Every municipality, regardless of size or location, can be seriously disrupted by an emergency. This could take the form of a plane crash, severe storm, flood, fire, chemical spill, or similar disaster.
While no one can foresee every type of emergency, it is important to plan for as many scenarios as possible. Every resident should be prepared by posting emergency phone numbers prominently in your home, develop an emergency escape plan, prepare an emergency survival kit, and so on.
An Emergency is a present or imminent event that requires prompt coordination of actions or special regulation of persons or property to protect the health, safety or welfare of people, or to limit damage to property.
A Disaster refers to an event that results in serious harm to the safety, health or welfare of people or in widespread damage to property.
The Town of Carstairs is a partner in the Mountain View Regional Emergency Response Plan, along with the municipalities of Didsbury, Olds, Cremona, Sundre and Mountain View County. The response plan is continually updated, and outlines specific municipal duties and functions in response to emergencies, including Emergency Operations personnel and the resources available in each municipality. The complete Emergency Response Plan is available for viewing at Town Office.
To help protect yourself and others around you in an emergency situation:
- Follow the advice of local emergency officials.
- Listen to your radio or television for news and instructions.
- Follow the Town of Carstairs website or Facebook page for information and instructions.
- If the disaster occurs near you, check for injuries - you and others (tend to your own well-being first).
- Give first aid and get help for anyone seriously injured.
- If the emergency occurs near your home while you are there, check for damage using a flashlight. Do not light matches or candles or turn on electrical switches. Check for fires, fire hazards and other household hazards.
- Sniff for gas leaks, starting at the water heater or furnace. If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main gas valve, open windows and get everyone outside quickly.
- Shut off any other damaged utilities. Notify the utility company of the problem.
- Confine or secure your pets.
- Call your family contact. Do not use the telephone again unless it is a life-threatening emergency. Emergency crews will need all available lines.
- Check on your neighbours, especially those who are elderly or disabled.
- Follow the Emergency Pet Safety guide
Petroleum products are widely used commodities transported by rail across the country on a daily basis. Amongst all petroleum products, flammable liquids (gasoline, diesel, ethanol and crude oil) represent a large portion of the products being transported.
Rail incidents could include massive wreckage, casualties and the uncontrolled release of dangerous goods which can have catastrophic impacts.
- Proceed away from the wreckage.
- Once in a safe location call 911.
- Tune in to a local radio station or official Town of Carstairs social media pages for further updates and instructions.
- These incidents require many resources from many different agencies. Please refrain from going near the incident as to not put yourself or loved ones in danger.
- Updates will be communicated to the public when available.
- Above all else, stay away from the area.
Residential fires impact thousands of people. Planning for a fire with an escape and evacuation plan is crucial. Follow these steps and practice them routinely with your family and loved ones.
- Get out of the house quickly and safely.
- Remember to check doors for heat with the back of your hand before opening them.
- If they are warm, DO NOT OPEN. This indicates a fire could be on the other side.
- Crawl under smoke and close doors behind you.
- If you can’t get out for whatever reason, sit tight and as low to the ground as possible. Make attempts to call out for help in a calm manner. If smoke is too thick and it is difficult to breathe then banging on a wall can help rescuers find you.
- Call 911 from outside of the house on fire.
- Do not ever go back into the burning home.
- Once cleared the appropriate authorities will allow you to return to your home.
Summer storms can bring heavy rain, high winds, hail, intense lightning and even tornadoes, all of which can cause property damage and threaten lives. Listen to the local radio or TV stations. Monitor Town websites and official social media and remain indoors.
During a major wind event, go to the basement or an interior room in your house and get under a heavy table or desk. Stay away from windows, outside walls and doors.
If outside; find shelter or lie down 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.
In an electrical storm, take shelter. If you are outside assume a sitting position. Never lay flat, keep away from trees, hilltops, water, electrical lines and other sources that conduct electricity. A vehicle can be a safe place.
Tornadoes can destroy buildings, flip cars, and create deadly flying debris. Tornadoes are violently rotating columns of air that extend from a thunderstorm to the ground. Tornadoes can happen anytime and anywhere, they can bring intense winds, over 200mph, and they look like funnels.
If you are located within a tornado warning find safe shelter right away.
- If you can safely get to a sturdy building, then do so immediately.
- Go to a safe room, basement or cellar.
- If you are in a building with no basement, then get to a small interior room on the lowest level.
- Stay away from windows and doors.
- Do not try and outrun a tornado.
- Listen to radio or emergency channels for updates.
- Watch out for flying debris that can cause death or serious injury.
- Tuck down, use your arms to protect your head, face and neck.
Winter storms bring the dangers of high winds, extremely low temperatures, heavy snowfall or freezing rain. If caught in a blizzard, seek shelter and wait out the storm.
Dress for the weather.
Cover mouth and nose in extreme cold.
Use public transportation if possible.
Be aware of carbon monoxide when using generators and space heaters.
Ensure you have a least half a tank of gas in your car and a 72-hr. vehicle emergency kit.
GetPrepared.ca for more information on preparing for disasters.