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Individuals, families and businesses can support our community’s resiliency by being personally prepared for an emergency for up to 72 hours. It’s also important to ensure that all emergency plans and business continuity plans are in place.

In Edmonton, the most common risks for residents are:

Natural Threats/Hazards
  • Public health emergency
  • Extreme weather: 
    • Extreme hot/cold temperatures
    • Floods
    • Summer storms
    • Tornadoes
    • Winter storms
Human Threats/Hazards
  • Civil disorder
  • Terrorism
Technological Threats/Hazards
  • Energy supply emergency
  • Hazardous material releases/spills
  • Fires and explosions
  • Telecommunications failure
  • Transportation/rail incidents

This information is personalized for City of Edmonton residents to help citizens better protect themselves, their family members and their neighbours.

During a disaster or emergency, the City of Edmonton is a great place to stay up-to-date by checking out their Facebook or Twitter accounts, the City website, or by phoning 3-1-1. You can also stay informed during an emergency by monitoring local radio, television and social media. 

Be Prepared

Family / Emergency Contacts

Each family member and out-of-area contact should have a copy of all the contact numbers. For out-of-area contacts, choose family or friends that everyone can reach in an emergency. A friend or relative who lives in another part of your community should also be listed and may be used as a contact and/or evacuation location.

Identify the following for each Household Member:

  • Full name
  • Name of place of work / school
  • Home address
  • Work / cell number
  • Email address

Identify the following for each out-of-area Contact:

  • Full name
  • Name of place of work / school
  • Home address
  • Work / cell number
  • Email address
Emergency Kits

If an emergency happens in your community, it may take emergency workers some time to reach you. Be prepared to take care of yourself, family and pets for up to 72 Hours.

Home Kit

  • Cash and credit cards – include smaller denominations
  • Ready-to-eat and high-energy food
  • Manual can opener
  • Bottled water or water container with at least 4 litres per person per day
  • Water-purifying tablets
  • Lanterns, flashlights (with extra batteries), glow sticks
  • Candles with matches
  • Wind-up/battery-operated radios, extra batteries and alternate heat sources
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle (for each member of the family)

Vehicle Kit

  • Extra clothing including hats, gloves and scarves in cool seasons
  • Fully-charged cell phone and a car charger for your cell phone
  • Blanket
  • Ice scraper and brush in winter
  • Windshield washer fluid
  • Booster cables
  • Basic tools including a shovel
  • Sand or kitty litter
  • First aid kit
  • Reflective triangle
  • Flashlight, glow sticks
  • Small candle in a tin can, waterproof matches
  • Non-perishable high-energy food
  • Drinking water

Evacuation Kit

  • Emergency contact lists with phone numbers (for every member of your family)
  • Copy of this City of Edmonton Emergency Guide
  • Photos of each member of your family
  • Credit cards and cash – include small denominations
  • Insurance and important documents, and copies of government identification on external drive
  • Prescription and non-prescription medications
  • Special needs items for baby, elderly, disabled, pets
  • Extra clothes
  • Toiletry kit (for every member of your family)
  • Rolls of toilet paper
  • Whistle (for every member of your family)
  • First aid kit
  • Lanterns, flashlights (with extra batteries), glow sticks
  • Candles and waterproof matches
  • Wind-up/battery-operated radios, extra batteries and alternate heat sources
  • Bottled water or water container with at least 4 litres per person per day
  • Water-purifying tablets
  • Non-perishable food
  • Manual can opener
  • Sets of utensils (for every member of your family)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Garbage and recycle bags
  • Games/toys to pass the time

Evacuation Pet Kit

  • Photo(s) of your pet(s)
  • Traveling bag or sturdy carrier and blanket
  • Extra leash/harness
  • Food and water
  • Feeding dishes
  • Medications
  • Disposable litter trays (aluminum pans)
  • Litter or paper towels
Insurance

Can you afford to pay for damage and/or replace all your belongings at once if they were lost due to fire or water damage? Insurers will be there to help when disasters strike, but a little preparation can go a long way to minimize the impact of an emergency.

