Preparing your community for an emergency can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Completing the tasks below can help you be prepared in the event of an emergency.
Determine personnel, assign roles and responsibilities. Key members may include representatives from:
· First Nations departments (e.g., health, finance, planning)
· Local law enforcement and first responders (e.g., fire, ambulance, emergency social services)
· Relevant agencies and organizations (e.g., health authority, school district)
Create or locate an emergency plan for your community and ensure it is up to date. Download and review Emergency Management BC’s Emergency Management Planning Guide for Local Authorities and First Nations. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/public-safety-and-emergency-services/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/local-government/em_planning_guide_for_la_fn.pdf
Identify high hazard and high-risk areas such as:
· Wildland-urban interface zones
· Infrastructure(e.g., roads, communication systems, water and power lines)
· Water sources
· Elder’s homes
· Community centres
· Places of special interest (e.g., community church, graveyard, sacred places)
Identify emergency resources and community contacts. Compile a list of community members that may require extra assistance (e.g., elders, people with disabilities).
Reach out to other communities to develop reciprocal agreements to provide/receive assistance during emergency situations. Build relationships with your neighbours, both inside and outside of your nation.
Although we cannot predict when a flood or wildfire will occur, we can be proactive and take steps to prepare ourselves and protect our properties from being damaged by these events.
Ensure your family knows what to do in an emergency. Complete Prepared BC’s Fill-in-the-blanks Home Emergency Plan to create an emergency plan for your family and home. Creating and printing the on-line plan will only take you about 20 minutes. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/public-safety-and-emergency-services/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/embc/preparedbc/preparedbc-guides/preparedbc_household_plan.pdf
In an emergency, it is important to have some supplies in case you need to get by without power or running water. Most emergency organizations recommend that you are prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours. Don’t forget to make a grab and go bag for your pets.
Basic Emergency Kit Checklist:
· Pen and notepad
· Phone charger and battery bank
· Flashlight– wind up or battery powered (and extra batteries)
· Radio– wind up or battery powered (and extra batteries)
· First aid kit
· Personal toiletries and medication
· Seasonal clothing
· Extra keys for car and house
· Food– non-perishable such as energy bars, dried and canned food; manual can opener
· Water– at least two litres of water per person per day
· Cash and change
· Important family documents – identification, insurance, bank records
· Emergency blanket
· Emergency plan and contact information
FireSmartTM your home. Download the FireSmart BC Landscaping Guide. https://firesmartbc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/FireSmartBC_LandscapingGuide_Web_v2.pdf
Evacuation Alert: Be ready to leave on short notice.
Evacuation Order: You are at risk. Leave immediately. Make sure you check in at an Emergency Support Services (ESS) reception centre. Contact family and friends to let them know where you are and that you are safe.
Evacuation Rescind: All is now safe and you can return home.
The Wildfire Preparedness Guide will help prepare you for what to do before, during and after a wildfire. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/public-safety-and-emergency-services/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/embc/preparedbc/preparedbc-guides/wildfire_preparedness_guide.pdf
The Flood Preparedness Guide will help prepare you for what to do before, during and after a flood. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/public-safety-and-emergency-services/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/embc/preparedbc/preparedbc-guides/preparedbc_flood_preparedness_guide_fillable.pdf