During an emergency, you and your family may be asked to stay at home or ordered to evacuate. If asked to stay at home, you could be on your own at home for an extended period of time. Emergency services may not be readily available, as emergency workers help those in most critical need. If ordered to evacuate, you may be given very little notice and could be out of your home for days or even weeks.
Residents and businesses must be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours following a major emergency or disaster and be prepared to evacuate on short-notice.
You must also be prepared to evacuate if needed. Being prepared before an evacuation order is the most important step you can take to protect yourself and your family. For detailed information on what you need to do to be ready to evacuate visit Preparing to Evacuate.
1. Know the risks
Earthquakes, floods, and wildfires are just some of the potential hazards in Whistler. The municipality has completed a Hazard, Risk, and Vulnerability Assessment to help community members understand what types of hazards could threaten our community. Familiarize yourself with all of Whistler’s 32 hazards, including the ones that could impact your neighbourhood.
2. Make a plan
By definition, emergencies happen when we don’t expect them, and often when families are not together.
Suddenly, you need to think about your kids at school or elderly parents across town. If phones don’t work, or some neighbourhoods aren’t accessible, what will you do?
Having a family emergency plan will save time and make real situations less stressful.
Information to include in your emergency plan:
- An emergency phone list with at least two out-of-area contacts (PDF)
- A designated meeting spot in case you’re separated from family members
- A designated person to collect your children from school or daycare if you can’t
- A personalized evacuation plan so you know what to do if ordered to evacuate
- Information on how to turn off utilities if asked by emergency officials
3. Build a kit
When an emergency hits, there won’t be time to collect emergency supplies.
Do you have emergency kits for your home, office and vehicle? They should all contain food, fresh water, medication and supplies for you and your family to cope at least three days or more without outside assistance.
Think of ways that you can pack your emergency kits, so you and other family members can take them with you, if necessary.
During an emergency, phone, gas, electrical and water services may be disrupted. Roads could be blocked, stores closed and gas stations out-of-service.
It may be weeks before infrastructure, utilities and essential services are restored. Are you prepared to cope?
Emergency Management BC has released a new Wildfire Preparedness Guide that provides information on what to do before, during and after a wildfire, and includes advice on protecting your property, managing stress and coping with smoke.
The importance of water
How much is enough?
The general rule is four litres of water per person per day, but there are a few caveats:
- Children, nursing mothers and sick people may need more.
- If you live in a warm region of B.C., hot temperatures can double water needs.
- Pets need about 30 millilitres of water per kilogram of body weight per day (e.g. an average-sized cat or small-sized dog needs at least 0.2L or half a cup, daily.).
How and where do I store my water?
Purchase commercially bottled water and keep it in its original container in an easily accessible, cool and dark place. Don’t open it until you need it.
Pay attention to expiry or“best before” dates. Set a reminder in your calendar to replace supplies or remember to check the dates when the clocks “spring forward” and “fall back”.