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- Make the Time to Prepare For an Emergency to Protect You and Your Loved Ones, Health Unit Urges -

Be ready, whatever the weather.

That is the advice of the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, which is encouraging people to be prepared in the event of an emergency. Summer can bring its share of extreme weather, including heavy rain, high wind and severe thunderstorms, and that can create havoc if electricity is knocked out to homes and communities.

“Whether a blackout or a severe storm, emergencies can occur suddenly and without notice, so that makes it very important to be prepared and expect the unexpected,” says Christopher Beveridge, Director of Environmental Health with the HKPR District Health Unit.

In the event of an emergency in a community, it may take emergency workers some time to reach people. That is why families and individuals should be prepared to take care of themselves for a minimum of 72 hours, he adds.

To prepare for an emergency, a good place to start is keeping an extra supply of food in your home. Ready-to-eat, non-perishable items such as canned ham, tuna and salmon, energy bars, and dried foods are invaluable when electricity is knocked out and it may be impossible to cook or warm up food, Beveridge says. During a power outage, keeping the refrigerator door closed to maintain the temperature inside is also advisable.

“When the power comes back on, check to see that food in the fridge is still safe to eat,” he notes. “If unsure about any food item, play it safe and throw it out.”

A clean supply of water is also essential in an emergency, Beveridge adds. If a power outage occurs, people may want to fill as many containers as possible with water to ensure there is a supply on hand. Keeping bottled water at home to use in an emergency is also a good idea, but the water should be rotated and replaced prior to its best-before date. This precaution is very important in the event of a flood, when water from municipal systems or private wells may be contaminated and unsafe to use, he adds.

Another way to prepare for the unexpected is creating an emergency kit that contains short-term essentials such as clothing, bathroom supplies, fold-up blankets, flashlights and batteries. An up-to-date list of medication and emergency contacts should also be kept on hand. Says Beveridge: “Keeping the emergency kit in an accessible location, and in handy carry bag, is advisable, especially if you were ordered to leave your home during an emergency.”

For more ways to prepare for an emergency, visit the federal government’s Get Prepared web site. Information on what to do during extended power outages and in flooding situations is also available by calling the Health Unit toll-free at 1-866-888-4577 or visiting .


For media inquiries, contact:

Christopher Beveridge, Director, Environmental Health, HKPR District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100,

or Richard Ovcharovich, Manager, Environmental Health, HKPR District Health Unit, (705) 324-3569.

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«January 2019»