Prepare now: don’t be caught off guard

Monday, March 9, 2020 - 10:27am

While last year we thankfully had a break from serious emergencies in the Central Okanagan, as Spring arrives in the region, it’s important to keep preparedness top of mind: Being prepared to look after your family for at least 72 hours in the event of an emergency is something we all need to do each year, emergency or not.

“This is a good time to dust off your family emergency plan and ensure it’s up to date,” says Sandra Follack, Central Okanagan’s Emergency Program Coordinator and Kelowna Fire Department Deputy Chief. “It’s also a perfect opportunity to check through your ‘grab and go’ kit to replenish and replace any outdated food, prescriptions, water or other items that you might need should you have to leave your home.”

In the first hours of an emergency, if the risk to public safety is imminent, there may not be much advance notice for an evacuation of an area. First responders may only have minutes to notify residents to gather family and belongings and leave the area as directed. That means having a prepared Emergency Plan and ‘Grab and Go’ kit is even more important because the best time to prepare for an emergency is when there isn’t one!

“For those residents that may not have a plan or kit yet, the upcoming Spring break is a great time to get the family together to create a plan and ‘grab and go kit,” adds Follack.

Residents can find a number of useful links, preparedness information, checklists and videos at

Every Central Okanagan resident is encouraged to visit and subscribe to receive notification about any emergency directly from the regional emergency operation centre should it be activated. 

Over the coming weeks, the Central Okanagan emergency program social media channels will be providing helpful tips and resources for residents to get prepared. For ongoing emergency information, follow us at and on Twitter at @CO_Emerg.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan 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.