With a fraction of the normal precipitation and scorching temperatures raising fire fears across the southern Interior, Central Okanagan emergency program urges residents to be prepared.


Regional Emergency Program Coordinator Sandra Follack says preparing for an emergency before it happens can help reduce your stress level, should you receive notice of an evacuation or alert.


While our region has not experienced serious wildfires or flooding over the past couple of years, it doesn’t mean we can become complacent.


“Our region-wide emergency program is ready in the event we are needed to support first responders,” said Follack. “Individuals and families should be ready too in case they are required to leave their homes, often with only a few minutes’ notice. Having grab-and-go kits for your family and pets at home and in your vehicle can help ensure you have the basic supplies and essential items needed to survive at least 72 hours away from your home.”


Another important reason to be prepared is that if an area is on Evacuation Alert, you are expected to be prepared to leave at a moments notice. When an area is on Evacuation Order, you must leave immediately. Be prepared, know the risk, make a kit.


In the Central Okanagan and across the Province, the Emergency Support Services program now offers an online registration system for those who may be on Evacuation Alert or Order.  It allows households/people to self-register with the ESS organization online rather than in-person at an Evacuation Reception Centre.  In-person registration will still be available for those without computer access or in the event of a power outage affecting online services.


Visit the Regional Emergency program webpage at cordemergency.ca and click on the ‘Be Prepared’ link for information and links relating to a variety of potential emergencies.


Central Okanagan emergency officials encourage everyone to be safe with any fires or smoking materials, especially at this time of year when conditions are extremely dry.  In those areas that allow campfires, please keep them small and ensure that they are completely extinguished.  Campfires and other outdoor wood-burning appliances are never permitted at any time in the City of Kelowna.  As well, smoking is not allowed in any parks across the Central Okanagan. Motorists are reminded to properly dispose of any smoking materials in ashtrays and to not flick them from vehicle windows. 


In the event of an emergency and activation of the Central Okanagan Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), the latest information will be available online at cordemergency.ca and via Facebook (facebook.com/CORDEmergency) and Twitter (twitter.com/CO_Emerg). Central Okanagan residents are encouraged to sign up for the Central Okanagan Emergencies email updates to receive notifications from the Emergency program.


The Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) Emergency program is coordinated by the Kelowna Fire Department on behalf of the RDCO, the cities of Kelowna and West Kelowna, districts of Lake Country and Peachland and Westbank First Nation.