Central Okanagan property owners that have had issues in the past with flooding should take some time now to dust off their flood preparation plans. It's a good time to review and update the steps they take each year to protect and prepare their property from potential flood damage.

The snowpack at the lower elevations is starting to melt as a result of warmer than normal temperatures. In many valley bottom areas of the Central Okanagan, the snow has already disappeared. These unusual conditions means that area creeks and streams, which don't usually see increased flow until later in the spring, are starting to see more water.

While it's too early to say whether there will be any potential problems with flooding, the Central Okanagan Emergency Program encourages property owners in flood prone and low-lying areas near creeks and streams, to consider how they'll protect their properties.

Property owners are reminded they are responsible for having a plan as well as the tools and equipment necessary to protect their properties from possible flood damage.

Local governments and the BC Ministry of Environment are watching water levels and weather conditions in advance of the annual spring runoff. If needed, advisories, watches and warnings will be issued.

Information and pamphlets on flood preparedness including a recommended method for sandbag diking are available from the Regional District of Central Okanagan office (1450 KLO Road) and the main City of Kelowna fire hall on Enterprise Way as well as on the Be Prepared page of the Regional District Emergency Program website www.cordemergency.ca and on the Emergency Management BC website: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/preparedbc/know-the-risks/floods

Later in the spring, stockpiles of sandbags will be available at local fire halls throughout the Central Okanagan. Property owners are responsible for providing their own sand to fill the bags.

In the event of an emergency and activation of the Central Okanagan Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), the latest information will be available online at the EOC Public Information website www.cordemergency.ca and via Facebook (www.facebook.com/CORDEmergency) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/CO_Emerg). Central Okanagan residents are encouraged to subscribe on the website to receive email notifications from the Emergency Program.