Disaster Preparedness

Learn about the natural hazards in your region. More importantly, learn how to prepare for them – a natural hazard need not be a natural disaster. Being prepared can make a world of difference.

Earthquakes

Earthquakes can happen without advance warning as witnessed by the extent of how devastatingly destructive they can be. Earthquakes are not only restricted to the west coast fault-lines they are also not restricted to being naturally induced.

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake will cause significant damage to urban areas. A magnitude 7.0 will cause wide-spread damage. Canada’s largest earthquake measured 8.1.

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Extreme Weather

Extreme weather conditions can happen at any time of the year and can be dangerous for the unprepared, especially in North America where our vast continent and geology experiences a wide array of weather phenomena all year round.

It is important to understand the hazards specific to your region and learn how to prepare for them. In most cases the danger from extreme weather comes from being isolated without shelter, food and water. 

Extreme weather conditions are often accompanied by loss of power, phones and loss of heating or cooling, sometimes for days on end. Coping without power or heat can be hazardous even in your own home - especially if you have young children or you are elderly. Preparing for a power outage lasting more than a few hours also requires you attend to your food in your fridge and freezer. This might mean using generators to maintain power to your appliances to keep your food from spoiling. You can also keep a few blocks of ice in your freezer at all times. When the power goes, the ice will keep the fridge and freezer compartment colder for longer. This will also keep your food from defrosting as quickly in your freezer.

Propane or gas heaters have to be vented outside, if used indoors the emissions can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Use blankets and heating pads to stay warm, do not use an open flame for heat or light. If you are in distress, put a sign in your window requesting assistance rather than venturing outside.

Broken or burst water mains can mean you have no water supply to your house so it's very important to prepare by making sure we have adequate water storage in our home. It is recommended that we have at least 4 liters (1 gallon) of water on hand per person per day for cooking, drinking and washing.

An average water tank can hold 40 gallons of water, so in extended emergency situations the water tank can provide a family of four ten days of water supply. In the event of an earthquake, your water tank may be your only water supply for many weeks. They are also very prone to tipping when an earthquake strikes so make sure your tank is fastened securely to the wall.