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Emergency Management

Emergency Preparedness Week Ontario May 5 to 11, 2024

Everyone has a role to play in an emergency. Emergency Preparedness Week is an opportunity for you to take action to ensure you are prepared to protect yourself, your family and your community during an emergency. Emergency Preparedness Week encourages Canadians to take three simple steps to become better prepared to face a range of emergencies:

  • Know the risks
  • Make a plan
  • Get an emergency kit

For more information go to: Ontario Emergency Preparedness Website

Air Quality Health Index

Smog is a mixture of air pollutants originating from vehicle emissions and industrial pollutants. The Air Quality Health Index and air quality alerts provide you with information about local air quality and advice on how to protect your health. Air Quality Health Index (AQHI)

Visit the HKPR website for more information.

Forest Fires

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s (MNRF) website has resources for you to reference, including a forest fire map, FireSmart, emergency preparedness tips, fire restriction zones, and links to informative social media accounts. Learn more on their Forest, wildland and outdoor fire webpage.

Visit the Fire Smoke Forecast website if you’re interested in following along with the fire smoke forecast. Find weather alerts and/or any weather related emergency advisories on the Environment Canada Weather information website.

For any transportation related information, including highway closures as a result of wildland/forest fire activity, visit the Ontario 511 website.

For tips on how to stay safe and protect your property in the event of a forest fire warning in your area, read the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s (IBC) Top 10 Wildfire Safety and Prevention Tips.


Flooding is a natural hazard in Ontario that can happen at any time of year. Make sure you are prepared in the case of a flood.

Stay Informed

The most important thing you can do to be prepared is to ensure you stay up to date on flood warning and advisories. To stay informed, please:

  • Subscribe to our newsroom to receive public notices and advisories straight to your email
  • Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see the latest updates
  • Listen to the latest warnings and advisories on 91.9 Bounce FM radio and Global/CHEX television.
  • Road closures due to flooding: Public safety is always our top priority. Roads will be closed if they are deemed to be unsafe. All road closures and re-openings are posted on Municipal 511 and can be viewed below.
  • Kawartha Conservation: Provides information and links to water level information.
    Kawartha Conservation Flood Forecasting and Warning Webpage

Our mobile app, Pingstreet, is no longer available for download, and will stop working after June 7, 2024. For more information, read our news release.

Road Construction, Restrictions, Closures and Emergency Work on Municipal 511



Flood Warning Indicator               Flood Warning: flooding is imminent or already occurring



Flood Watch IndicatorFlood Watch: there is the potential for flooding



Flood Watershed IndicatorWatershed Conditions Statements and Flood Outlooks: an early notice of the potential for flooding based on heavy rain, snow melt etc. and water safety information.


Important contact information

Municipal Call Centre
705-324-9411 extension 0
Toll free 1-888-822-2225 extension 0

After Hours Municipal Emergencies: 1-877-885-7337
Municipal Hours are Monday to Friday 8:30am-4:30pm

If you require emergency fire, paramedic or police services call 911 immediately.

Sandbag information

Property owners in flood plain areas are responsible to redirect water from their properties as needed. Please secure your own sand bag supplies early from your local hardware store.

SandbagsSandbags are only effective if you stack them correctly before your property is threatened by water or debris. Remember: floodwaters can’t be stopped, they can only be re-directed. Do not make a dam in an attempt to stop water. Use sandbags in front of windows and doors and think of ways to encourage the water toward areas of your property where it can drain off naturally without damaging anything. Sandbags should be stacked with edges overlapping in a brick pattern.


  • Have I prepared an emergency kit - including my identification, warm clothing, essential medication, valuables and personal papers?
  • Do I have adequate food and water for 72 hours?
  • Is my cell phone charged?
  • Do I have a flashlight and charged batteries?
  • Have I made provisions for my pets?
  • Do I have cash?
  • Is my vehicle fueled?
  • In the event of an evacuation, did I notify other family members where I'm going?
  • If I have special needs (children or disability), do I have to make alternate arrangements?

