Emergency Preparedness

Are you prepared for an emergency?

Emergencies can happen quickly, without warning, at any time of day, and in any season. When it comes to emergency preparedness, it all starts at home. This page of our website is dedicated to providing you with the information needed to make sure you and your family are safe and prepared for any emergency.

Know Your Risks

Knowing your risks can help you and your family be prepared for an emergency. Make sure you think of risks where you live, work, and play. Different risks may need you to get ready in different ways, and it's a good idea to review your risks each year because they may change.

The County of Lambton's Lambton Emergency Preparedness website provides a great look at the risks in our area.

Flooding

Some areas of Lambton Shores are more susceptible serious flooding than others. Port Franks, for example, has experienced significant flooding caused by ice jams on the Ausable River, which flows into Lake Huron. However, any waterway can become dangerous after a heavy rainfall or spring-melt, so always watch over young children and be cautious around deep or fast-flowing water.

Fortunately, the threat of widespread catastrophic flooding in Lambton County is low, but it's always important to be prepared for any possible emergency.

Before a Flood

When a Flood Watch has been issued for your area, you should:

  • Retrieve your 72 Hour Emergency Supplies Kit (if you do not have one, you need to prepare one)
  • Listen to a weather radio or local radio station for updated emergency information
  • Follow the instructions and advice of local authorities
  • Make sure you have bottled water in storage, as flooding can contaminate water sources
  • Bring in outdoor furniture and secure any items that could be swept away or damaged by floodwaters
  • Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors in your home, as they are less likely to be damaged
  • Turn off gas and electricity if you are asked to by authorities (learn where your shut-offs are located)

When a Flood Warning has been issued for your area, you should:

  • Retrieve your Emergency Supplies Kit
  • Listen to a weather radio or local radio station for updated emergency information
  • Follow the instructions and advice of local authorities
  • If you live in a flood-prone area or believe you are at risk, evacuate immediately and move to higher ground. Do not worry about personal belongings - they can be replaced, but you cannot be
  • If you are advised to evacuate, do so immediately and follow the recommended evacuation routes
  • Stay away from valleys and low-lying areas
  • When you are driving, and water is flowing across the road and you cannot see the pavement, do NOT continue. "Turn around and don't drown"

After a Flood

Flood dangers do not end when the water begins to recede. Take the following precautions after a flood:

  • Check on elderly neighbours and those with medical conditions that may require assistance
  • Avoid entering any building before local authorities have said it is safe to do so. Buildings may have hidden damage that makes them unsafe (gas leaks, waterline or electrical damage)
  • When local authorities allow you to enter your home, be extremely careful of dangers such as electrical shock
  • Report any broken utility lines to the appropriate authorities. If you smell gas or hear a hissing sound, leave the building immediately and call the emergency number for your gas company
  • If electrical power is on a flooded area, consult with your electrical utility company for assistance
  • Do not use flooded appliances, electrical outlets, switch boxes, or fuse breaker panels until they have been checked by your local authority
  • Make sure the building is safe before entering: look for buckled walls or floors and watch out for broken glass or debris
  • The water in your home could be heavily contaminated with sewage and other pollutants after a flood. Listen to public health unit for instruction
  • Contact your insurance provider if necessary
Power Failures

In Ontario, electricity demand is greatest in the summer months, largely due to heavy reliance on equipment like air conditioners during hot weather. This can cause a strain on power-generating facilities and electrical distribution systems. In order to prevent total power failures, rotating outages is often used to reduce that strain. You can help reduce electricity demands by:

  • Turning off non-essential lights
  • Setting air conditioners to 26°C or higher, or using fans instead
  • Closing curtains and blinds to block the sun and keep the air cooler inside
  • Avoiding or limiting the use of major appliances between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. when energy demand is highest

Be Prepared

Power outages can happen for many reasons, including equipment failures, damage caused by high winds, and ice storms. Follow the recommendations below so that you are prepared for outages before they happen:

  • Store flashlights with fresh batteries in several places throughout your home and check them regularly
  • If you have a hand-line, have at least one corded phone in your home. Most cordless phones will not work in a power outage
  • Consider purchasing an external battery pack for your cell phone or tablet to extend its use
  • If you have an automatic garage door opener, learn how to use the manual release and open your garage door manually
  • Try to keep your car's gas tank at least one quarter to half full. Many gas stations may not be in operation during a power outage, so always fill up your tank if a major storm is forecast
  • Make sure you have a charging cord for your cell phone that will fit your vehicle's accessory power outlet
  • If you use special healthcare equipment (e.g., oxygen generator or dialysis machines), ask the supplier about power failures and notify your power company that you rely on electricity to power medical equipment
  • Consider installing a back-up heating system or purchasing a generator
  • Learn how to shut off the water to your home and how to drain your waterlines to prevent them from freezing during long-duration power outages in extremely cold temperatures

During a Power Outage

When a power outage strikes, remember the recommendations below:

  •  Listen to a battery-powered or "crank" radio turned to a local station to find out what is happening
  • Use your wireless device to occasionally check the "outages" page of your electricity supplier's website
  • Do not call 9-1-1 to report power outages. If you need to report an outage, contact your local electricity provider
  • Cell phone towers may be tied up with calls. You may, however, be able to text family and friends because it requires less data
  • Turn off all tools, appliances, computers, or other electrical equipment. Power can be restored more easily when the system is not overloaded
  • Do not open your fridge or freezer unless absolutely necessary. Discard any thawed food that has been at room temperature for more than two hours
  • Check on elderly or disabled neighbours
  • Use caution if you must travel. Traffic lights and street lights may not be working
  • Do not use barbecues, gas heaters, or electrical generators indoors - they produce deadly carbon monoxide
  • When the power comes back on, give the electrical system a chance to stabilize before reconnecting tools and appliances

More information about power failure preparation can be found on the Government of Canada's Get Prepared website.

Relevant Contact Information:

To report an outage, fallen tree hazard, or emergency (24-hour number) contact Hydro One at: 1-800-434-1235

Tornadoes

Most tornadoes in Ontario occur in the late afternoons of May through September, often during periods of high temperatures and high humidity. Wind speeds within a tornado can range from 64 km/h to over 500 km/h and can last minutes or hours.

On average, Ontario experiences approximately 12 tornadoes each year. A number of significant tornadoes have touched down in Lambton County over the years, including an EF1 tornado in Grand Bend in 2014.

Warning Signs of a Tornado

Many tornadoes form unexpectedly, but there are conditions that precede a tornado that we can all watch for:

  • Thunderstorms that grow steadily worse, with heavy rain and extreme thunder and lightning
  • Large hail (larger than a nickel in size is evidence of a strong storm)
  • An extremely dark sky, sometimes highlighted by rotating green or yellow clouds. Sometimes, wisps of cloud will be seen swirling upward toward a low point in the clouds
  • An eerie calm at the end of a severe storm. The sun may even still be visible
  • A rumbling sound like a freight train, or a whistling sound like a jet
  • A "wall of white" coming toward you. Many tornadoes are hidden by heavy rain and a funnel might not be immediately visible

If you observe any of the above warning signs, take cover immediately.

Watches vs Warnings

Environment Canada will issue tornado Watches or Warnings when necessary, but remember that tornadoes can form unexpectedly, so a Watch or Warning may not always precede a tornado touchdown.

  1. Watches: issued when conditions are favourable for tornadoes to develop later in the day. This is a significant weather development, so monitor weather conditions and listen for updated weather reports. During a watch, be prepared to take action if severe weather develops
  2. Warnings: issued when a tornado has been sighted, or if radar detects storm rotation. Residents in the area covered by a warning will be advised to take shelter immediately

What to do if a tornado threatens

If you observe any of the warning signs above, or reside in an area under a Tornado Warning, remember to:

  • Take shelter immediately, preferably in the lowest level of a sturdy building
  • Stay away from windows and exterior doors and walls. Flying glass and debris blown into a building are extremely dangerous
  • Do not spend valuable time opening windows to prevent your home from "exploding". Buildings are typically damaged by wind and blowing debris, not by a sudden drop in air pressure. In fact, during a Tornado Watch, you should close all open windows, doors, and garage doors - winds can enter building openings and cause walls to blow out and roofs to collapse

