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Middlesex-London Health Unit

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Personal Preparedness

Preparing for any possible emergency can bring peace of mind to you and your family. Are you ready?

Planning for a Flu Pandemic

  • Get the flu vaccine every year – the shot will not protect you from a pandemic influenza virus, but it will protect you from seasonal influenza, which could weaken your immune system or resistance to the pandemic influenza.
  • Thoroughly wash your hands with soap frequently – good hand hygiene is the best way to prevent the spread of all influenza viruses.
  • Keep an alcohol-based sanitizer, containing at least 60% alcohol (gel or wipes) at work, home and in your car.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or sneeze into your sleeve.
  • Follow any instructions given by public health officials.

Severe Weather

Tornado Watch

  • Issued when severe weather may happen. This is time for you to prepare.
  • Tune into your local radio or television station for updates.

Tornado Warning

  • Issued when a severe storm or tornado has been sighted or indicated by radar.
  • Stay indoors and tune in to your local media.
  • Seek shelter in the basement or in an interior room and under sturdy furniture, if possible. Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls.


  • Stay indoors and tune into your local media.
  • Stay away from floodwaters.
  • Do not stack sandbags against your house. This adds pressure to the walls and can cause damage.
  • Do not drink tap water. 

Winter Storms

  • Stay indoors and tune in to local media.
  • Do not over exert yourself while shoveling.
  • Do not leave home unless necessary.
  • Do not use barbecues or kerosene lanterns for indoor heating.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes and layer as needed.
  • Have an emergency car kit, if you must travel.

Chemical Accidents

Chemical accidents could happen in London and Middlesex County several ways, for example during a:

  • Train derailment
  • Transport truck incident
  • Factory fire

If you are outside in a chemical emergency

  • Stay upstream, uphill and upwind.
  • Move so the wind is blowing from your left to your right, not at your back or in your face.
  • Go indoors or in your car and close all windows and doors.
  • Stay well away from the danger area.
  • Follow instructions from local authorities.

If you are inside

  • Stay inside and tune in to local media.
  • Be prepared to follow all instructions given by emergency personnel.
  • Close and lock all doors.
  • Seal all entry points such as windows and doors with wet towels or duct tape.
  • Close all fire place dampers and turn off ventilation systems (air vents and furnaces).
  • Use telephone only for emergencies such as fire, medical or police.
  • If you suspect vapours have entered your home, take shallow breaths through a wet towel or cloth.

Evacuation Route

Do not evacuate unless told to do so by emergency personnel.

Preparing to Evacuate

  • Tune in to your local media for more information.
  • Pack a bag with essential items listed in “Developing an Emergency Kit”.

When Evacuating, Stay Calm

  • In the winter, ensure furnace is on.
  • Make provisions for pets and/or farm animals.
  • Check on elderly or infirm neighbours.
  • Drive carefully; do not rush.
  • By ignoring a warning to evacuate, you jeopardize your family and those who might have to save you.

School Children

  • Do not attempt to pick up your children at their school until notified by school staff; you will be informed where to pick them up when it is safe.
  • The safety of your children is the emergency personnel’s priority.

Disabled and the Elderly

  • Please be sure to help disabled and elderly citizens in the community.
  • If you are able to do so, assist them in the event of an evacuation.
  • Consider giving them rides.

Developing an Emergency Plan

Sit down with family members to develop an emergency plan. Consider conducting drills to practice your plan.

  • Consider that all municipalities are vulnerable to many potential emergencies like severe weather, chemical spills, or an influenza pandemic.
  • Determine safe rooms in your home to use for shelter.
  • Post emergency phone numbers and your address by the phone.
  • Ensure that even young children know their address and phone number.
  • Locate gas, water heater and electrical shutoffs in your home and mark them with labels (colour coded if possible).
  • Prepare for family health needs (medication, medical supplies, etc.), make provisions for any special needs, learn First Aid and CPR. Establish a meeting place if separated during evacuation.
  • Plan not to leave pets behind; locate a shelter and pack supplies.
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home and check that they are working each month.

Developing an Emergency Kit

Your emergency kit should include enough food and water for three days. Include ready-to-eat foods, which require no refrigeration.

Drinking Water

  • At least one litre per person per day
  • Remember to include enough water for pets


  • Canned food such as soups, baked beans, pasta, meat, fish, vegetables and fruits.
  • Crackers and biscuits
  • Honey, peanut butter, syrup, jam, sugar, coffee, tea, salt and pepper
  • For Babies and Toddlers
  • Diapers, wipes, infant formula
  • Toys, crayons, paper and books

For Other Family Members

  • Prescription medication (at least one week’s supply with copies of prescription)
  • Extra eye glasses

Emergency Survival Kit

  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Battery-operated radio
  • First aid kit, “ABC” – Type Extinguisher
  • Candles and matches/lighter
  • Extra car keys and cash, including coins
  • Important documents and identification
  • Food and bottled water
  • Clothes and footwear
  • Medical needs and hygiene products
  • Pillows, blankets and sleeping bags

Emergency Phone Numbers

Tune in to your local stations for more information

  • Police, Fire, EMS 911
  • Middlesex County 519-434-7321
  • City of London 519-661-2500
  • Poison Control 1-800-268-9017
  • Telehealth Ontario 1-866-797-0000
  • Ministry of Transportation
    (Winter road conditions) 1-800-268-4686

For more information

Emergency Management Program
Tel: 519-663-5317
Fax: 519-663-9413

Date of creation: November 23, 2012
Last modified on: December 11, 2023