What happens during an evacuation?

In some emergencies, you may be asked to evacuate an area if the risk of staying in place is greater than the risk of moving. This may be voluntary or required.

An evacuation can happen before or after an event, and may be small or large in scale.

Follow this process to understand what happens when an evacuation is called.

Who can call for an evacuation?

Evacuations are planned and handled by the local authority. For example, the fire department may evacuate a school due to a chemical leak; the RCMP may evacuate a recreational facility due to a bomb threat.

First Nations and municipal governments are responsible for emergency planning, evacuation and communication in their jursidictions.

Depending on the situation, an evacuation may be supported and coordinated by Yukon Emergency Measures Organization.

Evacuation levels and what they mean

Evacuation Alert: This means you need to be ready to leave on short notice. If you leave before or during this alert, it’s a voluntary evacuation.

Evacuation Order: You are at risk and must leave the area immediately. This is a mandatory evacuation enforced by local authorities or RCMP. The evacuation order may be issued without a preceeding alert, if there isn’t enough warning.

Evacuation Rescind: This means the situation is currently safe and you can return home. It’s important to stay tuned for other possible evacuation alerts or orders.

How will I know to leave?

Alerts and orders will be distributed by local authorities to their communities through tools like posters, flyers and door-to-door notices. Widespread evacuation alerts and evacuation orders will be broadcast through the AlertReady system on radio, television and compatible wireless devices.

Emergency information will be posted online at Yukon.ca, on Twitter, and Facebook.

Where do I go if an evacuation is called?

Evacuation alerts and orders will instruct you where to go. These areas are called assembly points and reception centres. You may also get information on which routes to avoid or use. Be sure your family emergency plan identifies exit routes from your neighbourhood and don’t forget to bring your 72-hour emergency kit.

When you arrive at the assembly point or reception centre be sure to register yourself and family. You will then be directed to a shelter or other resources.

Can I leave before an evacuation is ordered?

In some situations, you may know of a possible threat ahead of time. An evacuation alert warns that you may need to leave on short notice. When an evacuation alert is issued, get ready to leave by gathering your family, emergency kit and necessities for travel. Be ready to go if an evacuation is ordered.

If you decide to leave before an evacuation order, let your emergency contacts know your plan. If an evacuation order is issued after you have left, or you were away from home during an emergency, check in with authorities as instructed.