Whether you rent or own your home, when your insurance policy comes up for renewal and before you contact your insurance professional, make a list, take photos or video of the key details about your residence and belongings to ensure your property is properly protected. Store your inventory list, photos and videos on an external drive outside of your home, such as a bank safety deposit box.

If you are a post-secondary student living away from home, check with your parents’ insurance company to make sure you’re covered under their homeowner policy.

Insurance Bureau of Canada: Phone 1-800-377-6378 (Toll Free)
 

 

Emergency Events

Evacuation

When you are instructed to evacuate because of a disaster or major emergency, 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 in person everyone with you at the reception centre.

  • Shut off utilities if instructed to do so
  • Take your evacuation kit
  • Take care of your pets
  • Lock up your home
  • Register at the reception centre - even if you choose not to stay at the reception centre
  • Listen to the radio or TV and follow instructions
  • Monitor City of Edmonton social media for updates
Shelter-in-Place

Shelter-in-place means take immediate shelter indoors. This could be at home, work or school.

Be aware of your work or school emergency response plan and any direction provided while at your workplace or school. You may want to have some basic supplies, such as water and food that won’t spoil, in case you need to stay put for a while. You may want to raise this question with your employer and colleagues as well.

  • 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
  • If air quality is poor, seal an inside room with wet towels at the base of the door. Breathe through a damp towel to filter air
  • Listen to the radio or TV for further instructions
  • Monitor City of Edmonton social media for updates
Shelter-in-Place Fact Sheets
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.

Limit the spread of germs and prevent infection.

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

Alberta Health Services: Phone: 8-1-1 (Health Link) Health information and advice 24-hours a day from a registered nurse.

Utilities

Click Before You Dig

Avoid damaging gas, electric and utility lines that may be buried a few inches underground.

Whether you are landscaping, building a new fence or deck, or simply planting a garden, disturbing the ground on your property can cause damage to a buried utility.

The result of a contact with a buried line can range from loss of an essential service for you or your neighbours to serious injury or fatalities. The financial costs of repairing any damage you cause to a buried utility will be borne by you, the excavator.

Contact Alberta One-Call to request that the buried utilities on your property be located and marked at least two full working days, and up to 14 days advance in spring and fall, before you plan to dig.

Alberta One-Call: Phone 1-800-242-3447 (Toll Free)
 

Electricity

Report downed power lines immediately to 911 or EPCOR Power Trouble at 780-412-4500.

Include exact location of the downed 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, and have them stay back

If a power failure affects your whole street or area, locate your home emergency kit. Stay tuned to your radio station and social media 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 generators are placed outside and are well ventilated

EPCOR 24-Hour Emergency Services: Phone 780-412-4500, visit their website or follow them on Twitter.

Natural Gas

ATCO Gas responds immediately to calls and emergencies involving:

  • Natural gas odour (rotten egg odour)
  • Hit or ruptured natural gas lines
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Natural gas service disruptions
  • Natural gas furnaces not working in cold weather

If you smell natural gas inside a building:

  • Leave lights and appliances alone
  • Leave the building immediately
  • Call 911

If you smell natural gas outside a building:

  • Call 911 or ATCO Gas immediately
  • Keep people away from the area
  • Do not smoke or light any flames

ATCO GAS 24-Hour Emergency Services: Phone 780-420-5585 (Edmonton and area), visit their website or follow them on Twitter.

 

 

 

Weather

Summer Storms

Summer storms can bring heavy rain, high winds, hail, intense lightning and even tornadoes, all of which can cause loss of life, injury, and property damage.

  • Remain indoors. “When thunder roars, go indoors.”
  • If you’re inside during a tornado, go to the basement or get under a heavy table or desk. Stay away from windows, outside walls and doors.
  • If you’re outside, find shelter or crouch in a ditch, culvert or ravine with your feet together and your head down, being mindful of water accumulation
  • Keep away from trees, power and telephone lines
  • Subscribe to Alberta Emergency Alerts on your smartphone or computer
  • Listen to the local radio or TV station
Winter Storms

Winter storms bring the dangers of high winds, extremely low temperatures and heavy snowfall or freezing rain.

