Emergency Services and Preparedness

Do you know that emergencies can happen anywhere at any time? The different types of emergencies that can happen in Gravenhurst include:

Severe Summer Storms

Various weather events can occur starting early Spring and continue through until later September. Those events include: heavy rainfall; high winds; thunderstorms; lightning; hail; and tornadoes.

Are You Prepared? In advance of storms – Prepare yourself and your property to minimize damage

  • Check your indoor supplies (e.g. drinking water; non-perishable food; non-electric can opener, prescription medications, first aid kit, flashlights and batteries etc.)
  • Trimming dead tree branches and trees that may threaten to strike your house
  • Tie down or store outdoor furniture, lawn ornaments, garbage cans and other loose objects that may blow around in the wind
  • Check that the drainage around your home will not cause flooding
  • Know how to safely shut off your utilities if the potential for flooding exists
  • Draw blinds and shades over the windows in your home to minimize the damage if the glass shatters
  • Make sure electronic devices are charged and vehicles/equipment fuelled
  • Check on friends and neighbours to make sure they are safe and prepared

During a Storm

  • Listen to your local radio station for the most up-to-date storm information
  • Take shelter in a basement, crawlspace, closet, under a staircase or in a central bathroom
  • Stay away from outside walls, windows and doors
  • If caught outside, immediately take shelter in a building or vehicle
  • Never approach downed power lines
  • Avoid crossing bridges where the water flow is high or fast
  • Drive with caution – traffic lights and street lighting may not be working

After a Storm

  • Check your house and property for significant damage
  • Take photos of any damage
  • Contact your insurance company

Severe Winter Storms

Gravenhurst is accustomed to experiencing a variety of weather and significant snow events. It is not unusual!

Description of snow events

“Heavy snowfall” can greatly reduce visibility, create hazardous road conditions, and knock down trees and power lines.

“Blowing snow” is snow driven by wind, reducing visibility and causing deep drifts which can impede transportation and make driving dangerous. Snow drifts can also make it difficult for people to leave their homes or get out of their driveways.

“Snow squall” is a sudden, moderately heavy snowfall characterized by blowing snow and strong, gusty winds that reduce visibility. Intense but very localized, snow squalls usually last for a relatively short period of time.

“Blizzard” is generally characterized by strong winds and heavy or blowing snow that can cause low to no visibility.

Prepare in advance of storms

During a Storm

  • Stay indoors
  • Keep children and pets indoors
  • Drive only if absolutely necessary
  • Listen for weather updates and OPP reports of road closures
  • Walk carefully on snow and ice covered walkways and sidewalks
  • Avoid over-exertion when shovelling
  • Stay dry

Flooding

If you live or work near a body of water, you need to be aware if the area is subject to annual flooding and what measures you need to take when flooding does happen.

Before a Flood

  • Know the risk of flooding in your area
  • Move valuables to higher levels
  • Talk to your insurance agent or broker to find out what is covered under your policy
  • Make sure you are flood ready, visit the Government of Canada website to find out how you can protect your property

During High Water or Periods of Flooding

  • Keep children, pets and farm animals away from fast flowing water
  • Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water
  • Don't drive on roads covered in water
  • Vacate your property if advised to do so

After a Flood

Extreme Temperatures

If you are planning on being outdoors you should be prepared to deal with a variety of weather from extreme heat to extreme cold, very rainy days or very dry days. Both extreme heat and extreme cold can pose a significant risk for many residents, especially those who are most vulnerable. Some of those most at risk include:

  • Infants and young children
  • People with chronic medical conditions
  • People on certain types of medication
  • People with limited mobility
  • Outdoor workers

Extreme Heat

During times of extreme heat:

  • Stay hydrated – drink plenty of water
  • Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-coloured clothing
  • Avoid strenuous exercise
  • Make sure your pets have plenty of water and aren't suffering from the heat

Extreme Cold

Bitter cold and winter storms kill more people than the number of Canadians killed by tornadoes, thunderstorms, lightning, floods and hurricanes combined.

  • Dress warmly and cover exposed skin – frostbite can occur in as little as 30 seconds
  • Stay dry – wet clothing will chill the body rapidly and excess sweating will increase heat loss
  • Keep children inside
  • Don't forget about your pets and companion animals – if it is too cold outside for you, it's too cold for them

Forest Fires/Wild land Fires

Forest fires can be extremely dangerous to people and property and have devastating effects on a community. Being prepared in advance and knowing what actions to take in the event of a forest fire can better protect you and your family.

Landscaping Tips - When you are planning to make improvements to your property be sure to check out the tips at  Fire Smart Canada

Power Outages

Power outages can occur for a variety of reasons. Do you have an alternate source of power? Do you have a Household Emergency Plan for what you and your family will do if the power is out for an extended period of time.

Follow the safety information from Veridian to know what to do before, during and after an outage.

Who to Call

Gravenhurst has two main power supply companies. You will need to know which company services your property.

Veridian Connections – 1-866-579-6819

Hydro One – 1-800-434-1235

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