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Flood Watch

HALDIMAND COUNTY, ON – The Long Point Region Conservation Authority has issued a Flood Watch message for all areas within its watershed.

A significant amount of precipitation has fallen in the Long Point Region watershed over the last 24 hours. The Long Point Region received between 25 and 30 mm of precipitation across the watershed. This precipitation combined with the melting snowpack are creating runoff, causing watercourses to exceed their banks creating localized flooding in floodplains, low-lying areas, and regions with poor drainage.

People are warned to stay away from ditches, water bodies, streams, rivers, and ponds as the combination of slippery banks and cold, fast-flowing water is dangerous. Landowners are also advised to make sure dams, culverts, and catch basins are free from debris and ice and functioning properly, if the work can be done safely.

Haldimand County Emergency Services will be actively monitoring conditions throughout the weekend. Residents should pay close attention to changing weather conditions and watch for updates flood messages. A flood guide for lakeshore property owners and other emergency preparedness resources can be found at HaldimandCounty.ca/floods.

This message will be in effect until 12:00 pm Monday, January 29, 2024.

Flood Warning

FLOOD WARNING

HALDIMAND COUNTY, ON – The Long Point Conservation Authority has issued a Flood Warning message.

An intense low-pressure system is forecast to cross over the lower Great Lakes Region between Friday and Saturday. As a result, Lake Erie will see sustained winds from the southwest ranging from 50 to 60 km/hr and gusts of 70 km/hr Saturday.

With the forecasted winds, flooding is expected to impact low lying areas along the Lake Erie shoreline and lower reaches of some tributaries. Wave uprush and increased shoreline erosion can be expected from this event.

Haldimand County residents and businesses within LPRCA’s watershed should be aware flooding will reach Lake Erie Flood Stage 2. The public is advised to familiarize themselves with the flood warning zone mapping on the Haldimand County website: Lake Erie Flood Zones in Haldimand County (arcgis.com)

The public is asked to stay away from the Lake Erie shoreline due to strong wave action and elevated water levels, and to follow the direction of local flood coordinators and emergency officials. Parents are reminded to keep children and pets away from these areas.

Haldimand County Emergency Services will be actively monitoring conditions throughout the weekend. Residents should pay close attention to changing weather conditions and watch for updates flood messages. A flood guide for lakeshore property owners and other emergency preparedness resources can be found at HaldimandCounty.ca/floods.

This message will be in effect until 8:00 pm Sunday, January 14, 2024.

Flood Watch

HALDIMAND COUNTY, ON – The Grand River Conservation Authority has issued a Flood Watch message.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) storm surge model forecast for the eastern end of Lake Erie is indicating a rise in lake levels just above the threshold of Lake Erie Flood Zone 1. The passage of a strong low pressure system is expected to bring high winds to Lake Erie on Saturday.

The lower Great Lakes are expected to see sustained winds of 45 to 60 km/hr from the south and southwest with gusts up to 90 km/hr on Saturday. The peak elevation of the surge is forecast to occur Saturday evening but lake levels are expected to be high through most of the day.

The public is asked to stay away from the Lake Erie shoreline due to strong wave action and elevated water levels, and to follow the direction of local flood coordinators and emergency officials. Parents are reminded to keep children and pets away from these areas.

Haldimand County Emergency Services will be actively monitoring conditions throughout the weekend. Residents should pay close attention to changing weather conditions and watch for updates flood messages. A flood guide for lakeshore property owners and other emergency preparedness resources can be found at HaldimandCounty.ca/floods.

This message will be in effect until 12:00 pm Sunday, January 14, 2024.

Emergency Management Exercise

HALDIMAND COUNTY, ON – On October 12th, 2023 Haldimand County Emergency Services partnered with Genesee & Wyoming Inc. to conduct a full-scale tactical exercise involving the railway. Fire, Paramedics, Ontario Provincial Police, Genesee & Wyoming Inc., and Woodstock Police joined together to learn, train, and practice a simulated event.

This year’s Emergency Management exercise was in the Jarvis area and simulated a truck versus train collision, in which one train car was leaking and another was on fire. The purpose of the yearly exercise is ensure compliance with policies and procedures, test inter-agency communication, as well as ensure both first responder and public safety.

We are pleased to advise that this year’s exercise was a great success. Please see the attached photos.

 

CO Awareness Week

HALDIMAND COUNTY, ON – Join us from November 1-7 in celebrating CO Awareness Week! Haldimand County’s Emergency Services members will be spreading awareness regarding Carbon Monoxide safety, and our fire fighters will be our boots on the ground handing out information to local residents. Don’t be shy and say hi! This will be prime time to ask questions, get advice, and meet your friendly neighbourhood fire fighters!

