(306) 542-2694

The Cote First Nation Emergency Response Team (ERT) is intended to coordinate emergency response to the community in the event of natural disasters such as flood, wildfire, house fire, tornado, severe thunderstorms and  prolonged power outages as result of such events.

Emergency Response Team 

  • Coordinator – John Keewatin
  • Fire Chief – Shaun Tourangeau
  • Volunteer Fire Fighter – Spencer Campeau
  • CHR – Ramona Toureangeau
  • Capital Assets
  • Communications Lead – Steven Bryant

 

 

 

What to do in the event of: Before, During and After.

*Information from www.Redcross.ca & www.snowsportzone.com

Flood

Floods can happen anywhere and at any time of the year. The best way to protect yourself and your family in case of a flood is to follow these steps:

  • Monitor local weather and alerts: Know your risk.
  • Turn around, don’t drown – avoid flood waters.
  • Clean up carefully and wear protective clothing.

Before

  • The key to staying safe is to prepare and to have an emergency plan in place.
  • Know the flood risk in your community by calling your municipality and insurance company.
  • Know and practice evacuation routes.
  • Monitor local weather and alerts and follow instructions if told to evacuate.

Actions to Take:

  • Protect your valuables in waterproof containers. Place them above potential water levels.
  • Put sealant around basement windows and the base of ground-level doors.
  • Raise large appliances in the basement above the potential water level from a flood.
  • Make sure your sump pump is working and install a battery-operated backup.
  • Check that your roof and eavestroughs are draining properly in heavy rains.
  • Talk with your family and neighbours about what you would do during a flood.
  • Have practice drills with your family, so you know what to do and are prepared.

During

 

  • Listen to area radio and television stations and Weatheradio for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress.
  • Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
  • When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.
  • Turn around – don’t drown! Avoid walking and driving through flooded waters. They could be deeper than you think.
  • Keep children and pets away from flood water.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.

After

Consult the Canadian Red Cross Guide To Flood Recovery for step-by-step instructions.

Continue to take precautions and listen to and follow directions from local authorities.

  • Be alert for further instructions from officials and community leaders – listen to the radio, watch your local news channels, and/or follow your local news outlet and/or emergency officials on social media.
  • Do not return home until you are advised it is safe to do so.
  • Contact your insurance company and let them know what happened. They will want to know a record of damage to your home and belongings and may request photos or video.
  • Maintain good hygiene during flood cleanup by minimizing contact with floodwater or anything that may have come in contact with it.
  • Wear protective clothing, including rubber boots or sturdy boots, safety glasses, hard hat, rubber gloves and a dust mask.
  • Do not use water that could be contaminated.
  • Discard any food items which may have been in contact with flood waters. When in doubt, throw it out!
  • Do not use any appliances, heating, pressure, or sewage system until electrical components are dry and have been inspected by a qualified electrician.
  • Check with local authorities or community leaders on how to properly dispose of damaged items from your home.
Frostbite Care: How to Avoid and Treat Frostbite

In the winter or other cold times of the year, it is important to stay warm and dry. Besides simply remaining comfortable while outdoors, staying out of the cold and humid conditions can actually save your life. There are many risks associated with cold weather, including hypothermia and snow blindness, but frostbite is easily the most famous. Frostbite is a condition that is often misunderstood. While many might say that they have frostbite, people do not realize that frostbite can be a severe issue that can cause major damage. Frostbite is a potentially life threatening issue. From numb fingers and toes to black and dead tissue, frostbite has varying symptoms and consequences.

What is Frostbite?

Frostbite is a condition that is caused by freezing of skin. It is usually the result of overexposure to extremely cold weather. While it might not have seemed like a big deal as a child, frostbite is the reason your parents made sure that you wore a hat and gloves when you went outside during the winter.

While frostbite can occur anytime that a person is experiencing cold weather or is in a cold environment, such as stocking a freezer, frostbite is more likely with critical wind chill conditions and high humidity. Frostbite usually affects the extremities including the fingers, toes, tip of nose, and other exposed parts of the body like parts of the face. However, frostbite can even attack the covered parts of the body in extreme cold. This can include areas beyond just the skin.

