Emergency Preparedness – Are You Ready For Tonight’s Storm in Puslinch?


ice-storm Environment Canada has issued a Freezing Rain Warning and strong easterly winds of 40 gusting to 70 km/h for our area tonight. Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots will become icy, slippery and hazardous. Beware of branches or electrical wires that could break under the weight of ice.

Our local emergency response plan is tailored to deal with hazards that are most likely to occur in our community.

Preparation

Local authorities may at first be overwhelmed at the onset of a disaster and we, as residents must be prepared to take care of ourselves. It is important that all residents check their smoke detectors and Carbon Monoxide detectors to ensure they are in working condition.

Preparing Your Family Emergency Plan

Emergencies often require us to stay in place for a couple of days, therefore preparing a 72 hour home emergency kit is a good idea. Basic kits should include food and water and items required by special need family members and please, don’t forget your pets! Many retailers carry pre-made kits you can purchase however, you can easily prepare your own kit.

The following list of items should be included in a BASIC 72 HOUR EMERGENCY KIT:

  • Water (2 litres/person/day)
  • Non-perishable food items
  • A manual can opener
  • Flashlight/battery
  • Portable radio/batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Extra car keys
  • Cash and coins for pay phones
  • Important personal papers
  • Extra seasonal clothing and footwear
  • Toiletries
  • Analog phone
  • Blankets
  • Medications
  • Whistle
  • Playing cards, games and books

How to Stay Safe During an Ice Storm

We just received an emergency preparedness list from Puslinch Fire Chief Steven Goode so we can all do what we need to be ready in case of extended power outages due to tonight’s forecasted freezing rain warning. I had a chance to speak with Fire Chief Goode and he mentioned some other items we need to be careful of in an ice storm – from his experiences two years ago when the hydro went down for number of days in Puslinch.

  • Have battery operated carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. While running generators there is the potential for carbon monoxide to seep into the home.
  • Stay inside. Ice from freezing rain can accumulate on branches and power lines that can snap all of a sudden.
  • If you do have to go out be aware of trees and power lines above that can break under the weight of ice and fall on top of you.
  • Stay away from power lines. A downed wire could be live and you could be electrocuted. Stay back at least 10 meters from downed wires or anything they are in contact with.
  • Avoid driving if possible. Even the slightest amount of freezing rain can make the roads dangerously slippery. Wait a few hours after the freezing rain ends until maintenance crews have spread salt or sand on the roads.

Generators

If there is a power failure and you are using a gas or propane fired generator (or ANY other device that burns any fuel like kerosene heaters or BBQs) NEVER use them inside your house or even inside your garage. Dangerous, DEADLY levels of carbon monoxide will quickly build up within your house. Be sure to properly ground any generators to avoid electric shocks and NEVER pour gasoline into a hot generator. Always let you generator cool for 5-10 minutes before re-filling the gas tank to avoid possible fires from spilled gas.

Pets

If you have pets in your house be sure to also have at least a three day supply of food and medications for them.

Cell Phones

Make sure your cell phones are fully charged BEFORE the power goes out. Go plug them in now. If there is an extended power outage be sure to use them sparingly to conserve battery power. If you have more than one cell phone in the house, keep at most one powered on at any time.

Stay In Touch And Stay Safe

Puslinch Today will do everything we can help facilitate the dissemination of information in case of a severe event. To ensure you are kept up to date be sure to like our Facebook Page here and follow us on Twitter here. Also, check back periodically to PuslinchToday.ca for updates.


PuslinchToday would like to thank Puslinch Fire Chief Steve Goode for helping us prepare some of the above information and making sure it was published today.


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Daina Makinson

Daina Makinson is a local Puslinch resident, business owner, volunteer and co-founder of PuslinchToday.

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