The Fire Department has a limited supply of Carbon Monoxide alarms that will be distributed to local residents in need, free of charge. To receive an alarm, please contact the Fire Department at (905) 318-5932 ext. 6230 or email emergencyservices@haldimandcounty.on.ca. Complimentary CO alarms are available on a first come, first served basis.

Carbon Monoxide is known as the “Silent Killer”. It is colourless, odourless, and tasteless. It can be present in any home with a fuel fired appliance. As it is undetectable by human senses, the only way to ensure the safety of you and your family is to have working CO alarms! You can also have all fuel fired appliances inspected regularly by a certified technician and, of course, DO NOT leave vehicles or generators running indoors.

  • Ontario law requires that a working carbon monoxide alarm be installed adjacent to each sleeping area in homes that have a fuel-burning (i.e. wood, oil, natural gas, propane) appliance, fireplace or an attached garage.
  • In a condo or apartment building with a service room, carbon monoxide alarms must be installed in the service room and adjacent to each sleeping area of all condo/apartment units above, below and beside the service room.
  • In a condo or apartment building with a garage, carbon monoxide alarms must be installed adjacent to each sleeping area of all condo/apartment units above, below and beside the garage.
  • Carbon monoxide alarms in rental units must be tested by the landlord annually and after every change in tenancy.
  • In Ontario, more than 65 per cent of injuries and deaths from carbon monoxide occur in the home.
  • A Canadian certification mark ensures that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms meet the appropriate Canadian standard; only alarms with the Canadian certification mark should be purchased and installed.

2023/2024 Respiratory Illness Season

The 2023/2024 Respiratory Illness Season is among us. While some people are suffering from seasonal allergies, others are suffering from colds and flus. The province, Haldimand County, and health officials would like to remind you that flu shots and both Covid vaccines and Covid boosters are available.

The overall risk posed by seasonal viruses this fall/winter is expected to continue to be atypical compared to pre-pandemic years based on observations from the southern hemisphere in summer 2023. We anticipate an early start to the influenza season, co-circulation of influenza A and B, and low-to-moderate Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) levels in most regions, including increased respiratory illness burden among pediatric populations. RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. It can be serious, and both infants and older adults are more likely to develop severe RSV that requires hospitalization.

Please utilize Health811 for non-urgent health inquiries and questions. Telehealth, walk-in clinics, virtual doctor appointments, and other resources are available for non-urgent matters, saving emergency rooms for urgent heath matters. Haldimand and Norfolk Health and Social Services are also offering vaccinations both by appointment and walk-in, as are some pharmacies.

Keep yourself and your loved ones safe, cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze, and stay home if you are not feeling well.

As Fire Prevention Week approaches, Haldimand County Fire Department reminds residents: “Cooking safety starts with YOU. Pay attention to fire prevention.”

Fire Prevention Week runs from October 8-14 this year, and Haldimand County Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) to promote this year’s theme, “Cooking safety starts with YOU. Pay attention to fire preventionTM.”

This year’s theme and awareness campaign works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take when cooking to mitigate the risk of kitchen fires.

Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in Canada. “Year after year, cooking remains the leading cause of home fires,” said Fire Chief Jason Gallagher. “This tells us that there is still much work to do when it comes to educating the public about ways to stay safe when cooking.”

Haldimand County Fire Department offers these key safety tips to help reduce the risk of a cooking fire.

  1. Ensure your home has functioning smoke and carbon monoxide alarms that are installed to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  2. Watch what you heat. Always keep a close eye on what you are cooking, and never leave anything unattended. Set a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  3. Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Always keep a lid nearby when cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner.
  4. Have a “kid- and pet-free zone” of at least 1m around the stove or grill and anywhere else hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
  5. When it comes to cooking with oil, shortening, or other fats, it’s crucial to be extra vigilant. One small mistake, such as overheating the oil or leaving a pot unattended, can quickly escalate into a dangerous kitchen fire. To prevent these kinds of fires, it’s important to keep pots and pans securely lidded to avoid splashing oil and never to leave cooking equipment unattended.
  6. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  7. Homeowners should be mindful of how they store their kitchen tools and utensils. Make sure that flammable materials, such as paper towels or dish towels, are stored away from the stovetop, and that utensils and tools are kept in a safe and secure location.