Finding Shelter

  • In a house, go to the basement and take shelter under a stairway or a sturdy piece of furniture such as a table
  • If you are in a house with no basement, go to a closet or bathroom near the centre of the building, without windows. Lying in a bathtub with a mattress on top may provide additional protection
  • In a large building such as a grocery store or shopping mall, go to an interior hallway or a washroom on the lowest level, or get under a sturdy piece of furniture. Avoid large, open areas and stay away from windows
  • In high-rise buildings, go to the lowest level, a small interior room, or stairwell. Stay out of elevators and away from windows
  • If you are camping, hiking, biking, or outdoors when a tornado is approaching and there are no good shelters nearby, your situation is dire. Try to find a low-lying area such as a ditch and get into it. If there are no low-lying areas, try to get deep into a thick cluster of trees and get down as low as possible. Protect your head from flying debris
  • If you are driving and see a tornado in the distance, try to determine the direction it is heading and get out of its path, if possible. If it is nt possible to escape the path of the tornado, find shelter. Do not take shelter under an overpass. If it is approaching your vehicle, get out and find a low-lying area to take cover. If no good shelter is available, and debris is flying, your only option may be to park at the side of the road, leave your seatbelt on, and get below the level of the windows.
  • Note: if a tornado looks like it is standing still, that means it is either travelling away from you, or headed right toward you
Chemical

Chemical emergencies can occur in more areas than just near plants and refineries. Chemicals are a part of our everyday life, and although regulations are in place to keep workers and residents safe, spills and releases of chemicals and toxic substances do occur.

Have you considered what might be required of you in the event of a chemical spill or toxic vapour release? What about if you were told to shelter in place or evacuate?

Shelter-In-Place

In a chemical release, it's often safer for you to stay inside rather than try to leave. Walking or driving out of an impacted area may leave you exposed to dangerous chemicals in the air. When an emergency involves the release of dangerous chemicals, emergency officials will often instruct you to get indoors and stay indoors, or "shelter-in-place". If you are advised by emergency officials to shelter-in-place, stay inside for your own protection. Most buildings will seal well enough to hold enough air supply for several hours - often long enough for vapours in the air to dissipate.

Steps to take when sheltering-in-place during a chemical emergency or release
  • Close and lock all windows and exterior doors (locking makes them seal better)
  • Turn off heating and air conditioning systems that draw air from the outside (keep the outside air out, and the inside air in)
  • Use duct or other wide tape to seal cracks around doors and any vents into the room
  • Close fireplace dampers, if applicable
  • Get your emergency supplies kit, make sure the radio works, and keep it on to obtain further information
  • Go to an interior room that's above ground level (if possible, one without windows). Going above ground is preferable during a chemical release because some chemicals are heavier than air
  • Listen to instructions over the radio. Local officials may call for the evacuation of specific areas in your community
  • Bring pets indoors, too
Schools and Daycares

Schools and daycares have their own internal response procedures for "shelter-in-place" advisories and evacuations. If the incident involves a chemical emergency or release, stay out of the affected area and take shelter, if necessary.

If your child is in school, do not pick them up - schools have procedures to deal with emergency situations like these. Listen to your radio for more information and do not call the school - allow them to keep their telephone lines open.

Be sure that your child's school has up-to-date contact information about how to reach you or a caregiver to arrange for pickup if school buses are not running. Find out ahead of time what type of authorization the school requires to release a child to a designate, if you cannot pickup your child yourself.

The above information has been adapted from guidelines prepared by Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness Canada and is intended to provide you with assistance in formulating a home emergency response plan.

Do not evacuate unless you are instructed to do so by radio or by emergency personnel. Remember, in a chemical emergency involving a spill or vapour release, it is often safer to remain indoors where you have protection from toxic air outside.

