While longer-term solutions to climate change are ongoing, we know that in the short term, working together to face these challenges head-on is of the utmost importance. Unanticipated weather events and emergencies, like wildfires, are unpredictable; however, knowing where to turn for reliable information means we'll be prepared in an emergency.

We want our members and community partners to join us in circulating up-to-date information, sharing resources only from official sources, and helping keep visitors informed. 


What can Your Business do to Help?


Prevention & Safety

Promoting wildfire prevention and safety in advance of warmer months will help remind locals and visitors of the ways they can help keep our region and each other safe. Here are some online resources you can share with your staff, customers, and online networks:


In the Event of an Emergency

Unexpected emergencies, like wildfires, impact locals, visitors, and businesses in many ways and can potentially affect or influence those travelling or planning a trip to our province. Here are some things you can do to help:

  • Only share information from official sources—refer to the links and key messages that follow to keep visitors and locals informed.
  • Use #RealTimeKelowna to provide an accurate, ‘real-time’ view of current conditions. Be sure to include the date and time the image or video was taken.
  • Help your customers as much as possible. Many will be seeking information on local conditions or flexibility with their reservations or bookings. Do what you can to help each other.   
  • Share the link to our Current Conditions in Kelowna webpage, which includes a live feed from our webcam located at the Kelowna Visitor Centre that can be viewed anytime, and to our Outdoor Safety webpage.
  • Share information and updates about your business by tagging us—and using #exploreKelowna—on social media and by contacting our Visitor Experience Team so we can keep visitors and residents informed.


Sample Key Messages to Use in the Event of Wildfire Activity

  1. Know before you go. The wildfire situation in British Columbia can change quickly, and it’s important to be prepared and remain alert to stay safe. Information regarding wildfires in our region is available on the Central Okanagan Emergency Operations website (cordemergency.ca); there, you can also subscribe to receive updates via email. Tourism Kelowna has compiled additional resources on the Current Conditions page of their website, and their visitor experience team is available to answer questions. Please continue to stay informed through official information sources that are providing important updates for your safety.
     
  2. Please make safe and responsible decisions. We have a shared responsibility to ensure the safety of the communities we live in and visit. We’re asking everyone to do their part, be mindful of the conditions, and make safe and responsible decisions. Please follow the guidance from any emergency response personnel in place and adhere to any alerts or orders in place. Please stay clear from areas where a response effort is underway to help emergency responders do their important work.  

Destination BC has also prepared Emergency Messaging Guidance for Spring/Summer 2024


Forthcoming Resources to Support the Industry

At the beginning of the month, the BC Hotel Association (BCHA), the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, and the Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness announced the development of the Emergency Management Central Booking Portal. 

The pilot reservation system, which will be rolled out in three host communities, including Kelowna, will help create a more efficient way for Emergency Support Services to support evacuees in B.C. The pilot will go live with the three host communities in June 2024.

More information about the launch of the portal is available here


Official Resource to Help You Stay Safe and Informed

Sharing information from official sources only is extremely important during emergency situations, like wildfires. Below are official resources to find reliable, up-to-date information that can inform your team, visitors, and locals. Be sure to distribute these resources to your team members and follow the social media accounts listed throughout for the most current information.


REGIONAL
Current Conditions in Kelowna

Our Current Conditions in Kelowna webpage provides useful links, including contact information for our Visitor Experience team, and displays #RealTimeKelowna views from our webcam at the Kelowna Visitor Centre. Information on wildfire prevention and safety can be found on our Outdoor Safety page.


Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre

Visit cordemergency.ca for information on current emergencies, including wildfires, in the Central Okanagan Regional District. Follow Central Okanagan Emergency Operations on X (formerly Twitter)


Regional Parks

Information regarding closures at regional parks can be found on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan website


PROVINCIAL
PreparedBC

PreparedBC has created step-by-step guides specific to the tourism industry, linked below, which will help ensure you and your team are ready in an emergency situation.

PreparedBC's social media channels:


BC Wildfire Service

The official BC Wildfire Service mobile app is available for free download in the App Store and on Google Play.

The BC Wildfire Service's social media channels:


EmergencyInfoBC

Find information about emergencies in BC, including evacuation orders and alerts. Follow EmergencyInfoBC on X (formerly Twitter).

BC Emergency Support Services

BC residents who are forced to evacuate in an emergency (e.g., fire, flood, etc.) can self-register for assistance and support through the BC Emergency Support Services website


BC Air Quality Health Index

Provides current and forecasted air quality information, as well as health messages for the current conditions. 


DriveBC

Find information about road closures, major events, and transportation delays. Follow DriveBC on X (formerly Twitter).


BC Parks

Information regarding Provincial campgrounds and park closures. 

BC Parks' social media channels:


Recreation Sites and Trails B.C.

Alerts, closures, and warnings regarding BC’s rustic campsites and recreational trails.


NATIONAL
Environment Canada

Resource for the latest weather information, statements, and air quality advisories.


Red Cross
  • Evacuees can register with the Red Cross by calling 1-800-863-6582 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. PST. They can also follow Red Cross BC & Yukon on Twitter


If you have questions or need further information about Tourism Kelowna's marketing and communications activities during wildfire season, please contact Director of Marketing & Communications, Chris Shauf at chris.shauf@tourismkelowna.com or call (250) 861-1515 ext. 203.