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Last week's brutal ice storm caught many off guard as residents struggled to stay warm and hydro crews scrambled to turn the lights back on. As power outages stretch into the sixth day for some Hamiltonians, it is a good opportunity for residents to revisit their emergency preparedness plans.
Severe weather and power outages were among the number of emergencies that the city says have occurred or may occur in Hamilton. Ice storm is ranked ninth in the top 10 emergencies the city plans for, behind other emergencies like hazardous materials and explosions, epidemics and terrorism. Michael Kirkopoulos, the city's manager of communications, said it is still too early to tell if the city will reassess the risk of ice storms. The city will also conduct another risk assessment of the emergencies next year using a new process developed by the province's emergency services branch, which may have some impact on the rankings, according to Kirkopoulos.
Kirkopoulos said, because of the colder temperatures, last weekend's ice storm is different from the summer storm in July that also caused extensive power outages. The city opened four warming centres, something that wasn't typically done during an emergency, according to Kirkopoulos. The timing of the ice storm also added to the inconvenience and complicated the emergency response effort, he said. The federal government also has a step-by-step online tool that guides you through the process. The province is constantly trying to get citizens to prepare for earthquakes, flooding, forest fires and more. The provincial government has launched Zombie Preparedness Week, using the tongue-in-cheek horror movie shtick as a way to get a younger, pop culture-obsessed crowd thinking about real world emergency preparedness. By Tuesday afternoon, 61,000 people had laid eyes on Zombie Preparedness Week material through Twitter alone. In the unlikely event a zombie apocalypse DOESNa€™T happen, the tips and information on the website still apply to disasters across the board. Plus readers will have the added benefit of knowing exactly what to do during a real zombie outbreak, right? As you celebrate, make sure to keep these 10 safety tips in mind to stay safe and healthy while at home during the holiday season.


Make your home festive for the holidays, but always check all sets of lights closely for any damage before decorating your tree and your home. Candles can set the perfect mood for a holiday celebration, but always keep lit candles safely away from children and pets and anything that can burn, such as curtains, upholstery or holiday decorations. When buying toys for the little ones, match their age, ability, skills and interests to the toys. This winter, give your beloved dog or cat the gift of identification by registering them with us. It can get pretty cold outside during the winter here in Ottawa, so don’t forget to dress appropriately.
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Families should be self sufficient for at least 72 hours with the help of an emergency kit. Incidents related to carbon monoxide poisoning also jumped due to the improper use of generators and makeshift warming devices such as barbecues. Debriefings are planned to find out what the city has learned and what can be applied to future storm responses. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Hopefully Not My Braina€? teach readers what to put in an emergency kit, plan evacuation routes, how to access emergency broadcast information and make sure they have enough supplies to survive on their own. If you’re putting up a real Christmas tree, buy a fresh tree, water it everyday and keep it away from ignition sources such as fireplaces, heaters or candles. Give family and friends the gift of safety this year by stuffing their stockings with small items for their home and car emergency preparedness kits. The numbered metal registration tag will get them a free ride home and help ensure a safe return should they ever get lost.


Wear clothes in layers and put on a hat, scarf and gloves or mittens to prevent heat loss and protect against frostbite. It brings the work of young visual artists (Aged 12 to 19) to local art galleries across the city. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines. Kitchen fires most commonly occur when cooking is left unattended, so always stay in the kitchen when you’re cooking – especially if using oil or high temperatures. And always check the temperature: Whole cooked turkey or chicken should register an internal temperature of 82°C (180F) on a cooking thermometer for 15 seconds. You should have no more than two drinks in three hours to keep your blood alcohol in check. Keep an eye on kids when they are playing with toys – small pieces could come off and become a choking hazard. And remember: If it’s too cold for you, then it’s too cold for your pets and you should keep them indoors. If a pot happens to catch fire, carefully slide a tight-fitting lid over the pot to smother the flames and then turn off the heat.
When cooking, remember to wash your hands for 15 seconds with soap to avoid food poisoning. To stay healthy and safe, avoid drinking more than three drinks (for women) and four drinks (for men) on any single occasion.
If you are going on long trips over the holidays, don’t forget to put an emergency kit in your car.



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