With images of the Fort McMurray, Alta., fire fresh on everyone’s mind, the Regional District of Central Kootenay advises that all residents take some basic steps to be ready for emergencies that might force evacuations.
According to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, which has released a May 1 snow survey, above normal temperatures in April, combined with below normal precipitation have combined to “significant and rapid melt of the provincial snowpack.”
The survey indicates provincial average of 53 per cent of normal, a decline from 91 per cent on April 1.
The current trend could result in low Arrow Creek flows even earlier than last year’s record lows, area directors were advised. The provincial survey puts the East Kootenay snow basin at 42 per cent of normal at May 1.
In response to concerns, the RDCK has created an information package, released last week by Andrew Bellerby, general manager of fire and emergency services and regional fire chief.
“With the possibility of floods and fires in our region, the RDCK wants the public to be as prepared as possible in case of emergency,” Bellerby said in a press release.
Residents are encouraged to assemble “grab n’ go kits”, which helps to prepare individuals and families for emergencies (see box below).
“Everyone should have such a kit, in case a fire, flood or other event occurs,” he said. “Ideally, have one in your car and in your home. Make sure everyone in your household knows where the kits are. And don’t forget about pets and livestock in case they need to be evacuated one day.”