Central Saanich Fire Department Emergency Program
Think about an earthquake, major storm, flood, or chemical spill. This type of disaster could affect water supply, cut electricity and phone service for days. What would you do to keep you and your family safe? Be ready to cope for at least the first 72 hours of an emergency while emergency workers help those in urgent need.
Follow this seven-day plan so you’ll be better prepared for whatever comes your way.
Day 1: Check out Get Prepared by the Government of Canada. It includes information, links, checklists, videos and more.
Day 2: Sign up for monthly safety tips about emergency preparedness to subscribers.
Day 3: Have a look at the Government of Canada's emergency kit list and the Government of British Columbia's lists and resources, and pick up more supplies and a bag or container to keep them in one place.
Day 4: Talk to your kids about emergencies. Your kids might be wondering what you’re up to as you assemble emergency supplies. Take a few minutes and involve them in your planning. Talk to children about different kinds of emergencies, show them our videos, and get the conversation going.
Day 5: Check out the Canadian Disaster Database. Examples of what can happen in your area is a good first step to preparedness.
Day 6: Make a Plan. It takes only a few minutes, but can bring peace of mind. What would you do if there’s an emergency in your neighbourhood and your family isn’t together? Where will you meet if your cell phones don’t work? You can complete a plan online at GetPrepared.ca.
Finally, give yourself a pat on the back. You just took some quick and easy–but very important–steps to being more prepared.
Visit PrepareYourself.ca for a wealth of resources or stop by Station #1 on Keating for your copy of A Guide to Emergency Prepardness in the Capital Region. For more information about our District's emergency plan, please contact the fire department.
Here are some the events that could impact us, and how you can prepare for them:
The vast majority of Greater Victoria is at no threat from a tsunami. However, there is information that everyone should know about tsunamis, particularly if you live, work, or enjoy those areas close to the coastline. Tsunamis occur on an infrequent basis here, but they are a potentially dangerous hazard that we all need to be aware of and plan for.
The most dangerous tsunami threat to Greater Victoria follows a major earthquake. If you feel an earthquake that is strong enough to make it difficult to stand or where the shaking lasts longer than one minute then you should know that a tsunami may have been generated. In this type of event some areas closer to the ocean may lie within the tsunami planning zone and may be at risk. Check the maps below to find your home, place of work, school, or other places you visit regularly and see if they lie within the tsunami planning zone. Move inland out of the tsunami planning zone. You have about 90 minutes from the end of the shaking until the first series of tsunami waves could arrive here. You do not have to travel far to get to an area of safety. View the brochure below for more information on what else to do in this situation.
This region can also see smaller sized tsunamis that are generated by earthquakes many hundreds of kilometres away. These tsunamis are generated by earthquakes that we can not feel here. This type of tsunami is a potential threat to those on beaches, or those who have seen wave damage to their properties in large winter storms, but these tsunamis are not a threat to other areas inland. View the brochure below for more information on what else you need to know about this type of tsunami.
- If you hear that a tsunami Watch is in place this is your notification that a tsunami threat may exist and you should follow all instructions carefully. Listen to your AM/FM radio for further details.
- If you hear that a tsunami Warning is in place this is your notification that a tsunami is expected. Verify that the notice includes this area and if it does move inland to an area that is outside the tsunami planning zone.
- If you hear a tsunami cancellation message, this is your notification there is no tsunami threat to your area.
- For more complete information on the tsunami hazard in this area view the tsunami information brochure.
A wind-driven wildland fire, out of control and moving fast can quickly spread from the forest to threaten your family’s safety, home and property. In addition, wildland fire can damage or destroy a variety of farm assets including barns and service buildings, crops and feed, fences and corrals. Livestock and other farm animals are also at risk from wildland fire. Some wildfires simply cannot be controlled, due to terrain, fuels, wind, concern for firefighter safety, and other factors. But there are things you, the property owner, can do to protect yourself.
A wildland fire is affected by several factors such as: the amount and type of vegetation near your home, the design, building material selection and placement of your home and whether or not you have planned for a wildland fire emergency.
We would like to help you and your family prepare in the event that a wildland fire affects our community. The summer of 2003 reminds us of the devastation and tragedy a fire can bring to a community. If you live in an urban interface area the Central Saanich Fire Department would like to share with you some ways to protect your family and property. Please call Central Saanich Fire Prevention Inquiries at 250-544-4225 or 250-544-4240.
