Emergency Measures

The RM of St. Clements Emergency Measures Office is dedicated to providing residents with the best integrated emergency management system available. On this page, you will find links to important downloads to protect your home, family and work place, as well as what the Province of Manitoba is doing for you. For more information, or if you wish to participate in preparing your community, contact: Ken Sim – Director of Protective Services at 204-482-3300 or e-mail: protect@rmofstclements.com

At Home and At Work

Individuals, families and work places are important to the RM in the emergency management process since most emergencies will have an effect at the individual level first. There are a number of steps that can be taken to prevent, prepare and respond to an emergency in order to limit the seriousness of the effects an emergency can have in your daily lives.

We all have a responsibility to prepare for emergencies. At home, this requires an understanding of everyone’s unique needs, supplies to take care of yourself for a period of at least 72 hours, that’s 3 days, while emergency workers help those in urgent need. Also required are detailed plans on what you will do if there is an emergency. At work, your emergency planning should include procedures to deal with a disruption, and an understanding of how specific hazards would impact your business.

What are the risks

Manitoba’s unique geography and varied climates results in a wide range of potential hazards. Know your area and learn how you can prepare for all types of emergencies. The best offense is a strong defence. Prepare various emergency plans so you and your family are ready for anything.

Prepare at Home

Emergency preparedness is initially a personal responsibility. While governments have resources available to assist as an emergency escalates, individuals are expected to have made plans and take steps to secure the safety of themselves, their families, and any other responsibilities. Its often said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that’s certainly the case for emergency preparedness – a little bit of effort is worth a lot of peace-of-mind, and will be an invaluable resource if you are impacted by a disaster. Some basic measures to prepare your home for an emergency include keeping a supply of food, water and medication to last for at least a 72 hour period, along with some basic necessities like a radio, flashlight, and toiletries. The following brochures describe how to prepare your home for an emergency and how to make an emergency kit.

For more info visit the Government of Canada’s Get Prepared website.

Prepare at Work

Every business and organization can experience a serious incident which can prevent it from continuing normal operations. This can happen any day at any time. At work, your emergency preparedness should include the development of a Business Continuity Planning (BCP) program to identify your essential services, when they need to be delivered, and how your employees will respond when there is a disruption. Business Continuity Planning is a component of emergency planning that is intended to minimize the impacts of a disruption on business activities.

BCP is designed to help an organization continue providing its basic and most critical functions during a disruption. This requires an understanding of your obligations to those who depend on your services, the exposure to risk your organization is willing to tolerate, and the requirements (such as equipment, data, personnel and facilities) required to deliver the required services. From this, a plan is prepared to identify the tasks, procedures and organization required to work through a disruption. Whatever the size of your organization or the nature of your business, an investment in BCP will improve your ability to minimize losses, meet obligations, and build confidence from the people who depend on your services.

Cold Weather Preparedness

Resources

Prepare for Specific Emergencies

Floods

In the last half-century, the two most severe emergencies in Manitoba were floods. The Red River floods in 1950 and 1997 resulted in extensive property damage, evacuations, and emergency operations to protect people and communities. Overland flooding is a regular annual occurrence in most of our province. The potential for flooding depends on rainfall, snowpack, soil moisture and temperature.

If you live in a flood-prone area, the best way to minimize damage is to mitigate the risk. Remembering that you have primary responsibility for emergency preparedness, consider what you can do to reduce damages and protect your home and property. You should also be making plans to evacuate your home and family if a severe flood develops. While municipal and provincial assistance will be available in such cases, planning ahead is valuable and necessary. We all need to do what we can to make sure our homes, families and communities are prepared in case of any future flooding

Test your knowledge about overland flooding and find out if you are ready with this quiz on the Government of Canada’s website: https://www.canada.ca/en/campaign/flood-ready/quiz.html…

Protecting your family and property during a flood

  • Know the notification/warning systems your municipal government uses.
    • Municipal website
    • Media (radio, television print media)
    • Text (only if you have registered)
  • Follow instructions from local emergency officials.
    • Evacuation may be required (you will be asked to register with the emergency officials)
    • Protect your pets and livestock
  • Take special precautions to safeguard electrical, natural gas or propane heating equipment. This may include turning off electricity to the affected areas of the structure or the entire structure depending on the degree of risk
  • Move furniture, electrical appliances and other belongings to floors above ground level.
  • Remove toxic substances such as pesticides from the flood area to prevent pollution.
  • In some cases, homes may be protected with sandbags or polyethylene barriers.

Contact your insurer as soon as practical under the circumstances

Reduce the Risk of Flood Damage by Season

Fall

  • Redirect water away from your home try to ensure the ground slopes away from your house on all sides.
  • Seal any gaps or potential spaces around basement windows and other ground level entries to the structure
  • Install the drainage for downspouts a sufficient distance from your home and outbuildings to ensure that water moves away from the building.
  • Consider installing a sump pump and back up prevention valves in all basement drains.
  • Do not store your important documents in the basement. Keep them at a higher level to protect them from flood damage.
  • Where possible and practical, clear grass clippings and debris from ditches and culverts
  • If your property is at risk of overland flooding or has ever been flooded check your insurance coverage for ‘overland flooding’. Don’t rely on government programs such as Disaster Financial Assistance to cover your losses.
  • If you have a walkout basement, a well or a septic/holding tank, a septic field or other risk areas prepare the areas for potential sandbagging or other flood protection measures. Consider taking steps to permanently protect these areas.

