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Emergency Preparedness


What should be in an emergency kit?

Prepare for the first 72 hours. Stock your emergency kit with these essentials:

  • Flashlights

  • Extra batteries

  • First aid kit

  • Bottled water (2 litres per person per day)

  • Supplies for people with special needs

  • Copy of your preparedness plan

  • Battery or crank operated clock and radio

  • Corded telephone

  • Non-perishable, ready-to-eat foods

  • Warm clothing and blankets

  • Games, cards and books to keep everyone busy

  • You may need additional supplies for lengthy outages

  • Pull out your emergency kit once a year and make sure it still fits the needs of your household

  • Replace batteries with fresh ones

Safety first

  • Never go near or touch a fallen powerline.  Always assume that a line or anything that it is in contact with isenergized.  Stay at least ten metres (33 feet, about the length of a bus) away at all times and do not attempt to remove debris surrounding the line.

  • If you see a fallen power line, report the location by calling 911.  Emergency responders will work with our crews to make the area safe and repair the line.

Portable generator safety precautions

Home generators can be useful during a power outage but they can also be very dangerous if they are not used properly.  Always follow all manufacturers' instructions and contact a qualified electrician or electrical inspector if you have questions.

Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning

  • Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless gas in the engine exhaust.  You may not smell the exhaust but could
    still be exposed to CO.

  • Never use a portable generator, outdoor or charcoal barbecue indoors, including inside a garage or other enclosed or partially enclosed area.  Never operate portable camping stoves or lamps indoors or in enclosed areas such as garages or carports.

  • Only operate portable generators outdoors and at a location where the exhaust cannot enter into your home or other buildings through doors or windows.

  • If you start to feel dizzy, nauseous, get a headache or start to feel tired while using a generator, get to fresh air immediately and seek medical attention.

  • Use a battery operated CO detector at home.  This is also advisable for homes that have a natural gas fired forced air heating system.

Prevent electric shock and electrocution

  • Serious accidents or fire can result when a home generator is improperly connected to an existing house wiring system.  Generators that are not isolated can feed back into the Ontario Hydro electrical grid and possibly electrocute anyone coming into contact with them, including neighbours and Renfrew Hydro or contractor workers.

  • It is not permissible to connect a home portable or stationary generator directly to a house wiring system without the proper installation of a CSA-approved transfer switch. An electrical permit is required for the installation and the transfer switch and generator must be inspected and approved by the local electrical inspector. For more information on the correct way to connect your generator and to obtain a permit, please call  the electrical contractor or the electrical inspector in your area.

  • Never plug a portable generator into a regular household electrical outlet.  This can also cause back-feeding to the Ontario Hydro electrical grid, which is a serious electrical danger to your neighbours and utility workers.  Plug appliances directly into the generator or use a properly sized CSA-approved 3-pronged extension cord in good condition.

  • Use a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) portable extension cord if using the portable generator to power electrical tools for outdoor use.

  • Keep the generator dry and protected from rain and snow.

Prevent fire

  • Improper fuel handling, improperly installed or overheated generators are fire hazards.

  • Do not store fuel in the home.  Fuels should be stored in properly labelled and vented fuel storage containers in a well-ventilated building or storage shed away from living areas.  Do not store fuel near the generator or other fuel-burning or heat-producing appliance.

  • Shut down the generator and allow it to cool before refueling.

  • Do not overload the generator.

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