The last days of November remind us that winter is nearly here. As we begin to plan festivities and to-do lists for the December weeks ahead, I encourage everyone to consider seasonal safety as well.
Emergencies can happen anywhere, at any time, and the colder weather makes it especially important to plan today so we are protected tomorrow. Our emergency management plans and programs ensure our essential services remain available when you need them most.
Of course, emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility that involves individuals, all levels of government and the community. Just as Halton works to safeguard residents and businesses from emergencies, you can take three easy steps to protect yourself, your family and your property.
- Know the risks
Familiarize yourself with the hazards or risks in your community. For the coming months, consider the risks associated with cold, snow and ice, such as power outages or bridges and narrow roads that may be unsafe during winter weather.
- Make a plan
Ensure your household knows what to do before, during and after an emergency, from evacuation to communication. Please also remember the spirit of the season by including a check-in with vulnerable neighbours or family members in your emergency plans.
- Get a kit
Assemble or buy emergency kits, including supplies for children, older adults and pets, to keep in your car and your home. A car kit can keep you safe and warm if stranded on the road, and a home kit can keep your family self-sufficient for 72 hours.
You can also download our Personal Emergency Preparedness Guide, complete with checklists and step-by-step instructions, to help ensure you take the right precautions.
To stay up-to-date about emergencies and emergency preparedness:
- Visit halton.ca or check the OneHalton app for notifications about community-wide emergencies.
- Visit halton.ca/severeweather to view automatic updates from Environment Canada about storms and other severe weather events.
- Visit halton.ca/cold to learn about cold-related illnesses or sign up for cold warnings.
- Visit halton.ca/beprepared for more emergency preparedness tips and supports.
By being prepared, you help protect your family and allow first responders to focus on those in immediate need during an emergency, increasing the resilience of our entire community throughout the colder months to come.
As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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”.