LOCAL NEWS | WHISTLER EMERGENCY NOTIFICATIONS
The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) has launched “Whistler Alert”, a community notification tool that will provide important information to residents and visitors during an emergency.
Anyone can sign up for the alerts by visiting www.whistler.ca/whistleralert
Whistler Alert sends mass notifications by text, email and phone calls to those registered to receive them and will be a valuable source of accurate and up-to-date information during an emergency. Those who have signed up for Whistler Alert will be notified when there is an emergency situation involving an imminent or possible threat to lives or property in Whistler, such as an evacuation order due to the threat of a wildfire. Whistler Alert is different from the provincial emergency notification system which will only send alerts during mass disaster situations that affect a large part of the province.
Once signed up, if residents or visitors receive an emergency alert from Whistler Alert they should:
- Stop what they are doing as soon as possible and when it is safe to do so, read the emergency alert.
- Follow the recommended action in the alert. This could include, but is not limited to, be prepared to evacuate or immediately evacuate the area, avoid travel to an area, or remain indoors.
- Seek out more information from credible sources such as the municipal website whistler.ca and local radio and news sources. Do not call 9-1-1 for more information.
Earlier this year, the RMOW shared the Multimodal Evacuation Plan which outlines how emergency officials will safely evacuate Whistler if an evacuation order is issued. The Whistler Alert notification system will be a primary notification tool for residents and visitors during an evacuation or another emergency where emergency officials would be providing specific details.
The most important step anyone can take right now is to get prepared for an emergency.
Severe storms are the greatest risk to Whistler during the winter months and wildfires during the summer. Emergency preparedness experts advise all Canadians to have an emergency plan in place and to prepare a kit with a minimum of 72 hours of supplies.
Should you find yourself without power in your home for a prolonged amount of time during the winter, you need to be prepared with the following:
- 72 hours of supplies including non-perishable food items, two litres of water per person per day, flashlight and batteries or hand-cranked flashlight, first-aid kit, medicines, warm sleeping bags and blankets, radio with batteries and a phone that connects directly to your phone jack since cellphones will eventually lose power and cordless phones will not work.
- Extra formula for infants if they require it and pet food for pets.
- Copies of important documents, phone numbers that may be lost if a cell phone loses power and prescription information.
- A neighbourhood plan. Know who in your neighbourhood needs checking in on and may require help if they lose power.
During a power outage, safety is important:
- Never leave candles unattended, especially overnight.
- Never use portable generators and barbeques indoors, as using those indoors for any amount of time can result in carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Never approach a downed power line even if it looks like there is no power to it. Call 9-1-1. Always assume power lines are electrified and stay at least 10 metres (33 feet) away.
- Leave your home if you feel there is immediate danger, including if you feel light-headed our nauseous as this could be a sign of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Have a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector.
During the summer, be prepared for wildfires. Know your evacuation zone and where to find information during an emergency (www.whistler.ca) Have a “Go Bag” ready with important documents and supplies in a place that you can easily access if you need to leave at a moment’s notice. Visit www.whistler.ca/evacuate to look up your evacuation zone and learn how to prepare a “Go Bag.”
More information about how to prepare for an emergency, what to do in an emergency, how to prepare for an evacuation and more about Whistler’s evacuation plan and program visit www.whistler.ca/emergency