may arise in your area, and you should prepare to evacuate. Take essential items such as medications, diapers, baby food, clothes, your cell phone and money or a wallet. Leave a message on the front door of your home letting others know where you are heading.
If an evacuation is an order: an order is notification of imminent danger to the lives and property of people in the area. You must leave immediately. Take critical items such as medication, cell phone, your purse/wallet and keys - only if they are immediately available. Take pets in pet kennels or on a leash.
Other tips to know in the event of an evacuation order:
- Keep updated by listening to a battery-operated or wind-up radio for the latest information.
- Turn off appliances, including stove, lights and heaters in your home.
- Do not use more cars than you need to; the less traffic during an evacuation the faster it will be to get everyone moved.
- Phone lines may not be working. Even if they are, do not use the phone unless you need emergency sevices; it is important to keep phone lines clear.
- Go immediately to the home of a friend or relative outside the evacuation area or to a designated Reception Centre where instructed by Emergency or EOC Personnel.
- Follow the instructions of Emergency Response Workers who will be stationed at intersections along the evacuation routes. Do not take shortcuts.
- Know whether to pick your child up at school or daycare or from the authorities at an evacuation shelter location. Ask your child's school or daycare for a copy of their emergency preparedness plan beforehand.
- Keep windows and vents in your vehicle closed.
The most important things to remember in an emergency situation are to stay calm, follow instructions from local authorities and be prepared.
Find out more about what to do in an evacuation here:
Emergency Management BC
Canadian Red Cross: If a disaster strikes.