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  • Writer's pictureRiley Gettens

If you need a prompt to get prepared for a disaster, Lahaina is it.

Updated: Aug 12, 2023

2023 08 12 update -

Sign up for the Community Wild Fire Warning System when donating the $5, please e-transfer with the password penticton (all lowercase).



It is incredibly devastating to see what is happening in Maui and the aftermath in Lahaina. If you are not ready to flee a wildfire/disaster close to home, please make today the day you prepare your family and loved ones for the worst.



GO-Bag

If you do not have an emergency GO-Bag, prepare one for each person in your household. Start with an old backpack or whatever you have on hand that is sturdy, won't spill, and is easy to grab.

You likely have most of the essential items in your home - just get them into a bag that sits by your front or each bedroom door. Think a minimum of three days of food (canned tuna/fruit, peanut butter, nuts) and water per person. First aid kit, copies of important documents, toiletries, and extra prescriptions that stay in your GO-Bag. Batteries, charger for phone, cash in small bills. Check out the links above, Google search - do what makes sense. But please, just do it.


Keep all your vehicles filled with gas or charged up.


What is your family's plan?

This weekend, connect with your family. What happens if kids are home alone - what should they do? Where will you meet? Is there a family GO BAG with necessary documents (passports, for example) or small heirlooms that someone should grab if there is time? Where is the bag? What about elderly neighbours or relatives? Make a plan and talk about it.


Pets

Pets you can take with you need their GO BAGs (leash, bowl, food, water, etc). You have to consider the pets you cannot take with you. When our sons weren't old enough to have their licenses, and we had two very large dogs, we told them (if mom or dad were not home) it was ok to let the dogs out, get on their dirt bikes and leave. As a family, we had to help our kids understand that very challenging decision.


If you want the best chance for your home to survive a wildfire, FireSmart it. We just had our home assessed. I was hesitant because we live surrounded by trees, and I thought there wasn't much we could do except remove the trees (costly). However, from the assessment, there is plenty we can do immediately (low cost) and more we can do with some help. There is also a provincial REBATE program available. Don't let the money sit there; get the assessment done, and follow the rebate guidelines. You can get up to $1000. The truth is, there isn't much provincial support after a disaster, so please do the work now.


Other good tips on the RD FireSmart site include a last-minute checklist for protecting your home and property from wildfire.


Thanks for reading.

Please prep your GO Bag and book your FireSmart assessment.

Sign up for Voyent Alert.

Sign up for the Community Wild Fire Warning System when donating the $5, please do so over e-transfer with the password penticton (all lowercase).

Stay safe.

Riley

rgettens@rdos.bc.ca

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