Emergencies can happen any time - be prepared! 

Know the risks

Know the hazards/risks in your area and how to be prepared. It is important to be prepared for:

  • Power outages
  • Extreme weather
  • Floods
  • Freezing rain          
  • Hazardous materials incidents

Be Prepared in a Nuclear Emergency

Personal Safety Tips

  • Create a Family Emergency Plan (discuss what you need to prepare for a disaster, what to do during an evacuation, and outline the roles and responsibilities for each person).
  • Try to plan for enough food, water, and other essentials such as medication. See full list under "Prepare Your Emergency Preparedness Kit" tab.
  • Assemble a Vehicle Emergency Kit - see what items to include here.
  • Have a plan for your pets. If you have to evacuate from your home for any reason, be sure to take your pets with you or make arrangements for them to stay at a family member/friends place.

Prepare Your Emergency Preparedness Kit

Make your kit accessible and readily available. Items to include:

  • two litres of water per person per day
  • canned food, energy bars and dried foods (remember to replace the food and water once a year)
  • manual can opener
  • flashlight and batteries
  • battery-powered or wind-up radio
  • first aid kit
  • special needs items - Prescription medications, infant formula or equipment for people with disabilities
  • extra keys for your car and house
  • cash - include smaller bills, such as $10 bills (travellers cheques are also useful) and change for payphones
  • sunscreen and sunglasses (with full UVA and UVB protection)
  • emergency plan - Include a copy of it and ensure it contains in-town and out-of-town contact information
  • emergency car kit - items to include

Create your Emergency Preparedness Action Plan using the Emergency Management Ontario's online tool.

Follow us on Twitter @CityofPickering and Like us on Facebook for regular #BePrepared messages.

Review additional emergency supplies that could be of use.

Be Prepared in a Nuclear Emergency

Fire Safety During Power Outages

  • Plan and practice your home escape plan so everyone knows how to get out if there is a fire emergency.
  • Use flashlights or battery-operated lanterns instead of candles.
  • Turn off or unplug electric stove elements and small appliances to prevent fires from occurring when electricity is restored.
  • Purchase generators with recognized approved labels (make sure the unit has proper connection receptacles and circuit breakers). Portable generators should only be used outdoors and carefully located to ensure exhaust fumes do not enter the home.
  • Only use portable space heaters that have been designed for indoor use and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. When using, provide adequate ventilation by opening a window slightly while the heater is in use.

Learn more fire safety tips.

Food Safety Tips

  • If power is expected to come back on fairly soon, you can make your food last longer by keeping the door shut as much as possible.
  • Ice can keep your freezer cold.
  • A full upright or chest freezer will keep everything frozen for about two days.
  • A half-full freezer will keep food frozen for one day.
  • If raw food has leaked during thawing, clean and disinfect the area. Do not re-use wash cloths until they have also been cleaned and disinfected.

Downed Trees - What To Do & What Not To Do

  • Stay away from downed power lines (at least 10 metres back).
  • Tree limbs/debris may hide electrical hazards such as fallen power lines. Always be cautious, especially when cleaning up after a storm (including cutting or trimming damaged trees and removing debris).
  • If you see someone who is in direct/indirect contact with a downed power line, do not touch them as you could be harmed. Call 911 for help.
  • Do not  attempt to move a downed power line or anything else in contact with it by using an object (such as a broom or stick). Even materials like wood or cloth can conduct electricity when slightly wet.
  • If your vehicle makes contact with an energized line, stay inside until help arrives. If you must leave your vehicle because of fire, jump out of the vehicle with both feet together and avoid contact with the car and ground at the same time. Shuffle away from the car with small steps, keeping your feet together and on the ground at all times. Never allow the heel of one foot to move beyond the toe of the other.

CO Safety Tips

  • Ensure fuel-burning appliances, chimneys, and vents are cleaned and inspected by professionals every year before the cold weather sets in.
  • Ensure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, fireplace, and other fuel-burning appliances are always clear of snow and other debris.
  • Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Never run a vehicle or other fueled engine/motor inside a garage (even if garage doors are open).
  • Portable fuel-burning generators should only be used outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from windows, doors, vents, and other building openings.
  • Ensure all portable fuel-burning heaters are vented property (and according to manufacturer's instructions).

Flood Safety Tips

  • Know the difference between a “flood watch” and “flood warning.” A flood watch means flooding is possible, a flood warning means flooding is occurring or will occur soon.
  • Before a flood, turn off the basement furnace and main gas valves and unplug appliances and electronics.
  • Before a flood, move furniture, electrical appliances, and other belongings to floors above ground level.
  • During a flood, do not drive through flood waters or underpasses. The water may be deeper than it looks and your vehicle can get stuck or swept away fast by the water.
  • After a flood, appliances that may have been flooded pose a risk of shock/fire when turned on. Do not use any appliances, heating, pressure, or sewage systems until electrical components have been thoroughly cleaned, dried, and inspected by a qualified electrician.

Learn more flood safety tips.

City of Pickering Community Emergency Management Plan

This plan defines and coordinates how specific functional actions are to be addressed during an emergency or crisis event. View the plan [PDF]

Objectives of the plan:

a) Protect and preserve life, property, economy, and the environment at single and multi-site emergencies;

b) Minimize the effects of the emergency on the community of Pickering, including its inhabitants, property, and natural environment;

c) Restore essential services;

d) Manage the Recovery Phase;

e) Assist other Durham area municipalities as requested in responding to their emergencies or crises; and

f) Provide resources to other communities outside the Region, as requested.

View the City's Pet Animal Services Emergency Plan, which outlines important preparedness measures that pertain specifically to animals. For more information on how to keep you and your pet safe during an emergency, visit pickering.ca/petsafety.

Alert Ready

In addition to television and radio announcements, Alert Ready can send emergency alerts to your cell phone and other wireless devices. This nationwide system warns you about emergencies in your area so you can take action. Check out Alert Ready to see if your mobile device is compatible.