Explains the key steps to emergency preparedness, including: being informed, making a plan, building a kit, and getting involved. Provides a format develop a family emergency plan and a place to gather information on all family members. Preparedness for Pet OwnersContains information and suggestions for proactive pet emergency preparedness.
Contains information specific to emergency preparedness for Americans with disabilities and other access and functional needs. Thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail, blizzards, high winds and heavy rain can develop quickly and hit hard – posing a threat to life and property. Listen for the Warnings Environment Canada monitors the weather 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Weather Watch: conditions are favourable for a severe storm, even though one has not yet developed.
Weather Advisory: the actual or expected weather conditions may cause concern or general inconvenience, but do not pose a serious enough threat to warrant a weather warning. If a weather warning is issued for a tornado, it means that one or more tornadoes have been observed or are forecast for the specified area. Be PreparedStorms such as tornadoes often strike too quickly to allow you to choose a shelter or pack an emergency kit. This should include food, clothing, blankets, medication, water purification tablets and first-aid and tool kits as well as flashlights and a battery-powered radio – with extra batteries for both.
Trim dead or rotting branches and cut down dead trees to reduce the danger of these falling on your house. When a Severe Storm is ForecastDuring the season when some of the severest storms, such as tornadoes or blizzards are likely to occur in your area, listen to the local radio or television stations for severe weather warnings and advice. Tornadoes form suddenly, are often preceded by warm humid weather and always produced by thunderstorms – although not every thunderstorm produces a tornado. Tornadoes are violent windstorms characterized by a twisting funnel-shaped cloud which forms at the base of cloud banks and points towards the ground. If you live in one of Canada’s high-risk areas or zones, you should listen to your radio during severe thunderstorms. If you are at the office or in an apartment building, take shelter in an inner hallway or room, ideally in the basement or the ground floor. In all cases, get as close to the ground as possible, protect your head and watch out for flying debris. A thunderstorm develops in an unstable atmosphere when warm moist air near the earth’s surface rises quickly and cools. If indoors, stay there but away from windows, doors, fireplaces, radiators, stoves, sinks, bathtubs, appliances, metal pipes, telephones and other materials which conduct electricity.
Take shelter in a building or depressed area such as a ditch or a culvert but never under a tree.
Do not ride bicycles, motorcycles or golf carts or use metal shovels or golf clubs as they conduct electricity.
If caught in the open, do not lie flat but crouch in the leap frog position and lower your head.
If you know there is flooding or the possibility of flooding in your area, keep your radio on to find out what areas are flooded, what areas are likely to be flooded as well as what roads are safe, where to go and what to do if the local emergency team asks you to leave your home. Generally speaking, it is a good idea to avoid driving through flooded roads and underpasses. Hail Hail forms when updrafts in thunderclouds carry raindrops upwards into extremely cold areas of the atmosphere. Blizzards come in on a wave of cold Arctic air, bringing snow, bitter cold, high winds and poor visibility. In your car As a rule, it is a good idea to keep your gas tank almost full during the winter and to have extra windshield washer fluid and anti-freeze on hand. Hurricanes are violent tropical storms which blow up from the Caribbean and hit eastern Canada usually between June and November with September being the peak month.
Owners of mobile homes must take special care to protect themselves and their property in the event of storms. Click the image below to view the video: Safety Tips for Seniors from the National Fire Protection Association. The facts speak for themselves: Americans over the age of 65 are one of the groups at greatest risk of dying in a fire. The unsafe use of smoking materials is the leading cause of fire deaths among older Americans. Finally, having a working smoke alarm dramatically increases your chances of surviving a fire.


