You've heard from your neighbour or the news that your community has been placed under an evacuation alert. What should you do?
1. See if there is an App like Alertable for your area (alertable.ca). Download it to make sure you receive the most up-to-date information from a reliable source.
2. Check out the official emergency management website for your province for all kinds of important information. In British Columbia it is www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca. There is a specific section for wildfires: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/preparedbc/know-your-hazards/wildfires.
3. Make a plan and communicate it with your family and friends. The plan should include where you will go if the evacuation alert changes to an evacuation order. A template for a plan is located here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/preparedbc/make-your-plan
4. Gather all your important papers and take copies. These documents include birth certificates, passports, wills, insurance papers (with the name and phone number of your broker), financial documents, etc.
5. Pack up items such as photo albums and antiques that have significant sentimental value and are impossible to replace.
6. Assemble your Grab and Go kit. Suggestions are listed here https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/preparedbc/build-an-emergency-kit-and-grab-and-go-bag
7. Keep all electronics fully charged.
8. Keep your vehicles fueled/charged and ready to go.
9. Have a stash of cash in small bills.
10. Put together a plan for your pets and other animals such as livestock. If you are away from your home and the alert changes to an order, be sure to talk to a neighbour to see if they can take your pets and meet you at a safe place.
11. Start eating all perishable food and food from your freezer.
12. Prepare yourself and your family for the possibility you might be away from your home for a month or even longer.
13. Register with the Canadian Red Cross.
14. Check in with your neighbours to see if they need any help, especially those who have mobility challenges or other disabilities.
The most important thing is to stay calm and be as prepared as possible.