Important!Regardless of which legal authority orders an evacuation, warning and implementation should follow the provincial standard of a three-staged process.
Stage 1 – Evacuation Alert
Stage 2 – Evacuation Order
Leave the area now! All persons in the affected area will be told that, in the interest of their own safety and considering the risk, they are now ordered to leave the area. There is no discretion allowed in the Order, which clearly indicates immediate evacuation and relocation. The OPP will enforce this Evacuation Order.
Stage 3 – Rescind
When the emergency is under control and the area is declared safe, the Evacuation Order will be retracted and information will be broadcast to advise evacuees that they may return home. Remember, if the emergency recurs, another evacuation may be necessary starting at Stage 1 or may go directly to Stage 2 if danger is imminent.
Important!If you hear from a Media Information Release that an Evacuation is anticipated, be sure to note whether it is an Alert or an Order. How you respond is different for each stage and is important to remember. Following these guidelines allows first responders to help you more quickly and safely.
If an Evacuation Alert has been issued:
- Take your Grab ‘n Go kit or, if you do not have one, gather up essential items such as medications, eyeglasses, valuable papers, immediate care needs for dependents and valuable keepsakes. Include a couple of blankets and pillows. Be practical about what to take with you. Keep them handy in case you need to quickly leave.
- Keep track of the location of all family members and determine a planned meeting place should an evacuation be called while separated.
- Immediately relocate large pets and livestock to an area outside of the evacuation alert zone.
- Arrange accommodation for your family in the event of an evacuation. Emergency Social Services will be available to provide reception centres and emergency relief for periods of 72 hours.
- Water down vegetation adjacent to structures if water supplies and time permit.
If an Evacuation Order has been issued:
- You MUST LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY. It is imperative that you report to the Reception Centre indicated. This will allow for effective communications for the evacuation team, Emergency Coordination Centre and other responders. Reporting to the reception centre facilitates contact with concerned friends or relatives and helps unite separated family members.
- If you need transportation to evacuate, advise the individual providing the notice of evacuation.
- Close all doors and windows in your home. Leave gates unlocked and clear driveways for firefighter access.
- Keep a flashlight and portable radio with you at all times.
- Follow the directions of emergency personnel and obey traffic control. Travel will be one-way only out of your area to allow emergency vehicles access. Re-admission is not permitted until the Order is lifted.
As information is received from the operational front lines, and examined for specific actions, the public will be kept notified of developments, level of evacuation awareness, location of reception centres and other important information.
If you hear about an evacuation in other areas where you have family and/or friends, invite them to come stay with you. Having a place to go helps people facing evacuation!