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Emergency Preparedness

Specific emergencies

Know the Types of Environmental Risks in Your Community

In Simcoe Muskoka, there are many types of environmental risks that residents and visitors may face. Knowing the types of risks and how to prepare for an emergency can help you reduce the impact on your family and property. In our region, the following are the most frequently occurring types of risks:

  • Extreme temperatures - When extreme temperatures (heat and cold) occur during summer or winter months with an increase or drop in very low temperatures, it can become a challenge and put a person's health at risk and can cause serious or life-threatening health problems.
  • Infectious disease - In a changing and globalized world, factors such as international travel, migration, displacement, and climate change can increase the risk of infectious disease threats. Infectious disease threats can be caused by biological agents such as bacteria, viruses or toxins, emerging threats (e.g. Ebola, SARS, COVID), and bioterrorism.
  • Floods - Flooding occurs when temperatures suddenly rise, causing snow mounds to quickly melt. Flooding can also occur when there is heavy rainfall causing an extra overflow of water. Exposure to floodwaters can cause concerns about food safety, water safety, or clean-up activities.
  • Power outages - Power outages can occur due to high winds or ice storms that damage power lines and equipment, or when there is an overuse of electricity due to a heat wave or extreme cold event. When there is a power outage, you may lose lighting, refrigeration for food storage, running water, heat or air conditioning.
  • Severe storms (summer and winter) - In our region of Southern Ontario, the likelihood of a severe storm event is very high. There is the potential for tornadoes, heavy rain, lightning, or spring and summer weather hazards. Knowing how to effectively plan for such events helps build personal and community resilience.
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