Are you Prepared? 

Everyone has a role to play in emergency preparedness and safety. By doing a few basic things to prepare yourself and your family, you can help protect what is important to you in case of an emergency in the Town of Blind River.

What can you do?

Sign up for emergency alerts:

Learn how to register to receive emergency alerts and community information by text message, email or phone call. You can choose what types of alerts you'd like to receive and how you want to receive them.

Create your own 72 Hour Preparedness Toolkit:

Build your own action plan for FREE here:

Click this link to download a simple 72 hour guide. 

Hard copies are available at 11 Hudson Street by request.

Does Blind River have an Emergency Response Plan? 


All municipalities are required by the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to have an Emergency Response Plan. Emergency Response Plans are general in nature and outline response and management arrangement in broad terms.

Access the Emergency Response Plan pdf here. 


What is the Emergency Management Program?

In order to protect the lives and properties of its citizens, each municipality must develop and implement an emergency management program in accordance with legislated standards, tailored to local hazards and resources.
It is the responsibility of the municipality to complete the mandatory annual program requirements outlined in the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. 

Community Emergency Management:

Emergency management is the organization and management of the resources and responsibilities for dealing with all humanitarian aspects of emergencies (preparedness, response, mitigation, and recovery). The aim is to reduce the harmful effects of all hazards, including disasters.

Community Emergency Management Coordinator (CEMC):

The Community Emergency Management Coordinator (CEMC) is responsible for the promotion, development, implementation and maintenance of the emergency preparedness plans for the Town of Blind River. Emergency management consists of four areas - Mitigation/Prevention: Actions taken to reduce or eliminate the effects of an emergency or disaster. - Preparedness: Actions taken prior to an emergency or disaster to ensure an effective response. - Response: Actions taken to respond to an emergency or disaster. - Recovery: Actions taken to recover from an emergency or disaster.

Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act: 

The Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act is the legislative authority for emergency management in Ontario. The Act is supplemented by an Order in Council that sets out which provincial ministers are designated special emergency responsibilities in emergency management. For communities and the provincial government, the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act provides for the establishment of an emergency management program in Ontario, based on hazards and risks that the people of Ontario may face. Elected heads of council are responsible for ensuring emergency management programs exist within their jurisdictions.

Communities Respond First: 

When emergencies happen, they are routinely dealt with at the community level by local emergency response organizations, including police, fire, emergency medical services and public works. Most emergencies do not require provincial assistance. If a major emergency occurs in a community, the local head of council should implement their emergency response plan or declare an emergency if required. The head of council, supported by local officials who come together as the Community Control Group, then work to ensure a controlled, centralized and coordinated emergency response. Individuals are responsible for their own safety, and the well-being of their families. Everyone should be prepared to take care of themselves and their families for up to three days in the event of an emergency or disaster.

Prepare Together: 

Make a family emergency plan - since your family may not be together when an emergency happens, a plan will help you and your family know what to do and how to reach each other in an emergency. Click here to check out the "Make a Plan" video. Talk to your Kids about emergencies. 

Get an emergency kit -find out exactly what goes in a kit by watching the short Video, Build a Kit Video ( then share the link with friends or family.

Teach them basic personal information so they can Identity themselves if they become separated from you, and who to call like 9-1-1 or your local emergency number, to get help.

Teaching your children how to use 911 is crucial and could save their lives or yours. Here are four simple steps for teaching your children, no matter how old they are, how to use 911: First explain what 911 is. Teach them to assess the risks before dialing 911. Explain what type of information to give once they have called 911. Practice scenarios with them to make them more familiar with the concept without frightening them. 

Access the Children's Activity Brochure printable here.

Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment:

The Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment process is a tool for understanding hazards and the risks they generate; and for setting priorities for planning and other emergency management activities.

Hazards fall into three categories:

  • Natural Hazards - includes events such as flooding, severe winter weather and forest fires
  • Human-caused (accidental or intentional) - includes events such as pandemics, special events and terrorism
  • Technological Hazards - include events such as a utility failure, train derailment and hazardous material spill

Blind River’s Emergency Management Program focuses on those events that have the greatest likelihood of occurring and the greatest potential impact; ensuring wherever possible the municipality is prepared to effectively respond to those events.

A safe, practiced and prepared Ontario

Learn more about Ontario’s Provincial Emergency Management Strategy and Action Plan.

You can also download "A safe, practiced and prepared Ontario" here. 

Link to the Government of Public Safety Canada page here.

hazard sign with sun and thermometer reading hot


How does your community determine heat warnings?

The attached Harmonized Heat Warning and Information System for Ontario (HWIS) is intended to support early notification and response activities for heat events. The HWIS provides evidence-informed messaging based on geographic boundaries and heat thresholds, and other levels of government and potential partners may also choose to use the guidance contained in this document. When coupled with local response plans and climate change vulnerability assessments, the HWIS allows public health units (PHUs) to increase consistency in communicating the heat alerts, advisories, and response planning for extreme heat events in your region. 

You can access the Harmonized Heat Warning and Information System for Ontario (HWIS) in French here. 

