Working safely may get old, but so do those who practice it...
— Author unknown

When an emergency occurs, there is a system of response in place which is used across the province and the country:

The BC Emergency Management System contains the overriding guidelines that emergency responders adhere to when attending an emergency event or disaster.

The Incident Command System, adopted for use in British Columbia in the mid 1990's, introduced a way of coordinating emergency events which can be expanded or contracted according to each emergency situation.


Emergency Management BC protects and improves public safety in B.C. by providing advisories of active emergencies, disaster readiness and recovery, fire safety and death investigation.

There are 6 regions across the province each withan office and regional manager and other staff. In our region, the office is located in Nelson . When requested, EMBC will assist with emergency events which are beyond the capacity of the local authority to deal with.

The Regional District Central Kootenay is the local authority that is responsible for emergency management in Kaslo and Area D.


Every emergency event is different; if it is a larger event, the RDCK would open the Emergency Operations Centre in Nelson possibly with a satellite site (or incident command post) set up closer to the event. Various other agencies (such as the RCMP, Kaslo Volunteer Fire Dept, Wildfire management, etc) would work in collaboration with the RDCK depending on who was needed for the particular event, using the Incident Command System for coordination of the event.
If an evacuation is necessary, an evacuation order can be signed by the local authority. There are 3 stages to an evacuation:
Evacuations Alert: Local authorities issue a warning about an imminent threat to life and property and people in the defined area should be ready to leave on short notice.

Evacuation Order: When an evacuation order is issued by the local authority, people should leave the area immediately.

Evacuation Rescind: People under an evacuation order may return. An evacuation order or alert may be reinstated by the local authority if the threat returns.

If there are evacuees, an Emergency Social Services volunteer may go to the event site to meet with and help those evacuating, or if a larger event, a Reception Centre would be set up and more ESS volunteers would be available there to help evacuees with food, clothing and accommodation for the first few days following the event.   Below are a list of specific types of facilities that might be put to use in an evacuation:  


The venues and sites that are most commonly used in emergency events include:

The PREOC coordinates, facilitates and manages information, policy guidance, and provincial resources to support local authorities and provincial agencies responding to an emergency. In circumstances where incidents cross local authority boundaries, or where local authorities are not organized to fulfill their role, the PREOC will define an operational area in order to manage and coordinate the overall provincial response within that area. This level, in conjunction with the provincial central coordination level, integrates overall provincial support to the incident.



The main Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) which serves Kaslo and Area D, is located inNelson, with mobilecentres set up around the region as needed, when an incident requires it.

The EOC is used for coordination and communications among the trained personnel and groups, involved in a particular incident.





A reception centre is the first place evacuees will go to be registered, if they need to leave their homes unexpectedly. This is in order to safely account for everyone, and should friends and relatives enquire, there is a system in place to securely pass on information regarding the safety of their loved ones. If needed, evacuees can also get referrals for food,clothing and shelter for the first days immediately following an event.

On smaller events, (such as single house fires )  ESS Level One volunteers would attend to help those affected but no reception centre would be opened.  Currently there is one ESS1 volunteer working for Kaslo and Area D.

If you would like to learn more about volunteering for the ESS, please contact us:




Depending on the situation, other venues may be opened up.

There are identified warming centres across Area D and in Kaslo.

Warming centres would beopened in this area primarily during winter power outages, for those who could not remain warm or safe in their homes.



Appropriate sites for housing larger groups of evacuees have been identified and can be accessed if needed. Only under extraordinarycircumstances would such a need arise in this area.