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Be prepared for a weather event

For updates during a weather event, please follow the Town of New Tecumseth on Twitter @NewTecumseth or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/newtecumseth 

For the non-emergency line of the Nottawasaga OPP, please call 1-888-310-1122.

In the case of an emergency, call 911. 

ROADS: 

If any road closures are required during a weather event, updates will be posted to the Town’s social media accounts as listed above. 

Salting/sanding roadways and sidewalks: 

The Town is responsible for clearing snow and ice from the following:

  • ​​775 lane km of Town roads (269 km urban/semi urban and 486 rural)
  • 87 km of sidewalks within the three urban areas
  • 15 parking lots (50,778 square metres to be cleared)

Res​idents are responsible for:

  • upholding winter parking restrictions: on-street parking is prohibited until April 30 on all New Tecumseth streets from 2 to 7 a.m.​
  • parking off-street during and following a snow storm or ice storm, regardless of time of day, is very helpful to ensure plows can clear thoroughly​
  • ​clearing snow and ice from your property including steps and driveways

The County of Simcoe is responsible for clearing County roads including County Road 10 (Tottenham Road), Highway 89, King Street North, Alliston, County Road 8 (Main Street, Beeton)

 Service levels – what to expect during an ice storm

Roads are plowed based on priority. Major roads – referred to as ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ roads – are plowed first so that emergency service vehicles can move easily through the town, and smaller ‘local’ streets are plowed afterwards.​ Here’s how they break down:

  • Primary or “arterial” roads are roads with the highest speeds and greatest volumes of traffic – examples include Industrial Parkway, Fletcher Crescent, Centre Street, Dayfoot Street, Queen Street and Mill Street.

Secondary or “collector” roads are roads with less traffic than primary roads, and generally connect residential roads to primary roads – examples include Dillane Street, Stewart Street, Tupper Street

How do I know if my road has been plowed/sanded?

Track Your Snowplow provides New Tecumseth residents with information during a winter weather event. The map will show an image of a plow at its latest location when they are actively deployed and are plowing or spreading material. The map also shows by default the previous 8 hours of activity as either a green trail (cleared within the last 5 hours) and yellow (cleared within the last 5 – 8 hours).

A search address feature is also available where an address may be entered and the map will zoom to a specific location.

This service is available 24/7 and updates automatically to provide residents with up to date information.

Follow this link to “track your plow” http://newtecumseth.ca/track-your-snowplow/

To reach the Public Works department during weather events for urgent concerns such as downed trees on municipal roads and traffic signal repairs, please call the after hours 24-hour emergency number at 905-729-2291.

NEW TECUMSETH FACILITIES & PARKS, RECREATION & CULTURE PROGRAMS:

The Parks, Recreation & Culture Department may cancel a program in the event of inclement weather. Please call (705) 435-4030 ext. 1500/1621 to check on the status of programs before venturing out.

If closures of the Town’s recreation facilities are required and/or if there are cancellations to programs, fitness programs etc. during a weather event, updates will be shared through the Town’s social media channels as they become available – Twitter @NewTecumseth or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/newtecumseth

Please NOTE: We are receiving some cancellations from members of the public who had facility bookings for this weekend (April 14 & 15). If you are planning on attending a private function at any of New Tecumseth’s facilities on April 14 or April 15 –it may be a good idea to check in with the host before heading out.

Registered dance programs scheduled for Sun., April 15 at the New Tecumseth Recreation Centre, 7300 Industrial Parkway, Alliston have been CANCELLED due to inclement weather. Programs include: Kinder Ballet 5pm; Kinder Dance 5:30pm; Jr. Hip Hop 6pm.  Please continue to call ahead to 705-435-4030 x.1500/1621 to check on the status of programs and services Monday before heading out.

