My heart is absolutely breaking to see the wildfires spreading across the province of British Columbia and even a few in our own backyard. Currently, Justin, the kids, my mom, dad, and I are all on Vancouver Island, but our home and farm are safe from what we know. As many of you are either located within British Columbia or may know of a few residents here, we wanted to share a few tips on how to prepare your house in the event of an evacuation from a wildfire and a few ways you can help those who are currently affected by them!
1. How to prepare for a wildfire
For those of you who live within British Columbia and are near active wildfires below is a list of things you can do to prepare if you ever needed to evacuate your home. For additional resources on how to prepare yourself, family, and pets for a wildfire visit FireSmart BC for downloadable checklists!
- Put together an emergency kit and pack it in your car (water, phone charger, etc.)
- Prepare a tote bin with all of your keepsakes and important items so that you’re ready to leave your home at any given moment
- Make a plan
- Make arrangements to stay at a family member or friends home or book a hotel room, if necessary
- Call your insurance provider to inquire about your home and contents insurance coverage
- Protect your home by removing dry shrubs of grass, dead wood etc. from the exterior
- Prepare your farm or agricultural business (can animals be transported to a safe place?)
- Know the evacuation stages and be prepared to leave on short notice
2. What to do during a wildfire
In the event that there is an active wildfire in your area or if you need to evacuate we have added a list of things below to keep in mind. For additional resources please visit EmergencyInfoBC.
- Stay up to date with evacuation alerts
- Be prepared to evacuate
- Keep your windows and doors closed
- Reduce the amount of time spent outdoors
- In the event of evacuation save receipts of additional living expenses
- If you are in the community but your home isn’t at risk, offer to take people in if you have the room
3. How to return home after a wildfire
When the time comes to return home after a wildfire please keep these below items in mind and always remember to make sure it is safe to do so before returning or entering your home.
- Walk around the perimeter of your home before you go inside if safe to do so
- Take photos of damages before you start cleaning up
- Take photos of items you are throwing away
- Contact your insurance provider
4. How to help those affected by wildfires
If you are wanting to help give back to those that have been affected by the wildfires please consider donating to reputable organizations or GoFundMe’s.
- Donate to reputable organizations and GoFundMe’s
- Donate to reputable organizations and Go Fund Me’s
- Support organizations led by local community members
- If you have a trip scheduled to the Interior Region of British Columbia please consider rescheduling if there is a fire in that area as local residents may need to stay in hotels
5. How to help us push for an eco-friendlier future
The sad truth is that wildfires will become more rampant if we do not push for a more eco-friendly future. We have added a few things to consider below if you haven’t already.
- Protect Indigenous Lives from institutionalized violence as they defend their territories
- Support Indigenous-led land protection organizations
- Protect the old growth forests in your region
- Reuse, recycle, repurpose
- Shop local
- Support eco friendly companies
- Travel local
- Reduce plastics
- Conserve energy
- Convert to renewable energy
- Reduce consumption of meat & dairy products
- Educate and empower the youth
- Put pressure on corporations and your elected officials to prioritize sustainability
I am sending all of my love to those of you who have been affected by wildfires and praying that you stay safe and we can get through this!