If an emergency is serious enough, you may be asked to leave your home and go to a nearby Reception Centre, hotel, or stay with friends and family. In a large-scale emergency you may be asked to travel out of the community completely. Local officials will not ask you to leave your home unless they have reason to believe you are in danger.
Stay informed. Monitor whistler.ca and @rmwhistler (Twitter) and rmowhistler (FaceBook) for updates or listen to 102.1 Mountain FM and 101.5 Whistler FM for information about the fire and possible road closures.
The evacuation procedure normally follows these three stages:
- Evacuation Alert: Be ready to leave on short notice. If you leave before or during this alert, it’s called a voluntary evacuation.
- Evacuation Order: You are at risk. Leave the area immediately. Local RCMP enforce evacuation orders. You are encouraged to register all family members at the Reception Centre, so emergency responders know that you are safe.
- Evacuation Rescinded: All is currently safe and you can return home. Stay tuned for other possible evacuation alerts or orders.
If you are ordered to evacuate:
- Leave immediately when requested to do so. Your cooperation frees up emergency personnel for other duties.
- Take your Emergency Kit with you.
- If you are instructed to do so, shut off water and electricity.
- Leave natural gas service on, unless officials tell you to turn it off. (If you turn off the gas, the gas company has to reconnect it. In a major emergency, it could take weeks for a professional to respond. You would be without gas for heating and cooking).
- If you have pets, bring them along with a leash or crate and pet food, or make arrangements for their care.
- Wear clothes and shoes appropriate for conditions.
- Lock your house and any outbuildings.
- Follow evacuation routes specified by first responders or municipal officials. Don’t take shortcuts, as they could lead you to blocked or dangerous areas.
Where do you go in a large scale emergency if you can no longer stay in your home?
The RMOW has two designated Reception Centres designed to provide basic necessities (e.g. food, water and shelter) when large scale evacuation of residents occurs due to emergency situations.
Reception Centres may be opened when residents are displaced due to fire, flood, earthquakes and hazardous material spills.
The municipality has a team of staff and volunteers that will set up and manage these centres in emergency situations.
During an emergency
- If you can stay in your home, it is highly recommended that you remain there, as you do not know what you will encounter if you venture out.
- However, if your home or location is not habitable, follow instructions provided by the municipality.
If a first responder or municipal official comes to your door and orders you to evacuate, they will provide you with information on where to go. Follow the instructions provided to you.
The two designated centres are:
- Myrtle Phillip Community Centre – 6195 Lorimer Road, Whistler, B.C.
- Spring Creek Elementary School – 1509 Spring Creek Drive, Whistler, B.C.
Additional centres may be opened, if required, and the public will be notified.
Sign up at the Reception Centre to which you are evacuated, so you can be contacted by or reunited with your family members.