How to Prevent Frostbite

Preventing Frost BiteFrostbite is definitely preventable. From dressing in layers to choosing insulated clothing, frostbite prevention is all about making smart choices. It is important to know that though frostbite is preventable, you should avoid going outside in extreme cold if, at all, possible. Do not go outside in extreme cold for reasons that are not necessary. This includes sledding, building a snowman, or ice skating, and do not drive in ultra cold weather unless you absolutely have to do so. Getting stranded in these conditions can be dangerous.

Should you find yourself required to be outside in extreme cold, you can take a few precautions to prevent frostbite.

Dress in Layers

Clothing is extremely important for preventing frostbite, and the best way to dress is in layers. This means having multiple differnet layers of clothing that you can take off and put back on as you need to.

Long Underwear

Wear a loose pair of long underwear under your clothes. Long underwear will keep your core dry and warm. Be sure that the long underwear is made of a breathable and wicking material. This will prevent sweat from sticking to your body, and potentially making cold conditions feel even worse.

Hat

Wear a hat that covers your ears. Your ears are very susceptible to frostbite, since they are not as close to the rest of your body. A hat will also protect your hair from freezing, which can cause your hair to break if it has any moisture within it.

Scarf

A scarf is going to be essential for a couple of reasons. Besides keeping your neck warm, a scarf can be great for covering your mouth if the air is too cold. In the event that temperatures drop to a dangerously low level, extreme cold can actually damage the lungs. Using a scarf to help keep the inhaled air warm can help prevent that damage from occurring. A big enough scarf can also be used as a blanket in a time of need.

Boots

Boots are very important. Besides keeping your feet warm, a good pair of boots will be able to provide a few more benefits. First, boots will keep water away from your feet and toes. As mentioned before, wet clothes freeze faster, so having a garment that is waterproof is incredibly important. Boots can also help keep your feet from the cold ground. The thicker the sole, the better the insulation from heat will be.

Only wear steel toe boots if the toe is insulated. The insulation will help keep your toes warm, but if the toe isn’t insulated, the steel will actually do more harm than good. Try to find and pick a pair of boots that are made of rubber or a different non-metal material. Also pick a pair of boots that will keep rain or water out. This will prevent your socks from being wet, which could really threaten your feet and toes.

Socks

Socks are very important in keeping your feet and toes warm. Pick a pair of socks that will be warm enough to prevent your feet and toes from getting cold, but not so thick that they will cause your feet to sweat. Ideally, find a pair of socks that will wick away moisture while containing heat. You can wear an additional pair of socks over the wicking socks to add an extra layer of protection.

Coat

Find a heavy and insulating coat. Ideally, you will have a coat that is a bit big to allow other layers to stay loose. This will help prevent sweating and create an environment where the skin can breathe. Use a coat that has a hood and has multiple closures. A hood can provide insulation for the heat generated by the hat and scarf, while also providing additional wind protection. Having a coat with multiple closures ensures insulation of heat. Pick a coat that has zippers and snaps to trap heat.

Mittens

Dress Appropriately to Prevent FrostbiteRegardless of preference, mittens are better than gloves when it comes to keeping your hands warm. This is because the fingers and hands are touching, which generates additional heat. Get mittens that are waterproof in order to prevent your fingers and hands from getting wet. When your extremities are wet, they will freeze faster because of the ice that will occur when the water freezes.

Keep Your Extremities Covered

As mentioned before, extremities are more likely to be affected by frostbite. If you get frostbitten, your extremities will be the first things to show signs. Gloves, masks, wool socks, and hats can make a huge difference in protecting fingers, toes, noses, cheeks, and chins.

Choose Clothing With Insulation

Insulation can greatly decrease the likelihood of developing frostbite. This is because insulation will trap and keep heat close to your body. Parkas with fill, though large, can be essential in frostbite prevention.

Remove Layers If You Start Sweating

As soon as clothes get wet from either sweat or rain, they are no longer helpful when it comes to preventing frostbite. This is because the water will become ice, which will bring even colder temperatures to the body. When you start to sweat, take off your outermost layer to let yourself cool down. You can put the layer back on once you’ve stopped sweating.