If you are like most Canadians you have probably had to clean up after these storms and you know the damage they cause. If a severe storm is on the horizon, the weather service issues watches, advisories and warnings through national, regional and local radio and television stations, and Environment Canada’s Weather Radio.
Other warnings include those for a severe thunderstorm, blizzard, high winds, heavy snow, snow squall, heavy rain and heavy freezing rain. You may want to have a plan that outlines where you will go and how you will keep in touch with members of your family if a severe storm hits.
You may also want to consider checking the drainage around the house to reduce the possibility of your basement flooding after a heavy rain. You may want to make sure you have a battery-powered radio on hand as the electricity frequently fails during a severe storm. As a rule, when Environment Canada issues a tornado warning, radio stations broadcast it immediately.
If the tornado is close by, get out of your car and take cover in a low-lying area or even under an underpass on a freeway.
Small objects such as sticks and straws can become lethal weapons when driven by a tornado’s winds. The moisture condenses to form rain droplets and dark thunder clouds called cumulonimbus clouds. This is particularly true when the ground is still frozen or already saturated from previous storms. The raindrops freeze and are bounced around in the powerful winds within thunderclouds while new layers of ice are added. In Canada, blizzards are most common in the southern Prairies, the Maritimes and the eastern Arctic.
You may want to put together two small emergency kits – one to put in the trunk of your car and the other in the cab of the car. If you must travel during a snow storm, do so during the day and let someone know your route and arrival time. The east and west coasts, however, do get fall and winter storms which have hurricane force winds.
Extra caution should be used with alternate heaters such as wood stoves or electric space heaters. Older homes can have serious wiring problems, ranging from old appliances with bad wiring to overloaded sockets. Buy only heaters evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Municipal, provincial and territorial emergency measures organizations can provide valuable advice to help you prepare for emergencies. Choose a place to meet When a severe storm strikes, members of your household may be at work, school or a friend’s place.
Always check the marine forecast first before leaving for a day of boating and listen to weather reports during your cruise.
These storms are often accompanied by hail, lightning, high winds, heavy rain and tornadoes. Bolts of lightning hit the ground at about 40,000 kilometres per second – so fast that the lightning appears to be a single main bolt with a few forks when actually the opposite is true. Eventually, the hailstones grow too heavy to be supported by the updrafts and fall to the ground. If a blizzard strikes, do not try to walk to another building unless there is a rope to guide you or something you can follow.
If you do try to shovel the snow from around your car avoid over-exerting yourself as shovelling and bitter cold can kill.
As severe storms usually come in from the southwest, west or northwest, the narrow end of the trailer should face in a westerly direction to make a smaller target.
People over the age of 85 die in fires at a rate five times higher than the rest of the population. If you must leave the kitchen while cooking, take a spoon or potholder with you to remind you to return to the kitchen.
Choose your shelter area A basement, storm cellar or a closet beneath the stairs are good places to take shelter in the event of a severe storm. To avoid unnecessary worry, plan a meeting place or some system of communicating with one another to check that everyone is safe.
Flying objects such as garbage cans and lawn furniture can injure people and damage property. Unless you are asked to help or are qualified to give assistance, please stay away from damaged areas.


Debris, broken power lines and washed out or icy roads and bridges will make driving dangerous after a severe storm.
If you are at home, go to the basement or take shelter in a small interior ground floor room such as a bathroom, closet or hallway.
If no shelter is available, then lie down in a ditch away from the automobile or mobile home. If a tornado seems to be standing still then it is either travelling away from you or heading right for you. Thunderstorms are usually over in an hour, although a series of thunderstorms can last for several hours. The main bolt is a whole series of lightning strikes all taking the same path but at such a pace that the eye cannot distinguish between them. Although no-one in Canada has ever been killed by hail, people have been seriously injured by it.
That is more than the total number of people killed by hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, lightning, and extreme heat. You may also want to string a lifeline between your house and any outbuildings which you may have to go to during the storm. Keep fresh air in your car by opening the window slightly on the sheltered side – away from the wind. However, there are a number of precautionary steps older Americans can take to dramatically reduce their chances of becoming a fire casualty. But some damage can be avoided or at least reduced, if you take a few simple precautions such as knowing the type of storms common to your area and what time of year they are likely to strike. If none of these is available, sit underneath a sturdy piece of furniture on the ground floor in the centre of the building away from the outside walls and windows. To estimate how far away the lightning is, count the seconds between the flash of lightning and the thunderclap.
At home If you live in a rural community located in one of the areas where blizzards are frequent, you may want to consider stocking up on heating fuel, ready-to-eat food as well as battery-powered flashlights and radios – and extra batteries. You can run the car engine about 10 minutes every half hour if the exhaust system is working well.
In Canada, heavy rain and flooding are usually greater hazards than strong winds – although the winds are still strong and potentially dangerous. The purpose of this booklet is to help you prepare for severe weather by listing a few steps which you can take to protect your family, yourself, and your property when a severe storm hits your area. Finally, if the power has been off for several hours, check the food in the refrigerator and freezer to make sure it has not spoiled. Tornadoes usually hit in the afternoon and early evening but they have been known to strike at night too. Beware of exhaust fumes and check the exhaust pipe periodically to make sure it is not blocked with snow. If a hurricane warning has been issued, and you live on the coast or in a low-lying area near the coast, you are advised to move inland and to higher ground. Finally, when a severe storm approaches you should still seek shelter in a more secure building. Canada has several high risk areas including Alberta, southern Ontario, southwestern Quebec and a band of land which stretches from southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba through to Thunder Bay, Ontario. The high winds create huge waves at sea which when they reach the shore may become tidal waves or storm surges.
There are also tornado zones in the interior of British Columbia and in western New Brunswick. Most people who are killed during hurricanes are caught in large waves, storm surges or floodwaters. Water supplies may be contaminated so purify your water by boiling it for 10 minutes, or by adding water purification tablets, or by adding one drop of unscented chlorine bleach to one litre of water (or three drops for cloudy water). If the eye of the hurricane passes over, there will be a lull in the wind lasting from two or three minutes to half an hour. If you use chlorine bleach to purify the water, stir the bleach in and wait 30 minutes before drinking.



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Rubric: Emergency Supply Kits



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