Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Environment

Extreme Weather

To support populations to prepare for and respond to extreme weather, the health unit monitors extreme weather events and responds to emergency situations. The health unit also participates in the review of official plans that relate to green space, energy, water, and storm water management to strengthen support for natural features in the healthy built environment.

Emergency preparedness

Extreme weather events may arrive slowly with time to adequately prepare, and other times they may occur suddenly without warning. Emergency preparedness for families and individuals involves being adequately prepared before an emergency. Extreme weather can impact health, safety, and the wellbeing of our communities. Damage from strong winds, flooding, and/or ice can cause damage to property and infrastructure.

It is recommended that families and individuals have an emergency kit with food, water, and supplies for up to 72 hours. An emergency kit can assist an individual or family in being self-sufficient for up to 72 hours in the event of an emergency. It is important to note, however, that for many individuals living in low-socioeconomic conditions, a 72 hour supply of food and water may be unattainable, particularly if day-to-day food and water security is an issue. Social and community service agencies, like food banks and shelters, can also play a key role in enhancing emergency preparedness and supporting the most vulnerable populations in an emergency. As extreme weather events become more frequent and severe it’s important for residents to monitor weather reports and heed the warnings.

In the 2014 Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS) survey, Simcoe Muskoka adults reported varying levels of emergency preparedness. Nearly 100% of adults reported keeping a 3 day supply of medications. However, only 30% of adults (23.4%, 36.0%) reported having a family plan for emergencies, and only 28% (21.6%, 33.5%) reported knowledge of municipal emergency plans.

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