Evacuation

If local authorities advise you to leave your home due to a chemical emergency, it means there is a potential or existing threat to your safety, so please take their advice immediately. Keep the following in mind if you are instructed to evacuate:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and sturdy shoes so you can be protected as much as possible
  • Take your emergency supplies kit with you
  • Take your pets with you
  • Lock your home
  • Collect family members and go to the place designated in your family plan as a meeting place
  • Use travel routes specified by local authorities and don't use shortcuts
  • Stay away from downed power lines
  • If you go to an evacuation centre, sign up at the registration desk so you can be contacted or reunited with family and friends who may be looking for you
  • Contact your out-of-area contacts to let them know what has happened and that you are okay
  • Leave natural gas service "on" unless advised differently by local officials
  • If instructed to do so, shut off water and electricity before leaving

Railways

All sorts of products and materials - including dangerous goods such as crude oil and hazardous chemicals - are transported across North America by rail.

Transport Canada has regulations and standards in place to help ensure that Canada's rail system is safe, secure and environmentally responsible. To learn more about Canada's rail system, visit the Transport Canada website.

As a member of the public, you too are responsible for ensuring your own safety around trains and tracks. Visit the Operation Lifesaver website to learn more about responsible behaviour around railways.

Winter Weather

It may not be overly common, but severe winter weather is certainly no stranger in Southwestern Ontario. Conditions during these storms can make driving hazardous, if not impossible, and can cause power outages that bring its own set of dangers and challenges.

If severe winter weather leads to an extended power outage, keeping warm will be most people's main concern.

Gas barbecues and portable heaters should never be used indoors unless they are specifically designed for such use. These types of appliances give off carbon monoxide, which is invisible, odourless and deadly. For the same reason, do not use gas ovens for heating because they are not designed to operate safely with their doors open for long periods.

If you own a generator, be sure you know how to connect it and operate it safely. Generators must not be used indoors, or located within enclosed porches or attached garages. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper usage and placement.

Prepare, don't react.

Take time now – before an emergency – and learn how to shut off and drain your water supply (during extended power outages in below-freezing temperatures), and also how to safely turn on your heating system after a power outage.

If your heating system fails during extreme cold and you can't leave your home to take shelter someplace warm, be sure to dress warmly and keep active. Make sure you have a collection of battery-powered or hand crank appliances such as radios and flash lights. Plan what you will do to stay warm.

Do not call 9-1-1 to obtain information about snowstorms or power outages unless you need police, fire or medical assistance. Contact your electrical service provider if you would like information about the situation. Often, callers can listen to a recorded message and leave information about the outage in their area. During a major winter storm emergency you can call 2-1-1 for official information and instructions provided by local officials

Severe Winter Weather When At Home

Extremely heavy snowfalls are not very common in this part of Ontario, but it isn't unusual to be "snowed in" for a day or two in parts of Lambton Shores. Therefore, it's a good idea to consider stocking up on some emergency supplies, such as ready-to-eat foots, battery-powered flashlights, radios, and extra batteries in case of severe winter weather.

Here are some tips when dealing with severe winter weather at home:

  • When freezing rain, heavy snow, blowing snow, or a blizzard is forecast, listen to your radio or monitor weather websites to stay informed
  • When a winter storm hits, stay indoors. If you must go outdoors, dress for the weather. Outer clothing should be wind and water-repellent, the jacket should have a hood, and mittens should be worn
  • In wide open areas, blowing snow can cause virtually zero visibility. You can easily lose your way walking even short distances unless there is something to guide you or something to follow
  • Ice from freezing rain accumulates on branches, power lines, and buildings. If you must go outside when a significant accumulation of ice has already occurred, pay attention to branches or wires that could break, due to the weight of the ice, and fall on you.
Winter Driving

Traffic collisions are the leading cause of death during winter storms.

When you travel after local police have advised drivers to stay off the roads, you are placing your life, the lives of your passengers and the lives of others in jeopardy. When severe weather makes travel difficult, no matter how slippery the roads or how poor the visibility, you as a driver are still responsible for what happens when you are behind the wheel.

Sometimes, the safest decision is to change your travel plans and wait until weather conditions improve and snowplows have had a chance to clear the roads.

However, if you encounter bad weather or road conditions while driving, slow down and allow extra space between you and other vehicles. Many winter collisions occur because drivers are going too fast for road conditions. Make sure you can be seen by ensuring that your headlights and tail lights are on. Some vehicles with day-time running headlights do not have full-time tail lights, so check your vehicle.

If you become stranded, it is often best to stay with your vehicle and wait for help. Make sure you have an emergency supplies kit for these situations.

