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City offers emergency preparedness tips

February 11, 2019 –

A winter storm watch is in effect for Kingston and area.  With the possibility of up to 35 cm of snow falling between Tuesday and Wednesday, the City's Office of Emergency Management is taking this opportunity to remind residents of the importance of being prepared in case of emergency.

"Emergency preparedness isn't about raising alarm bells. It's about having everything in place, so that, in the event anything comes up, you're ready to respond," says Brandi Timpson, the City's manager of emergency preparedness.

Please note: the City posts service-disruption information on its Twitter feed @cityofkingston. Don't have Twitter? See the feed at www.CityofKingston.ca.  

Timpson highlights these tips to keep in mind, when preparing for extreme weather.

Have emergency-preparedness kits for your home and car

Have a home emergency kit. Are you ready to meet the needs of all household members - including pets and children - if you have to stay home up to 72 hours due to an emergency? The City encourages all residents to have provisions set aside for these situations. These kits should include bottled water, flashlights, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, batteries and chargers, first aid kit, non-perishable food items, and more. For a complete list, consult: www.CityofKingston.ca/GetReady.

During major weather events, try to avoid driving. If you find yourself having to drive, your vehicle should contain an emergency kit. These kits include: a shovel, windshield scraper, battery-powered or hand-crank radio, flashlight with batteries, water, snacks, extra hats, coats and mitts, blankets, chains or rope, sand or salt, booster cables, emergency flares, first aid kits, compass, matches stored in a waterproof container, and a brightly coloured cloth (preferably red) to tie to your vehicle's antenna.

Pick the right clothes

If you're heading outdoors, wear several layers of clothing and make sure that the outer layer protects from wind and wetness. Cover exposed skin with a hat, mittens, scarf and/or a face mask to protect against frostbite and loss of body heat.

If you need a reprieve from the cold, KFL&A Public Health offers these Warm-Up Here locations. Note, many of these locations are open during regular business hours.

Help your neighbours (and yourself by taking frequent brrr-eaks)

Check-in on seniors and/or people with limited mobility to ensure their homes are warm and they have enough food. For vulnerable members of our community, emergency shelters are available. If you see someone who you believe is at-risk, please call 9-1-1.

Keep hydrants visible. Residents and snow removal companies are reminded not to shovel or blow snow onto hydrants. We thank citizens who take the time to clear snow and ice from fire hydrants, providing access to firefighters in the case of emergency.

Take breaks. If you're outside shovelling, avoid over-exertion by taking frequent breaks and stay hydrated. 

Know what to do if the power goes out

Know who your utilities provider is, so you can receive the most up-to-date information about when your electricity will be restored. Learn more about the utility providers in Kingston, and how to contact them in the event of a disruption.

Celebrate the people who help us weather this season

Do you know people who help their friends, neighbours or even total strangers by clearing snow and ice? Nominate them to be a Snow Angel!