Extreme Weather

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Content - Emergency Services - Extreme Weather

The City of Kingston experiences a variety of weather conditions. For details on how to deal with extreme weather please review the information below.

Extreme Heat and Cold

Kingston winters often bring extreme cold, heavy snow, ice, sleet and freezing rain. These elements can pose serious hazards. The City of Kingston works in partnership with Public Health to identify the risk levels and inform the public. More information about the cold thresholdswarming shelters, and what to do in the event of extreme cold, can be found on the Public Health website. 

In extremely hot weather, people are vulnerable to heat-related health conditions such as cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat strokes. More information about how to take care of yourself and your family and the heat thresholds can be found on the Public Health website.

Emergency shelters are available in the community for the homeless. They are now open 24 hours a day to assist this vulnerable population. City public buildings are available during regular business hours for those needing a place to warm up or cool down. In a designated extreme weather emergency, the City may open reception centres or evacuation centres for the public. This information will be shared through our media channels.

Don't forget pets! 

When temperatures dip, consult this resource with advice on ways to keep your furry friends safe during winter months. Keep your pets cool in the summer, with tips from the Ontario SPCA.

Severe Weather

During severe weather, such as thunderstorms, flash flooding and tornados, check the radio, television and Environment Canada  for more information. Environment Canada provides forecasts and warning information 24 hours a day.


  • Close all windows and doors. Secure loose objects outside so they don't get blown around.
  • Disconnect electrical appliances, such as radios, TVs, computers, etc. as they can conduct electricity.
  • Get to the basement or main level of your house if it's a severe storm.
  • If caught outside, do not lie flat but squat low to the ground.
  • Take shelter in a building or depressed area such as a dry ditch or culvert. Do not take cover under trees.
  • Avoid handling metal, electrical equipment and telephones.
  • Do not use water faucets or any water connected to a plumbing system. Lightning can follow wires and pipes.
  • If swimming or in a boat, get back to shore immediately.
  • If you are in a car, stay there.

Flash Floods

  • Move pets, furniture, appliances and other belongings to higher ground.
  • Make sure basement windows are closed.
  • Seek higher ground if you see rapidly rising water.
  • Never drive your vehicle through standing water. Do not cross flowing water.
  • Information on basement flooding can be found on our Utilities Disruptions page.


  • Go to the basement or take shelter in a small interior ground floor room, such as a bathroom or closet. Protect yourself by taking shelter under a heavy table or desk.
  • Stay away from windows, outside walls and doors.
  • If outside, take cover in a ditch or recessed area.