Visit the Ministry of Transportation website for winter driving and road conditions.

Prepare for Emergencies on the Road

Maintain your vehicle in good running order and have the condition of your tires and battery checked before winter arrives. It is also a good idea to keep your gas tank almost full during the winter and to have extra windshield washer fluid and antifreeze on hand.

You should have two emergency kits in your vehicle: one in the trunk and one in the interior.

Your trunk kit should include:

  • Shovel
  • Sand, salt, or kitty litter (traction aids)
  • Tow chain and booster cables
  • Warning light or flares

Your interior kit should include:

  • Flashlight
  • Blanket
  • First-aid kit
  • Extra winter clothing, hats, and boots
  • Matches, candles, and an emergency food pack
Winter Travel Tips
  • Always dress appropriately for the season when travelling (even for local commuting) and bring along suitable clothing in case you have to walk or remain in your vehicle for long a period of time
  • Obey traffic signs and road barricades - it is both dangerous and illegal to go around road closure signs
  • Carry vehicle emergency kits
  • Always bring essential medications with you in case you become stranded
  • Remember: even a thin layer of ice on the road can be extremely dangerous. Driving is never recommended when freezing rain is forecast. Change your plans and stay home whenever possible
On the Road

If you must travel during severe winter weather, do so during the day and let someone know your route and expected arrival.

If your car gets stuck in a blizzard or snowstorm, remain calm and stay in your car. Allow fresh air into your car by opening the window slightly on the sheltered side away from the wind. You can run the car engine for about 10 minutes every half-hour if your exhaust system is in good condition and the tailpipe(s) is not blocked by snow.

Finally, to keep your hands and feet warm, exercise them periodically. If you do try to shovel the snow from around your car, avoid over-exerting yourself. Keep watch for other traffic and searchers

Ice Safety

Many fun outdoor activities can take place during cold winter weather, when ice has formed of sufficient thickness. Once temperatures begin to rise, however, ice can deteriorate and lose thickness quickly.

Stay away from riverbanks, rivers and creeks in the spring; water flow is often faster, higher and colder. Any remaining ice in the spring is likely to be weak and ready to break up. Even thick ice is not necessarily safe – during spring melt, lines of impurities in the ice melt very quickly, creating weak spots.

Know the Ice

The colour of ice can be an indication of its strength. Generally:

  • Clear, blue ice is strongest
  • White opaque (difficult to see through) or snow ice is half as strong as blue ice - opaque ice is formed by wet snow freezing on the ice
  • Grey ice is unsafe - greyness indicates the presence of water

According to the Red Cross, the following ice thicknesses may be used as a guideline to determine its safety for certain activities:

  • 15cm is safe for walking or skating alone
  • 20cm is safe for skating parties or games
  • 25cm is safe for snowmobiles

It's important to note that ice thickness is unpredictable and can vary from one location to another.

What to do if you fall through ice

If you fall through the ice, remember:

  • Do your best to not panic. Call for help loudly and clearly
  • Resist the urge to climb back out where you fell in. The ice is weak in this area and likely won't work
  • Use the air trapped in your clothing to get into a floating position on your stomach and face the shore
  • Slowly reach forward onto the ice - do not push down on it
  • Kick your legs to slowly push your torso onto the ice
  • Crawl on your stomach or roll away from the open area with your arms and legs spread out as far as possible to evenly distribute your body weight
  • DO NOT stand up - look for shore and make sure you're going in the right direction
  • Get medical help immediately
  • If you can't climb onto the ice, float in the water and continue calling for help
What to do if someone else falls through ice

Rescuing someone who has fallen through the ice is incredibly dangerous - even for equipped and trained emergency responders. The safest way to perform a rescue is from shore. Instead of attempting to pull a victim out of the water, help them rescue themselves.