To find out more about fire prevention programs and activities in Haldimand, please contact the Haldimand County Fire Department at (905) 318-5932 ext. 6230 . For more general information about Fire Prevention Week and cooking safety, visit www.fpw.org. For fire safety fun for kids, visit sparky.org.

Fire Chief Jason Gallagher Challenges Haldimand to be “Saved by the Beep”

Fire Chief Jason Gallagher is calling on all residents of Haldimand County to test their smoke alarms on September 28 as part of Test Your Smoke Alarm Day. Be prepared to be Saved by the Beep with a working smoke alarm – it is your best chance to keep you and your family safe in the event of a fire.

Haldimand County is joining communities across Ontario on September 28 by asking everyone to take a minute and to ensure that there are working smoke alarms installed in their home.

Last year, Ontario lost 133 people to deadly fires – the highest number in over 20 years. Many of these fires were found to have no working smoke alarm and stand as a reminder that only working smoke alarms will alert you to a fire and give you and your loved ones enough time to safely escape.

“In Ontario, we’ve seen a significant rise in fatal fires and the number of people we have lost in these fires is very concerning,” said Ontario Fire Marshal Jon Pegg. “Entire families have been lost to fire and the most troubling part is that the majority of these fires did not have a working smoke alarm in the home. Had there been working smoke alarms, and a well thought out and practiced home fire escape plan, these deaths may have been prevented.”

The Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM), with the support of fire services and fire safety partners across Ontario, is asking Ontarians to regularly test their smoke alarms with a challenge to test all smoke alarms in their residence on September 28.

For more information visit www.savedbythebeep.ca

Quick Facts:

  • Smoke alarms have been legally required to be installed on every storey of a residence in Ontario since 2006.
  • Residences also include vacation homes, cabins, trailers, RVs, and cottages.
  • Landlords must test alarms annually, after the battery is replaced, and after every change in tenancy. Renters must notify their landlord as soon as they become aware that a smoke alarm is not operating.

Need for Proper Smoke and Carbon Monoxide

The Emergency Services Division of Haldimand County would like to remind all residents of the importance of having proper smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in their residences. With the tragic number of house fires and related fatalities in 2022, a key priority for Emergency Services in 2023 is stressing the importance of working smoke/CO alarms under the Fire Code. Community members are asked to be mindful of the requirements as failure to comply could lead to charges.

Provincewide, fire-related deaths have been steadily rising year after year.

  • 2019 saw 72 fire deaths
  • 2020 saw 114 fire deaths
  • 2021 saw 124 fire deaths
  • 2022 saw 133 fire deaths

The top five suspected causes of residential fires are as follows:

  • Unattended cooking
  • Overloaded or faulty wiring
  • Supplementary heating from space heaters, wood stoves, and chimneys
  • Candles
  • Careless smoking

Ontario law requires fire detection devices on every floor of a dwelling and outside all sleeping areas. Offenders can be ticked $360 or fined up to $50,000, and double that for corporations.

What to do to help avoid house fires:

  • Don’t leave the kitchen unattended, most kitchen fires are a result of distraction or leaving the oven/unattended. If you need to leave the room, ask your spouse or roommate to keep an eye on the food and keep stove and oven clean. Keeping your appliances such as your stove clean reduces the risk of a grease fire. Residents should either manually clean their appliances once it is at room temperature, or opt for the oven self-cleaning setting every few months.
  • Limit the use of extension cords and read the CSA/ESA labels on items you are using to determine the electrical load on the receptacle you are using. Especially heating devices/appliances.
  • Try to replace traditional candles with battery-operated decorative candles. If you must use a traditional candle ensure it is in a “tip” proof container or globe.
  • If you smoke, be sure to do it outside and completely extinguish the cigarette in an ashtray.

To help avoid injury or death in the event of a fire, Haldimand County Fire Department recommends the following tips.

  • “Get Out and Stay Out” – never go back inside for anything.
  • Make sure to test your alarms frequently and change the batteries twice annually.
  • Have an escape plan and practice it with your family members. It is important to have a plan set in place prior to an emergency, and allow your children to hear the alarm sounding when you test the batteries so they know what it sounds like.
  • Openly discuss with your children the importance of following the rules and safety guidelines as everyone’s lives depend on it.

If you are not sure how many alarms you need or where they should be placed, do not hesitate to reach out to your local fire department.

Reminder to Check Your Smoke Alarms

A few days after Christmas, Hamilton had a house fire that claimed the lives of two adults and two children. That fire was completely PREVENTABLE! It is a prime example of the importance of having working smoke detectors and the need to test them regularly. Please, please check your smoke alarms!!