Wednesday, April 1st9.0°C

Not as prepared as we think

In this week's poll, Castanet asked readers whether they felt prepared in the event of an emergency. 

Basic essential items include:

  • Non-perishable food for all family members
  • Two litres of water per person, per day
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Cash
  • Medications or other special needs items
  • First aid kit
  • Emergency contact info
  • Passports and identification

798 people responded to the poll.

Despite employees at a number of gas stations and grocery stores on the Westside reporting long line-ups most of the day Friday, only 53 per cent of respondents said they felt they were ready if worst came to worst. 

Thirty-nine per cent said they were not prepared and 6 per cent said they didn't care about emergency preparedness. While 2 per cent said they would be prepared soon.

At one point the Smith Creek Fire came within 100 metres of the main transmission lines supplying power to more than 60,000 people around West Kelowna.

Emergency operations claim that families should be ready for at least 72 hours without power or basic services such as clean water.

The Smith Creek Fire began Thursday night and within a couple of hours the first evacuations were taking place. Some of these people were able to stay with friends and family, but more than 1,200 others were required to register with emergency services. 

Bruce Smith with the Regional District of the Central Okanagan said he believes that about 50 per cent of residents are at least partially prepared for an emergency of some sort. 

"We are very familiar here with the wildfires, and we've had a good number since 2003. But there's other emergencies such as the risk of a chemical spill or maybe a plane crash that people should be aware of," he said. 

"Specifically as a result of the Smith Creek Fire, was the need to prepare your family for an extended power outage. We're so used to having the occasional outage that may last from five minutes to an hour, but are you and your family prepared to handle an outage that goes on for three days?"

Smith said many contingency plans and emergency information can be found at the website.


Comments on this story are pre-moderated and approval times may vary. Before they appear, comments are reviewed by moderators to ensure they meet our submission guidelines. Keep it clean, keep it civil, keep it truthful, stay on topic and be responsible. Comments are open and welcome for three days after the story is published. We reserve the right to close comments before then. Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of Castanet, but only of the comment writer.

Read more Central Okanagan articles


Recent Trending



Castanet pays for news tips. Email us a news tip, photo, or video and your name will be in a draw for our weekly news tip prize $25. Email us [email protected]


Okanagan Quick Links City of Kelowna
Airport Arrivals
Airport Departures
Kelowna Discussion Forum
Kelowna's Cultural District
Kelowna Transit
Kelowna Road Closures
William R. Bennett Bridge
Tourism Kelowna
Central Okanagan
Regional District

District of Peachland
District of Lake Country
Interior Health
UBC Okanagan
Okanagan College
School District 23
Okanagan Regional Library

Kelowna SPCA Featured Pet

Pat Kelowna SPCA >

Member of BC Press Council