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IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY DIAL 911

Emergency Prepardness Guide(PDF Document)

EVACUATION:

When you are instructed to evacuate because of flooding, forest fire or other emergencies, do so at once. If a large number of homes are affected, authorities will likely establish a reception centre. You may choose to stay at the reception centre or go elsewhere. Ensure you register everyone with you at the reception centre in person.

  • Listen to the radio or TV and follow instructions.
  • Shut off utilities if instructed to do so.
  • Take your evacuation kit.
  • Ensure your pets are cared for.
  • Lock up your home.
  • Register at the reception centre.

CHEMICAL RELEASE / SHELTER-IN-PLACE

In case of a hazardous chemical release in your community, you may be instructed to “shelter-in-place.” Take immediate shelter where you are – at home, work or school, usually just for a
few hours.

Act quickly when told to “shelter-in-place.”
Follow the instructions of local authorities.

  • Go inside.
  • Close all windows and doors.
  • Turn off furnace and exhaust fans.
  • Listen to the radio or TV for further instructions.
  • Keep phone lines free.
  • If odour is strong, seal an inside room with wet towels at the base of the door. Breathe through a damp towel to filter air.

SUMMER STORMS

Summer storms can bring heavy rain, high winds, hail, intense lightning and even tornadoes, all of which can damage property and threaten lives.

  • Listen to the local radio or TV Station and follow instructions.
  • Remain indoors.
  • During a tornado, go to the basement or under a heavy table or desk. Stay away from windows, outside walls and doors.
  • Outside, find shelter or crouch in a ditch, culvert or ravine with your feet together and your head down.
  • Keep away from trees, power and telephone lines. You may stay in your car.

WINTER STORMS

Winter storms bring the dangers of high winds, extremely low temperatures and heavy snowfall or freezing rain. If caught in a blizzard, seek shelter and wait out the storm.

  • Dress for the weather.
  • Listen to the local radio or TV.
  • Cover mouth and nose in extreme cold.
  • Use public transportation if possible.
  • Ensure you have at least half a tank of gas and your travel kit in your vehicle.

FLASH FLOODS

A flash flood is a rapid rise of water. One cause is rainfall intensity and duration.

  • Get to higher ground.
  • Listen to the radio.
  • Avoid already flooded areas and fast flowing water.
  • Get out of a stalled vehicle immediately in rising water.
  • Move items in basement to higher levels.

INFLUENZA

Influenza is an infection of the lungs and airways caused by a virus. It usually affects people in Alberta from November until April. You can protect yourself and keep it from spreading by taking some precautions.

To limit the spread of germs and prevent infection:

  • Wash your hands often, using plenty of soap and warm water. If not possible, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer liquids.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues. Or if necessary, cough into your sleeve.
  • Stay away from others as much as possible when sick.
  • Stay home from work and school if you become sick.
  • Get an annual flu shot.
  • Get plenty of rest and strive to stay healthy with proper nutrition and exercise.

NATURAL GAS

Birch Hills Gas Co-op and ATCO Gas are on call 24-hours a day, every day of the year, responding immediately to calls and emergencies involving:

  • natural gas odour
  • hit or ruptured natural gas lines
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • natural gas outages
  • and, in cold weather, if your natural gas furnace is not working

If you smell natural gas inside a building:

  • Leave the building immediately.
  • Call 911 or Birch Hills Gas Co-op / ATCO Gas using a neighbour’s phone.

Birch Hills Gas Co-op                          ATCO Gas 24-hour Emergency Service

1-780 694-3868                                  1-800-511-3447 (toll free)

Birch Hills Gas Co-op                          ATCO Electric 24-hour Emergency Services

1-780 538-6800                          1-800-668-5506 (toll free)

ELECTRICITY

To report a downed power line in Birch Hills County, call 911 immediately with
information on the exact location of the line. Always assume that downed lines are energized.

  • Keep back a minimum of 10 metres (33 feet) from the wires or anything in contact with the wires.
  • Warn others in the area of the danger.

If a power failure affects your whole street, locate your flashlight, emergency radio and extra batteries. Stay tuned to your local radio station for more information.

Tips for an extended power outage:

  • Turn off all electrical appliances and equipment.
  • Keep fridge and freezer closed as much as possible.
  • Stay warm. Gather family members in the warmest room in the house. Dress in layers, draw drapes or cover windows to prevent heat loss.
  • Do not use camp stoves, kerosene heaters or barbecues indoors as they emit Carbon Monoxide. Gas stoves used as a heat source for long periods without ventilation will do the same.
  • Ensure you have access to a phone that doesn’t need power to operate, or a cell phone. Cordless phones won’t work without power.
  • Ensure your vehicle has at least a half-tank of fuel at all times. During a power outage, fuel stations are closed.