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Evacuation Alert vs Order: What’s the difference?


Evacuation alert vs order
An evacuation alert and order do not mean the same thing. Know the difference so that you can prepare.

Wildfire season is upon us, and it is important to be prepared. Even if you think your family or home is safe from the threat of wildfires or other inclement weather (like flooding) it’s always better to be prepared.

One of the first things you can do to help you and your loved ones prepare this season is to know the difference between an Evacuation Alert and an Evacuation Order. Knowing this information helps you to act quickly in the event of an emergency.

Evacuation Alert

This is the time to get prepared to leave your home on short notice. Get your grab-and-go bags ready (which should include several days of clothing, toiletries, and medications), your emergency plan, copies of important documents and important mementos.

Listen to local emergency officials for further information on the situation.

Evacuation Order

Leave the area immediately. Follow the directions of local emergency officials and evacuate using the route(s) they’ve identified. Do not return home until you’ve been advised that the Evacuation Order has been rescinded. For those needing additional support, an Emergency Support Services Reception Centre may be opened.

Evacuation Rescind

Once local officials determine the situation is currently safe, the evacuation will be rescinded, and you can return home. Continue to stay tuned for other possible evacuation alerts or orders.

What is a Declaration of State of Local Emergency?

Declaring a state of local emergency enables local authorities in the Province of British Columbia to exercise the emergency powers listed in the Emergency Program Act. The emergency powers are utilized by the local authority to order the evacuation of residents from their homes, prohibit travel, and enter private property when an emergency threatens lives, property, or the environment within the local authority’s jurisdiction.

Helpful resources to bookmark:

*Definitions provided by EmergencyInfoBC.