The following facilities are open and available during regular business hours:

  • New Tecumseth Recreation Centre located at 7300 Industrial Parkway, Alliston open Friday 6 am-10pm, Saturday & Sunday 7am-7pm
  • Tottenham Community & Fitness Centre, 139 Queen St. N., Tottenham open Friday 6 am-10pm, Saturday & Sunday 7am-7pm
  • For guest services call 705-435-4030 or 905-936-4203

NOTTAWASAGA VALLEY CONSERVATION AUTHORITY has issued a flood watch (April 15): FLOOD WATCH issued for Nottawasaga Valley – Forecast rain, on top of snow/ice received this weekend, may cause waterways to overflow & flooding in low-lying areas. Those in flood prone areas should be on alert. Full details at http://ow.ly/XgcY30jvbNE #onstorm

POWER OUTAGES:

New Tecumseth’s power is supplied by either Hydro One or Alectra – depending on where exactly you live.

For information on power outages for Hydro One customers and for estimated restoration times visit https://www.hydroone.com/StormCenter3/ To report a power problem to Hydro One, Call 1-800-434-1235.

For information on power outages for Alectra (formerly PowerStream) customers and for estimated restoration times visit  https://www.powerstream.ca/power-outages.html To report a power outage or electrical emergency to Alectra, call 1-877-963-6900 (press 1)

Below power outage information from the Government of Canada. Please see www.getprepared.gc.ca for more details.

Most power outages will be over almost as soon as they begin, but some can last much longer – up to days or even weeks. Power outages are often caused by freezing rain, sleet storms and/or high winds which damage power lines and equipment. Cold snaps or heat waves can also overload the electric power system.

During a power outage, you may be left without heating/air conditioning, lighting, hot water, or even running water. If you only have a cordless phone, you will also be left without phone service. If you do not have a battery-powered or crank radio, you may have no way of monitoring news broadcasts. In other words, you could be facing major challenges. 

WATER: Drinking water safety after a power outage:

Emergencies can happen and when they do the best strategy is to already have a plan in place. This includes knowing the proper water safety precautions to take if floods or prolonged power outages do occur.

Municipal water: The Town of New Tecumseth’s municipal drinking water system has standby power to maintain water supply during a power outage.

Private wells: If you use water from a private well, a power outage will normally cause the water pump to fail. In this situation you should use an alternate source of safe water, such as commercially bottled water or follow the instructions provided here for temporarily treating your water.

If you have a private treatment system for your drinking water, such as ultraviolet light, make sure the treatment system is running properly once the power is restored. Before drinking the water, flush all lines by letting the water run for two minutes. The safety of your water should be confirmed before use. If you have a back-up generator, you may continue to use the water as you did before the power failure.

Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, What Consumers Need to Know About Food and Water Safety During Hurricanes, Power Outages, and Floods, April 2014

For more information on private wells or water systems, call the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s health connection 705-721-7520 (1-877-721-7520) to speak with a public health inspector or visit www.simcoemuskokahealth.org

GET PREPARED FOR ANY EMERGENCY:

You can greatly lessen the impact of a power outage by taking the time to prepare in advance. You and your family should be prepared to cope on your own during a power outage for at least 72 hours. Visit GetPrepared.ca. For more emergency preparedness information, visit GetPrepared.ca or follow @Get_Prepared on Twitter.

WHAT TO DO: Before a power outage

  • You can install a non-electric standby stove or heater. Choose heating units that are not dependent on an electric motor, electric fan, or some other electric device to function. It is important to adequately vent the stove or heater with the type of chimney flue specified for it. Never connect two heating units to the same chimney flue at the same time.
  • If you have a wood-burning fireplace, have the chimney cleaned every fall in preparation for use and to eliminate creosote build-up which could ignite and cause a chimney fire.
  • If the standby heating unit will use the normal house oil or gas supply, have it connected with shut-off valves by a certified tradesperson.
  • Before considering the use of an emergency generator during a power outage, check with furnace, appliance and lighting fixture dealers or manufacturers regarding power requirements and proper operating procedures.

