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Residents encouraged to be ready, aware and safe from summer weather hazards

For immediate release: June 27, 2019 - 5:07pm
FI 19-523

With  Canada Day long weekend celebrations kicking off the start of our well-deserved summer, the Emergency Management Organization (EMO) in Saskatoon encourages residents to Be Ready, Be Aware & Be Safe and to recognize the early warning signs for summer weather hazards.

Be ready. What you can do:

  • Have a severe storm readiness plan that includes the best shelter in your home. Ideally centrally located, make sure everyone in your family knows where to go. 
  • Have an emergency kit for summer storms – (flashlight, a radio, first aid kit, blankets, water, smartphone portable power bank chargers.) 
  • Keep your car gas tank full, in case gas stations close down during or after a storm.
  • When a warning is issued – stay calm and follow your plan.

Be aware. What you can do:

  • Follow weather alerts. If you are heading out for the day check the weather and continue to monitor Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Download WeatherCan – a new mobile weather app
  • Sign up for notifynow – to receive timely, trusted, targeted emergency notifications from EMO
  • Follow Service Alerts on Twitter @yxeServiceAlert for timely updates on City of Saskatoon power outages, or visit saskatoon.ca/service-alerts
  • Follow Saskatoon EMO on Twitter @SToonEOC

Different weather patterns can bring different types of threats or hazards. It’s important to become familiar with the various weather alerts issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada depending on the severity and timing of weather events:

  • Warning
    • An urgent message that severe weather is either occurring or will occur
    • Updated regularly so that you can stay informed and take appropriate action
  • Watch
    • Alerts you about weather conditions where there is potential for a significant storm or severe weather to occur
    • A Watch may upgrade to a Warning as certainty increases about the path and strength of a storm system
  • Advisory
    • Issued for specific weather events that are less severe, but could still significantly affect Canadians
  • Special Weather Statement
    • This least urgent type of alert lets you know that conditions are unusual and could cause concern, it gives notice of what weather may be coming

Be safe. What you can do:

Tornados:

  • If you are home – go to your emergency shelter location.
  • If you are outside – find shelter.
  • If you are in a vehicle – find shelter.  If you cannot find shelter, park your car away from tall objects and power lines.

Lightning:

  • Lightning is the most common danger associated with storms.
  • As soon as you see lightning or hear thunder, you should find shelter.
  • If you are outside – find shelter. If you cannot find shelter find a low lying area.

Extreme Heat:

  • Those most vulnerable to extreme heat include:
    • Older adults,
    • Infants and young children,
    • People with chronic illness,
    • People who often work in the heat, and
    • Those who are homeless.
  • If possible, take breaks from the heat.
  • Monitor your condition and that of those around you, watching for:
    • Dizziness,
    • Nausea,
    • Headache,
    • Rapid breathing,
    • Increased thirst, and
    • Changes in behaviour.
  • If you feel subject to the effects of extreme heat:
    • Get to a cool location,
    • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, and
    • Apply cool water to the skin and/or clothing. 
  • If your home gets extremely hot:
    • Take a cool shower or bath,
    • Use a fan to help cool down, and
    • Leave to a cooler location if necessary.

    Pets and Extreme Heat:

    • Never leave your pet in a parked car that is not running
    • Provide plenty of fresh water and shade if they are outside, and
    • Do not offer them too much exercise outside.

    Recognize the early signs of summer weather hazards. Know the risks for you, those you care about, and your pets - they are counting on you to keep them safe!

    In an emergency, call 911 immediately.