Limit Time Spent Outdoors

While being outside for an extended period of time might be necessary in come cases, it is important to take breaks as needed. If possible, go back inside to reheat periodically in order to prevent frostbite. Also, go indoors if it begins to rain. This can also prevent frostbite.

How to Identify Frostbite

Most people can recognize that numbing feeling that is associated with frostbite. However, there are a few stages to frostbite that each come with their own set of symptoms and treatment. From color of the skin to types of sensations, there are big differences between the three types of frostbite.

Signs of FrostnipEarly Stage: Frostnip

This is the most mild form of frostbite. This might feel like what happens when a leg goes numb and begins to tingle. When a person’s fingers or toes suddenly become so cold that they no longer have any sensation, they are experiencing frostnip. From the outside, the skin will appear red—a bit like sunburn. It also may have a waxy or oily sheen to it. This a sign of drying and freezing.

Intermediate Stage: Superficial Frostbite

This stage of frostbite is moderate. More than just frostnip, superficial frostbite occurs when the once red skin turns white or pale. This loss of color is a sign that blood is rushing away from the area. There is typically a sense of burning or stinging associated, similar to that of a heat-caused burn. Within the next day or two, blisters could occur. This is a sign that the skin has become very involved.

Severe Stage: Deep Frostbite

This is the most damaging and severe form of frostbite. While frostnip and superficial frostbite symptoms are more temporary, deep frostbite will cause permanent damage. The skin will appear bluish-grey, and there will no longer be any sensation at all in the affected area. This is because this type of frostbite actually affects all tissue, including the ones below the skin. This includes, but is not limited to muscles and joints. This can even affect bones in the most severe of conditions. Deep frostbite might actually affect bodily tissues so much that they no longer work. Once the skin rewarms, large blisters appear over the next two days. Eventually, the tissue will die, and become black and hard.

What To Do If You Get Frostbite

While it might seem obvious, frostbite treatment is more than just rewarming the body, especially at the intermediate and severe stages. Keeping the body dry is another necessary measure to ensure frostbite prevention. Beyond frostnip, frostbite requires medical attention to be sure that the affected person can recover. Below are the steps necessary to treat frostbite.

Remove Wet Clothing

Frostbite can become even worse if wet, icy clothes and accessories are allowed to remain in contact with it. Whether the frostbite was caused by a fall into a frozen lake or made worse from a bad snow storm, the sooner these wet clothes are taken off, the better the frostbite conditions will be.

Warm the Frostbitten Area

To prevent the frostbite from escalating and moving into a worse condition, warm the affected area. Warming should be a slow and gradual process because quickly warming the body can shock the person and cause extreme pain. Do not use heating pads or handwarmers. Instead, use lukewarm water or let them sit a moderate distance away from a heating source.

Avoid Rubbing or Breaking Blisters

The best way for a blister to heal is to leave it alone. Picking at it or popping it will potentially infect the area. Besides the threat of infection, blistered areas can become raw and painful once popped. Let them heal on their own.

How to Treat FrostbiteGo Somewhere Warm

Besides simply a sense of comfort, frostbite-affected people need to be warmed as soon as possible in order to avoid further damage. This can be done by using warm blankets or clothing, sitting by a fire, or even going indoors or in a heated vehicle.

Call 911

Once the skin goes from red to grey, blue or black, medical attention is necessary. This is because the area is no longer being circulated with blood, which leads to the area beginning the process of dying. While the above measures can do a lot to help the situation, a medical professional can do much more to treat severe frostbite conditions.

Conclusion

Frostbite is an uncomfortable and potentially severe condition. However, there are many ways that people can avoid and prevent it from occurring. If it does happen, remember to get warm and seek medical attention quickly.

Home Fires

Home fires can happen anywhere at anytime, but are most likely to occur during winter in Canada. The best way to protect yourself and your family from a home fire is to follow these steps:

  • Check your smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms every month.
  • Know and practice your evacuation plan.
  • Get out and STAY OUT – never return to a burning building.

