When an emergency event occurs, you and your family could be on your own for an extended period of time while emergency responders assist those in most critical need. In order to lessen the impact of an emergency, citizens are encouraged to take three simple steps to personal preparedness:
- Know the Risks. Understanding the risks in your community can help you develop a plan of action during an emergency
- Make a Plan. Talk to your family about what you would do if an emergency occurred while you were at work or the kids were at school. Where would you meet? Who would you phone? Where would you stay if you had to leave your home? How will you transport pets?
- Get a Kit. Prepare a kit with the necessities to manage for at least 72 hours after an event
Prepare for an Evacuation
Preparing for an evacuation is a bit different from planning for other emergencies. In this case you may have a bit of time to prepare and what you take with you is different because you might not have a place to return to when the emergency is over.
This Evacuation Preparation check list can assist you.
An Evacuation Alert means get ready to go. You might not be evacuated but if you are, you need to be prepared. Here is what you need to do:
- Put gas in the car. Get extra if you can.
- Find your list (above) and pack.
- Have everything you want to take at the door, in your trailer or in your car ready at a moment’s notice.
- Let your family know you are on Alert and where you plan to go if you are evacuated and designate an emergency contact person who lives outside the area.
- You are at risk. Leave the area immediately.
- Local police or RCMP enforce evacuation orders.
- You are encouraged to register all family members at the reception centre so emergency responders know that you are safe (it also records your information in case you may be eligible for support services during the evacuation).
- Listen to the radio, check local news sites, the City website (fortstjohn.ca) and the City Facebook page for information on the best routes to take, shelter sites and changes to the evacuation order.
Planning for an Emergency
Emergencies can happen anywhere, at anytime, and usually when we least expect it. Parents may be at work and children at school when an event occurs. Would your family know where to meet and how to contact each other if you couldn’t get home? Having a plan in place before an event will ensure that your family knows what to do when an emergency occurs. It only takes about 20 minutes to develop a plan for you and your family that will reduce the uncertainty of an already stressful situation. This Planning for an Emergency document can help you develop a plan.
Planning for Persons With Special Needs
The Emergency Management BC website contains detailed checklists to assist people with disabilities to become better prepared for an emergency or disaster. This includes general preparedness tips and tips specifically designed for individuals with mobility, visual, hearing and cognitive disabilities. Public Safety Canada has developed an Emergency Management Guide(link is external) for People with Disabilities/Special Needs. This guide is also available in print format at City Hall. The BC Coalition for People with Disabilities(link is external) has been working with a broad network of disability organizations and people with disabilities to build relationships with the emergency management sector and may provide additional information for planning purposes.
Fire Prevention and Preparedness
The BC Wildfire Service has a great deal of information on preparing your property for a wildfire. Learn how to protect your property and your home on their website.
Emergency Social Services Centre (ESS)
During the event of an evacuation order the Emergency Social Services (ESS) Reception may be activated. The ESS Reception Centre is overseen by the municipalities Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) but it is operated by volunteers from the community. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for information and request sign up forms to complete and return.
ESS Volunteer Forms and Requirements:
- Registration Form
- Code of Conduct
- Volunteer Contract
- Criminal Record Check
- Drivers Abstract
- Employer Contact Information
- Copy of First Aid Certification
ESS Volunteer Training Opportunities:
- Justice Institute of BC (JIBC) Online Courses (Free & Paid)
- JIBC EMRG 1600- Intro to ESS (previously ESS 100)
- JIBC EMRG 1607- Level 1 ESS (previously ESS 107)
- JIBC EMRG 1610- Intro to Reception Centres
- Watch “ESS Documentation Unit Explained” YouTube Trilogy
More courses can be found on the Justice Institutes of BC website.
ESS Volunteers are encouraged to complete basic training;
Intro to ESS and Incident Command System: Classroom Delivery,
Date: June 18, 2016
Location: Pomeroy Sport Centre
Time: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm (Lunch provided)
RSVP: email@example.com by June 15: 4:00 pm (space is limited)