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10 emergencies you can prepare for

Do you know what to do in case of an emergency in Peel?

Peel Region’s Emergency Management team develops emergency response plans for Peel Region and offers tips on preparing for emergencies. Emergency Preparedness Week from May 7-13 is a great time to know your risks, make a plan, and have a kit that may help you handle an emergency or even save a life.

Know your risks
We are all at risk of weather-related emergencies – especially as we experience more climate related events. Extreme heat and cold, flooding, storms, wildfires and power outages can affect everyone. Check out the resource links listed at the end to help identify your risks.

Make a plan
Plan your family’s response to emergencies. Learn how to get out quickly and safely, who you need to call, or how to shelter in place without electricity for up to 72-hours. Make an evacuation plan and practice it with your family so you know how to get out quickly and safely. Make sure you all know where the fire extinguisher is, how to shut off gas and water valves, how and when to call 911, and have access to the numbers you need. Every member of the family should participate and practice.

Have a kit
Emergency kits prepare families to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours. Kits should be in an easy-to-carry bag like a backpack or duffle bag, updated on a seasonal basis and include containing necessities for families and pets. There are two purposes to this kit: to be prepared for evacuation or to be prepared to shelter in place. The kit should be kept in an accessible place, such as the hall closet, and everyone should be able to find it.

Here are 10 emergencies to be prepared for in Peel

Severe weather
We see a lot of significant weather in a year – snowstorms, thunderstorms, freezing rain, hailstorms, and high wind events. Preparing for these conditions prepares you for countless scenarios. Having some food on hand can help prepare for a stay-at home order or an evacuation. Knowing where water and electrical shutoffs are in your house may help for flooding or gas leaks. Many people find themselves caught outdoors during weather events, so checking the forecast or getting a weather alert app can help you prepare.

Floods
Flooding is most common in the spring, when snow melting can cause water to accumulate, and summer, when major rainstorms cause streams and rivers to overflow without warning. Learning where local flood plains are located can help identify your risk of flooding.

Electrical safety is especially important during a flood. Never step into a room where water may have been in contact with electrical outlets. Don’t attempt to turn off power if you must walk through water to do so. Contact your electrical service provider (links in the resource section).

Tornados and storms
Reduce hazards by trimming tree branches, clearing drainage systems, and planning your family meeting place and communication plan. Know where your emergency kit is located.

After a storm, call 911 if family or neighbours are injured or trapped. Stay away from damaged areas. Report broken sewers and water mains to 311. Avoid driving after a storm as debris, broken power lines, and washed-out roads and bridges make driving dangerous.

Power failure
Power failures can happen in extreme weather or with disruptions in hydro services. They can last minutes, days, or even weeks, so it’s important to be prepared with a 72-hour emergency kit. Learn about your power and utility systems and how to shut them off. During a power outage, turn off appliances so they’re not running when the power is restored.

If a power outage leaves you without air conditioning in the summer, open your windows and reduce your physical activity. Check on your family and neighbours and go to cooling centres if necessary. During the winter, your pipes might freeze or burst if a power outage leaves you without heat for some time. You can prevent freezing or bursting pipes by shutting off the main water supply. Before you drain your pipes, collect some water in clean containers for drinking and cleaning. If your pipes freeze, don’t try to thaw them yourself. Contact a professional.

Earthquakes
Earthquakes can be violent, sudden emergencies that can impact people, buildings and road safety. Most earthquakes in Ontario are mild, but it’s good to know how to manage one if it hits. Protect yourself from falling debris – cover your head and neck with your arms or crawl under a sturdy piece of furniture. Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and other items that could fall. Don’t run outside where more debris may hit you.

Fires and wildfires
Fire prevention starts with a safety check or home inspection to know your risks. Be prepared with a home escape plan and working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors on every floor. Test them every month, change batteries every 6 months.

Epidemic
It’s easy for sickness and disease to travel quickly, especially in a large city. Peel Public Health closely monitors cases that may turn into outbreaks. Stay up to date with immunization and inform doctors about contact. Follow public health orders and recommendations. Be prepared to shelter in place. Get extra TP for your kits!

Hazardous waste and industrial accidents
Hazardous chemicals are present in industrial areas, homes, cars, and workplaces. These materials can be harmful to people and the environment when not properly contained. Follow health and safety protocols and report spills in the environment to 911 as soon as you can do so safely.

Transportation emergencies
Being stranded due to accident, weather, or breakdown can be dangerous and potentially deadly. Have a car emergency kit and update it based on the season. Listen for traffic and weather reports to avoid dangerous road conditions.

Underground infrastructure issues
Gas pipelines, electrical, telephone and television lines, and water and sewers are all are buried underground. Accidental damage can cause interruptions in service as well as damage to property.

Resources
Check out Peel’s Emergency Planning page for tips on preparing for emergencies

Home escape plans
Helping children and disabled people
Emergency kits

Government of Canada

Get Prepared
Hazards and emergencies
Power outages

Ontario One Call will help locate underground utilities.

Call before you dig 1-800-400-2255 or www.on1call.com

Electrical providers in Peel

Alectra 1-833-ALECTRA (Brampton and Mississauga)
Hydro One 1-888-664-9376 (Caledon)

Public Safety Canada for more information on power outages

Canadian Red Cross

Types of emergencies
Know the risks in your community
Floodplain mapping:

Credit Valley Conservation
Toronto Region Conservation Authority

About Peel Region

Peel Region works with residents and partners to create a healthy, safe, and connected Community for Life for approximately 1.5 million people and over 175,000 businesses in Brampton, Mississauga and Caledon. Peel’s services touch the lives of residents every day. For more information explore peelregion.ca and follow us on Twitter @regionofpeel and Instagram @peelregion.ca.

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