People with disabilities or others requiring assistance

Consider how you may be affected in a power outage, including:

  • Your evacuation route – without elevator service (if applicable).
  • Planning for a backup power supply for essential medical equipment.
  • Keeping a flashlight and a cell phone handy to signal for help.
  • Establishing a self-help network to assist and check on you during an emergency.
  • Enrolling in a medical alert program that will signal for help if you are immobilized.
  • Keeping a list of facilities that provide life-sustaining equipment or treatment.
  • Keeping a list of medical conditions and treatment.
  • If you live in an apartment, advise the property management that you may need assistance staying in your apartment or that you must be evacuated if there is a power outage. This will allow the property manager to plan and make the necessary arrangements on your behalf.

WHAT TO DO: During a power outage

  • First, check whether the power outage is limited to your home. If your neighbours’ power is still on, check your own circuit breaker panel or fuse box. If the problem is not a breaker or a fuse, check the service wires leading to the house. If they are obviously damaged or on the ground, stay at least 10 meters back and notify your electric supply authority. Keep the number along with other emergency numbers near your telephone.
  • If your neighbours’ power is also out, notify your electric supply authority.
  • Turn off all tools, appliances and electronic equipment, and turn the thermostat(s) for the home heating system down to minimum to prevent damage from a power surge when power is restored. Also, power can be restored more easily when there is not a heavy load on the electrical system.
  • Turn off all lights, except one inside and one outside, so that both you and hydro crews outside know that power has been restored.
  • Don’t open your freezer or fridge unless it is absolutely necessary. A full freezer will keep food frozen for 24 to 36 hours if the door remains closed.
  • Never use charcoal or gas barbecues, camping heating equipment, or home generators indoors or in garages. They give off carbon monoxide. Because you can’t smell or see it, carbon monoxide can cause health problems and is life-threatening.
  • Use proper candle holders. Never leave lit candles unattended and keep out of reach of children. Always extinguish candles before going to bed.
  • Listen to your battery-powered or wind-up radio for information on the outage and advice from authorities.

Tips:

  • Make sure your home has a working carbon monoxide detector. If it is hard-wired to the house’s electrical supply, ensure it has a battery-powered back-up.
  • Protect sensitive electrical appliances such as TVs, computer, and DVD players with a surge-protecting powerbar.

Use of home generators

Home generators are handy for backup electricity in case of an outage but must only be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines. A back-up generator may only be connected to your home’s electrical system through an approved transfer panel and switch that has been installed by a qualified electrician. Never plug a generator into a wall outlet as serious injury can result when the current produced by the home generator is fed back into the electrical lines, and transformed to a higher voltage. This can endanger the lives of utility employees working to restore the power.

To operate a generator safely:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Ensure that the generator operates outdoors in well-ventilated conditions, well away from doors or windows, and never in your garage, to prevent exhaust gases from entering the house.
  • Connect lights and appliances directly to the generator. If extension cords must be used, ensure they are properly rated, CSA-approved cords.

WHAT TO DO: After a power outage

  • Do not enter a flooded basement unless you are sure the power is disconnected.
  • Do not use flooded appliances, electrical outlets, switch boxes or fuse-breaker panels until they have been checked and cleaned by a qualified electrician.
  • Replace the furnace flue (if removed) and turn off the fuel to the standby heating unit.
  • Switch on the main electric switch (before, check to ensure appliances, electric heaters, TVs, microwaves computers, etc. were unplugged to prevent damage from a power surge).
  • Give the electrical system a chance to stabilize before reconnecting tools and appliances. Turn the heating-system thermostats up first, followed in a couple of minutes by reconnection of the fridge and freezer. Wait 10 to 15 minutes before reconnecting all other tools and appliances.
  • Close the drain valve in the basement.
  • Turn on the water supply. Close lowest valves/taps first and allow air to escape from upper taps.
  • Make sure that the hot water heater is filled before turning on the power to it.
  • Check food supplies in refrigerators, freezers and cupboards for signs of spoilage. If a freezer door has been kept closed, food should stay frozen 24 to 36 hours, depending on the temperature. When food begins to defrost (usually after two days), it should be cooked; otherwise it should be thrown out.
  • As a general precaution, keep a bag of ice cubes in the freezer. If you return home after a period of absence and the ice has melted and refrozen, there is a good chance that the food is spoiled. When in doubt, throw it out!
  • Reset your clocks, automatic timers, and alarms.
  • Restock your emergency kit so the supplies will be there when needed again.

