A Special E-Bulletin from CONSERVATION ONTARIO




Emergency Preparedness Week   May 3-9, 2009


Conservation Authorities help prevent flooding
Flooding is the leading cause of public emergency in Ontario

Floods are the most frequent natural hazard experienced in this country. They can occur at any time of the year and are most often caused by heavy rainfall, rapid melting of a thick snow pack, ice jams or deteriorating flood control structures. Conservation Authorities work with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment Canada and Municipalities to protect life and property in Ontario from the hazards of flooding and erosion. Over 90% of Ontario’s population lives in a Conservation Authority watershed.

Tools for forecasting and preventing flooding


ü build, operate and maintain flood control structures

ü regulate flood plain land use;

ü monitor weather and flow conditions;

ü forecast flood emergencies & issue warnings

ü flood plain mapping, modelling & planning work required to support these activities.


Conservation Authorities have built over 900 dams, dykes, channels and erosion control structures along Ontario’s rivers and shorelines. Together, they protect 46,000 homes and prevent an average of well over $100 million a year in damages.

Climate Change Impacts are creating more frequent storm events

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that the climate of coming decades will be driven overwhelmingly by greenhouse gases and that a continuing trend of greater and more frequent intense rain events is ‘very likely’.


The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that the frequency of heavy rain events is expected to double by the end of the century for the Great Lakes region.


Accurate flood plain mapping, rainfall and stream flow monitoring systems, computer models to forecast stream flows are used by Conservation Authorities and are indispensable to the effective management of floods.

You can be more prepared

There are three easy steps that can help people to prepare for all types of emergencies:

1. KNOW THE RISKS Learn about the natural hazards of your region and learn how to prepare for them – a natural hazard need not be a natural disaster. Being prepared can make a world of difference. Natural Hazards Poster; Atlas of Canada; Floods: What To Do Brochure .


2. MAKE AN EMERGENCY PLAN family emergency plan will help you and your family know what to do in case of an emergency. Every Canadian household needs an emergency plan. It will take you about 20 minutes to complete your personalized plan online. You can then print it out.


3. GET A KIT  In case of a major event you will need some basic supplies set aside. That way you will always be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours while emergency workers focus on people in urgent need.  Basic Emergency Kit

 Emergency Preparedness Week is a national campaign coordinated by Public Safety Canada, together with all provinces and territories. First responders (police officers, firefighters, paramedics, etc), industry, and non-governmental organizations all plan activities for EP Week. It is a collaborative event undertaken by many, with hundreds of activities occurring in communities across Canada.

The federal, provincial and territorial governments adopted the concept of EP Week in 1995 to promote activities that increase Canadians' capacity to cope with the effects of major emergencies. The first EP Week took place in 1996.



This newsletter was prepared by Conservation Ontario, the organization that represents Ontairo’s 36 Conservation Authorities. For more information on  Conservation Ontario or Conservation Authorities, please visit our website