Wildfire Preparedness Safety Tips

July 08, 2021

An emergency can happen at any time. Being prepared is a great way to help manage these unfortunate situations. Awareness and preparation are important ways to protect you and your family. Wildfire season officially starts March 1 and runs until October 31 annually. Wildfires can affect communities in forested or grassland areas. These also include urban green spaces like ravines and parks. If a fire is near, protect yourself and your loved ones by following directions from authorities and be prepared to evacuate.

Preparedness: What to do before fire?

Individuals and families should be prepared to take care of themselves for at least 72 hours. Prepare for an emergency wildfire by following the steps below:

  • Download the Alberta Wildfire app or visit the wildfire.alberta.ca website for the most current information and resources.
  • Build and maintain an emergency kit stocked with supplies such as water, food, battery-powered or crank radio, flashlight, extra batteries, or weather radio.
  • Collect important documents such as passports, birth certificates, banking information, and insurance papers and store them in a safe place in an above-ground location.
  • If you have a vehicle, keep the tank full in case fuel stations lose power or close down. Keep a vehicle kit and include an extra phone charger with the necessary adaptors.

Preparedness: Protect your property and belongings

Find out where your local community posts information and updates during an emergency and make sure to download the Alberta Emergency Alert App to receive alerts.

  • Remove items that can burn from within 1.5 metres of your home, items such as dried branches, leaves, lawn furniture, firewood, other debris.
  • Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms on every floor and near sleeping areas.
  • Keep a sprinkler in an easy to access location.
  • Be careful when smoking outside, extinguish fire pits and burn barrels and obey local fire bans.
  • Have a pet and livestock plan in case of evacuation. Include where they will go and how they will get there. In case of evacuation, never leave your pet behind. UseFireSmart methods at https://wildfire.alberta.ca/firesmart/default.aspx for more information on how to protect livestock enclosures and barns.
  • Know your insurance policy. Make sure your home, vehicle, business, and belongings are protected.

If you see a wildfire, report it immediately by calling 310-FIRE. If the fire is in your community, call 9-1-1.

Preparedness: During a wildfire

  • Listen for updates from authorities
  • Be prepared to evacuate at a moment's notice.
  • Have your vehicle stocked with supplies.
  • Wildfires are extremely dangerous, report them and get to a safe place. Never attempt to fight a fire yourself. Wildfires move quickly and are very unpredictable.
  • Smoke from fires can be harmful. Children, the elderly, and those with heart and lung-related health issues are at the greatest risk from smoke inhalation.
  • If you experience any difficulty in breathing, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Ensure all windows and doors are closed. Cover vents and other openings with duct tape or other adhesive to help keep smoke out.

Always obey an evacuation order if issued by an authority; failing to do so puts lives at risk. Some emergencies lead authorities to issue an evacuation alert or an evacuation order. Evacuation alerts warn the public of a potential or current threat. An evacuation alert can lead to an evacuation order. If an alert is issued, you should prepare to evacuate. Evacuation orders are used when the public must leave the area for their own safety.


Friendly Reminders

Report crime online!

The RCMP are encouraging all Albertans to report eligible crimes online (select property crimes under $5,000). Reporting less serious crimes online helps emergency dispatch and frontline members focus their time on high-priority calls. It provides a convenient way to share photos to the RCMP as well. These reports assist in crime analysis, aid in establishing trends and patterns, and ultimately leads investigators to the chronic offenders. It also assists in making decisions about how and where to deploy resources. Crimes reported online will be taken just as seriously as crime reported in any other way.  

Help reduce crime, report online! #ReportSmart

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