Six steps to protect your property from wildfire
- Remove fuels surrounding your home and outbuildings
- Keep embers and firebrands from entering your home
- Create a wildland fire safety plan for your property
- Reduce the risk of fires on your property
- Ensure your address is visible and you have good driveway access
- Review the wildland fire risk checklist
Winter storms can create personal safety issues if you are not prepared. Following weather forecasts and paying attention to personal emergency preparedness will reduce any possible impacts to your family and your property. It is a good idea to make a habit of listening to local radio or television stations for weather warnings and advice.
Hazards and Risks Association With Winter Weather Include:
- Car accidents due to slippery roadways;
- Slips and falls on slippery walkways;
- Falls from heights (e.g. cleaning the gutters or roof);
- Hypothermia and frostbite due to exposure;
- Being struck by falling objects such as tree branches;
- Risks due to downed power lines or downed objects in contact with power lines;
- Roof collapse or property damage under weight of snow or falling trees;
- Exhaustion, exposure or dehydration;
- Isolation and lack of basic supplies including prescription medications;
- Stranded motorists;
- Injuries while shovelling snow;
- Melting snow or storm surges causing flooding; or,
- Home fire safety risk.
Most home-heating systems depend on electric power. To prepare for a power failure, you may consider installing a nonelectric standby stove or heater. Choose approved heating units that do not depend on an electric motor, electric fan or other electrical device to function. If the standby heating unit uses the normal house oil or gas supply, ensure that it is connected and vented properly.
Before considering the use of an emergency home generator during a power outage, check with the dealer or manufacturer regarding power requirements and proper operating procedures. Use caution and follow directions when operating generators, ensuring they are in a proper, well-ventilated area. Do not connect your home portable generator directly to a house wiring system without the proper installation of an approved transfer switch and an inspection and approval by an electrical inspector.
Furnace and fireplace maintenance considerations are very important in preparing for winter weather. Never use a camp stove, barbecue, or propane or kerosene heater indoors. A build-up of carbon monoxide gas in unventilated areas can be deadly.
If Your Home Heating System Fails
Should your home heating system fails:
- Remain calm – your house may remain warm for several hours.
- Avoid opening doors unnecessarily.
- During a power failure, turn off all electrical appliances.
- If you have a safe, approved alternate heat source, begin using it before the house cools down.
- Ensure that you maintain adequate ventilation.
- Stay warm by dressing in layers and bringing out extra blankets.
- Consider closing off one room for primary heating and use.
- If concerned about pipes freezing, opening a tap even a small amount may keep water moving through the system enough to keep pipes from freezing.
Remember, stairways and sidewalks may be icy and increase the risk of falls. Keep these areas clear and snow free. Consider using some salt, sand or other material to provide traction in these areas.
Windchill is a combination of cold temperatures and wind conditions which may cause rapid loss of body temperature. Excess windchill may require special precautions for outdoor activities. If frostbite or hypothermia is suspected, know how to begin warming the person slowly and seek immediate medical assistance.
In extreme conditions, some people may want to make arrangements to stay with relatives, friends, or neighbours. Listen to weather forecasts and instructions from local officials, as reception or warming centres may be set-up in your community. Keep an eye out for neighbours who may be at risk in severe conditions. Always follow the instructions of first responders and local emergency officials.
Ensure a supply of basic essentials is in your home for at least 72 hours. If you must leave your home on short notice, remember to take your emergency “grab and go” kit. This should include:
- Flashlight and battery powered radio;
- Extra clothing;
- Essential medicines and toiletries;
- Essential emergency supplies including water and food;
- First Aid Kit; and,
- Important documents, cash and family identification.
Although most power outages last for just a few minutes, in extreme cases such as during severe weather events, outages can last for longer periods of time. Extended power outages do happen from time to time, so it makes sense to be prepared.
Think ahead and have a flashlight, electric lantern, extra batteries and candles on supply.
Remember to use candles with caution and with proper candle holders. Never leave candles unattended, as they can be a potential fire hazard. It is recommended to use flashlights or electric lanterns instead.
Prepare for possible isolation in your home and consider an alternative safe heating system. Also ensure that you have sufficient heating fuel for fire places or wood burning stoves. Every home should have smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and sprinklers. Families should have a fire escape plan in place.
It is a good idea to assess the trees on your property and trim dead branches to reduce the danger of them falling onto power lines or your house during a storm.
Stay away from fallen power lines. A hanging power line could be charged (live) and you may run the risk of electrocution. Also, remember that ice, branches or power lines can continue to break and fall for several hours after the end of the storm.
For more information, see BC Hydro's Outage Preparation Checklist.