Wildfires and Flooding

Wildfires

Before a wildfire:

  • Prepare an emergency kit
  • Check for, and remove, fire hazards in an around your home such as dried out branches, leaves and debris
  • Keep a good sprinkler in an accessible location
  • Learn fire safety techniques and teach them to members of your family
  • Have fire drills with your family on a regular basis
  • Maintain first-aid supplies to treat the injured until help arrives
  • Have an escape plan so that family members can contact each other in case they are separated during an evacuation
  • Make sure all family members are familiar with the technique of “STOP, DROP AND ROLL” in case of clothes catching on fire
  • Make sure every floor and all sleeping areas have smoke detectors
  • Consult with your local fire department about making your home fire-resistant
  • If you are on a farm/ranch, sheltering livestock may be the wrong thing to do because a wildfire could trap animals inside, causing them to burn alive. Leaving animals unsheltered is preferable, or if time and personal safety permits, evacuation away from the danger zone should be considered

If you see a wildfire approaching your home:

  • Report it by calling 9-1-1
  • If it is safe and there is time before the fire arrives close all windows and doors
  • Cover vents, windows and other openings with duct tape and/or precut pieces of plywood
  • Park your car positioned forward out of the driveway with windows closed and valuables packed inside
  • Turn off propane or natural gas; move propane barbecues away from structures
  • Turn on the lights in the house, porch, garage and yard
  • Inside the house, move combustible materials away from windows (eg curtains and furniture)
  • Place a ladder to the roof in front of the house
  • Put lawn sprinklers on the roof and turn on the water
  • Move all combustibles away from the house including firewood and lawn furniture
  • Evacuate your family and pets to a safe location
  • Stay tuned to your local radio station for up-to-date information on the fire and possible road closures

During a wildfire:

  • Monitor local radio stations.
  • Be prepared to evacuate at any time. If told to evacuate, do so.
  • Keep all doors and windows closed in your home.
  • Remove flammable drapes, curtains, awnings or other window coverings.
  • Keep lights on to aid visibility in case smoke fills the house.
  • If sufficient water is available, turn sprinklers on to wet the roof and any water-proof valuables

Visit Ministry of Natural Resources for more information about protecting your property against fire hazards. 

Flooding

Post-Flood Hazards:

  1. Contaminated drinking water
    • Use bottled water or bring water to a rolling boil for 10 minutes, or add one drop of non-perfumed chlorine bleach per litre of water, or three drops per litre of cloudy water, and allow it to stand for 30 minutes before consuming (water should still have a slight chlorine smell)
  2. Contaminated dishes and utensils
    • Wash and sterilize dishes and utensils
    • Use boiling water or use a sterilizing solution of one part chlorine bleach to four parts water; then rinse dishes and utensils thoroughly
  3. Basement full of water:
    • Drain water in stages; about a third of the volume of water per day
    • Draining water too quickly can structurally damage your home
    • If water is contaminated, disinfect every three (3) days by mixing two (2) litres of liquid bleach in the flood water
    • Watch for mould; if present, wear a fact mask and disposable gloves
    • Dry everything quickly to avoid future health problems