If someone falls through the ice, remember:

  • Call 9-1-1 for help
  • See if you can reach the person using a long pole or branch from shore - if so, lie down and extend the pole to the person
  • Coach them through self-rescue techniques, using the tips in the section immediately above this one
  • If the person is able to get out of the water and back to shore, seek medical help. If the victim shows stiffness, slurred speech, or goes unconscious, they could be hypothermic - a loss of body core heat that can be fatal
Shelf Ice
As winter weather arrives and temperatures begin to drop, we will begin to see the formation of shelf ice. Shelf ice is the result of winds and waves pushing ice floats to shore, creating hills and mounds of ice. Shelf ice is not like ice on a pond - there is moving water underneath that creates holes and weak spots from below. Enjoy the beauty of the ice banks from the safety of shore - NEVER climb on shelf ice.
Public Health

During a disaster, threats to public health may arise almost immediately. Lambton Public Health is an important resource during such times and Lambton's Medical Officer of Health is a member of the County Emergency Control Group, which directs the overall County response during an emergency. During local emergencies, the Medical Officer of Health may be called upon to provide advice to the Municipality of Lambton Shores about public health matters.

Drinking Water Safety

Many residents in the area are served by a municipal drinking water system sourced from Lake Huron. For one reason or another, there may be times when the Medical Officer of Health needs to advise the public to either boil or stop using piped water until a problem has been resolved.

Depending on the nature of the problem, one of the following advisories may be issued:

Boil Water Advisories

Boil water advisories advise home users that they should bring their tap water to a rolling boil for at least 1 minute before they drink or use the water for other purposes (e.g., cooking, feeding pets, brushing teeth, washing fruits, bathing infants or the elderly, etc.).

Boil water advisories are issued when there are problems with the water treatment system or the water has disease-causing viruses, bacteria, or parasites.

Do Not Consume Advisories

Do not consume advisories are issued when the water has system contaminates, like lead, that cannot be removed from water by boiling. These can also be referred to as Do Not Drink Advisories. These advisories tell the public that they should not use their tap water to: cook, drink, feed pets, brush teeth, make soups or ice cubes, wash fruits and vegetables, or make infant formula.

During this advisory, do not use tap water to bathe those who need help, such as infants, toddlers and the elderly (use sponge baths instead so they do not swallow the water by accident). The water can still be used to shower and bathe by adults and older children, as long as the water is not consumed.

Do Not Use Advisories

Do not use advisories warn the public that they should not use their tap water for any reason. These advisories are issued when the water poses a health risk, the water system has pollutants that cannot be removed by boiling, and/or being exposed to the water through bathing could irritate the skin, eyes or nose.

 

Take the steps now to be prepared for a possible interruption or contamination of drinking water supply. Create a 72 hour stockpile of drinking water, allocating 4 litres of water per person per day (provide for pets, too). This amount should be a sufficient quantity of water for drinking, cooking, washing, brushing teeth, etc.

If your drinking water has an unusual taste, colour or odour and you suspect that it has become contaminated, contact: Lambton Public Health: 519-383-8331 / 1-800-667-1839

Food Safety

Food safety is the top priority of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The CFIA, along with other government organizations, works to protect Canadians from preventable food safety hazards. When food products are found to be unsafe, the CFIA will alert the public. Sources of information on food safety alerts include the CFIA website and the “Food Safety Network”.

If you lose power, do not open your refrigerator or freezer unless absolutely necessary. Discard any thawed food that has been at room temperature for more than two hours.

If you have food stored in an area which has been flooded, dispose of any items that have been exposed to flood waters.

Infectious Disease

Influenza

Infectious disease remains a major cause of illness and death in the community. Ontario's Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care estimates that as many as 8,000 Canadians die every year due to the flu (influenza) and complications from the flu. That is why so much effort is put into annual vaccination campaigns. Flu shots are especially important for those with compromised immune systems. Lambton Public Health's website contains more information about the flu vaccine.

Pandemic

A pandemic can arise from a new or mutated virus to which people do not have immunity.

Historically, most pandemic viruses have been traced to an avian (bird) or swine (pig) virus that was either contagious or became contagious to humans through genetic mutation (i.e. the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic virus originated in pigs).

Rabies

The rabies virus is carried through an animal's saliva. Rabies can infect humans and other animals through a bite or scratch from an animal with rabies, or if the rabies virus meets an open cut or the moist tissues of the mouth, nose or eyes. Rabies is fatal if untreated.

