Emergency Support Services (ESS)
British Columbians forced from their homes by fire, floods, landslides or other emergencies may receive Emergency Support Services (ESS) for up to 72 hours or longer. Most communities have an ESS team that works with the local emergency program during a crisis. The ESS program relies on trained volunteers to meet the needs of people impacted by an emergency.
Volunteering as an ESS responder is an opportunity to help others during a time of crisis. ESS volunteers are trained by the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) and receive WorkSafeBC and liability insurance coverage through Emergency Management BC (EMBC). Training is provided free of charge. Volunteers must undergo a criminal record check.
For more information about ESS, please watch this short video: https://youtu.be/fgzQmQiTCUk
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) ESS: 250-486-1890 http://www.rdos.bc.ca/news-events/eoc/emergency-support-services-ess/
Are You Prepared?
Coping with the stress of being out of your home during an Evacuation Order is easier, if you have a plan.
- Understand the risks in advance, prepare and practice your family and business emergency plan
- Prepare a 72-hour emergency kit for your family and vehicle
- Sign up for Keremeos' Resident Notification System and receive notification messages and information updates: http://www.keremeos.ca/notification-signup
“Property Owners are responsible for protecting their property.”
In British Columbia, property owners are responsible for taking the necessary steps on their property to protect their home and property from flooding, while government emergency programs focus on broader flood response measures. The RDOS will provide sand and sandbags for property owners as needed, in addition to information about sandbag placement. During a flooding emergency, Emergency Management BC (EMBC) may assist with funding for response works such as tiger dams, sand and sandbags, and other emergency resources.
“Groundwater levels are currently higher than normal due to wet conditions experienced in 2017 and 2018, creating an increased potential for flooding during freshet in 2019.”
Ecora – Professional Engineers and Environmental Consulting / Dobson Engineering Ltd.
Is Your Property Prone to Flooding?
Due to high groundwater throughout the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS), there is a high probability of flooding from freshet - in areas that are prone to flooding. In some areas, there remains an imminent risk of flooding from rainfall events. Property owners living in areas that flood need to be prepared. Flooding on private property will typically occur as a result of high stream flow, pooling or slow rising water from a body of water.
For more information about sandbagging, please watch this short video: https://youtu.be/thZwVWyXjMQ
- Public sand and sandbag locations will be listed on the RDOS website: www.rdos.bc.ca. In the Keremeos area, the sandbag location will be at the Keremeos Irrigation District pump house west of Highway 3A just north of Similkameen Elementary Secondary School.
- The RDOS does not deliver sand or sandbags to private residences or businesses
- If you require assistance with sandbagging, please connect with your friends, family or volunteers
- Filled sandbags are not available from the RDOS
For further information, please contact the RDOS EOC: 250-490-4225
Visit our website: http://www.rdos.bc.ca/news-events/eoc/active-eoc-information/
Building Climate Resilience in the Okanagan – A Homeowners’ Resource Guide
Important Emergency Terms
Being familiar with these terms will help remove the stress of coping with an emergency.
Evacuation Alert – Be Ready and Standby
Upon notification of an ALERT, you should locate all family members or co-workers and designate a meeting site outside the evacuation area, in case an Evacuation Order is issued. Gather essential items such as medications, eyeglasses, valuable papers, cell phone charger, immediate care needs for dependents, and keepsakes. Have these items ready for quick departure.
Prepare to move any disabled persons and/or children. Arrange to transport your household members or co-workers in the event an Evacuation Order is issued. Prepare to move pets and livestock to a safe area. Monitor news sources and the Village and RDOS websites and social media for information.
Evacuation Order – Get Out
Upon notification of an ORDER, you must leave the area immediately. Close and lock all windows and doors. Shut off electrical appliances, other than refrigerators and freezers. Do not lock gates. Gather your family and take a neighbour or someone who needs help. Take critical items if they are immediately available. Take pets in pet kennels or on leash. Do not use more vehicles than necessary, to help reduce congestion. Do not use the telephone unless you need help.
Evacuation Rescind (Safe to Return)
It is safe for evacuees to return home. Residents may remain on Evacuation Alert and should be prepared to leave on short notice, if the incident changes.
Don't count on being home when there's an emergency. In addition to an emergency kit at home, create grab-and-go bags for your work and vehicles. You should include important documents, first aid kit and medications.
For more information visit the RDOS website www.rdos.bc.ca
Issued by RDOS Director of Emergency Operations
RDOS EOC 250-490-4225