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Creating an Emergency Plan
Personal Preparedness
Emergency responders and organizations can do their jobs more effectively if each one of us takes personal responsibility for emergency preparedness. Preparing ourselves, our families and being ready to assist our neighbours will help to reduce the potentially devastating effects of emergencies and disasters.
Step 1
Know Your Hazards

Identify the hazards in your area. Understand the risks that you may face. Visit our hazard map to find out more about the hazards in the Cowichan area.

Step 2
Build Your Kit

In the event of a significant emergency, you may be cut off from services or need to leave home quickly. Take time now to put aside some emergency supplies and also build an emergency grab-and-go bag for each member of your household. Start with the basic list below. Also consider the additional needs of your household: Do you have pets? Do you have young children? Are you caring for seniors or people with disabilities? Customize your supplies to support your family’s needs for at least ONE WEEK.

Emergency Kit for your Home/Business:
  • First Aid kit, prescriptions
  • Water – 25-30 litres per person (4 litres per day per person)
  • Non-perishable food, ready to eat for one week
  • Battery Powered/ Hand Crank Radio
  • Battery Powered/ Hand Crank Flashlight
  • Phone charger and battery bank
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Emergency plan, copies of essential documents
  • Cash
  • Garbage Bags, Moist towelettes
  • Blankets, seasonal clothing and footwear
Personal Grab-and-Go Bag
  • Water
  • Ready to eat food
  • Phone Charger and battery bank
  • Hand crank or battery-powered radio
  • Small first aid kit/personal medications
  • Personal toiletries/items (e.g. baby diapers, glasses)
  • Copy of emergency plan, essential documents (e.g. insurance)
  • Cash in small bills
  • Seasonal clothing / emergency blanket
  • Pen and note pad
  • Whistle
  • Pet leashes if applicable
Step 3
Make a Plan

Knowing what to do will help keep you calm and safe. Make a plan for your household which includes how you’ll communicate, where you’ll meet up if you are separated, and critical pieces of information about your (medications, special needs).

For more help, download a home emergency plan template and fill it out. For more information, see the full Home Emergency Preparedness Guide.

Regional Preparedness
The Regional Emergency Plan
A regional all-hazards emergency plan has been developed collaboratively for the local authorities and First Nations in the Cowichan area. This plan describes the roles and responsibilities of each organization when responding to or recovering from a significant emergency which exceeds the capacity of first responders. Some communities have more specific emergency plans for their area. Visit your jurisdiction’s website for more information.
The Regional Emergency Operations Centre (REOC)
In a large emergency event, local governments and First Nations will work together to manage resources and respond to the incident. A Regional Emergency Operations Centre (REOC) will be activated to support emergency responders at the impacted sites. The REOC support response and recovery by:
  • Combining, coordinating, and prioritizing emergency response resources
  • Providing current information to the public
  • Managing and mitigating risks
  • Coordinating damage assessment
  • Directing critical infrastructure repair
  • Supporting evacuees
  • Leading community re-entry
  • Coordinating initial recovery efforts
Current Burning Permissions
Open burning—or burning outdoors—is allowed when the wildfire risk is low and can be a useful tool when conducted responsibly. Open burning includes Category 1 campfire, Category 2 and Category 3 open fire.
Regional Water Use Restrictions
During drought conditions, your water system operator may introduce water use restrictions to conserve limited water supplies. There are four stages of water restrictions which are coordinated across the Cowichan Valley. Local conditions may sometimes require a higher stage of water restrictions on certain systems.
No Restrictions
Stage 1 Restrictions
Stage 2 Restrictions
Stage 3 Restrictions
Stage 4 Restrictions