Severe storms

Thunderstorms, hail, blizzards, ice storms, high winds and heavy rain can develop quickly and threaten life and property. Severe storms occur in all regions of Canada and in all seasons.

Listen to the local radio or television stations for severe weather warnings and advice. Keep a battery-powered or wind-up radio on hand as there can be power outages during severe storms.

WHAT TO DO: Before a severe storm

Preparing for severe storms

Stock up on heating fuel and ready-to-eat food, as well as battery-powered or wind-up flashlights and radios – and extra batteries. For a complete list of emergency supplies, go to emergency kits.

When a severe storm is on the horizon, the Meteorological Service of Canada issues watches, warnings and advisories through radio and television stations, the WeatherOffice Website, automated telephone information lines and Environment Canada’s Weatheradio.

Other tips for preparedness

  • If a severe storm is forecast, secure everything that might be blown around or torn loose – indoors and outdoors. Flying objects such as garbage cans and lawn furniture can injure people and damage property.
  • Trim dead branches and cut down dead trees to reduce the danger of these falling onto your house during a storm.
  • If you are indoors, stay away from windows, doors and fireplaces.
  • You may want to go to the sheltered area that you and your family chose for your emergency plan.
  • If you are advised by officials to evacuate, do so. Take your emergency kit with you.
  • You can use a cellular telephone during a severe storm, but it’s not safe to use a land-line telephone.
  • Never go out in a boat during a storm. If you are on the water and you see bad weather approaching, head for shore immediately. Always check the marine forecast before leaving for a day of boating and listen to weather reports during your cruise.
  • If you are in a car, stop the car away from trees or power lines that might fall on you). Stay there.
  • On a farm, generally, the effects of severe storms on livestock are lessened by moving animals to avoid the storm; mitigating the storm’s effect if it cannot be avoided; or sheltering the animals, ensuring they have access to food and water. The approach taken would depend upon the type of disaster anticipated.

What to do before

Hail

  • If hail is forecast, you may want to protect your vehicle by putting it in the garage.

Heavy Rain

  • Consider checking the drainage around the house to reduce the possibility of basement flooding after a heavy rain.

Thunderstorms

  • Before a severe thunderstorm, unplug radios and televisions – listen for weather updates on your battery-powered radio.

What to do during a severe storm:

  • If you are indoors, stay away from windows, doors and fireplaces.
  • You may want to go to the sheltered area that you and your family chose for your emergency plan.
  • If you are advised by officials to evacuate, do so. Take your emergency kit with you.
  • You can use a cellular telephone during a severe storm, but it’s not safe to use a land-line telephone.
  • If you are in a car, stop the car away from trees or power lines that might fall on you). Stay there.

What to do during:

Hail

  • Take cover when hail begins to fall. Do not go out to cover plants, cars or garden furniture or to rescue animals. Hail comes down at great speed, especially when accompanied by high winds. Although no one in Canada has ever been killed by hail, people have been seriously injured by it.
  • When a hailstorm hits, stay indoors, and keep yourself and your pets away from windows, glass doors and skylights which can shatter if hit by hailstones. Avoid using the telephone during a storm, and do not touch metal objects like stoves, radiators, metal pipes, and sinks.
  • When a hailstorm hits, find shelter and avoid underpasses or any low-lying areas that may flood.

Ice storms

  • Ice from freezing rain accumulates on branches, power lines and buildings. If you must go outside when a significant amount of ice has accumulated, pay attention to branches or wires that could break due to the weight of the ice and fall on you. Ice sheets could also do the same.
  • Never touch power lines. A hanging power line could be charged (live) and you would run the risk of electrocution. Remember also that ice, branches or power lines can continue to break and fall for several hours after the end of the precipitation.
  • When freezing rain is forecast, avoid driving. Even a small amount of freezing rain can make roads extremely slippery. Wait several hours after freezing rain ends so that road maintenance crews have enough time to spread sand or salt on icy roads.
  • Rapid onsets of freezing rain combined with the risks of blizzards increase the chances for extreme hypothermia. If you live on a farm, move livestock promptly to shelter where feed is available. Forage is often temporarily inaccessible during and immediately after ice storms. Animal reactions to ice storms are similar to that of blizzards.

