BC Wildfire Support and Relief
The Shuswap is our home and members are our neighbours. If you've been impacted by the BC wildfires and are struggling financially, we're here to help.
During these difficult times, we are stronger together. Thank you to our emergency responders and volunteers who continue to put their community members first.
Ways SASCU can help
SASCU understands the different impact these wildfires have on individuals and their families. We are here to help where we can.
We are taking measures to support impacted staff and members during this time. If you've been impacted by the BC wildfires directly and you're worried about your finances and/or insurance coverage, reach out to your advisor, our Insurance team or call our Contact Centre at 250-832-8011 to discover your options.
For insurance specific questions, scroll down to our FAQs under "Am I Covered?".
Ways you can help
Report a Wildfire
To report a wildfire or irresponsible behaviour that could start a wildfire in British Columbia, call 1-800-663-5555 or (*5555 from a cell phone).
Want to help with immediate and ongoing wildfire relief efforts? Donate to the British Columbia Fires Appeal at www.redcross.ca/donate.
Make sure you're prepared for an emergency. Visit Prepared BC to learn more.
Stay up to date with the Shuswap Emergency Program for evacuation notices, fire statues, helpful resources, and more.
An Evacuation Alert means you should be ready to evacuate on short notice in the event of an order. Preparations should include taking the following steps:
- Designate a family meeting area outside the evacuation area, should an Evacuation Order be called while separated.
- Pack essential items such as government-issued ID, medications, eyeglasses, valuable papers (e.g., insurance, credit, and mortgage information), immediate care needs for dependents and, if time and space permits, keepsakes for quick departure.
- Create an emergency supplies kit and/or grab-and-go bag with other essential items like a flashlight, radio, and whistle.
- Prepare to move persons with disabilities, children and/or neighbours, if assistance is needed.
- Prepare to take pets with you and move livestock to a safe area (if possible).
- Arrange transportation for your household members. Fill the gas tanks of personal vehicles.
- Arrange accommodation.
An Evacuation Order means you must leave the area immediately. Local authorities will not ask you to leave without good reason, and failing to leave when asked by officials puts you and others at risk. When an evacuation order is issued:
- Wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and sturdy shoes to help protect from unforeseen hazards.
- Collect family members or go to the place designated in your family plan as a meeting place.
- Take pets with you in kennels or on a leash; do not leave them behind. Because pets are not permitted in public shelters, follow your plan to go to a relative or friend’s home, or find a pet-friendly hotel.
- Grab your emergency kit and follow the directions to the identified reception centre.
- Close all doors and windows. Close and latch gates, but do not lock them.
- If there is time and it is safe to do so, shut off water at the main line into your home and switch off electricity at the breaker panel. Leave natural gas service “on.”
- Follow the routes specified by emergency officials. Avoid shortcuts – they could lead to a blocked or dangerous area.
- Stay well away from any downed power lines.
- If going to an evacuation centre, sign up with the registration desk so you can be contacted or reunited with family and loved ones.
- Contact your out-of-area emergency contact (identified in your personal emergency plan) to let them know what has happened, that you are all right, and how to contact you. Alert them to any separated family members.
Definitions retrieved from: https://www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca/home/wildfire-preparedness/evacuation-alert-vs-evacuation-order/
My neighbor says not all policies cover wildfire because it’s an act of God. Do I have coverage?
The answer is yes. A forest fire is covered under the peril of Fire. In current wordings, insurers cover fire-following any event unless it is specifically exempted in the legislation. These exclusions include events like foreign or civil war, riot, civil disturbance or other cataclysm. Along with earthquake, terrorism and nuclear incident. Some of these perils can be covered for an additional premium.
Do I have coverage for forest fire/ wildfire?
If you have a homeowner or condo or tenant package, loss due to forest fire is included in the Named Perils, Broad Form and Comprehensive coverage.
Can I renew my policy if a wildfire is near to my home?
Yes. However, you may not be allowed to increase limits, add coverage that wasn’t on your policy already, or reduce the deductibles.
Are my vehicles covered? What should I know about ICBC?
If you're under an evacuation alert or order and don't have an existing perils policy on your vehicle(s) you may not add to the existing policy or take out a storage policy for vehicles being threatened. However, to move your vehicle to safety, you can still purchase collision and third party liability coverage and a new plate or temporary permit.
Keep up to date with the latest on ICBC's response to the BC wildfires here.
What about my Safety Deposit Box?
The contents of your safety deposit box are covered by your Personal Property Insurance and are not insured by SASCU. Cash held in a safety deposit box is uninsurable.
I’ve been evacuated, what do I do?
- Follow all local & Municipal Evacuation orders here.
- Many insurance policies will cover state evacuation by civil authority to provide financial aid that can help with increased costs for items such as hotels, food, boarding facilities, etc. Accessing this coverage is easy, contact either your broker (If you are a SASCU or Shuswap Insurance policy holder contact (250) 833-4450) or your insurance company directly.
Detailed updates will be provided on this page.
Alerts and notifications will be provided via our Facebook page (@SASCUfinancialgroup), our SASCU app and online banking, and our website's homepage.