Before

  • The key to staying safe is to prepare and to have an emergency plan in place.
  • Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home. Test the alarms every month and replace the batteries twice a year, at daylight savings time (March and November).
  • If you are a tenant, test your evacuation plan with your landlord and neighbours.
  • If you live in a highrise, know how to evacuate the building. Use stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Make sure everyone knows where the fire extinguishers are kept.
  • Prevent Fires:
    • Clean chimneys annually.
    • Keep flammable items at least one metre from heat sources, such as space heaters, fireplaces and the stove.
    • Never smoke in bed.
    • Never leave candles unattended.
    • Stay in the kitchen when using the stove top. If you have to leave the room, turn off the stove.
  • Talk to children about the dangers of fire and keep lighters and matches out of reach.
  • Most home fires happen during the holiday period and the winter months. Christmas trees can get very dry when inside and can catch fire very easily. Make sure you water the tree regularly and use approved lights.
  • Learn fire safety techniques and teach them to your family regularly. Make sure everyone is familiar with the technique “STOP, DROP, AND ROLL” in case clothing catches on fire.
  • Show children the alarms and practice what to do if the alarms sound.
  • Talk with your family and neighbours about what you would do during a house fire.
  • Have practice drills with your family, so you know what to do and are prepared.

During

  • Get out and stay out. Follow your escape plan. Do not stop.
  • If closed doors or handles are warm, use an alternate exit.
  • Crawl under low smoke.
  • If smoke, heat or flames block your exit, stay in the room with the doors closed. Place a wet towel under the door and call 9-1-1. Open a window and wave a brightly coloured cloth or use a flashlight to signal for help.
  • Once you are outside, go to your designated meeting place and then send one person to call the fire department. If you cannot get to your meeting place, follow your family emergency communication plan.

After

  • Only re-enter your home if you are authorized by officials to do so.
  • Check on vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours who may require special assistance.
  • Have injuries treated by a medical professional.
  • Contact your local government office for help in finding temporary housing if you cannot stay in your home due to fire damage.
  • Contact your insurance company, if necessary.
  • Take precautions while cleaning your property. Wear protective gear including boots, safety glasses and rubber gloves when cleaning up.
  • Household items often take several cleanings to be rid of smoke odours, soot and stains. Take an inventory of ruined furniture, appliances, books, etc. for insurance purposes and keep all receipts related to living expenses, repairs, etc.
  • Ensure your food and water is safe. Discard any food that may have been exposed to heat, smoke or soot and do not use water that may be contaminated.
  • For more information on what to do after a fire, please download our Guide to Fire Recovery.
Heat Waves

We may think of Canada as the winter capital of the world, but summers can get very hot. A prolonged period of heat can become dangerous for many people, and in recent years, excessive heat has caused more deaths than any other weather-related event in the country.

Prolonged exposure to extreme heat can result in heat-related emergencies, such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. The best way to protect yourself and your family in case of a heat wave is to follow these steps:

  • Stay hydrated and cool.
  • Check with your neighbours, friends and those at risk.
  • Be prepared for power outages, and have an emergency plan in place.
  • Check the contents of your emergency kit in case of a power outage.

Before:

  • Listen to local news and weather reports for heat warnings.
    • heat warning, as defined by Environment Canada, means daytime and nighttime temperatures or humidex values are expected to be higher than the average high temperature for 2 or more days in a row.
    • Know the humidex rating – it combines the temperature and humidity to indicate how hot the weather feels to the average person.
  • Find ways to keep cool before hot weather starts.
    • Arrange air conditioning and fans to help keep your home cool.
    • Find out where you can go to get cool such as public libraries, malls, and municipal cooling centers.
    • Discuss heat safety with members of your household. Have a plan for wherever you spend time – home, work and school – and prepare for possible power outages.
  • Get trained in first aid to learn how to treat heat-related emergencies.
  • Download the official Canadian Red Cross first aid app and Be Ready app.
  • Ensure you have sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher), as sunburned skin reduces the body’s ability to cool itself.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of cool liquids before you feel thirsty to reduce your risk of dehydration and heat related illness.
  • Ensure that your animals’ needs for water and shade are met.
  • Make sure you know those who are most at risk in your neighbourhood, such as the elderly, children and those who are sick or in need of extra assistance.
  • Further information for heat wave planning can be found online at on the Sun Safety section of the Public Health Agency of Canada website.