Most rabies in Canada is carried by wildlife. This makes control difficult and eradication almost impossible. Foxes, skunks, bats and raccoons are the main carriers and pose a continuous threat because they often live close to people. If they infect your farm animals or pets, they may endanger you.

If you have been bitten or scratched by an animal, wash the wound with soap and hot water and contact your family doctor.

Report all biting incidents to Lambton Public Health. General information about rabies is also available by calling the Ontario Rabies Hotline at 1-888-574-6656 or visiting Ontario's rabies website.

Have a Plan

Congratulations! You have already taken the first step towards having a good emergency preparedness plan in place: using the resources on our website.

Here are some other things to consider when making a plan to be prepared for anything:

  • Identify a meeting place near home
  • Keep a list of up-to-date medical information for each member of your household, including medication, medical equipment, and contact information for physicians/health-care providers
  • Create emergency kits (for home and vehicles) and make note of where you store them
  • Review your emergency kits regularly
  • Identify the location of:
    • Fire extinguishers
    • Water shut off valves
    • Electrical panel
    • Hydro company name and phone number
    • Gas shut off valve
    • Gas company name and phone number

While following your emergency plan, always remember to listen and follow instructions from local officials and authorities.

You can also read the Lambton Shores Emergency Management Plan to learn more about the actions and emergency preparedness at the Municipal level.

Make a Kit

One of the best ways to prepare for an emergency is to have enough supplies at home to feed and care for you and your family for at least three days following a crisis or disaster. This is called a 72-Hour Emergency Supplies Kit.

It is also important to prepare emergency kits for each of your vehicles as well, should you ever become stranded in a remote area or snowstorm. Having some essential supplies may help keep you and your passengers safe.

72-Hour Emergency Supplies Kit

Store these items in an easy-to-carry container such as a duffel bag or plastic storage bin so that if you need to leave home, you will easily be able to take the kit with you.

Your 72-Hour Emergency Supplies Kit should include the following items:

  • Any "special need items" for members of your household (i.e., baby formula, diapers, perscription medicine, etc.)
  • First-aid supplies / First-aid kit (bandages, adhesive tape, antibiotic ointment, antispetic wipes, cold pack, eyewash solution, cotton swabs, disposable gloves, gauze pads, etc.)
  • A change of clothing for each household member (including footwear)
  • Candles and matches/lighter
  • A sleeping bag or bedroll for each household member (should you need to evacuate)
  • Flashlight and spare batteries
  • Battery-powered radio or "wind-up" radio
  • Duct tape
  • Non-perishable food (replace it every year)
  • Bottled water
  • Whistle
  • Playing cards or games (it's always good to pass the time)
  • Toilet paper and other personal care supplies
  • Extra car and house keys
  • Extra cash and copies of important family documents (birth certificates, passports, licenses)
  • Battery powered smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
Vehicle Emergency Supplies Kit

It's a good idea to prepare two emergency kits for each of your vehicles: one to keep in your trunk and one to keep in the interior of your vehicle.

Trunk Kit

  • Shovel
  • Sand, salt, or kitty litter (traction aids)
  • Tow chain and booster cables
  • Warning light or flares

Interior Kit

  • Flashlight
  • Batteries
  • Blanket
  • First-aid kit
  • Extra winter clothing (including hats and boots)
  • Matches, candles (in a deep can to keep warm hands), and an emergency food pack

Resources

Additional Emergency Preparedness resources can be found on the Government of Ontario and Government of Canada websites:

Stay in Touch

Radio, television, reliable websites, and official social media channels are the best places to get information during an emergency. Use a battery-powered or crank radio if the power is out and cell networks are down.

If cell networks are operational and you have power, follow the official social media accounts to stay informed during an emergency:

  • The Municipality of Lambton Shores
    • Twitter: @LambtonShores
    • Facebook: /Lambton.Shores
  • Ontario Provincial Police
    • Twitter: @OPP_News or @OPP_COMM_WR
  • Emergency Management Ontario
    • Twitter: @OntarioWarnings
  • Environment Canada - Lambton Shores
    • Twitter: @ECAlertON46

It's always important to also stay in touch with your emergency contacts, friends, and family whenever possible so they know you are safe.

And remember: if you need help right away because of an injury or immediate danger, call 9-1-1

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