WEST KELOWNA — It came fast and spread furiously. Within an hour and a half of sparking the Smith Creek wildfire was burning so close homes, more than a thousand residents were told they needed to evacuate.
Many were clearly prepared, with boxes packed and ready to go, but that wasn’t the case for everyone.
What do you need to be prepared for an emergency?
According to the Central Okanagan Regional District, a crash kit is a must:
Water – two litres of water per person per day (Include small bottles that can be carried easily in case of an evacuation order)
Food – that won’t spoil, such as canned food, energy bars and dried foods (remember to replace the food and water once a year)
Manual can opener
Flashlight and batteries
Wind up or Battery–powered radio (and extra batteries)
First aid kit
Special needs items – prescription medications, infant formula or equipment for people with disabilities
Extra keys – for your car and house
Cash – include smaller denominations such as $10 bills (travellers cheques are also useful)
Emergency plan – include a copy of it and ensure it contains in–town and out–of–town contact information.
And it should be packed and ready to go well before an emergency.
“It’s much easier to prepare before an emergency happens when you’re calm cool headed you can think about things and talk with your family,” says Bruce Smith, Central Okanagan Regional District communications officer.
“You can’t always depend that someone in emergency services or someone else is going to look after you,” Smith continues, “you have to be prepared to be self sustaining and self sufficient for 72 hours in an emergency.”
For more resources on how you can prepare for an emergency, including creating an action plan, pet preparedness and a home checklist, visit the Central Okanagan Emergency Operations website.