During:

  • Stay hydrated and cool
    • Drink plenty of cool fluids, even if you don’t feel thirsty, and check in with children and seniors to make sure they are drinking regularly.
      • Avoid caffeine and alcohol because they can cause dehydration, which stops your body from controlling its temperature properly
    • Avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day (typically between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.).
    • Dress for the heat and for your activity level:
      • Wear light, loose clothing to let air circulate and heat escape.
      • Always wear a hat and apply sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher before going outside.
    • Slow down your activities as it gets hotter. Move indoors and don’t work, exercise, or play outside for an extended period of time.
      • Take frequent breaks in a cool or shady area and use a buddy system if you need to be outside when it’s hot.
    • Check on your pets and animals frequently – make sure their needs for water and shade are met.
  • Check with your neighbours, friends and those at risk.
    • Pay close attention to how you and those around you feel. Check on vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours (such as children, the elderly and ill) who may require assistance.
      • Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.
      • Anyone who experiences a sunburn should immediately move out of the sun, move to a cool area and consume extra fluids for the days following.
      • A severe sunburn may require medical attention if it results in display blisters, facial swelling, nausea, fever or severe chills, rapid pulse or breathing, signs of dehydration, etc.
    • Heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke, can happen to anyone who stays in the heat and sun for too long.
      • Watch for symptoms of heat illness, such as:
        • Dizziness or fainting
        • Nausea or vomiting
        • Headache
        • Rapid breathing and heartbeat
        • Extreme thirst
        • Decreased urination with unusually dark yellow urine
        • Changes of behaviour in children
      • Heat stroke is a medical emergency. Call 911 or your local emergency number if you are caring for someone who displays:
        • Signs of heat illness
        • Unconsciousness
        • Confusion
        • Or has stopped sweating

Visit www.redcross.ca/heat for more heat safety information.

After:

  • Open windows and blinds to allow fresh air to circulate through your home.
  • Check on neighbours, friends amd family, especially those at risk.
  • Continue to stay hydrated by drinking water.
Power Outages

Power outages can happen in any place at any time, and can last a few hours or days. The best way to protect yourself and your family in case of a power outage is to follow these steps:

  • Have 72 hours of emergency supplies available – water, non-perishable food, medications and personal needs, etc. See Get a Kit  
  • Never use charcoal or gas barbecues, camping heating equipment, or home generators indoors because they give off carbon monoxide.

Before

  • The key to staying safe is to prepare and to have an emergency plan in place.
  • Power outages are so closely tied to weather. Listen to local news and weather reports for information on changing weather conditions. You can stay informed by following storm warnings and weather forecasts through Public Weather Alerts Canada.
  • Have at least three days of emergency supplies available.
  • Plan for persons with functional needs such as essential medical equipment or mobility issues. Consider how they may be affected in a power outage – for example, if you are without elevator service.
  • Include emergency batteries in your emergency kit.
  • Know where municipality shelters are located.
  • Protect all your sensitive electrical appliances with a surge-protecting power bar.
  • If you are considering getting a generator, get advice from a professional, like an electrician. Make sure the generator you purchase is rated for the power that you think you will need.
  • Make sure your home has a working carbon monoxide detector. If it’s hard-wired to the house’s electricity supply, make sure it has a battery-power back-up.
  • Make sure you keep a flashlight with working batteries in a place that is easily accessible and where everyone can find it.
  • Have a non-powered phone available. Landlines may still work without power.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full.

During

  • Listen to your battery-powered or wind-up radio for information on the outage and advice from authorities.
  • Check whether the power outage is only in your home. If your neighbours’ power is still on, check your circuit breaker panel or fuse box. Keep emergency numbers, like your power or hydro company, near your telephone.
  • If your neighbours’ power is also out, contact your power or hydro company.
  • Turn off all your appliances and electronic equipment, and turn your heating thermostats down to a minimum to prevent damage from a power surge when the power is restored.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. An unopened refrigerator will keep foods cold for about 4 hours. A freezer will keep food frozen for 24 to 36 hours if the door remains closed.
  • Turn off all your lights, except one inside and one outside, so that both you and hydro crews outside know that power has been restored.
  • Never use charcoal or gas barbecues, camping heating equipment, or home generators indoors because they give off carbon monoxide.
  • Use flashlights, not candles to reduce fire risk
  • Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic lights will be out and roads may be congested.