Also attached is Health Canada’s Heat Alert and Response Systems to Protect Health: Best Practices Guidebook, which provides an overview of health risks from extreme heat and offers evidence-based strategies for alerting health authorities and the public when hazardous conditions arise. 


Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR):

In Canada, Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) refers to technical search and rescue skills used in the event of a disaster.  These specialized skills play a critical role in a variety of emergency situations, including urban building collapses, mudslides, flooding, and forest fires, among other disasters.

USAR is classified into light, medium or heavy capability based on the associated training requirements and equipment.

“Heavy” Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) is the most technically specialized form of USAR.  HUSAR Task Forces are interdisciplinary teams comprised of specialists from across the emergency response spectrum.  Capabilities include search and rescue, communications, logistics, emergency medical assistance, technical and canine search, and structural assessment.

Link to Heavy Urban Search and Rescue here. 


 Wildfire Safety 101

Protecting Indoor Air Quality:

The best way to protect oneself from poor air quality is to stay indoors with windows and doors closed, and modify ventilation if possible (e.g., recirculation, using portable air cleaners, HEPA if available). More information on protecting indoor air quality is available: Infographic: Protecting your indoor air from outdoor pollutants

During extreme air quality events caused by wildfires, it is important to ensure indoor air quality is maintained. The Government of Canada has a publication Guidance for Cleaner Air Spaces during Wildfire Smoke Events.


Vulnerable Persons Registry:

About the Vulnerable Persons Registry:

The Vulnerable Persons Registry (VPR) is a free, voluntary and confidential service aimed at improving the safety of residents living at home who would be at greater risk during emergencies.

The VPR improves safety by providing key information to emergency response teams in order to help them be more aware when addressing large scale emergencies.

Who Can Register:

Any persons living within the VPR jurisdiction (see map) who has severe difficulty with any of the following:

• Mobility, vision or hearing.

• Developmental/ Intellectual, cognitive, or mental health.

Any resident of Sault Ste. Marie, Prince Township, Dennis Township or Rankin Reserve living at home who requires:

• Electricity for life-sustaining equipment such as life support, oxygen, dialysis, etc.

 Who to call?

Local Helpful Links for after hours Emergencies:




Winter Storm Safety as part of Emergency Preparedness: 

Winter storms kill more Canadians than tornadoes, thunderstorms, lightning, floods and hurricanes combined.

Preparing for Severe Storms:

Get your 'Severe Storms: What to do?" 72 Hour Preparation guide here.

Winter Storm Safety tips:

  • Avoid unnecessary travel.
  • Wear layers of lightweight clothing, mittens and a hat (preferably one that covers your ears).
  • Wear waterproof, insulated boots to keep your feet warm and dry and to keep from slipping on ice and snow.
  • Regularly check for frostbite — numbness or white areas on your face and body (ears, nose, cheeks, hands and feet in particular).
  • Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow by taking frequent breaks.
  • Bring pets inside and move livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.

For additional information please go to:

Canadian Red Cross Website:  "Winter Storms: Before, During, and After."

Emergency Preparedness Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is an emergency?

An emergency is a situation or impending situation caused by the forces of nature, an accident or an intentional act that constitutes a danger of major proportion to life and property. (In accordance with the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act)

Who can declare an emergency?

The Head of Council of a Municipality may declare that an emergency exists in the Municipality or in any part thereof and may take such action and may make such orders as he/she considers necessary and are not contrary to law to implement the emergency plan of the Municipality and to protect the property, health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the emergency area. (In accordance with the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act)

What does it mean if the municipality declares a state of emergency?

Emergency declarations can be made in circumstances where the Head of Council, in consultation with senior staff determines that such action would be in the best interest of the municipality based on the perceived or apparent threat.

Generally speaking, a declaration would be considered if there was an existing situation or impending situation that:

  • Threatened public safety, public health, the environment, critical infrastructure, property, and/or economic stability.
  • Exceeded the capacity of the community's emergency response.

By declaring a state of emergency, the municipality is able to:

Extend Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) coverage to volunteers recruited by the municipality.

  • Make claims for financial assistance for disaster recovery.

Declaring a state of emergency does not mean that the municipality can take actions that are contrary to law. All laws must still be obeyed during emergency situations by both the public and the municipality.

Declaring a state of emergency does not guarantee the municipality will receive financial assistance from the Provincial or Federal government for disaster relief. Municipalities must apply for financial assistance to the Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance (MDRA).

What does it mean if the municipality requests a disaster declaration?

Requesting a disaster declaration is a component of the Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance (MDRA). 

Municipal council must adopt a resolution and forward it to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing within 14 working days of the onset of the disaster to request the Minister to declare a 'disaster area' for the purposes of ODRAP.

What is the Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance (MDRA)?

The program provides financial assistance within the declared disaster area to restore damaged public infrastructure and/or private property to pre-disaster condition when the cost of restoration exceeds the financial capacity of the affected individuals, municipality and community at large.

For additional information about MDRA, see Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Blind River Representatives for Emergency Preparedness: 

CEMC- Karen Bittner

Alternate- Ryan Belair


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