Be prepared for winter weather

While we may have enjoyed a mild fall in Southern Ontario, and forecasters may be predicting a mild winter as well, we should still be prepared for active winter weather at any time. In Halton, as in most of the Golden Horseshoe, we can experience lake-effect snow that can cause havoc on our roads. Our past winters have showcased the importance of us all being prepared.

In Halton, our goal is to ensure that residents are safe and that Halton is a disaster-resilient community. Together with our emergency preparedness partners, we work to proactively plan for and manage potential emergencies. While governments and partners at all levels work hard to keep residents safe, emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility and individuals have an important role to play.

There are three steps that everyone should be familiar with:

Step 1. Know the Risks – Familiarize yourself with what could happen in our region. Some types of weather emergencies, such as winter storms for instance, are more frequent than others like earthquakes.

Step 2. Make a Plan – It is really important to make a plan with your family so that you are all ready in case of any type of emergency. Think about different scenarios and prepare for all of them; at home, in the car or if you are in different places when an emergency happens Making a plan involves several measures, such as having a designated meeting area if you are not at home or making sure everyone knows the escape exits if you are at home.

Step 3. Get a Kit – Having an emergency kit that can sustain you and your family for 72 hours will allow first responders to attend to the emergency knowing that residents are prepared. There are several types of kits you should think about putting together:

I encourage you to take the time to learn more about emergency preparedness by visiting
halton.ca/beprepared: a fantastic resource for everything you need to know, including practical tips, complete checklists of what to include in your kits, more on what to do prior to and during a winter storm, and how to recognize or treat cold-related injuries. You can also sign up for cold alerts on halton.ca/cold to prepare yourself for freezing temperatures.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.