 Inside the residence

  • Have I raised furniture, clothing and valuables onto beds, tables and into roof space?
  • Have I rolled up rugs and elevated?
  • Have I placed electrical items in the highest place?
  • Have I emptied freezers and refrigerators to their lowest levels?
  • If evacuated, did I turn off the water, electricity and gas?

 Outside the residence

  • Did I secure all boats and items left loose on and around docks or boathouses?
  • Did I tie down outdoor equipment and furniture?
  • Did I move chemicals and poisons to higher locations?
  • Did I move fuel sources to higher locations?
  • Did I turn off and secure all oil tanks and propane tanks?

 Where can I pick up sandbags?

Due to the anticipated milder flood season, the municipality will not be pre-preparing sandbags in advance this year. Water levels in our local systems are monitored daily and should there be a spike in water levels, the municipality will pivot quickly to begin sandbag prep using the municipality's Sandbagger machine. If there is a need for sandbags, the municipality will notify residents as soon as possible once they are bagged and ready for pick up in select flood prone areas. When sandbags are available the locations will be posted here as well as on Municipal 511.

This page will be updated if additional locations are added and are available for pick up. We will also send out a news release, so be sure to subscribe to our newsroom.

Build an emergency survival kit

Emergency Kit ExampleYour emergency survival kit should have everything you and your family would need to be safe and take care of yourselves for at least three days immediately following an emergency.

The following list is broken down into the essentials, items you may need to meet your family's unique needs, and items to have ready in case you have to leave your home.


What to put in your survival kit


  • food (non-perishable and easy-to-prepare items, enough for 3 days) and a manual can opener
  • bottled water (4 litres per person for each day)
  • medication(s)
  • flashlight
  • radio (crank or battery-run)
  • extra batteries
  • first-aid kit
  • candles and matches/lighter
  • hand sanitizer or moist towelettes
  • important papers (identification, contact lists, copies of prescriptions, etc.)
  • extra car keys and cash
  • whistle (to attract attention, if needed)
  • zip-lock bag (to keep things dry)
  • garbage bags

Special Considerations

  • items for babies and small children--diapers, formula, bottles, baby food, comfort items
  • prescription medication
  • medical supplies and equipment
  • pet food and supplies
  • any other items specific to your family's needs

Extra Supplies for Evacuation

  • clothes, shoes
  • sleeping bags or blankets
  • personal items (soap, toothpaste, shampoo, comb, other toiletries)
  • playing cards, travel games, other activities for children

Other Tips

  • Pack the contents of your kit in an easy-to-carry bag(s) or a case on wheels;
  • Store your kit in a place that is easy to reach, and ensure that everyone in your family knows where it is;
  • Your kit does not have to be built overnight. Spread your shopping over a few weeks. Purchase a few items every time you go to the store;
  • Your water supply is meant to cover what you would drink as well as what you might need for food preparation, hygiene and dishwashing;
  • Check and refresh your kit twice a year--when the clocks shift to/from daylight savings time is a good time. Check all expiry dates and replace food and water with a fresh supply. Check batteries and replace as needed;
  • Keep your cell phone or mobile device fully charged.

Extreme Cold

Extreme Cold Winter Response, from Kawartha Lakes Human Services

A Place Called Home (APCH) provides emergency shelter services for the City of Kawartha Lakes and the County of Haliburton. People experiencing homelessness can contact APCH day or night at 705-328-0905 or toll free at 1-866-520-2689. During the winter when temperatures are below -10oC, APCH temporarily increases shelter capacity to support those experiencing unsheltered homelessness.

Emergency Preparedness and Mitigation

The City of Kawartha Lakes Emergency Plan is the foundation for provisions for the extraordinary arrangements and measures that may have to be taken to safeguard properties and the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the City of Kawartha Lakes in the event of an emergency.

