Be prepared for an evacuation

Anyone on a fire evacuation alert should be prepared to leave their home on short notice, the B.C. government warns.

More than 14,000 people are under evacuation orders as hundreds of wildfires continue to burn in British Columbia.

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And many more are waiting in anxiety for the possibility.

Wildfires continue to flare up in B.C.'s north while the Prince George Fire Centre, located within the largest forest region in the Province totalling 31.8 million hectares, concentrates on areas where "life and property may be at risk."

Public Safety Minister, Ralph Goodale issued a recommendation from the federal government on Monday for those who might find themselves in or near a wildfire evacuation zone.

Know your risks and follow news, government sources, websites and other social media venues to keep you informed and updated of current emergency situations in your area.

Make a plan by working with family and friends in preparation of what to do if evacuation is apparent.

Evacuation stages include:

Evacuation order: You are at risk. This means you must leave the Immediately.

Evacuation alert: Be ready to leave on short notice.

Evacuation rescinded: All is currently safe and you can return home.

Potential evacuees should locate all important documents including birth certificates, marriage certificates, passports, insurance papers, driver's licences and Canadian citizenship documentation according to the B.C. government's PreparedBC website.

Having an emergency kit is also recommended which should include items such as: water (four litres per person per day), a first aid-kit, battery-powered or hand crank radio, flashlight with extra batteries, whistle to signal for help, cell phone with chargers, local maps, money, at least a three day supply of non-perishable food, garbage bags, dust mask, seasonal clothing, blankets, medications and toiletries.

The Red Cross also recommends families have evacuation routes in place and a meeting place designated incase anyone is separated.

It is also suggested that families have an out-of-town emergency contact in place as well as a plan for any pets and livestock.

And know where the closest evacuation centre is so all family members know where to go.

Red cross officials also recommend bringing activities for children to help comfort them.

In case of disaster, PreparedBC recommends that those at risk display a sign in the front window of their home or vehicle if they require assistance.

For more information, visit:

www.redcross.ca or pgc.cc/2uP39Ho.

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