Sandbag stations 2018

When an emergency strikes, you and your family may only be given a moment’s notice to stay safe.

May 6 to 12 is Emergency Preparedness Week in Canada and with the Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre already up and running on behalf of local governments to support localized incidents, it’s a reminder that there is no better reason to prepare your family to respond to any emergency than now.

“Concerted efforts across the region have been made since March to place protective measures to mitigate the risk of flooding. We learned a lot last year, and don’t want a repeat of the damage that was done to our beautiful region,” says Regional District of Central Okanagan Board Chair Gail Given. “Residents can do their part by ensuring they prepare themselves, their families and properties for potential emergencies. Together, we can all protect our communities.” 

The six Central Okanagan governments, with support from provincial agencies, have been closely monitoring creek, stream and lake levels and have placed temporary and permanent measures to protect public infrastructure: brush and debris removal from creeks, placement of bladder dams and sandbags, building up berms and raising some pedestrian pathways. Also, 15 self-serve sand and sandbag locations have been made available across the region for residents who are in vulnerable areas or who have previously experienced freshet flooding. For locations visit

The Province has lowered Okanagan Lake levels. Properties along Okanagan Lake are currently not at risk of flooding and the lake is not anticipated to be a concern at this time.

To help residents get prepared, the Central Okanagan Emergency Operations program’s website,, lists a number of tips and links to useful resources. Visit the Be Prepared page to help you and your family develop emergency plans and ‘Grab and Go’ kits. While on the website, subscribe to receive email notices to have the most up to date information in the event of an active emergency in the Central Okanagan delivered to your inbox.

“We want residents to know that whether it’s a potential flood or wildfire or other emergency, those who prepare their families in advance, by knowing the risks, making a plan and getting a kit, aren’t left scrambling when an evacuation order is issued,” emphasizes Chair Given.

Consider what you’ll do in any emergency. Review your family emergency plan and think about how your family will communicate with each other if you are in different locations or are separated.

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A selection of emergency preparedness pamphlets is also available at the Regional District of Central Okanagan office (1450 KLO Road in Kelowna) and the main Kelowna Fire Hall (2255 Enterprise Way).





Bruce Smith

RDCO Communications Officer





The following information is provided from Public Safety Canada website:


Creating your Family Emergency Plan


Every Canadian household needs an emergency plan - it will help you and your family to know what to do in case of an emergency. Remember, your family may not be together when an emergency occurs.


As part of the plan, there are a number of things you should discuss with your family, including:


  • How will you contact each other in an emergency? Where will you meet if you can’t go home?
  • How does your children’s school/day care communicate with families during an emergency?
  • Is there someone in your neighbourhood who may be at risk and need extra help during an emergency?


For more information, visit, where you can download an emergency plan or complete it online. It doesn’t take long to do, and could make a world of difference.


Once complete, keep the plan in an accessible spot, such as your emergency kit. You may also want to keep a copy of the plan in your car or at work.


Prepare an Emergency Kit


In an emergency you will need some basic supplies. You may need to get by without power or tap water. Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours.

You may have some of these basic emergency kit items already, such as a flashlight, battery-operated radio, food, water and blankets. The key is to make sure they are organized, easy to find and easy to carry (in a suitcase with wheels or in a backpack) in case you need to evacuate your home. Whatever you do, don’t wait for an emergency to happen before getting prepared!

Make sure your kit is easy to carry, in case you need to evacuate your home.  

A basic emergency kit includes the following:

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) and change for payphones

Emergency plan – include a copy of it and ensure it contains in–town and out–of–town contact information