Personal Preparedness

Be better prepared for emergencies by knowing the risks, making a plan, and building a kit!

Know the risks

A hazard is an event or physical condition that has the potential to cause fatalities, injuries, property damage, infrastructure damage, agricultural loss, environmental damage, interruption of business, or other types of harm or loss.

In preparing for an emergency, it is important to consider what hazards or risks will most likely affect us. Wellington County and its member municipalities have carefully completed hazard identification and risk assessments (HIRA). The following is a list of the most probable hazards identified in Wellington County.

  • Severe weather
  • Winter power failure
  • Flood
  • Transportation incident
  • Hazardous transportation incident
  • Energy emergency
  • Water emergency
  • Human health emergency
  • Foreign animal disease
  • Terrorism

Preparing You and Your Family

Local municipalities are usually the first level of government to respond to a community emergency; however, many emergencies happen suddenly and without warning. It takes time to activate response efforts. If you are not injured or sick, you should be prepared to survive on your own for at least 72 hours without help. There are things that you can do to prepare for those three days, including making a family emergency plan and preparing an emergency kit. View the County's Get Prepared brochure for lots of good preparedness information.

Prepare a family emergency plan

There are many sources of information available to help you get started. The following link to Public Safety Canada will provide you with some good resources for making your emergency kit and better preparing you and your family. In addition, this site can assist you with the preparation of your own family emergency plan. It only takes 20 minutes. Follow this link to prepare your Emergency Plan now.

Prepare a 72-hour home emergency kit

After completing a family emergency plan, you can get started on a 72-hour home emergency kit.

If you have to stay at home for several days because of a snow storm or ice storm or if you have to leave your home because of an emergency, it is a good idea to have a 72-hour emergency kit ready to go.

When preparing a kit, consider any special needs of family members and don't forget your pets.

Basic kit items include water and food. For a complete kit checklist, and list of retailers carrying pre-made kits, visit: Get a Kit now or contact the County of Wellington Emergency Management office for more information.

 Preparing for Power Outages

Home generators are handy for backup electricity in case of an outage.  Here are some safety tips to remember. 

  • Before considering the use of an emergency home generator during a power failure, check with furnace, appliance and lighting fixture dealers or manufacturers regarding power requirements and proper operating procedures.
  • Connecting a generator to an existing electrical system should be done only by a qualified Electrician approved by the Electric Safety Authority (ESA).
  • Always ensure that the generator operates outdoors in well-ventilated conditions,
    away from doors or windows, to prevent exhaust gases from entering the house.
  • Ensure you have a sufficient fuel supply.

Important Fire Safety Tips During Power Outages

To reduce fire risk during a power outage, the Office of the Fire Marshal offers the following safety tips:

  • Electrically-connected smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms will not work when the power is out unless they have battery back-ups. Make sure your home has battery-operated smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Everyone should know how to get out immediately if there is a fire. Plan and practice your escape plan before emergencies happen.
  • Use flashlights or battery-operated lanterns instead of candles or hurricane lamps. If using candles, place them in a secure holder and cover them with a glass chimney, away from children and pets.
  • Propane and charcoal barbecues are for outdoor use only. Do not bring them inside.
  • Purchase generators with recognized approval labels. Make sure the unit has proper connection receptacles and circuit breakers.
  • Portable generators should only be used outdoors and carefully located to ensure that exhaust fumes do not enter the home. Allow the generator to cool before refuelling. Refuel the generator outside, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Store fuel for the generator in approved containers, outside the home.
  • Use only portable space heaters that have been designed for indoor use and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Provide adequate ventilation by opening a window slightly while the heater is in use. Before refuelling, turn off the heater, wait for it to cool and take the heater outside to refuel.
  • Make sure electric stove elements and small appliances are OFF or unplugged to prevent fires from occurring when the electricity is restored.
  • Cordless phones will not work when the power is out, so it is recommended to have at least one phone that does not require electricity to operate.
  • Use extreme caution during flood emergencies and power outages. Electrical equipment impacted by flood water can be extremely dangerous. For more important information about electrical safety during floods, please visit the Electrical Safety Authority’s website: http://www.esasafe.com/
  • Further information on emergency preparedness can be found at http://www.emergencymanagementontario.ca/english/home.html.

Where can I access information if the power goes out?

December’s ice storm left many County residents without power for several days. In the event of a power outage, the best place to access information is your local radio station, if you don’t have access to a smartphone. The County contacts local radio stations with closure and warming centre information.

 The following radio stations should be monitored for important updates:

  •  92.9 The Grand (Centre Wellington)
  •  1460 CJOY/Magic 106 (South Wellington)
  •   93.7 Country 93 (Wellington North)
  •   AM 920 (Wellington North)
  •   88.1 Headwaters New Mix (Erin)
  •   94.5 CKNX The Bull (Minto, Mapleton)

 The County will also provide updates on www.wellington.ca and on the County’s official emergency twitterfeed - @wellingtncounty as necessary.

 Adding a battery operated radio to your 72 hour emergency kit is a great idea. Alternatively, you can listen to these stations, on the hour, using your car radio for important updates.

 

Don't Forget Supplies for Your Pets!

Beyond the items you need for you and your family, you will need to make sure you have items prepared for your pet in case of emergency. The list below is a good place to start.

Have a kit or carrying bag with the following items:

  • 3 -day supply of water and food, can opener
  • Blanket, pet toys
  • Leash/harness, muzzle (if required)
  • Plastic bags/ cat litter/pan
  • Pet carrier
  • Any medications/vaccination records
  • Up to date ID tag/vet contact

For more important information on pet preparedness, follow this link for Emergency Preparedness For Pets

Emergency Preparedness Week

Emergency Preparedness Week (EP Week) is an annual event that takes place during the first full week of May. This national event is coordinated by Public Safety Canada in close collaboration with the provinces and territories and partners.

During EP Week, activities are organized across Canada to raise awareness of the importance of having an emergency kit; making an emergency plan; and identifying risks in the region. These three simple steps can help Canadians prepare for all types of emergencies.

Every year, the County of Wellington participates in EP Week and other activities aimed to increase public awareness of emergency management.  

Check out Public Safety Canada's Get Prepared website to learn more about Emergency Preparedness Week.