EDITORIAL: Fires spark need to be prepared

Have an emergency bag packed and ready to go at a moment's notice

Residents waking to the smell of smoke this week and seeing the plumes line the sky don’t have to be reminded that fire season is in full swing in the Okanagan.

It’s a scary situation for anyone living in the areas of evacuation or nearby.

Being suddenly evacuated from your home, not knowing where you will go, or what will happen while you are away is a frightening experience.

One can only hope that all those who have had to leave had enough time to gather their fur babies and necessities.

But often, when it comes to wildfire, there is little warning, and people must flee in the blink of an eye.

Which is why all residents are reminded to be on alert at all times. Have an emergency bag packed and ready to go for you and your loved ones. That also includes your furry friends. Whether it’s a kennel, food and papers ready to go for your domestic pet, or a plan to load up or move livestock to safe ground.

It’s also vital to make a plan and share it with all members of the household. Make a meeting place outside as well as one outside of the neighbourhood. Establish an out-of-area emergency contact and educate all household members on how to turn off major utilities such as gas, power and water.

To find out if you are ready, the province has a PreparedBC survey online. It also includes tips, strategies and information to help you better prepare yourself, your family and your neighbourhood.

Plus being prepared applies to all sorts of emergencies, from fire to flood, earthquake, major power outage and more.

Taking a bit of time to prepare now can make a world of difference in the event that an emergency situation does strike home.