Seasonal Safety

Hey everyone, welcome to Health & Safety Month 2022! Today, we’re looking at how to be safe in the coming season.

Seasonal hazards happen more often at specific times of year, like with flooding in the Spring and with wildfires in the Summer. Planning what to do when there’s a hazard (like an air or water quality advisory) or an emergency (like a wildfire) can be scary. To lighten up the planning, take a page out of the Province’s book and pretend to plan for a Zombie Apocalypse! If you’re prepared for Zombies, you’re prepared for an emergency. (Who says Health & Safety can’t be fun?!)

While it’s always good to be prepared for “big” emergencies, like the Zombie Apocalypse, it’s also important to be prepared for “everyday” hazards, like water and air quality problems and heat waves, that can affect your health.

OUR WATER:

Changes to our drinking water quality can happen for many reasons. Extra material in our water (like from flooding) or breakdowns to facilities and equipment that make water safe can result in warnings about water quality. It’s important to pay attention to news about water quality, like a Boil Water Advisory, in your area. You can find out more about the three kinds of water quality notifications, what triggers them, and what actions to take here. You can also find a drinking water advisory map for Interior Health region here.

OUR AIR:

Changes to our air quality can also affect our health. Like with water quality, there are many things that can change the quality of the air, like extra material (from smoke and fires) and different types of particles (like ozone). Pay attention to news about air quality in your area the same way you would for water quality. You can find out more about the Air Quality Health Index, which is how good the air quality is at any time, here. You can also find out what air quality alerts are issued here.

SUMMER HEAT:

Fire Safety – new program

Hey everyone, there’s a pilot program taking place in Kelowna to help residents make their properties more fire-safe and reduce the impact of wildfire on the community by offering free removal and chipping of specific woody debris. Check it out!

Safety at Home: Part 2!

Hey everyone, welcome to Health & Safety Month 2022! Today, we’re looking at how to be safe at home.

Each summer we look forward to sunshine and hot weather – but with hot weather comes dry conditions, and the risk of wildfires increases with the temperatures.

As the weather heats up, it’s important to make sure your home fire extinguishers are in good condition, and to know how to use your home fire extinguisher using P-A-S-S to put out small fires to stop them from spreading. Check it out:

There are also ways to plan proactively to minimize risks from wildfires at your home. Check out the information below from the Kelowna Fire Department:

Fire Prevention Week!

Hey everyone, it’s Fire Prevention Week! The National Fire Protection Association theme this year is LEARN THE SOUNDS OF FIRE SAFETY, and they have a great resource that helps explain the sounds you may hear coming from your smoke and/or carbon monoxide alarm. You can download it below. There is also a Frequently Asked Questions page here.

There’s also this page with helpful ideas for those who may need a different kind of alarm.

The City of Kelowna has a great fire prevention webpage full of information and resources, as well as a helpful videos from the Kelowna Fire Department that explain smoke and carbon monoxide alarm requirements and maintenance, and kitchen fire safety. Check those out below!

Coping with Natural Disaster stress…

Hey everyone, CLBC’s August 27th update had some great information and resources to help cope with stress caused by natural disasters. Wildfires and floods can be a major source of stress and anxiety. If you are feeling stressed or anxious, know that you are not alone. The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) has a website dedicated to information and resources to help.

There are also free, confidential support and crisis lines available 24/7:

CLBC Update for Individuals & Families

Hey everyone, CLBC’s update for August 27th is now posted. All CLBC updates are posted on their website here and you can sign up to get updates using the link to the sign up page.

Highlights included this update:

EVACUATIONS: Emergency Support Services (ESS)

Hi all, there is a new way to get into contact with Emergency Support Services (ESS) if you are affected by wildfire. You can call 1-833-498-3770 to register and access assistance from Emergency Support Services, such as for lodging and food.

A reminder, too, that the ESS reception centre in the Kelowna area is physically located at 1480 Sutherland Ave.

EVACUATIONS: More orders, more on alert…

Hey everyone, there have been more evacuation orders and more evacuation alerts overnight for the Mount Law wildfire (between West Kelowna and Peachland). Please check the new information (below) and pass it along to anyone affected.

News Release No. 7 Central Okanagan, B.C. —  An additional 18 properties in the Regional District of the Central Okanagan and Peachland have been added to the Evacuation Alert area for the Mount Law Fire.

Properties added to the existing alert area are inclusive of 4740 Trepanier Road (northwest end) to 4980 Trepanier Road (southeast end) and include:

  • 4850 to 4855 MacKinnon Road
  • 4802 to 4995 Trepanier Road
  • 4902 to 4975 Star Place

Residents in the Alert areas are advised to be ready to leave their home at a moment’s notice. They should be prepared to be away from their home for an extended period of time, pre-register with ESS online at ess.gov.bc.ca, make arrangements for pets and pack essential items such as medicines and important documents.

The EOC has also expanded an Evacuation Order onto crown land in the southeast corner of the Mount Law fire. This expansion Order does not include any private property. The Gorman Mill site remains under evacuation alert.

All other Evacuation Alerts and Orders remain in effect. For a map of the affected properties in the Central Okanagan, visit cordemergency.ca/map.

ADVISORY: Stay off highways…

Hey everyone, the Ministry of Transportation is urging people to stay off wildfire-affected highways for non-essential travel.

In particular, all major highways into the Thompson/Okanagan are impacted in some way by wildfires. The Ministry says fire conditions are changing quickly, so they cannot guarantee drivers will have advanced notice of any more road closures. In addition, non-essential travel on key roads can get in the way of evacuations.

The Ministry’s update advises that, if you have to travel on Interior highways near wildfires, you should make sure you are prepared for possible delays or closures:

  • travel with a full tank of gas
  • bring food and water
  • carry emergency supplies

You can check out updates on the DriveBC website for the most current road information here.