The City of Williams Lake will present its enhanced Emergency Evacuation Plan to the public during the Williams Lake Fire Department’s annual open house May 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Revisions to the evacuation component of the City’s emergency response plan were completed over the winter in response to last summer’s wildfires.
“We invite everyone to come and see how we’ve improved our emergency evacuation plan to better serve the needs of the community,” said fire chief Randy Isfeld in a press release. “We encourage everyone to learn how the plan applies to their residence or work place and how the community will be evacuated in the event of an emergency.”
The evacuation plan follows the three-stage evacuation process approved by B.C.’s Interagency Emergency Preparedness Council: evacuation alert, evacuation order and evacuation rescind.
An evacuation alert informs the population at threat of a potential danger and may allow for the affected population to begin an orderly preparation to leave the affected area.
An evacuation order is a formal written order for the impacted population to evacuate the area specified immediately.
Evacuation orders are mandatory and do not allow for discretion on the part of people in the affected areas.
An evacuation rescind allows for the impacted population to return to a specified area.
The plan divides the City into 12 zones, which allows for specific areas to be evacuated when an evacuation of the entire city is not required.
The evacuation zones provide designated gathering areas for residents who do not have transportation to leave the affected area. Buses will be provided to transport those individuals to a safe area.
The plan considers evacuations from a number of hazards or events including wildfires, earthquakes, severe weather and toxic spills among others.
The evacuation plan will be available on the City’s website.