Are you prepared?

This week in Canada is Emergency Preparedness Week, a time to think about getting prepared for something we hope never happens. The time you take to get prepared will be invaluable should you and your family experience a major disaster, be it weather-related or other causes.

Kelso Reservoir

Kelso Reservoir

There have been severe weather events in our community in recent years, but generally the effects are localized and fairly short-term. But you don’t have to go very far back, or very far away, to see the impacts of severe weather, the flooding in Muskoka in April is just one recent example. This week, while we are being reminded to get prepared, they are on alert for flooding and forest fires in other parts of Canada.

Many people in the watershed become familiar with Conservation Halton through our recreation and education programs. They have gone hiking or camping at a conservation area, or perhaps their children have taken a field trip to Crawford Lake or a maple syrup program.

Perhaps not as well known is that Conservation Halton provides a water control and flood warning program to reduce the risk of property damage and loss of life due to flooding. These flood messages help safeguard the public from risk around creeks and streams that can be filled with dangerous, fast-moving water during heavy storms.

Conservation Halton is responsible for the maintenance and operation of four major dams (Kelso, Hilton Falls, Scotch Block and Mountsberg dams) and 12.5 kilometers of flood control channels (Sixteen Mile Creek through Milton, Morrison-Wedgewood diversion in Oakville and the Rambo-Hager diversion in Burlington).

When flooding is possible or about to occur, Conservation Halton issues flood messages to municipal emergency management officials, school boards, police and EMS as well as the media. The municipal officials then take action to warn local residents.

You can learn more about Conservation Halton’s Water Control and Flood Warning Program by clicking below or watching the Conservation Halton Minute video:

The month of May marks Emergency Preparedness Week. This annual designation provides a time to highlight the role that your local government plays in emergency management including public education, preparedness, planning, practice and partnerships. In the event of an emergency, responders are on the scene dealing with the impact of the event. For this reason, it is important for everyone to consider the actions they can take now to mitigate the impact on themselves and their loved ones and be prepared to assume responsibility for their own care and well-being for the first 72 hours.

The Government of Canada website, http://www.getprepared.ca, includes information, tips, links, checklists, videos and more to help you get prepared. Conservation Halton’s Watershed municipal partners also have some helpful emergency preparedness information:

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