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With flood and wildfire seasons nearing, take time to update your emergency plans: RDCO

Emergency Preparedness Week is the perfect time to inspect kits and replace any outdated food, prescriptions, water and other items, says the Regional District of the Central Okanagan. Global News

Emergency Preparedness Week runs from May 1 to 7.

And with flooding and wildfire seasons on the horizon, the Regional District of the Central Okanagan says now is a good time to update your emergency plans if evacuation orders are issued.

“Being prepared to look after your family for at least 72 hours in the event of an emergency is something we need to do each year,” said Sandra Follack, Central Okanagan’s emergency program co-ordinator.

“And the best time to dust off your family emergency plan, and ensure grab and go kits are refreshed, is when there is no emergency.”

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Emergency Preparedness Week is the perfect time to inspect kits and replace any outdated food, prescriptions, water and other items, says Follack.

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She adds that it’s also the perfect time to involve family members, so that everyone understands what to do if there’s an emergency.

“If the risk to public safety is imminent, there may not be much advance notice for an evacuation of an area,” said Follack.

“First responders may only have minutes to notify residents to gather family and belongings and leave the area as directed. That’s why having a prepared emergency plan and grab-and-go kit is so important.”

The regional district recommends residents familiarize themselves with their area’s potential emergencies, like flooding, wildfires and land movement, and what they can do in advance to protect their properties.

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Regarding wildfires, the RDCO says homeowners can help protect their properties by using proven FireSmart program principles, including:

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  • Moving firewood 10 to 30 metres away from the home.
  • Cleaning roof and gutters of flammable leaves and needles.
  • Removing tree branches that are within three metres from the ground.
  • Trimming or pruning trees or vegetation that overhang structures.

More information is available on the regional district’s website.

The RDCO noted that on Thursday, May 4, a test of the national Alert Ready system will take place. During this test, people will hear or see an alert message on radio, television and wireless devices.

More information about the Alert Ready system is available online.

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