Spring snowmelt is beginning in the Cariboo region and, with warm weather in the forecast, residents should take steps now to prepare. Take the time to assess your property for potential drainage issues and address any issues ahead of time. Having an emergency kit along with a household emergency plan are also key parts of household preparedness for any type of emergency.
“It’s important that residents take steps now to be prepared and proactively address any flooding issues on their property,” says Stephanie Masun, EOC Director and CRD Manager of Protective Services. “We are setting up sandbagging stations in key areas, but property owners are responsible to have the tools and equipment they need to protect their properties from potential flooding.”
“As we enter spring, it’s also really important that people use caution around rivers, streams and culverts and make sure that children are not playing in those areas,” Masun adds.
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Unfilled bags and sand will be available at the CRD’s Wildwood and Miocene Volunteer Fire Departments for residents who are experiencing or want to be prepared for flooding. Bags and sand will be placed in other communities depending on need.
If you require sandbags, stop by the Wildwood or Miocene fire halls to pick up unfilled bags and fill them with sand. The sand and sandbags are provided free to residents for protecting their homes; however, there is a limited supply of sandbags, so residents are asked to take only what they need.
Here are some additional steps residents can take to be prepared:
1. Assess your property and buildings for potential drainage issues.
Assessing and addressing potential issues now can reap big rewards when the snowmelt begins. Pick up sandbags if you need them and read this resource about how to use sandbags effectively.
2. Have an emergency plan prepared for your household.
Have a plan for your family members and their needs, consider how you will care for or transport pets and livestock and identify how you will get information in an emergency. Planning ahead of time will mean you can respond quickly in an emergency.
3. Have an emergency kit prepared.
Creating a home emergency kit doesn’t need to take long. Follow this basic list and remember to add personal items, such as prescription medications, an extra pair of eyeglasses and copies of important documents like passports, birth certificates and insurance papers. Make sure emergency kits are in easily accessible locations.
4. Sign up for the Cariboo Chilcotin Emergency Notification System.
Rest assured that you will be notified when an emergency affects you. Sign up or make sure your contact information is up-to-date at cariboord.ca.
If you are experiencing flooding issues that affect your home or business, please call the Provincial Emergency Reporting Line at 1-800-663-3456.
For other concerns, contact the Cariboo Regional District at 250-392-3351 or 1-800-665-1636.
Find more information on flood preparedness, current freshet conditions and emergency updates at:
CRD Website, CRD Emergency Operations Facebook Page, Prepared BC – Flooding Readiness Information (including sandbag info) and the BC River Forecast Centre – Snow Conditions and Water Supply Bulletin.