In an emergency, you should activate your family and neighbourhood emergency plans. Listen to weather forecasts and instructions from local officials, as reception or warning centres may be set up in your community. Keep an eye out for neighbours who may be at-risk in severe conditions. Always follow the instructions of first responders and local emergency officials.
Emergency Notification System
In potentially life-threatening circumstances, the Town of Creston, with the support of the Regional Government and Emergency Management BC, may issue an Evacuation Alert or an Evacuation Order to residents living in a hazard area. The main way we’ll do this will be by using the Emergency Notification System, but that requires that you have signed up to receive the service.
In extreme conditions, it may be necessary to evacuate people from their homes to protect lives and safety. There are typically two stages: Alerts and Orders.
- An evacuation alert is a warning about a potential imminent threat to life and property. It is a precautionary measure. It is meant to give affected residents within an impacted area time to prepare in case they are told to evacuate.
- During the Alert, residents should follow their emergency plans, and get ready to evacuate to their pre-selected lodging with family, friends or commercial accommodations. If no accommodation has been pre-identified, this is the time to do so.
- If you live outside of the evacuation alert zone but are concerned about the situation, you may wish to prepare for possible evacuation or self evacuate to friends or family outside of the risk area.
- Evacuation Alerts are active until the Rescind Notification is published.
- This is an order issued by the Town of Creston to residents within the affected area that they are to leave the area immediately.
- If you are evacuated, please proceed to your pre-selected location.
- Local officials will provide you with information about how to register online as an evacuee, once you have reached your destination. This helps us to know if you need further support.
- We may also set up a Reception Centre where short term assistance for immediate needs of food, shelter, clothing, and emotional support may be available.
Shelter in Place
In certain circumstances, officials may decide that it is unsafe to evacuate, in which case, a Shelter-in-Place order might be issued. This means that you should remain in your homes or work place and follow these procedures.
Some Common Questions and Answers
What if I'm in the evacuation alert zone as identified on maps but I didn't receive a notice from emergency personnel?
- Please contact us directly so that we can verify that you are in the alert zone. Phone 250-428-2214, ext. 510
If you are currently experiencing an emergency, please call 911 for assistance.
Can I decide for myself if I have to evacuate after doing my own assessment of the situation?
- Being aware of what is happening around you is of utmost importance in ensuring you and your family are safe.
- Not all emergencies happen in a way that gives enough time for the authorities to communicate what you need to do and what you need to be aware of. Maintaining situational awareness means that you are looking out for yourself and paying attention to your environment to notice changes that could indicate a pending event. You could be the person that alerts the authorities!
- It is also good to maintain this situational awareness when there is a known emergency occurring and your area is on an Evacuation Alert. This allows you to make your own decision if you want to leave before an Order is declared - everybody’s threshold for risk is different.
- If you receive an Evacuation Order, you must heed it. When moving from an Evacuation Alert to an Evacuation Order, authorities base their decisions on information that may not be immediately available to the public, which means your situational awareness may not be as good as you think.
- When people choose not to evacuate during an Order, they not only affect the ability of the authorities to respond to the actual emergency, but they also put the safety, and potentially the lives, of the responders at risk if they require rescuing.
- So make sure you maintain situational awareness, but please cooperate with authorities when it comes to Evacuation Orders. It might mean your life or someone else’s.
May I return briefly to my home during an Evacuation Order?
- ONLY if you have the permission of the local government and emergency personnel. Security will be in place.
Where will I stay if I'm evacuated?
- It is recommended that you find an alternate place to stay with family or friends. As a last resort, and if you don’t have a safe place to stay, assistance may be available at the Reception Centre. This might be group lodging (on a cot) at a local hall or arena, for example.
Evacuations and Your Animals
If I'm evacuated, will my pets be taken care of?
- You should arrange to have your pets stay with you at a friends or family member’s home. Emergency Support Services will have limited space for evacuated pets.
- For farm animals, Emergency Management information can be found on the BC Ministry of Agriculture website here.