Think about it. What would you do if severe weather knocked out the power in your city for several days? What if a chemical spill required you to evacuate immediately? Do you have a plan in place? Most people don’t, and that’s a big mistake.
Disaster can strike quickly and can confine you to your home or force you to evacuate your neighbourhood. When planning for an emergency, consider how you would deal with the disruption of day-to-day services like electricity, water, heat, air conditioning, telephone services and transportation. Education and preparedness are the best defence when dealing with any type of emergency situation.
While Durham Region and its municipalities are doing everything possible to prepare for emergencies, as a resident you also have an important role to play in ensuring the safety of you and your family. And it takes just a few minutes to ensure you have the knowledge and resources to react quickly in an emergency.
Know the Risks
Durham Region has a number of situations that present potential hazards to residents. The top hazards by rank, relative to risk, for the region can be grouped into three major categories:
- Severe weather: major winter storms, high winds, flooding, etc.
- Hazardous materials release: toxic spills/gas leaks, either at a site or as the result of a transportation accident
- Mass casualty event: train derailments, major accidents on the 401 and 35/115 highways or a major building fire
Make a Plan and Create a Kit
Emergency preparedness begins at home. As a family, discuss what you need to prepare for an emergency and what to do during an evacuation. Your family may have special needs to consider. For example, you may need specific medication, wheelchairs or portable life-sustaining equipment. Identify any challenges or limitations that members of your household may have and how different types of emergencies would affect them. Be sure to include your pets when planning for emergencies.
Emergency Plan Checklist
- Discuss types of emergencies and how these could impact your home (extreme weather, chemical spills, fire, etc.).
- Get to know your surroundings and possible hazards/risks in your neighbourhood.
– Research your children’s school or daycare emergency plans.
– Prepare and practise a home escape plan. Make sure you know two ways out and have a safe meeting place outside.
– Decide on an out-of-the-area emergency contact person and create a list of emergency numbers.
– Make arrangements with family members or friends who would be willing to let you stay with them during an evacuation.
– Create an emergency plan for your pets.
– Take a first aid and CPR course.
– Pack a family emergency kit and store it where it is easy to access.
Emergency Kit Checklist
- Food (canned or dried that requires no refrigeration)
- Can opener
- Water – two litres per day, per person
- First aid kit
- Change of clothing per person (weather specific)
- Flashlight and batteries
- Battery or crank-operated radio
- Telephone that plugs directly into a phone jack
- Medication (keep in mind proper storage)
- Personal items (toiletries, toothbrush/paste, deodorant, soap, feminine products)
- Toys and games for children
- Copies of important papers (identification, medical records, insurance policy, emergency plan etc.)
- Candle/matches (use with caution)
- Small tool kit
- pecialty items and life-sustaining equipment
for more information, visit pickering.ca/beprepared