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Evacuees urged to register so communities, loved ones know you are safe

Evacuees urged to register so communities, loved ones know you are safe

July 4, 2021 at 9:53 am  BC, News, Politics

British Columbians who have been evacuated from their communities due to ongoing wildfires are urged to register with Emergency Support Services, whether or not you need support, so loved ones and communities know where you are and that you are safe.

Evacuees can register for Emergency Support Services online or by phone:

  • Use the Province’s Evacuee Registration and Assistance online tool: https://ess.gov.bc.ca/
  • Those unable to access online registration can call the Emergency Support Services registration toll-free phone line: 1 800 585-9559

The Province continues to provide support to evacuees through Emergency Support Services throughout the province. Services provided include food, lodging, clothing, emotional support and information updates. Evacuee reception centres have been established in communities such as Kamloops, Chilliwack, Kelowna, Merritt, 100 Mile House, Aggasiz, Fort St. John, Shxwhay Village, Kelowna, Pemberton and Williams Lake.

More locations are being established. Given the widespread areas to which people have evacuated from the fire in Lytton and others, many are being identified and registered through the online Evacuee Registration Tool.

After a disaster or emergency, communication can be difficult. The Canadian Red Cross is supporting by setting up a family reunification line to help those impacted by the fires. Those looking for loved ones are encouraged to call the Canadian Red Cross family reunification line (toll-free) at 1 800 863-6582.

The RCMP in B.C. continue to make every effort to ensure all residents and evacuees from the Village of Lytton and the neighbouring Indigenous communities are safe and accounted for.

Thanks go to the many who have made efforts to register through Emergency Support Services and the Red Cross. If you know of a person who may have been in Lytton on Wednesday, June 30 and who cannot be accounted for, call or visit any RCMP detachment to report that person missing. 

Donations:

Municipalities and evacuation centres may not be able to accept or manage material donations from members of the public or businesses. Emergency Management BC is developing a plan to manage assistance that has been offered. Meanwhile, unless a community has asked for specific goods, British Columbians who wish to help are asked to make a monetary donation to trusted organizations, such as the United Way, Food Banks BC or the Canadian Red Cross, which are supporting the Province and local authorities in providing assistance to those affected by the wildfires.

Tips for donating carefully:

  • Avoid giving cash or using wire transfer services. Cheques should be made out to an organization, not an individual.
  • Donations made online should be done only on secure websites.
  • When asked for donations (over the phone, through an email or in person), ask the canvasser for identification or printed information about the charity.
  • Beware of high-pressure tactics. A legitimate charity will still be there tomorrow. Feel free to take the information and sleep on it.
  • Do an internet search for the charity’s name and background.
  • If you have concerns about the activities of a charitable organization, including its fundraising practices, call the Canada Revenue Agency: 1 877 442-2899.

Learn More:

For information on evacuation orders and alerts, as well as a list of reception centres, visit Emergency Info BC:
https://www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca/wildfires-2021/

Keep up to date: 
On the provincial wildfire situation: www.bcwildfire.ca
On road closures: http://www.drivebc.com  
On preparedness: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/preparedbc/know-the-risks/wildfires

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