Posted on Tuesday June 13, 2017


Engaging with Local Farming Community to Plan for Potential Emergencies


Gravenhurst ON - Firefighters in Gravenhurst have been busy over the last couple of weeks visiting area farms in an effort to share emergency planning and fire safety information to help prevent a disaster from occurring. 

"When most people think of Muskoka, farming and agriculture might not come to mind readily, but we do have quite a number of farms in our area," said Fire Chief Larry Brassard. "In the past couple of years there have been a number of high profile fires on farm properties in Ontario, as part of our Community Risk Reduction programming, we have been travelling the rural area around Gravenhurst to share information about how fires can be prevented and what farm operators can do now to prepare for an emergency such as a severe weather event or wildland fire.” Electrical hazards and housekeeping are amongst some of the top concerns being seen on farm properties across Ontario.

The department points out, that preparedness is key to farm emergency planning, just as it is for homes. “Everyone needs to have a plan to evacuate their home, but for farm properties, the planning is much more complex. Staying put may be an option, but sometimes it becomes necessary to evacuate. Moving large animals and ensuring that there is adequate feed and medical supplies at a pre-planned location is crucial”, says Brassard. But regardless of the circumstances, advanced planning is necessary.

The department encourages farmers to create a contact list of emergency telephone numbers including employees, neighbours, veterinarians, poison control, local animal shelters, animal care and control, and transportation resources. Including an out-of- town contact person who is unlikely to be affected by the same emergency and is capable of receiving animals for a period of time is important. A farm emergency plan should also include a list of all farm animals including records of feedings, vaccinations and tests. Supplies for the temporary identification of animals are important in case the animals are moved and co-located with animals from other farms. Haulers, cages, blankets and appropriate tools for each type of animal are important as are buckets for feed and water, and tools or supplies needed for sanitation.

“In an emergency, moving family pets can be challenging. Imagine having to quickly move 20 or 30 horses without a plan – it’s not something that can be left to the last minute. Is your family prepared?”

“Plan, Prepare, Be Aware”


For more information, please contact:

Gravenhurst Fire Department