Every year, some B.C. residents will have to evacuate. It could be as localized as your own home or strata building in the event of fire or flood, or a larger imminent threat, such as a wildfire or hazardous material spill that may cause everyone in your neighbourhood to evacuate.
Preparation is key! When faced with an emergency, we may not necessarily think straight.
- Have a plan.
Develop a plan now:
- Plan for getting everyone out of the house in the event of fire at any time of the day or night.
- Plan to be without power, water, or services for at least three days.
- Be ready to leave your home quickly by car or on foot.
- Plan for your pets, and for connecting with family members should an emergency occur when you’re not all together.
Be sure that everyone in the family knows what to expect and what to do.
Make a list of supplies and keep it handy:
- Keep a small bag packed with a set of comfortable clothes and shoes. Have an emergency kit at home with water, canned food and supplies.
- Know where your important papers (passport, identification, will), computer back-ups and other essential items are stored. Have a digital back-up of personal records; insurance declarations, financial records and home inventory list.
- Check your emergency kits regularly to ensure items are usable and ready. Be sure to consider seasonal adjustments in your supplies. Store important document and irreplaceable personal items away from flood-prone areas like basements.
- Leave your home safe.
- Include emergency contact numbers for: your insurance broker or insurance company, and BC Hydro (1-888-POWERON, 1-888-769-3766).
- Turn off all unnecessary appliances i.e. air conditioners, hot tubs etc.
- Unplug sensitive electrical equipment and appliances, such as televisions and computers.
- Turn off all lights except for one exterior light, which will indicate that power is on at the residence.
- Know where you’re going.
Keep cash in small bills on hand and the car full of gas. Keep a map in the car, even if it has GPS.
Who Can Help?
- You Insurance Policy – Your home insurance also includes coverage for additional living expenses in the event that you are temporarily unable to live in your home due to an insured loss in certain circumstances.
- Emergency Social Services – You may receive emergency social services for up to 72 hours. Services may include food, lodging, clothing, emotional support, information about the crisis, and family reunification.
- Emergency Management BC – Emergency Management BC will support communities through response and recovery.
- Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) Program – DFA compensation is available for uninsurable losses in five categories: Homeowners (principal residence only), residential tenants, small business owners, farmers and charitable organizations. Note: Losses of personal property for which insurance was reasonably and readily available are not eligible for DFA compensation.
What to include in an emergency kit!
- Water: two litres of water per person, per day
- Food: Canned food, energy bars and other non-perishables.
- Manual can opener
- Flashlight and batteries
- First Aid kit
- Battery-powered or wind-up radio and extra batteries
- Special needs items: Prescription medications, infant formula and equipment for people with disabilities.
- Extra keys for your car and house
- Cash: include small bills and change; service outlets will be operating at reduced capacity
- Your emergency plan: Include in and out of town contacts.