Town of Cobalt Emergency Plan
Emergencies can happen at anytime and occur anywhere, sometimes without much warning. An emergency can force you to evacuate your neighbourhood or confine you to your home or workplace. It can leave you without basic services such as water, gas, electricity or a working telephone. Are you prepared?
Although Ontario has effective emergency management legislation and programs, 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 take care of themselves for at least three days.
In Cobalt, it is a good idea to be prepared for the following emergencies:
• Power outages
• Severe thunder storms
• Heat emergencies
• Severe snowstorm
• Fire or forest fire
One of the easiest things you can do is to simply avoid potential emergency situations. Heed weather warnings and avoid driving and other activities in hazardous weather conditions.
Every community in Ontario has a designated Community Emergency Management Coordinator (CEMC), who is responsible for the development, maintenance and implementation of their community’s emergency management program.
You may be informed of an emergency through the media (television or radio broadcast) or directly by emergency responders, such as the police who come to your home or business. We also have the alarm at the fire hall which can be heard throughout the community.
Your Personal Emergency Plan
Before you begin, developing your personal emergency plan, take a few moments to consider the possible emergency situations or potential disasters you could face. These are situations and events that could impact you, your family or your neighbourhood or community.
Talk to your family members to get their views and assistance in building an action plan you and your family can follow to help reduce the possible effects of any emergency or disaster.
You may want to consider helping your neighbours do the same, especially those who are elderly or disabled.
Emergency Communications Plan
Choose an out-of-town contact that your family or household will call or e-mail to check in with should an emergency occur. Choose someone who lives far enough away that the individual is unlikely to be directly affected by the same event, and be sure to tell that person that he or she is your designated contact.
Having a predetermined meeting place away from your home will save time and minimize confusion should your home be affected by an emergency, or if your neighbourhood or Cobalt is evacuated. You may even want to make arrangements to stay with a family member or friend in case of an emergency.
Be sure to include arrangements for any pets in these plans, since pets are not permitted in shelters and some hotels will not accept them.
Emergency Preparedness Kit
If you are asked to evacuate your home or to temporarily shelter in place inside your home for a period of time, having some essential supplies on hand will make you and your family more comfortable. Your emergency preparedness kit should contain adequate supplies to keep you and your family self-sufficient in your home for at least three days.
Assemble the supplies in an easy-to-carry container and store it in an easy to get to location.
You should have on hand:
• Battery-operated or crank radio
• Extra batteries
• Utility knife
• Fire extinguisher; ABC type
• Blankets/sleeping bags
• Plastic sheeting
• Candles and matches/lighter
• Extra car keys
• Important papers
• Clothing and footwear (one change per person; more for children)
• Toilet paper and other personal supplies
• First aid kit
• Backpack/duffel bag
• Plastic garbage bags, ties
• Disinfectant, chlorine bleach
• Extra fuel for car, stored in a safe place and in an approved container; not a large quantity
• Map of area and compass
• Adjustable wrench, to shut off household gas and water
• Whistle (in case you need to attract attention)
• Playing cards, games, paper, pencils
• Additional supplies (cutlery; cups; plates; can opener; bottle opener; plastic bags)
Food and Water Kit Checklist
Having an emergency food and water kit can be critical in an emergency, when regular sources of food and water can be interrupted. Making one is easy, inexpensive, and quick - in fact, you probably already have most of the items you need.
Food should be easy to store with no need for refrigeration. Choose foods that you like and that are pre-cooked, require no cooking, or are cooked easily in little or no water.
Store food in screw top jars or sealed containers. Store drinking water in clean, disinfected containers with secure lids. Rotate and use food and water every six to twelve months. Inspect all food containers for signs of spoilage before use.
A first-aid kit should contain:
• Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
• Gauze pads (assorted sizes)
• 3-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
• Adhesive tape
• Triangular bandages (3 rolls)
• Scissors and tweezers
• Moistened towelettes, alcohol-based hand cleaner
• Antiseptic and soap
• Chemical cold pack
• Safety pins
• Sunscreen/mosquito repellent
• non-prescription drugs (pain reliever, anti-diarrhea medication, antacid, laxative, activated charcoal)
Important Family Documents Checklist
Your important "family documents" kit should contain all the documents you may need in an emergency.
Assemble the documents in a waterproof, portable container and store it in an easy to get to location.
Your kit should contain:
• Insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds
• Passports, immigration papers
• Social Insurance Numbers
• Immunization records
• List of prescriptions
• Bank account numbers
• Credit card account numbers and companies
• Inventory of valuable household goods
• Important telephone numbers
• Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
• Photos of family members in case you are separated
If you have school age children
You need to know if your children will be kept at school until you or a designated adult can pick them up, or whether they will be sent home on their own.
Be sure that the school has updated information about how to reach parents and responsible caregivers to arrange for pick up. Keep in mind that during times of emergency the school telephones may be overwhelmed with calls.
Find out ahead of time what type of authorization the school requires to release a child to someone you trust should you not be able to collect your child yourself.
In the Event of Evacuation
Learn How to “Evacuate”
Evacuation is a protective action that may be ordered by emergency officials when there is a significant threat posed to a specific area or community. Causes of an evacuation in this area could include severe weather or a fire.
When you should evacuate:
Evacuate only when instructed to do so by your local emergency officials. In some cases it may be safer to remain inside (shelter-in-place).
If ordered to evacuate listen to media reports to learn about areas being evacuated and which routes are safest to take.
How will I know to evacuate?
Evacuation orders are typically broadcast through the media or delivered directly to homes and businesses by emergency responders, such as the police or fire department.
What should you do if ordered to evacuate?
Offer to assist neighbours who may not be able to evacuate on their own. If possible, make these arrangements in advance.
Take your emergency survival kit with you.
Evacuate the area affected by the emergency exactly as directed. Remain calm, do not speed and obey official directions as some roads may be closed or rerouted.
Don’t take shortcuts. Doing so might lead you to a blocked or dangerous area.
During some evacuations, you may be asked to report to a reception centre, this will most likely be the community hall. These may be set up to check evacuee contact information or arrange for temporary housing.
Avoid using the telephones unless you are reporting an emergency or it is absolutely necessary. Emergency responders and those who need immediate emergency assistance will need all available lines.
Listen to media reports to stay informed about further announcements from local emergency officials.