The purpose of the Emergency Plan is to limit or prevent damage and destruction of property, infrastructure and the environment when faced with a major emergency situation that requires coordinated action beyond normal procedures.

Download the City of Kawartha Lakes' Emergency Plan or contact Kawartha Lakes Fire Rescue Headquarters at 705-324-5731 to request a hard copy or alternate format version of the plan.

Are you and your family prepared for an emergency? Everyone should know the risks, make a plan and prepare a 72-hour emergency kit. Make sure everyone in your family knows what to do before, during and after an emergency. Visit Emergency Management Ontario for more information and tips on emergency preparedness.

High rise building tips

Emergency Preparedness high rise handout

Winter weather tips

  • Add supplies to your disaster supply kit, such as rock salt, sand and snow shovels
  • Prepare your home and family
  • Prepare your car
  • Dress for the weather
  • It is the responsibility of the homeowner to plan ahead and order fuel to get them through the winter

Severe summer weather and extreme heat tips

  • Keep an eye on the weather
  • Monitor the local media
  • Listen to the radio
  • Have a plan
  • Look for safe shelter
  • In case of thunder and lightning, immediately take shelter and remain sheltered for 30 minutes after the last rumble
  • Be aware of tornado season (April to September with peak months in June and July)

During the summer months, extreme heat can pose severe health risks. The municipality of Kawartha Lakes is committed to ensuring that all residents and visitors stay safe from the effects of extreme heat. If there is an emergency, the Kawartha Lakes Paramedic Service will be there to help. However, the best way to ensure everyone's safety is to take precautions and learn more about heat management in Kawartha Lakes.

Visit our Extreme Heat page for more details.


Additional online resources

After the Flood - Septic systems

Do not use the sewage system until the water level in the soil absorption field is lower than the water level around the surrounding area.

Be sure the septic tank's cover is secure and that inspection ports have not been blocked or damaged. Septic tank lids are that not secure can create a fatal hazard as someone could accidentally fall in.

Have your septic tank professionally inspected and serviced if you suspect damage. Signs of damage include settling over the tank area or an inability to accept water. Most septic tanks are not damaged by flooding since they are below ground and completely covered. However, septic tanks and pump chambers can fill with silt and debris, and must be professionally cleaned. If the soil absorption field is clogged with silt, a new system may have to be installed.

Only trained specialists should clean or repair septic tanks because tanks may contain dangerous gases. Contact the Building Division:
E-Mail the Building division
Telephone 705-324-9411 extension 1288 for a list of septic system contractors who work in your area.

Pump the septic system as soon as possible after the flood. Be sure to pump both the tank and pump chamber. This will remove silt and debris that may have washed into the system. Do not pump the tank during flooded or saturated drainfield conditions. At best, pumping the tank is only a temporary solution. Under worst conditions, pumping it out during flooded conditions could cause the tank to float out of the ground and may damage the inlet and outlet pipes.

Do not compact the soil over the leaching bed by driving or operating equipment in the area. Saturated soil is especially susceptible to compaction, which can reduce the leaching beds ability to treat waste water and lead to system failure.  In addition, heavy equipment on the leaching bed area at this time can lead to system failure through pipe damage.  

Examine all electrical connections for damage before restoring electricity. This includes electrical connections for pumps that may be used in your septic system: a sewage grinder pump, effluent pump, or ejector pump.

Check the vegetation over your septic tank and soil absorption field. Repair erosion damage and sod or reseed areas as necessary to provide turf grass cover.

Remember: Whenever the water table is high or your sewage system is threatened by flooding there is a risk that sewage will back up into your home. The only way to prevent this backup is to relieve pressure on the system by using it less.

After the Flood - Cleaning your home, food safety, well disinfection

Visit the Kawartha Pine Ridge Health Unit  for information about after the flood including:
-Cleaning your home after a flood

-Food safety during and after a power failure

-Flooded wells and septic systems

Contact Us