If an emergency happens in your community, it may take emergency workers some time to reach you. It is your responsibility to be prepared to take care of yourself, your family and your pets for at least 72 hours. Learn how quick and easy it is to be better prepared before, during and after an emergency.

Know the risks

The risks that may impact our lives include pandemic viruses, flooding, severe storms, and power interruptions. Being prepared and knowing what to do in advance could save your life, and those of your loved ones. Emergencies can occur suddenly and without any advance warning.

Although local, provincial and federal officials are prepared for emergencies, individuals and families play a vital role in preparing for times of crisis when emergency services and other government resources may be strained.

It is important that individuals and families prepare to be self-reliant for at least three days immediately after or during an emergency.

Possible hazards in our County

Summer is a time for family road trips, outdoor fun in the sun and hopefully lots of great weather.

Here are some simple reminders to prepare for safe summer days:

  • Stay Cool in the Heat: Keep cool and hydrated and minimize your time in the sun between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Drink plenty of water, find shade, visit cool buildings, slow down, bathe in cool water and wear light-colored clothing. Never leave children or pets inside a parked vehicle. When the outside air temperature is 23 degrees, the temperature inside a vehicle can be extremely dangerous - more than 50 degrees. More sun safety tips here.
  • When thunder roars go, indoors: Stay inside for at least 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder. If you can hear thunder, you can get hit by lightning. Take shelter immediately in a sturdy, fully enclosed building with wiring and plumbing. If no solid building is available, you can take shelter in a metal-roofed vehicle. Read more about sever summer weather
  • Pack an emergency kit: You may have some kit items already, such as a flashlight, a wind-up radio, food, water and a manual can opener. Make sure they are organized and easy to find in case you need to evacuate your home. Make a kit to go in a backpack. Whatever you do, don't wait until a disaster is happening to make a kit. Check out how to put together an emergency kit
  • Stay safe on the roads: Canada has over one million kilometres of road - enough to circle the globe 25 times! Whether you are headed out onto the road for one last road trip before summer ends or off to the beach, you should be prepared on the road. Get tips on how to be a safe and responsible driver here.
Severe Weather

As global temperatures continue to rise and the world's climate continues to destabilize, locations arounds the world are experiencing more extreme and unusual weather events. Environment Canada monitors and forecasts the weather 24/7 and issues alerts to advise the public of significant weather. These alerts are updated regularly so that you can stay on top of a developing situation and take the appropriate action.

The four types of weather alerts from Environment Canada are:

Special Weather Statements

  • the least urgent type of alert
  • issued to let you know that conditions are unusual and could cause concern


  • less severe alert, but could still significantly impact Canadians
  • issued for specific weather event (like blowing snow, fog, freezing drizzle and frost)


  • alert you about weather conditions that are favorable for a storm or severe weather, which could cause safety concerns
  • as the certainty increases about the path and strength of a storm system, a watch may be upgraded to a warning


  • urgent message that severe weather is occurring or will occur
  • warnings are usually issued six to 24 hours in advance, although some severe weather (such as thunderstorms and tornadoes) can occur rapidly, with less than half hour's notice
Tornadoes usually occur between May and September and can strike anywhere. They are a powerful rotating column of wind that can hurt people and damage property. What to do
Winter Weather (Ice Storm, Blizzard, Extreme Cold)
Heavy snowfall and ice can make the roads treacherous and interrupt the power supply. What to do
Drought or Low Water
Drought can occur due to lack of rain, high temperatures and increased demand for water. Drought can lead to declines in drinking water supply and quality and other environmental concerns. What to do.
Extreme Heat
Extreme heat can be dangerous for everyone, but people who work outdoors, the elderly, some people with disabilities, and children, particularly infants, are more vulnerable. What to do
Floods can happen at any time of the year, in both urban and rural areas. Floods are the costliest natural hazard in terms of property damage in Ontario. What to do.
Thunderstorms can bring lightening, heavy rain, hail, strong winds and tornadoes. What to do
Infectious Disease
Pandemic occurs when an infectious disease spreads throughout the global population (example: COVID-19) and epidemic is usually contained within a region or country. What to do
Electrical Energy

Power Outages are often caused by freezing rain, sleet storms and/or high winds which damage power lines and equipment. What do do

Find all the information that you need on preparing for storms and the work that Hydro One does to restore power safely. 

Forest, Wildland and Outdoor Fires

In Canada, wildfires or forest fires are common in forested and grassland regions from May to September, which can cause extensive damage and put lives in danger. While forest fires can be dangerous to people and property, being prepared in advance and knowing what actions to take can better protect you. What to do

To report a forest fire call 9-1-1.

For air quality in Lanark County, visit Public Weather Alerts for Canada

For Highway conditions, including road closures visit 511on.ca

For smoke drift conditions across North America, visit Smoke Drift Across North America

For information about forest fire smoke and your health, consult Smoke and your Health

Make a plan

Every Canadian household needs an emergency plan. It will help you and your family know what to do in case of an emergency. Knowing what to do will reduce anxiety and keep you focused and safe. It will take you about 20 minutes to make your plan.

When putting your plan together you should consider the following:

  • How will you receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  • What is your shelter plan?
  • What is your evacuation route?
  • What is your household communication plan?
  • Do you need to update your emergency preparedness kit?

As you prepare your plan tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Keep in mind factors such as the different ages of household members, medical needs including prescriptions and equipment, disabilities or access needs, pets or service animals and whether there are school-aged children in your household.

Make your Emergency Plan.

Build a kit

Following a disaster, you may need to:

  • Stay at home with an emergency kit, or
  • Leave immediately with a grab-and-go bag

Building an emergency kit or grab-and-go bag doesn't need to take a lot of time or money. You may be surprised at how much you already have at home. Follow the basic supply lists below.

Emergency kit supply list

Put supplies in one or two containers, such as plastic bins or duffel bags. Store them in an area of your home that's easy to get to, such as a hall closet, spare room or garage. 


  • food (non-perishable and easy-to-prepare items, enough for three days) and a manual can opener
  • bottled or bagged water (4 litres per person for each day) and backup water purification tablets
  • medication(s)
  • toilet paper and other personal items such as soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.
  • personal protective equipment such as medical masks and respirators
  • back up chargers and power banks for cell phone or mobile device
  • cash in small bills
  • portable light source such as a flashlight, headlamp or glow stick
  • radio (crank or battery-run)
  • extra batteries
  • first-aid kit
  • candles and matches/lighter
  • hand sanitizer or moist towelettes
  • important papers such as a copy of your emergency plan, identification, contact lists, copies of prescriptions, etc.
  • extra car and house keys
  • whistle (to attract attention, if needed)
  • zip-lock bag (to keep things dry)
  • garbage bags and duct tape
Grab-and-go bag supply list

A grab-and-go bag is a small emergency kit that's easy to take with you, in case you need to leave right away. It's a good idea to make grab-and-go bags for your home, workplace and vehicle. 


  • food (ready to eat) and water
  • phone charger and battery bank
  • small battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • battery-powered or hand-crank flashlight
  • extra batteries
  • small first-aid kit and personal medications
  • personal toiletries and items, such as an extra pair of glasses or contact lenses
  • copy of your emergency plan
  • copies of important documents, such as insurance papers and identification
  • cash in small bills
  • local map with your family meeting place identified
  • seasonal clothing and an emergency blanket
  • pen and notepad
  • whistle

You can learn what to include in an emergency kit for your vehicle and an emergency kit for your pet

Stay informed

During an emergency, you should stay tuned to local news channels. Be sure to have a portable battery-operated or crank radio in your survival kit in case of power outages. Look for official information from the County's Facebook and Twitter account. 

88.1 myFM has been established as the radio station for emergency information throughout Lanark County. In the event of an emergency, tune into 88.1 FM for official updates and emergency announcements. Vehicle radios are generally clearer than radios in a building if you are a distance away from the radio station transmitter.

Staying connected both before and during an emergency is vital to staying safe. Click on the links below to access resources that will contain weather information and alerts, emergency contacts, and social media sites that could be useful when an emergency hits.

Alert Ready
Alert Ready delivers critical and potentially life-saving alerts to Canadians through television, radio and LTE-connected and compatible wireless devices. Learn more at AlertReady.ca
Weather Links

Environment Canada (current conditions, public alerts, weather radar)

Lanark County Road Closures 

Hydro One
Government Links

211 Ontario (Find programs and services in your community)

511 Ontario (Highway traveler information service)

Emergency Management Ontario

Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Conservation Authorities

Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority

Rideau Valley Conservation Authority

Other resources

Children and Emergencies

During emergencies, remember that your child looks to you for guidance and comfort. Children follow their parent/guardian's lead. The calmer you are, the calmer they will be.

Here's what you can do:

  • Talk with your children about emergencies that are common to your community and how to prepare for them.
  • Have children help you put together your family emergency plan and household's emergency survival kit.
  • Practice family evacuation drills regularly and talk about why you are doing it. Children will not be as frightened because there will be some familiarity.
  • Learn more about what you need to include in your emergency survival kit for infants and toddlers.

Learn more about what you can do to protect your children during an emergency. 

People with Disabilities and Special Needs and Emergencies

There are 2.6 million people in Ontario with a disability. Emergency Management Ontario and the Ministry of Seniors and Accessibility have developed an Emergency Preparedness Guide for People with Disabilities.

To best prepare for an emergency according to one's individual needs, please refer to the appropriate category in this guide for a list of suggested emergency survival kit items and contingency planning considerations.

Seniors (older adults) and Emergencies

An emergency situation or an evacuation can be a frightening and confusing time. It is important that seniors are educated about:

  • The potential for emergencies
  • The steps to take to be prepared
  • The programs and services available to help get them through the emergency
  • Returning to their regular routine

In additional to the basic emergency survival kit, it is essential that seniors being evacuated during emergencies take all equipment or devices they may need immediately with them. 

Dos and don'ts when assisting seniors

  • Check neighbors to find out if they need your help during an emergency or evacuation.
  • Allow the person to describe what help they need and how it can be provided to them. Be patient, listen actively. If the person appears anxious or agitated, speak calmly and provide assurance that you are there to help. 
  • If evacuation is necessary, offer a ride to those who do not have access to a vehicle. If time permits, offer to carry the person's emergency survival kit to your car, along with any equipment of assistive devices they will need. Follow instructions posted on their equipment and/or assistive living devices during an emergency.
  • Refrain from shouting or speaking unnaturally slow.
  • Avoid being dismissive of the person's concerns or requests.

Learn more about emergency survival kits for seniors, support networks for seniors and information for seniors in high-rise buildings at Ontario.ca

Pets and Emergencies

Pets are members of the family. Make sure to include your pets when developing your family emergency plan. Making arrangements before an emergency will increase your pet's chances for survival and ability to cope. Assemble a pet emergency survival kit and be ready to take your pet and their kit with you in the event you have to evacuate. 

Prepare a pet emergency survival kit and keep it with your family kit. Be sure to check the expiry date of your contents twice a year.

If safety permits, pets should not be left behind during an evacuation as they may be lost, injured or even killed as a result of the emergency. Plan ahead to ensure that you have a safe place to take your pet.

For more information on what to include in your pet emergency kit and what to do in during an evacuation visit Ontario.ca.

For more information about pets and emergencies, contact the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA).

Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians (DRAO)
This program must be activated by Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for your affected area in order for you to be eligible to apply for financial help to recover costs after a natural disaster. For more information on this program, to find activated areas and applications, visit Ontario Disaster Recovery Assistance

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