RDOS FireSmart team offers tips for what to pack in your grab-and-go bag

News Article

During a wildfire, you may need to leave at a moment’s notice. The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) FireSmart team is encouraging residents to prepare a ‘grab-and-go bag’ or emergency kit to ensure you are properly equipped in the event of a sudden evacuation.

“In the case of wildfire emergencies, things can move quickly. It’s important for all citizens living within the wildfire urban interface to know what to do if they receive an order to evacuate,” said Mark Pendergraft, RDOS Board Chair. “Now is the time to consider the needs of everyone in your care, including pets and farm animals, and ensure your emergency kit includes the items required for at least 72 hours.”

Your grab-and-go bag should include:

  • Water for three days
  • Nonperishable food items
  • Manual can opener
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Candles/matches
  • First Aid kit
  • Medications
  • Whistle
  • Extra keys for your house and vehicle
  • Change of clothing
  • Blankets
  • Toilet paper
  • Cash in small bills, credit cards
  • List of key contacts
  • Face masks
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Paper, pencil or pen
  • Copies of important documents (birth certificates, insurance, passports)
  • Charger for cellphones, laptop and other devices
  • Pet food and bowls
  • Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses/contact lens solution
  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, and wipes

Additional items to take (if time allows):

  • Easily carried valuables
  • Family photos and other irreplaceable items
  • Personal computer information on hard drives and disks 

Always keep a sturdy pair of shoes and a flashlight near your bed in case of a sudden evacuation at night.

If your property is currently on evacuation alert or order and you need urgent information about what to do, visit the RDOS Emergency Operations Centre website at emergency.rdos.bc.ca/beprepared. Additional tips and resources, such as wildfire prevention and emergency plan preparation, are also available on this page. For tips about how to prepare your home and property, visit the RDOS FireSmart page at firesmart.rdos.bc.ca.

Sign up for emergency alerts and routine notifications

The RDOS has partnered with Voyent Alert! to provide routine notifications and emergency alerts throughout the region. Sign up at register.voyent-alert.com to receive email, text or phone notifications, or download the Voyent Alert! app through the App Store or Google Play. Once you've registered, you are automatically signed up for emergency notifications. 


Mark Pendergraft, Chair
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen


Kerry Riess
RDOS FireSmart Coordinator

Erick Thompson

RDOS Communications



RDOS Communications
Toll Free 1-877-610-3737