Be Safe Out There
Get an Alert When There’s an Emergency
Get a text or email when the Town of Banff issues an emergency alert. Sign up at banff.ca/alert and register with the Alert Centre.
When Disaster Strikes
Make sure you know how to take care of yourself, and your family, for at least three days. That means a three-day supply of food, water, first aid materials, and other items found in a basic emergency kit.
Keep your emergency kit stocked and in a place the whole family knows where to find it. The Town of Banff emergency plan is regularly reviewed and tested through mock drills by staff and emergency personnel so we’re prepared for all situations. Do your part by becoming familiar with shelter-in-place instructions and a residential evacuation checklist at banff.ca/emergency.
Report all fires, including lightning strikes and unattended campfires that are spreading. Call 911.
Understand Smoke from Wildfire
In wildfire season, smoke can blow in to Banff from thousands of miles away. When an air quality advisory is in effect, all individuals living in or travelling within the affected area are advised to be aware of potential health concerns, and take precautions to reduce exposure and risk. Learn about the air quality in Alberta at airquality.alberta.ca. To learn about smoke originating from wildfires elsewhere in Alberta and B.C., visit firesmoke.ca/forecasts/current.
Your Neighbours are Pretty Wild
We share this place with wildlife like deer, elk, bears and many other types of animals. They may venture into town, or stay on the outskirts. But they’re here, and we need to be aware of how our actions impact them.
Don’t Leave Garbage and Recycling Outside
Forgot a bag of garbage outside? Left a few bottles next to the recycling bin? Dropped an empty box of takeout on your way home at 3 a.m.? Those are all wildlife attractants and those actions could end up killing a wild animal. After getting into human food, an animal will continue to seek out more human food rewards, and this can make them bold and aggressive. If they exhibit that behaviour, it could force park wardens to relocate the animal, or euthanize the animal for safety reasons.
Keep Your Distance
Give wildlife a lot of space. Never approach them or chase after them. Remember, this is a national park, not a zoo. Animals are wild and can become aggressive at any moment. It’s illegal to harass wild animals or disobey wildlife closures, and you could be fined. Carry Bear spray when you walk or cycle outside the town, and learn how to use it. banff.ca/bears.
Report Wildlife Sightings
If you have an encounter with wildlife, see any large carnivores (bears, cougars, wolves) or spot elk in the Town of Banff, report it to Parks Canada by calling 403.762.1470. Try to identify the species, and note the animal's description and behaviour, and if it’s wearing an ear tag or radio collar.
Don’t Attract Bears into Town
Make sure to keep your barbecue clean. The smell of last week’s dinner is a powerful pull for bears. Also, avoid keeping animal attractants like bird feeders on your patio, and don’t grow fruit-bearing trees and plants in your yard. Keep dogs on leash and never unattended. Dispose ALL waste in wildlife-proof bins. You may think you are doing your neighbours a favour by leaving refundable items, appliances or furniture beside the bins. You’re not. They can attract bears. Even furniture can retain the promising smell of home cooking. If you see garbage, bottles, or food waste left outside a bin, please report it to the Town of Banff operations line at 403.762.1240.
In an emergency, call 9-1-1.
The Town of Banff is policed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The administration line is 403.763.6600 and the non-emergency complaint line is 403.762.2226. The police station is at 335 Lynx Street.
Town of Banff Bylaw Services
Peace officers enforce local town bylaws. Contact Bylaw Services at 403.762.1218 or submit a bylaw complaint online at banff.ca/action. Officers work out of Banff Town Hall, 110 Bear Street. banff.ca/bylawservices
Banff’s fire department is made up of full-time members and paid, on-call volunteers. The administration line is 403.762.1256, and the fire hall is at 201 Beaver Street. banff.ca/firedepartment
The Banff Mineral Springs Hospital provides 24-hour emergency care, acute care, and diagnostic services. Contact the front desk at 403.762.2222. The hospital is at 305 Lynx Street. Banff Mineral Springs Hospital
Parks Canada Assistance
Parks Canada Visitor Safety is responsible for search and rescue throughout Banff National Park. Backcountry emergencies call 403.762.4506. Park Wardens are responsible for enforcement. Non-emergencies call 403.762.1470.
It’s hard to predict the weather in Banff. We can get snow in September and balmy, blue sky days in January. It’s best to be prepared for everything, especially if you’re venturing outside for an extended period of time. Summer days can be warmer than 30C, and winter days can be colder than -30C. Always check current weather conditions and the forecast before you head out on an adventure. Current Weather