If you need to evacuate
If you have to evacuate your home immediately, grab your emergency kit and listen to authorities or community leaders.

After

  • Check on vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours who may require assistance.
  • Do not touch any electrical power lines and keep your family away from them. Report downed power lines to the appropriate officials in your area.
  • Check the outside of the house for any signs of damage or danger.
  • When in doubt, throw it out! Check food supplies in refrigerators, freezers and cupboards for signs of spoilage. If a freezer door has been kept closed, food should stay frozen for 24-36 hours, depending on the temperature. When food begins to defrost it should be thrown out.
  • Turn on the main power switch and gradually turn on appliances and electronics to avoid damage as a result of a power surge.
Thunderstorms

Thunderstorms occur most often in the spring and summer and can strike anywhere. The best way to protect yourself and your family in case of a thunderstorm is to follow these steps:

  • Move to a safe place, away from windows and doors.
  • Turn around, don’t drown – avoid flood waters.
  • Prepare for secondary risks such as flooding, power outages, landslides and damaged buildings.

Before

  • The key to staying safe is to prepare and to have an emergency plan in place.
  • Listen to local news and weather reports for information on changing weather conditions.
  • Find out if you live in an area where thunderstorms commonly occur.
  • Pay attention to weather warnings. Thunderstorms are tracked before they occur. Visit Environment Canada for up to date information on thunderstorm conditions, storm maps and weather warnings.
  • There are two types of alerts to listen for when a thunderstorm is forming in your area:
    • Severe thunderstorm warning:  Developed storm is producing some or all of watch conditions. Tornadoes may also be produced in severe thunderstorm environment.
    • Severe thunderstorm watch: Favourable conditions for severe thunderstorms with large hail, heavy rain, intense lightning or damaging winds.
  • Keep trees and shrubs trimmed to make them more wind resistant, and remove any damaged branches.
  • Power outages can occur during thunderstorms. Learn how to be prepared for one.

During

  • When thunder roars, go indoors! During a thunderstorm, immediately seek shelter or a safe place to wait out the storm. Watch for signs of a storm, like darkening skies, lightning flashes or increasing wind.
  • Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are likely to occur. Many people struck by lightning are not in the area where rain is occurring.
  • If you count less than 30 seconds between lightning and thunder, seek shelter immediately.

If you are inside:

  • Avoid using electrical equipment and telephones. Use battery operated devices instead, like flashlights.
  • Close outside doors and windows and keep away from windows.
  • Stay inside for 30 minutes after the last thunder.
  • Do not take a bath, shower or use plumbing.

If you are outside:

  • Avoid sheltering under trees, posts, fences, equipment as they attract lightning.
  • Get out of open fields: If you are caught in an open field, do not lay flat on the ground. Seek shelter in a vehicle if at all possible. If you cannot seek shelter, kneel on the ground with your feet together, your hands on your knees and your body bent forward.
  • Stay away from water: Water is an excellent conductor of electricity. If you are in a boat, get to land as quickly as possible, and avoid swimming. Be careful around creeks and rivers that may be subject to flash flooding during a severe storm.

If you are in your car:

  • If you’re driving, find a safe place to pull over and park. Stay in the car, with your emergency flashers on, until the heavy rains subside.
  • Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity inside or outside the vehicle.

After

  • If someone is struck by lightning, immediately call for medical assistance and if trained in first aid, administer first aid treatment.
  • Call 9-1-1
  • Check the area around the person for any dangers (live wires, broken class, debris). If there isn’t any, check the person for burns or other injuries.
  • If the person is not breathing, start CPR. If the person is breathing normally, check for other injuries and care for them as necessary.

Continue to take precautions and listen to and follow directions from local authorities.