  • Dress for the weather
  • Cover mouth and nose in extreme cold
  • If caught in a blizzard, seek shelter and wait out the storm
  • Use public transportation if possible
  • Ensure you have at least half a tank of gas and a travel kit in your vehicle
  • Carry a cell phone and charger in your vehicle
  • Subscribe to Alberta Emergency Alerts on your smartphone or computer 
  • Listen to the local radio or television station
Floods

Edmonton receives an average of 400 millimetres (15 inches) of rain a year from May to October.

During major rainstorms or rapid snowmelt, the sheer volume of water can back up drainage and sewer systems, and flood basements. In most cases, you can prevent this from happening by taking a few simple, yet effective steps:

  • Install a flood-proofing device, such as a backwater valve to keep rainwater and sewage from backing up into the basement
  • Extend downspouts at least 1.8 metres (6 feet) from basement wall and drain towards a street or back lane
  • Check eavestroughs regularly for debris, leaks, poor connections, or sagging
  • Waterproof cracks in your foundation walls or sidewalks with silicon every three to five years

Sign up for EPCOR's free Home Check Up Program to learn how to flood-proof your home.

Flash Floods
A flash flood is a rapid rise of water that can be caused by heavy rainfall in a very short period of time.

  • Get to higher ground
  • Avoid already flooded areas and fast-flowing water
  • Avoid entry to barricaded/fenced off areas and obey all signs
  • Immediately get out of a stalled vehicle in rising water
  • Subscribe to Alberta Emergency Alerts on your smartphone or computer 
  • Listen to the local radio or television station
Heat Stress Hazards

Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are 2 bodily responses to our body temperatures becoming elevated beyond normal temperature range due to environmental factors. Stay vigilant and watch out for the signs and symptoms:

Early Warning Signs of Heat Exhaustion

  • Headache
  • Dizziness, faintness
  • Irritability, anger, mood change
  • Fatigue
  • Heavy sweating
  • Heat rash (prickly sensation)
  • Muscle cramps
  • Changes to breathing and increased pulse rate
  • Dehydration

Signs of Heat Stroke

  • Having trouble catching your breath
  • Weak rapid pulse
  • Severe headache
  • Severe muscle cramps
  • Confusion
  • Skin goes from feeling cold and clammy to hot and dry
  • Severe dehydration
  • Sweating may stop
  • Exhaustion
  • Coma

Preventing Heat Stress Hazards

  • If in a hot environment, or directly under strong sunlight, reduce the level of physical activity by slowing your pace, increasing rest breaks, and substituting demanding activities for lighter tasks
  • If possible, plan your time outdoors for different times of the day, when direct sun exposure can be minimized
  • Allow time for acclimatization to the temperature of the environment you are in
  • Develop and follow a work/rest schedule to allow sufficient time for the body to cool down and rest, based on the temperature and level of physical exertion in the heat
  • Stay hydrated by drinking about 1 cup of water for every 15-20 minutes of physical exertion in heat
    • Do not drink coffee or alcohol as this will dehydrate the body quickly
  • Monitor for signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke to help keep your family members, friends, or coworkers safe and healthy

Wildfire Smoke and Air Quality Hazards

During the spring and summer, wildfire smoke is one of the biggest contributions to air quality hazards when at home and at work. During heavy smoke conditions, everyone is at risk. Smoke inhalation may lead to serious health effects, especially in children, pregnant women, the elderly, those with lung and heart conditions, and anyone involved in strenuous outdoor work.

  • Monitor the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) and weather advisory alerts for the current smoke risk level and the recommended actions to take during these conditions
  • Limit outdoor activity and strenuous physical activities as much as possible
    • Reduce or stop these activities if you begin to have difficulty breathing
  • If possible, stay indoors with the windows closed
    • If you are at home, turn off your furnace and air conditioner as it may draw smoke indoors
  • If you are in a vehicle or work out of a vehicle, keep the windows closed as much as possible and set the ventilation system to recirculate to prevent smoky air being drawn into the vehicle
  • Review your work area’s hazard control measures in place if working outdoors when air quality is poor

For More Information

Office of Emergency Management

Telephone

311

TTY 780-425-1231

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