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Shelter in Place
Staying Safe

There may be instances where staying put, known as “sheltering-in-place”, may be safer than evacuation. In such cases, a shelter-in-place order may direct individuals to remain indoors or seek refuge in a secure location until the danger has passed.

Emergency situations where sheltering-in-place may be required include hazardous material spills, acts of violence, and other emergencies where it is safer to remain indoors until the threat passes. The frequency of shelter-in-place events can vary depending on the location and type of emergency. In some areas, such as regions prone to natural disasters, shelter-in-place may occur several times a year. In other areas, such as low-risk communities, it may only occur occasionally.

How To Prepare:

To prepare for a shelter-in-place event, it is important to have an emergency plan in place. This plan should include information on how to stay informed about potential emergencies, where to go if a shelter-in-place is required, and what supplies to have on hand. The Emergency Management Cowichan website provides information on emergency planning and preparedness, as well as updates on current emergency situations. The website also offers resources for creating emergency kits and developing emergency plans. Additionally, local authorities and emergency personnel can provide information and guidance during shelter-in-place events.

In The Event Of A Shelter In Place:

It is important to follow instructions from local authorities and emergency personnel. This may include staying indoors, closing and sealing windows and doors, and turning off air conditioning or ventilation systems. It is also important to stay informed about the situation and any updates from authorities.

If you are instructed to shelter-in-place during an emergency situation, there are several steps you can take to keep yourself and your loved ones safe:

  1. Stay indoors: Move inside as quickly as possible and close all windows, doors, and any other openings to the outside. If you are outside, seek shelter in the nearest building.
  2. Turn off ventilation systems: Turn off all air conditioning, heating, and ventilation systems, including fans, as these can draw in outside air.
    Seal off the room: If possible, seal the room you are in by covering windows, vents, and doors with plastic sheeting or duct tape.
  3. Gather emergency supplies: Gather emergency supplies such as food, water, medication, and a first aid kit, and make sure you have a way to communicate with others, such as a cell phone or radio.
  4. Stay informed: Stay informed about the situation by listening to the radio or television, checking social media or emergency alerts, and following instructions from local authorities.
  5. Be patient: Sheltering-in-place can last for several hours or longer, so it is important to stay calm and patient until it is safe to leave.

Remember that each emergency situation is different, and instructions for shelter-in-place may vary depending on the situation. Always follow the instructions of local authorities and emergency personnel for the best course of action to keep yourself and others safe.

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.
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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.
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Stage 1 Restrictions
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