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Be Prepared - Why Windsor-Essex Residents Should Plan for Evacuations

Be Prepared - Why Windsor-Essex Residents Should Plan for Evacuations
We’re pretty lucky here in Windsor-Essex, for so many reasons. Mild winters, beautiful summers and so many outdoor activities to enjoy year-round. While we are not particularly prone to wildfires or hurricanes, everyone in Windsor—Essex County needs to be prepared for an evacuation in case potential emergencies or natural disasters threaten our safety.

Here's a list of reasons we might need to evacuate and the hazards to be aware of.

1. Flooding: Windsor and Essex County are situated on the Detroit River, Lake St. Clair, and Lake Erie, which are areas close to the extensive shoreline and watershed areas, which are susceptible to flooding, especially during heavy rains, rapid snowmelt, or ice jams.
2. Severe Storms: Our area can experience severe thunderstorms, bringing heavy rain, high winds, hail, and lightning. These storms can cause significant damage and flooding.
3. Tornadoes: Ontario, including the Windsor area, is occasionally affected by tornadoes, which can cause significant destruction, pose severe risks to personal safety, and may require emergency planning and evacuation.
4. Extreme Winter Weather: While we do have relatively mild winters, heavy snowfall and ice storms can lead to power outages, transportation disruptions, and dangerous road conditions.
5. Industrial Accidents: Windsor-Essex and southwestern Michigan have several manufacturing plants and chemical facilities. A nuclear incident or an industrial accident, such as a chemical spill or explosion, could require evacuation.
6. Hazardous Material Spills: Transport of hazardous materials through the region by road or rail could result in spills or leaks requiring emergency evacuation procedures.
7. Utility Failures: Significant failures of critical infrastructure, such as prolonged power outages or gas line leaks, may warrant temporary evacuation for safety.

To prepare for potential evacuation:
  • Have an emergency kit with essentials like food, water, medications, clothing, important documents, and a first aid kit.
  • Create a family emergency plan, including meeting places and how to communicate if separated.
  • Stay informed via local news, weather updates, and alerts from official sources.
  • Know your local evacuation routes and have a plan for shelter, whether it’s a community centre, the home of family or friends, or a designated evacuation centre.

Having these preparations in place can help ensure your safety in the event of an emergency requiring evacuation.