Tsunami, Earthquake & Flooding:
Are you Prepared?
An emergency can arise without warning leaving no time to gather essentials like food, water, medications and valuable personal belongings. Creating a Household Emergency Plan ensures that your family is prepared in advance with an action plan, emergency meeting place and other important household preparations.
In the event that a Tsunami Warning is issued by the Provincial Emergency Program, the District will activate the Tsunami warning sirens.
If you hear the sirens you should immediately do the following:
- Move quickly inland to high ground and away from low-lying areas.
- DO NOT PACK OR DELAY – a Tsunami may reach our community in a few minutes.
- Residents and visitors are requested to familiarize themselves with the Tsunami Evacuation Route.
- The sirens will remain on until an “All Clear” from local officials is given, at which time residents will be allowed to return to their homes.
There are 2 evacuation sites in Stewart
For information on earthquakes, visit Earthquakes Canada.
Floods are the most frequent natural hazard in Canada. They can occur at any time of the year and are most often caused by heavy rainfall, rapid melting of a thick snow pack, ice jams, or more rarely, the failure of a natural or man-made dam.
What is the chance of a major flood?
It is impossible to know in advance how high water levels will rise. The severity of flooding, and whether or not significant flooding occurs on major river systems, will depend primarily on the weather during snowmelt in spring and when and how rapidly snowmelt occurs or/and amount of rain in fall. While the most likely development is prolonged high water levels flooding in low lying areas outside of dikes, the high snowpack makes more serious flooding a possibility we must prepare for.
When will the flood hit?
There is no confirmation of a flood as there is no way of knowing when water levels will peak. But river levels will likely not rise suddenly. We will have warning of high water flows several days in advance. We will continue to monitor water levels constantly and keep the public informed.
If a flood were to occur, what is the emergency response?
Local authorities are responsible for local emergency plans and for the first response to emergency situations in their communities. For up-to-date information on the plans in your community and any advisories, please monitor local media and visit your local government website, Facebook site, and bulletin boards located at the office and downtown next to the Post Office.
The BC Flood Plan, prepared by the Province of BC, establishes the organization, roles and responsibilities of provincial government agencies in responding to floods and sets out how they coordinate with local government. The intent of the Plan is to ensure public safety, and to protect environmental resources and commerce from flood events by providing for safe, timely, effective, and coordinated response. For details, see: BC Flood Preparedness
What can residents do to prepare for a possible flood?
There are a number of steps you can take to prepare for a possible flood, safeguard your family and reduce potential flood damage to property and possessions.
First, visit the District's website, Facebook site and bulletin boards to ensure that you have locally relevant flood information; including how authorities plan to provide updates to residents and businesses within the community on the flood risk or emergency plans.
Second, if your home or business is in or near the floodplain, prepare in advance to secure your property, make arrangements for a place you and family members can stay, and prepare for a possible evacuation. The Provincial Emergency Program (PEP) offers information to help individuals make personal preparations for a flood or other emergency.
Some examples of personal preparedness for an imminent flood event include shutting off water and power supplies; plugging all sewage and drainage connections; elevating electrical appliances, hazardous materials, and household valuables to high levels if possible; and prepare for possible evacuation by organizing personal items such as food, water, clothing, prescription medication; sleeping bags, personal identification, cash and credit cards, flashlight, a battery-operated radio and extra batteries.
What should people do to minimize damage to their homes if they are going to be away during the flood?
Although the risk of a major flood occurring in any given year is relatively low, the possibility does exist. Because the snow pack in the mountains is higher than normal, the risk of flooding has increased. Residents must judge for themselves the threat to their property in the event of a flood and take what measures they deem necessary.
View a variety of links with information about flood proofing your home or business:
Does insurance cover flooding and costs of evacuating?
It is important to contact your insurance provider to confirm if flooding and the costs of evacuating are included in your insurance policy. Business continuity insurance may be available.
How do I get sandbags?
Sandbags can be useful in some situations, but not in others. Individuals are best equipped to determine where they can be best used.
The District has a limited supply of sandbags for residents and businesses.
Contact the Office at (250) 636-2251 for information. It will be your responsibility to fill and lay the sandbags.
Emergency Management BC provides information on how to lay and prepare sandbags.
How will I know if I have to evacuate my home?
There is no immediate danger of severe flooding or evacuations. Check out the bulletin Board for regular updates on the flood risk. If evacuations are necessary, the public will be notified via the media and possibly by personal contact.
For more information, go to healthlinkbc.ca.