RDOS Recovery Team
The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen Emergency Operations Centre (RDOS EOC) has established a flood and wildfire recovery team.
The RDOS is constantly working to improve upon emergency preparedness processes and plans to respond to future emergencies. The intent of establishing a recovery team is to continue working through the challenges faced by people impacted by the 2018 spring freshet, as well as the 2018 wildfires. The RDOS EOC is actively working to support impacted individuals, as well as neighbourhoods and communities.
RDOS emergency services manager Sean Vaisler and RDOS community services general manager Mark Woods are working with the recovery team to assist residents in need, in addition to overseeing emergency response plans for 2019. The recovery team includes recovery manager Jon Wilson, emergency support services (ESS) recovery coordinator Patty Otteson, and recovery information officer Erick Thompson.
If you require further information, please contact the RDOS main line: 250-492-0237
Roles and Responsiblities
What is the role of the RDOS in flood preparation and response?
The RDOS actively works with the province through Emergency Management BC (EMBC) to prepare for and respond to emergencies that occur within the region. During flooding, the RDOS coordinates response efforts including provision of sand and sandbags, tiger dams, and other flood response assets for impacted areas. The RDOS works to keep residents informed about emergency support services (ESS) available to evacuees and information about best practices such sand sandbag placement or re-entering homes after flooding has occurred.
What is the responsibility of property owners in flood preparation and response?
In British Columbia, property owners are responsible for taking the necessary steps on their property to protect their home and property from flooding, while government emergency programs focus on broader flood response measures. The RDOS will provide sand and sandbags for property owners as needed, in addition to information about sandbag placement. During a flooding emergency, Emergency Management BC (EMBC) may assist with funding for response works such as tiger dams, sandbags and other emergency resources.
Flooding on private property will typically occur as a result of high stream flow, pooling or slow rising water from a body of water. The following should be considered for protecting your property from flooding:
Assess - Determine potential sources of flooding that may impact your property
Act early - Preparing flood protection takes time and requires manual labour
Focus your efforts – Work on the most effective methods to protect your property for the type of flood risk; to protect the most important areas such as your home or areas where the greatest damage may occur
Be Safe – Avoid working alone around flowing water, use proper safety equipment and techniques to avoid injury
Get Help – Sandbagging is labour intensive and physically demanding work
Communicate - Work with your neighbours; coordinating work with adjacent properties may provide more effective flood defenses
Invest – Properties with routine flooding may wish to invest in improved flood defences that can be quickly deployed and are less labour intensive to put in place than sandbags
Streams and flowing water - Create sandbag walls or other barrier type flood defences alongside the stream; contain the stream or re-direct the flow away from your home and other critical areas of your property; be aware that backing up of flow may cause water to rise or back flow into unprotected areas
Pooling or slow rising water from a body of water - Create sandbag walls with heavy duty poly or plastic sheeting incorporated to completely surround a structure; have pumps on hand to remove seepage of water from within the protected area; be aware that power may be out or disconnected – Have a generator on hand if needed
Property owners are responsible for preparing for emergencies by developing family emergency plans, building emergency kits, and obtaining insurance for unforeseen emergencies such as flooding.
Disaster Financial Assistance is only available when approved by the province after a disaster, and is not available in certain circumstances including but not limited to:
If flood insurance was reasonably and readily available to a property owner.
Dwellings such as vacation homes and property other than a principal dwelling.
Working Around Water
If you plan to work in or around water, you must take care to minimize the potential risk to aquatic ecosystems and limit water pollution. Before starting any work in or around water, permits will likely be required. Please visit the links below for more detailed information:
Get Help - Call, Email or Visit FrontCounter BC
Toll Free: 1-877-855-3222 (Monday to Friday, 8:30am - 4:30pm)
Beaver Dam Removal
Residents who experience impacts from beaver activity tend to be aware of the ongoing challenges of removing beaver dams and/or the animal itself.
For clarification, the RDOS has little to no ability to address beaver dams because beavers are typically within provincial waterways and are subject to provincial regulations through the Ministry of Forest, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD). This includes managing or trapping nuisance beavers and/or effectively removing a beaver dam from a creek, stream or other waterbody. As a property owner, you are responsible for protecting your property from flooding due to beaver dams. If the beaver activity is upstream or adjacent to your property, you may want to speak with your neighbour to see if the beaver activity can be mutually addressed. Please ensure you are in compliance with all applicable provincial regulations, and ensure you take the proper safety precautions when working around water.
FLNRORD may provide contact information for a licensed trapper in your area. Costs associated with nuisance beaver trapping are the responsibility of the property owner.
For more information about beaver dam removal, please visit: http://www.elp.gov.bc.ca/wld/instreamworks/beaverdamremoval.htm
Penticton Office: 250-490-8200
If you are constructing a new driveway culvert, or you have a pre-existing driveway culvert that needs replacing or maintenance, it’s your responsibility to make sure it is big enough, installed correctly and functioning properly. Good culvert maintenance protects roads, properties and the environment. For more information, please visit: https://www.tranbc.ca/2015/08/04/culvert-maintenance-responsibilities-on-bc-highways-your-questions-answered/
FireSmart Education and Preparedness
The first step to becoming FireSmart is educating yourself, your family and your community on what it means to have a FireSmart BC. Read up on the disciplines, find out what you need to know to increase the wildfire resiliency of your property and neighbourhood.
Taking advantage of FireSmart in order to be prepared for a wildfire emergency is the responsibility of everyone from a homeowner, to community leader, to members of fire agencies.
FireSmart BC: Education and Preparedness Information
Emergency Preparedness Video
RDOS EOC – Emergency Preparedness and Recovery Information:
Sandbagging Information and Video:
Province of BC - Flood and Wildfire Recovery Programs:
FireSmart BC Emergency Planning: