Residents encouraged to prepare for emergencies

SDG — Almost 10,000 Ontarians have emergency preparedness plans – do you?

The United Counties of SDG is asking the question of residents in the lead-up to Emergency Preparedness Week, May 7-13, a Canada-wide initiative to increase awareness of the issue.

Emergencies can strike quickly and without warning. Planning ahead is a community’s best defence, emphasizes the upper-tier municipal government.

Every municipality — including the county level — is required to have its own emergency response plan in place, with an eye to the health, safety and well-being of all residents.

Natural disasters may be beyond our control, but SDG is highlighting ways to reduce the risk and impact of whatever emergency residents might face — whether natural or human induced. Residents are encouraged to be prepared to cope on their own for at least the first 72 hours of an emergency while rescue workers help those in urgent need.

“Oftentimes emergencies may seem like distant possibilities, however, these risks can happen at anytime. During a disaster, regular services that we take for granted may be unavailable for days,” says SDG Training and Emergency Management Coordinator Katherine Beehler. “Preparing a kit and having an emergency plan is important and something every family can do to help take care of themselves for the first 72 hours.”

Preparedness challenge

Beehler urges SDG residents to create plans for their households by logging in to the Emergency Preparedness Action Plan website. Be sure to fill in your municipality as part of the process, and Emergency Management Ontario will announce which municipality’s residents rose to the preparedness challenge.

In connection with the challenge, check the United Counties Facebook page May 8-12 for details on entering a draw to win a pair of tickets of your choice to the Upper Canada Playhouse, Pumpkin Inferno, Alight at Night, or a family pass to the Historic SDG Jail.

The Ontario theme for this year’s Emergency Preparedness Week is “Emergency Preparedness starts with you, Prepare YourSelfie!” Emergency Management Ontario hopes you post a selfie of yourself with your 72-hour kit at #Prepareyourselfie.

Quick facts

  • Roughly 5,000 earthquakes are recorded in Canada every year
  • Approximately 85 percent of Canadians agree that having an emergency kit is important in ensuring that their family is safe, yet only 40 percent have prepared or bought an emergency kit. Complete yours online at
  • One of the most destructive and disruptive storms in Canadian history was the 1998 ice storm in Eastern Canada causing hardship for four million people and costing $3 billion. Power outages lasted for up to four weeks.
  • Ontarians can sign up for Red Alerts, Emergency Information Advisories and Tornado Warnings at

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