Emergencies may include natural disasters like floods, tornados, or storms. It can also include infectious diseases, accidents, water contamination or water shortages.

You can't predict an emergency, but you can prepare for one. Take action today!

The Municipality is required to develop an Emergency Management Program to ensure that we are prepared for potential emergency. The program includes an Emergency Management Plan, public education activities, training and exercises.

What is an Emergency?

The Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act defines an emergency as:

“a situation or an impending situation that constitutes a danger of major proportions that could result in serious harm to persons or substantial damage to property and that is caused by the forces of nature, a disease or other health risk, an accident or an act whether intentional or otherwise.”

The Mayor, as the head of council, has the power to declare a state of emergency. They will consult with the Municipal Emergency Control Group and review the Emergency Plan to make their decision.

Make a Plan

In an emergency, your family may not be together, or you may be asked to evacuate your home. Thinking about what you would do in different situations and preparing a plan with every member of your family is the first step to being prepared.

Family Communications Plan

During an emergency, it may be easier to reach someone using text messaging or social media or to make a long-distance call than to call someone locally (due to network damage or a jammed system). Discuss with your family which way(s) you will try to get in touch with each other. 

Evacuation Plan

In case you are asked to evacuate your home, or even your area, select two safe locations you could go to. One should be nearby, such as a local library or community centre. The other one should be farther away, outside your neighbourhood, in case the emergency affects a large area.

Evacuation Route

Make sure everyone in your family knows how to safely exit your home—by a main exit and an alternate one. 

Emergency Numbers

Keep a listing of emergency numbers at the ready and make sure all members of your family know where they are. Teach children when and how to dial 9-1-1 and other key numbers they may need to call.

Fire and Other Safety

Follow general household safety rules for smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers. More information on how many to have, where to place them, how often to check and replace them can be obtained from the Meaford Fire Department.

Utility Shut-off Procedure

Every adult in your family, as well as older children, should also know how to turn off main utilities—water, electricity, gas. In certain emergencies, authorities will ask that these be turned off for safety reasons. Write out instructions, if needed, and post somewhere visible.

Important Documents

Make copies of important documents (insurance, main identification documents like driver’s licence and passport, birth and marriage certificates, wills). Keep with your plan in a safe place. Consider sharing copies with out-of-town family members or keep a set in a safety deposit box.

When Your Plan Is Ready

  • Discuss your plan with other family and friends so they know what you would do in an emergency.
  • Keep your plan in an easy to reach location. A good place is with your emergency kit. Make sure everyone in your family knows where to find it.
  • Once a year, review your plan with the entire family. Update it to reflect any changes you want to make.
  • Refresh your survival kit at the same time, with new food, water and other supplies.

Build a Kit

Every family should have a 72-hour emergency kit. It 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.

Build your own survival kit checklist


  • 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.

Municipal Emergency Management Plan

Meaford's Emergency Management Plan helps us protect residents, businesses and visitors in the case of an emergency. We coordinate our emergency response with a number of agencies under the direction of the Municipal Control Group.

The Plan provides key officials, agencies and departments important emergency response information, and outlines everyone's roles and responsibilities in the event of an emergency. It helps us provide a centralized, controlled and coordinated response to emergencies that might happen in the Municipality of Meaford, and meets the legislated requirements of the Emergency Management Act.

A hardcopy of the plan is available at the Meaford & District Fire Hall located at 81 Stewart Street, Meaford. The document is available in other accessible formats and with communication supports by request.


Emergency Preparedness Week 2024 

Emergency Preparedness Week is here! This year, the theme is “Plan for Every Season”, highlighting the importance of being prepared for any situation, whether it’s power outages, severe storms, or heat waves.

As we transition through seasons, it is crucial to ensure that we are equipped to handle whatever nature throws are way. Together, let’s plan for every season and ensure the safety and well-being of ourselves and those around us! 

Visit the Emergency Management Ontario (EMO) website for more information!

To learn more safety tips for extreme weather and power outages see the below attachments. 


Extreme Weather Preparedness

Power Outage Safety 


Ardent Defender Exercise

The Ardent Defender exercise is a counter-explosive threat training scenario for the Canadian Armed Forces. It is the largest exercise of its kind to take place in Canada, and includes participants from over 20 nations around the world. The aim of the exercise is to refine the skills to defeat explosive threats that could be faced during Armed Forces operations. Meaford hosted the exercise in 2018 and 2019, with activities taking place at the Meaford Harbour, Meaford Hall, Water Treatment Plant and the Fire Hall Training Center.

Photo Gallery: Ardent Defender Exercise will appear here on the public site.

Learn more:ontario.ca/page/emergency-preparedness-week

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