  • Listen to local news and weather reports.
  • Turn around – don’t drown. Avoid driving through flooded areas. They could be deeper than you think.
  • Stay away from fallen power lines and report them immediately.
  • Avoid flooded waterways and keep your eyes on children and pets.
Tornado

Winds within a tornado can reach speeds of up to 500 km/h. Regardless of size, tornadoes have the ability to uproot trees, flip cars and damage homes. The best way to protect yourself and your family in case of a tornado is to follow these steps:

  • Pay attention to weather watches and warnings.
  • Move your family to a safe location on the lowest level of a building. Stay away from windows, outside walls and doors.

Before

  • Know your tornado risk by contacting your local authorities. Know how warnings are given for tornadoes and ensure your family is familiar with the alert.
  • Visit Environment Canada for up to date information on tornado conditions, storm maps and weather warnings.
  • Know the difference between a tornado warning and a tornado watch:

    • A tornado warning means a tornado is already occurring or will occur soon in your area. Evacuate if advised to do so.
    • A tornado watch means a tornado is possible in your area. Stay alert for more information.
  • Pay attention to weather warnings.
  • Pick a safe place in your home for household members to gather during a tornado, preferably a basement. Make sure it is away from external doors, windows and walls.
  • If you are in a highrise, pick a place in a hallway in the centre of the building. Talk to your building superintendent or manager and know your building emergency plan.
  • Have practice drills with your family, so you know what to do and are prepared.

During

  • If a tornado watch or warning has been issued, head to a safe location, like a basement or lower level of the building. Stay away from external doors, windows and walls.
  • Continue to listen to local news and weather reports for updates.

Watch for danger signs:

  • Dark, often greenish or orange-grey skies.
  • Large hail.
  • Large, dark, low-lying, rotating or funnel-shaped clouds.
  • Roaring noise – similar to the sound of a freight train.
  • Wait for the all clear before leaving your safe location.

 

  • Lie flat in a ditch or a low-lying area if you are outside and there is no shelter nearby.
  • Get out immediately and head for safety if you are in a car or mobile home. It is unsafe to stay in your vehicle as it could be picked up, blown over or roll over you.

After

  • Listen to the radio for further information and instructions.
  • If you are away from home, only return home when it is safe to do so.
  • Check on vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours who may require assistance.
  • Stay away from damaged areas and fallen power lines.
  • If you suspect your home is unsafe, do not enter. Rely on the professionals to clear your home for re-entry, if you are unsure.
  • Once you return home, take the opportunity to review your family emergency plan and restock your personalized preparedness kit.
  • Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and sturdy shoes when examining your home for damage.
  • Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance claims.
  • Check with local authorities on how to properly dispose of damaged items from your home.
Wildfire

Wildfires usually occur from May to September and can cause extensive damage and put lives in danger. The best way to protect yourself and your family in case of a wildfire is to follow these steps:

  • Stay informed: Monitor weather, listen to local authorities and prepare to evacuate.
  • Keep your vehicle fueled.
  • Follow instructions to evacuate, bring your emergency kit.
  • Only re-enter your home when instructed by officials and community leaders.

Before

  • The key to staying safe is to prepare and to have an emergency plan in place.
  • Tune in to the radio or local news channels, and/or follow your local news outlet and emergency officials on social media for possible wildfire alerts.

Find out if you live in an area where wildfires could potentially happen and learn more about the local alerts and evacuation procedures.

The Government of Canada’s Canadian Wildland Fire Information System is a fire management information system that monitors fire danger conditions across Canada. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it includes an interactive fire map and up-to-date reports on the fire situation across Canada.

Know the difference between an evacuation alert and an evacuation order:

  • An Evacuation Order means you are at risk and should evacuate the area immediately. Follow the routes specified by officials and move away from the fire.
  • An Evacuation Alert means that you should be ready to leave on short notice.
  • Visit FireSmart Canada for information and to complete an assessment on how to protect your home and property.
  • Learn fire safety techniques and teach them to members of your family.
  • Determine two routes out of your neighbourhood and practice your evacuation plan frequently.
  • If you are on a farm/ranch, leaving livestock unsheltered is preferable, or if time and personal safety permits, evacuation from the danger zone should be considered. ​
  • Talk with your family and neighbours about what you would do during a wildfire. Identify a safe place to gather.
  • Have practice drills with your family, so you know what to do and are prepared.

