County Hazards & Emergency Response Plan

Emergency Response Plan

Wellington County has a comprehensive Emergency Response Plan that takes a risk-based management approach that is always in effect to provide mitigation and response efforts in the County area.

Wellington County Emergency Response Plan

*Alternate formats are available upon request

Possible Hazards in our County

Wellington County and its seven member municipalities take an active role in emergency management planning. Learn here about what types of hazards could lead to emergencies in Wellington County.

 Severe Weather

As global temperatures continue to rise and the world’s climate continues to destabilize, locations around the world are experiencing more extreme and unusual weather events. Environment Canada monitors and forecasts the weather 24/7 and issues alerts to advise the public of significant weather. These alerts are updated regularly so that you can stay on top of a developing situation and take the appropriate action.

The four types of Weather alerts from Environment Canada are

Special Weather Statements

  • The least urgent type of alert
  • Issued to let you know that conditions are unusual and could cause concern


  • Less severe alert, but could still significantly impact Canadians
  • Issued for specific weather event (like blowing snow, fog, freezing drizzle and frost)


  • Alert you about weather conditions that are favorable for a storm or severe weather, which could cause safety concerns
  • As the certainty increases about the path and strength of a storm system, a watch may be upgraded to a warning


  • Urgent message that the severe weather is occurring or will occur
  • Warnings are usually issued six to 24 hours in advance, although some severe weather (such as thunderstorms and tornadoes) can occur rapidly, with less than a half hour's notice


Occurrence is usually between May and September and can happen anywhere, they are extremely dangerous and can cause major destruction of property.  What to do?
 Winter Weather (Ice Storm, Blizzard, Extreme Cold)

Living in our region we experience many variations of winter storms. 

  • Ice storms when freezing rain falls and forms a coating of ice on surfaces creating dangerous driving and even walking conditions. What to do?
  • Blizzards are combination of strong winds and heavy or blowing snow causing low visibility and whiteout conditions. What to do?
  • Extreme cold conditions can cause serious health effects including hypothermia and frostbite.  What to do? 
 Drought or Low Water
This occurs slowly by a number of combinations like no rain, hot temperatures and higher demand. What to do? 
 Extreme Heat

This can be dangerous for everyone, but persons who work outdoors, elderly, children, especially infants, are more vulnerable.  What to do? 

Check out the Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health Unit for additional information on extreme heat.


Floods are the costliest natural hazard in terms of property damage in Ontario. Floods are typically caused by melting snow, ice jams, high lake levels, and heavy rains and thunderstorms. They can happen at any time of year and in urban and rural areas. Flash flooding can occur in rain storms or when a storm drain is plugged — often with little or no warning. What to do?

Link to the WDGPH Flooding Prevention & Recovery Guide 


Thunderstorms can happen at any time of the year and can bring lightning, heavy rain, hail, strong winds and tornadoes.  What to do?


 Infectious Disease (Pandemic/Epidemic)

Pandemic occurs when an infectious disease spreads throughout the global population (example: COVID-19) and epidemic is usually contained within a region or country.  What to do?

 Electrical Energy

Power outages are often caused by freezing rain, sleet storms and/or high winds which damage power lines and equipment.  What to do? 

Utilities operators servicing Wellington County can be found here.

Safety tips for a power outage located here.  

 Farm Animal Disease (FAD)

Farm animal disease emergencies may occur due to an outbreak of a disease or another animal health-related hazard.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency website

Ontario Federation of Agriculture website

Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health Unit website

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© 2023 County of Wellington, 74 Woolwich St. Guelph, Ontario N1H 3T9, T 519.837.2600, TF 1.800.663.0750, F 519.837.1909