Winter

  • Where feasible keep the snow accumulation away from the at risk structures.
  • Do not push show into ditches, swales or drains.
  • Review your family emergency plan.
  • Monitor the provincial flood forecast information.

Spring

  • Monitor the spring melt.
    • The RM prepares the ditches for spring by removing some snow from ditch to assist drainage
  • If ditches are not draining water; call the RM office at 204-482-3300
    • Staff will log your concern in a tracking system and notify public works
    • Culverts may be frozen and the RM will initiate efforts to improve the situation as soon as possible
  • If the fields and land around your home have significant or threatening water accumulations notify the RM office.
    • It may be a result of natural or spring weather conditions and not manageable by the RM.
    • Municipal drains may need to be cleared and the municipality will schedule that on a priority basis.
  • If you need sand bags to protect your home from overland flooding
    • Call the RM office and arrange to pick up sandbags
      • The RM is not responsible for individual property protection, does not deliver sandbags and will not provide staff to install them
      • Protect all openings, holding tanks, drinking water supply and septic fields that may be at risk

Summer

  • Based on flooding experience consider installing permanent protection measures
    • This may include dikes, berms, swales, landscaping
  • Review update your emergency plan

Severe Storms

Severe weather can develop in any season, and has the potential to close roads and facilities, damage our utilities, and severely damage property. Manitoba has a long record of severe weather, including blizzards, tornadoes, heavy rain, windstorms, hail, and thunderstorms. They can occur at any time, and present a serious threat to life and property.

The best way to prepare for a severe weather event is to make a commitment to emergency preparedness in your home. It is also a good idea to consider the severe weather hazards that might arise with seasonal changes, and to take simple steps around your home to minimize the risk of damage. Monitoring weather conditions and forecasts will give you a chance to prepare for a severe weather emergency before it happens.

Resources

Tornadoes

Environment Canada reports that Manitoba gets 7-10 tornadoes every year. While tornadoes damage a relatively small area, they present an extremely dangerous threat with strong winds and flying debris.

It’s important to make plans ahead of time on where you will shelter in your home, and what basic steps you should take to protect your home and family from harm if there is a tornado threat.

Winter Power Failures

The failure of any utility would result in severe disruptions. While there have been investments to protect these systems and extensive planning to manage the emergency if there was a failure, we’ve had many examples – such as the Quebec ice storm – of the widespread impact of a utility failure. A power failure in winter is a serious concern in Manitoba, where we regularly experience extended and extreme periods of cold weather.

It’s important to make plans ahead of time on where you will shelter in your home, and what basic steps you should take to protect your home and family from harm if there is a tornado threat.

Forest Fires

Forest fire season in Manitoba is April 1 to Oct over 15, making spring and summer the most conducive times for forest fires. People living in close proximity to forested areas or using such area for recreational purposes need to know how to protect themselves in the event of a forest fire.

Resources

Chemical Releases

Chemical releases and hazardous materials incidents can vary greatly, and may require a wide range of actions if an accidental release occurs. In addition to developing a good level of general preparedness, it’s also important to understand some of the potentially hazardous substances near your home or office, and what actions might be required to protect yourself.

Pandemics

While all public health emergencies are cause for concern, there has been a particular focus on the threat of a pandemic influenza in recent years. In addition to leading a range of pandemic planning activities, the Government of Manitoba has developed a number of tools to provide the best possible forecast of what a pandemic influenza will be like, and to guide individuals, schools, and businesses as they prepare.

Resources

Recover from Disaster

Recovering from a disaster is usually a gradual process. Safety is a primary issue, as are mental and physical well-being. If assistance is available, knowing how to access it makes the process faster and less stressful. This section offers some general advice on steps to take after disaster strikes in order to begin getting your home and your life back to normal.

Re-entry

After a flood or other natural disaster, going back into your home can be dangerous because of structural, electrical or other hazards. Before returning home be sure that permission have been given by authorities and that the building is safe.

Clean Up

Disasters make a mess and one of the first jobs is to clean up. Safety should always be the very first consideration.

Houses that have been flooded or damaged by water need special attention to avoid mold growth. Proper cleaning techniques are essential to your safety while cleaning mold, and to ensure contaminants are properly removed and will not create a hazardous environment in your home.

Rebuilding

Repairs after a disaster should be treated like any other home renovations; you need to do some research, ensure safe practices are being followed, and check the quality of the work and compliance with codes and standards.

The goal of recovery and restoration operations is to, recover the facility or operation and maintain critical service or product delivery. Recovery and restoration includes:

  • re-deploying personnel;
  • deciding whether to repair the facility, relocate to an alternate site or build a new facility;
  • acquiring the additional resources necessary for restoring business operations;
  • re-establishing normal operations; and
  • resuming operations at pre-disruption levels.

Resources

Helpful Links

Government of Canada

Government of Manitoba

City of Winnipeg