Lightning

  • Always take shelter during a lightning storm.
  • There is no safe place outside during a thunderstorm. Safe shelter can be found either in an enclosed building or a hard-topped vehicle.
  • If you can see lightning or hear thunder, you are in danger of being hit. Seek shelter immediately.
  • Wait 30 minutes after the last lightning strike in a severe storm before venturing outside again.
  • Do not ride bicycles, motorcycles, tractors, or golf carts. These will not protect you from a lightning strike.

Thunderstorms

  • During thunderstorms, you should also stay away from items that conduct electricity, such as corded telephones, appliances, sinks, bathtubs, radiators and metal pipes.

72 Hours: Is Your Family Prepared?

If an emergency happens in your community, it may take emergency workers some time to reach you. You should be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for a minimum of 72 hours.

Learn how quick and easy it is to become better prepared to face a range of emergencies – anytime, anywhere. Use this guide to create your own emergency plan. Use the checklists to build a 72-hour emergency kit. These basic steps will help you take care of yourself and your loved ones during an emergency.

Step 1. Know the risks

Although the consequences of various disasters can be similar, knowing the risks in your region can help you better prepare.

Step 2. Make a plan

Every Canadian household needs an emergency plan. It will help you and your family know what to do in case of an emergency. It will take you about 20 minutes to make your plan.

Your family may not be together when an emergency occurs. Plan how to meet or how to contact one another, and discuss what you would do in different situations.

Keep this document in an easy-to-find, easy-to-remember place (for example, with your emergency kit). Photocopy this plan and keep it in your car and/or at work, and a copy close to your phone. If you completed your plan online, keep an electronic version on your computer.

Make copies of important documents

Make copies of birth and marriage certificates, passports, licences, wills, land deeds and insurance. Take photos of family members in case a lost persons record is created. Keep them in a safe place, both inside and outside your home. You might want to put them in a safety deposit box or give them to friends and family who live out of town.

In an emergency

Follow your emergency plan. Get your emergency kit. Make sure you are safe before assisting others.

Listen to the radio or television for information from authorities. Local officials may advise you to stay where you are. Follow their instructions.

Stay put until all is safe or until you are ordered to evacuate.

Basic emergency kit

  • Water – at least two litres of water per person per day; include small bottles that can be carried easily in case of an evacuation order
  • Food that won’t spoil, such as canned food, energy bars and dried foods (replace food and water once a year)
  • Manual can-opener
  • Crank or battery-powered flashlight (and extra batteries). Replace batteries once a year.
  • Crank, battery-powered radio (and extra batteries) or Weatheradio
  • First aid kit
  • Extra keys to your car and house
  • Some cash in smaller bills, such as $10 bills and change for payphones
  • A copy of your emergency plan and contact information
  • If applicable, other items such as prescription medication, infant formula, equipment for people with disabilities, or food, water and medication for your pets or service animal (personalize according to your needs)

Recommended additional items

  • Two additional litres of water per person per day for cooking and cleaning
  • Candles and matches or lighter (place candles in deep, sturdy containers and do not burn unattended)
  • Change of clothing and footwear for each household member
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each household member
  • Toiletries
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Utensils
  • Garbage bags
  • Toilet paper
  •  Water purifying tablets
  • Basic tools (hammer, pliers, wrench, screwdrivers, work gloves, dust mask, pocket knife)
  • A whistle (in case you need to attract attention)
  • Duct tape (to tape up windows, doors, air vents, etc.)

Keep some cash on hand, as automated bank machines and their networks may not work during an emergency. You may have difficulty using debit or credit cards.

Keep a corded phone in your home, as most cordless phones will not work during a power outage.

If applicable, other items such as prescription medication, infant formula, equipment for people with disabilities, or food, water and medication for your pets or service animal (personalize according to your needs).