During

  • Be prepared to evacuate at any time. If told to evacuate, do so.
  • Monitor local radio stations for up-to-date information on the fire and possible road closures.
  • Park your car, positioned forward out of the driveway. Keep car windows closed and have your valuables ready to be packed in your car should you need to evacuate.
  • If you do not evacuate, close all windows and doors in the house to reduce smoke and debris entering your home. Follow instructions on how to minimize fire damage.
  • Move all combustibles away from the house, including firewood and lawn furniture. Move any propane barbeques into the open, away from structures.

After

 

  • Get a copy of the Red Cross Guide to Wildfire Recovery for information on what to do after you have experienced a fire in your home.
  • Continue to take precautions and listen to and follow directions from local authorities.
  • Only re-enter your home if you are authorized by officials to do so.
  • Contact your local government office for help in finding temporary housing if you cannot stay in your home due to fire damage.
  • Check with local authorities to see if you are eligible for disaster financial assistance.
  • Use caution when entering burned areas because there may still be hazards, including hot spots, which can flare up without warning.
  • Ensure your food and water is safe. Discard any food that may have been exposed to heat, smoke or soot and do not use water that may be contaminated.
  • Take an inventory and photos of ruined furniture, appliances, books, etc. for insurance purposes and keep all receipts related to living expenses, repairs, etc.
  • Contact your insurance company, if necessary.
  • Wear protective gear, including boots, safety glasses and rubber gloves when cleaning up.
  • Household items often take several cleanings to be rid of smoke odours, soot and stains.
Winter Storms

Across Canada, winter storms or extreme cold can occur suddenly and last for multiple days. The best way to protect yourself and your family is to follow these steps:

  • Have your emergency kit ready. Be prepared for power outages.
  • Carbon monoxide kills: NEVER use a generator, BBQ, propane inside an enclosed area.
  • Follow official instructions during snow removal and clean up.

Before

  • Find out if you live in an area where winter storms could happen by contacting your municipality. You can also find up-to-date information on severe storm conditions, storm maps, weather warnings and public weather alerts at Environment Canada.
  • Listen to local news and weather reports for information on changing weather conditions.
  • Winterize your home by insulating walls and attics; caulking and weather stripping doors and windows; and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic.
  • Winterize your home and car emergency kit with warm clothing and blankets. Buy rock salt and sand to melt ice and improve traction.
  • Make sure you have shovels and snow removal equipment handy.
  • Have an alternative heat source, such as a fireplace, wood burning stove, or a generator, so you are able to keep one room in your home warm and liveable.
  • Keep fire extinguishers on-hand and make sure your family knows how to use them.
  • Talk with your family about what you would do during a winter weather-related emergency, at home or in the car.
  • Prepare your vehicle for winter weather and create an emergency kit for your vehicle. Keep the gas tank full. Always check local weather conditions before heading out on the road.
  • Install snow fences in rural areas to reduce drifting snow on roads and paths, which could block access to homes, barns, and animals’ feed and water.
  • Be prepared for secondary hazards such as power outage and flooding once snow melts.

During

  • When a severe storm is expected, Environment Canada will issue a weather warning. Radio and television stations will also broadcast Environment Canada weather statements. Pay attention to that information.
  • Be alert for instructions from officials and community leaders – listen to the radio, watch your local news channels, and/or follow your local news outlet and/or emergency officials on social media.
  • During the storm, avoid going outside or unnecessary travel. If you have to go outside, dress appropriately to protect yourself from the elements. Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia. 
  • Use the “buddy” system if you can – bring someone outside with you.
  • Bring companion animals indoors. Create a place where other animals can be comfortable in severe winter weather.
  • Do not overexert yourself or work outside for extended periods of time.

After

Continue to take precautions and listen to and follow directions from local authorities.

  • Avoid travelling if possible and listen to local news and weather reports for current road and weather conditions.
  • Be aware of the wind chill. Avoid unnecessary exposure of any part of the body to the cold.
  • If you have to go outside, dress appropriately, and watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Be careful when clearing snow. Take your time and avoid overexertion. Take regular breaks to warm up and rest if needed.

Contacts

Emergency Contact List

Cote First Nation Emergency Contacts

Red Cross

COVID-19 Health Info