Evacuations can be chaotic, nerve racking and a time of worry and strain. The SRD Emergency Management department reminds residents to make themselves aware and be prepared. Fire fighters and other emergency personnel cannot work on the fire or other problems until life and safety issues are under control.
Resisting evacuation consumes the rescuers precious time. Once residents receive the information of the Evacuation Order, they should evacuate immediately. Delay can result in roadways being blocked by smoke, other materials, or rescue equipment. Listen to emergency broadcasts and follow the directions of emergency personnel.
Evacuations are an incremental process that can be implemented more efficiently if residents are informed and keep tuned into local media for information releases. One of the key principals of evacuation planning is to develop appropriate and flexible plans based on the analyses of hazard risk and vulnerability, population, and response capability. In other words, successfully performing it will not only require a deep understanding of the transportation infrastructure and services within, between, and outside of the communities, but also a sound understanding of the potential evacuation scenarios and situations.
Evacuation Planning – Stages
Regardless of which legal authority orders an evacuation, warning and implementation should follow the provincial standard of a three-staged process.
- Stage 1 – Evacuation Alert
Be ready to leave on short notice. An evacuation alert advises the population at risk of the impending danger. At this point, the movement of handicapped persons, transient population, including vacationers, and in some cases, school population, and any voluntary evacuees should become a priority.
Possible methods of warning the population at risk may include emergency notification systems, door knocking, media broadcasts, mobile public address (RCMP), telephone calls, and electronic media.
The Alert should identify hazard/emergency zone(s) and travel route(s), identify reception center locations, and advise the method of declaring an “All Clear” and procedure for issue of controlled re-entry passes.
- Stage 2 – Evacuation Order
Leave the area now! The Evacuation Order includes the time the Order is in effect and a pass form which can be used in the event that the evacuee has a need for controlled re-entry to the area, with instructions for its use.
All persons in the affected area, in the interest of their own safety and considering the risk, will be ordered to leave the area. The written Evacuation Order will be in a consistent form. There is no discretion allowed in the Order, which clearly indicates immediate evacuation and relocation. The RCMP will enforce this Evacuation Order.
- Stage 3 – Rescind
When the emergency that necessitated the evacuation is under control and the hazard/emergency zone is declared safe (habitable), a retraction of the Evacuation Order will be implemented. This will be done using the same procedure as for a Warning. This procedure will advise the population at risk that the danger may reoccur itself and that an ALERT may be reinstated and the process recommences from Stage 1.
If you hear from a Media Information Release that an Evacuation is anticipated, be sure to note whether it is an Alert or an Order. How to respond is different for each stage, and important to remember. Following these guidelines helps first responders to help you more quickly and safely.
If an Evacuation Alert has been issued:
- Gather essential items such as medications, eyeglasses, valuable papers, immediate care needs for dependants, and valuable keepsakes. Include a couple of blankets and pillows. Be practical about what to take with you and make them available for immediate access for a quick departure.
- Keep track of the location of all family members and determine a planned meeting place should an evacuation be called while separated.
- Immediately relocate large pets and livestock to an area outside of the evacuation alert.
- Arrange accommodation for your family in the event of an evacuation. Emergency Support Services may be available to provide reception centres and emergency relief for periods of 72 hours.
If an Evacuation Order has been issued:
- You MUST LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY. It is imperative that you report to the Reception Centre indicated or follow instructions provided by the Emergency Operation Centre. This will allow for effective communications for the evacuation team, Emergency Coordination Centre, and other responders. Reporting to the Reception Centre or following instructions provided, facilitates contact by concerned friends or relatives, and in matching separated family members.
- If you need transportation to evacuate, advise the individual providing the notice of evacuation.
- Close all doors and windows in your home. Leave gates unlocked and clear driveways for firefighter access.
- Keep a flashlight, cellphone battery pack charger and portable radio with you at all times.
- Follow the directions of emergency personnel and obey traffic control. Travel will be one-way only out of your area to allow emergency vehicles access. Re-admission is not permitted until the Order is lifted.
As information is received from the operational front lines and examined for specific actions, the public will be kept notified of developments, level of evacuation awareness, location of reception centers, and other important information.
Evacuation Planning Resources
- Evacuation Toolkit – Preparing for Flooding
- Evacuation Toolkit – Preparing for Wildfire Evacuation
- Managing Access to Areas Under Evacuation Order – For Local Authorities & First Nations
City of Campbell River
- City of Campbell River Post-Earthquake Dam Failure Inundation Zone Map (City)
- City of Campbell River Post-Earthquake Dam Failure Inundation Zone May (Regional)
- Downtown Post-Earthquake Inundation Area with Evacuation Routes
- Downtown Post-Earthquake Inundation Area Multi-Language Warning Map
- Cortes Island Evacuation Maps
Cortes Zone A Cortes Zone D
Cortes Zone B Cortes Zone E
Cortes Zone C Cortes Zone F
Electoral Area D – Oyster River
- Community of Oyster River Evacuation Map
- Flood Evacuation Planning
- Oyster River 200 Year Floodplain