- Wildfire season officially starts March 1 and runs
until October 31 annually
- If you see a wildfire, report it
immediately by calling 310-FIRE.
If the fire is in your community,
Wildfires are extremely dangerous. If a wildfire
enters your community, the following steps can help:
- Report it, and get to a safe place.
- Never attempt to fight a fire yourself. Wildfires
move rapidly and are unpredictable.
- Smoke from fires can be harmful. Monitor air
quality through Alberta Health Services.ca.
- Children, the elderly, and those with heart and lung
related health issues are at the greatest risk
from smoke inhalation.
- If you experience any difficulty in breathing, seek
medical attention immediately.
- Paper masks do not provide protection from
Protect your property and belongings
- Learn FireSmart methods and share them with
members of your community.
- Remove items that can burn from within 1.5
metres (5 feet) of your home, such as dried
branches, leaves, lawn furniture, firewood and
- Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide
alarms on every floor and near sleeping areas.
- Keep a sprinkler in an easy to access location.
- Be careful when smoking outside, extinguish fire
pits and burn barrels, and obey local fire bans.
Thunderstorms, heavy rain, hail, high winds, blowing
snow, blizzards, and ice storms can develop quickly
and threaten life and property. Severe storms occur
frequently across Alberta and can be unpredictable.
During a storm
In extreme high winds, go to the basement or to
a small interior room in the center of the building
on the lowest floor, such as a closet, bathroom,
or hallway. If this is not an option, take cover
under a stairway or sturdy table and use a soft
item, such as a cushion or mattress, to protect
- Stay away from windows, doors, exterior walls
and fireplaces. Avoid buildings with large,
unsupported roofs like arenas, supermarkets,
- You may want to go to the sheltered area that
you and your loved ones have chosen in your
- Stay up to date on the situation by listening to
updates from local authorities.
- If you are on water and see bad weather
approaching, head for shore immediately.
After a storm
Severe weather can have a significant impact on
people and property. The steps you take after a
storm are as important as what you do before and
- If you have been evacuated, do not return until
advised that it is safe to do so.
- If you have experienced flooding due to rainfall
and the main power switch was not turned off,
do not re-enter until a qualified electrician has
determined it is safe to do so.
- If you suspect structural damage, get a
professional opinion to ensure it is safe before
- Damaged buildings, such as homes and
workplaces, should be restored as soon as
possible to protect human health and prevent
- Depending on where you are, your local or
provincial inspection authority may be
responsible for issuing the necessary permits
before certain utilities can be reconnected.
- Reflect on the impact of the storm and take
steps to be better prepared for the next one.
Seasonal weather, such as winds, hail, and
tornadoes, can develop quickly and threaten life and
property. Severe storms occur across Alberta in all
seasons. It is important to know what to do to protect
lives and property
In most of Alberta, a wind warning is given for winds
expected to reach at least 70 km/h, or gust to at
least 90 km/h.
- Extreme, strong or gusting winds can cause
injury or property damage.
- Winds of this speed can cause difficulty walking
or loss of control while operating a vehicle.
Wind survival tips
- Secure loose objects around your property as
they can become dangerous projectiles.
- Shelter your livestock.
- Shelter-in-place until the storm has passed.
A tornado is a violently rotating column of air
extending between a thundercloud and the ground.
- Tornadoes can come with extreme wind speeds,
in rare cases over 400 km/h.
- Most tornadoes develop in the late afternoon and
• Tornadoes are often hard to see from far away.
- Not all tornadoes have a visible funnel cloud.
- Tornadoes usually come from the south or west,
but can come from any direction and can change
Tornado survival tips
- Large hailstones are often present during
tornadoes. Take cover when hail begins and do
not go outside.
- May through September is tornado and hail
season in Alberta. Mid-June through early
August is the peak time.
Taking shelter in extreme winds
- Get down, protect your head and watch out for flying debris.
- Do not chase tornadoes. They are unpredictable and can change course abruptly.
- A tornado is deceptive, it may appear to be standing still when it is moving toward you.
- Keep your radio on to find out what areas are affected, what roads are safe, where to go,
and what to do if you have been directed to evacuate.
- Keep your emergency kit close by.
- Follow instructions from authorities. Remember, disobeying an order puts lives at risk.
- Go to the basement or underground shelter, if available.
- Otherwise, take shelter in a small interior ground floor room such as a bathroom, closet or
- Make sure windows and doors are closed and secured, then stay away from them.
- Shelter in your home, as above. Do not try to rescue livestock unless you feel it is safe to do
|Office or apartment|
- Take shelter in an inner hallway or room, ideally in the basement or on the ground floor.
- Do not use the elevator. Stay away from windows.
- Buildings such as an arena or shopping mall may collapse if a tornado hits.
- If possible, find shelter in another building.
- If trapped inside, take cover under a sturdy object such as a table or desk.
|Mobile home or vehicle|
- Mobile homes or vehicles are not safe during tornadoes or any extreme wind storms.
- More than half of tornado-related deaths occur in or near mobile homes or in vehicles.
- Seek shelter in a sturdy building immediately.
- Ensure your emergency plan includes a nearby safe place to evacuate to.
- If in a rural area and the threat is visible in the distance, you may be able to avoid a tornado
by moving at right angles to its path. Otherwise, seek sturdy shelter immediately.
- If the threat is near and shelter is not available, get out of your car and take cover in a low-lying area, such as a ditch, but beware of flooding.
- Never try to outrun a nearby tornado.
- Avoid hiding under bridges or overpasses.
Floods are a frequent hazard in Canada and have
devastated many areas of Alberta. High-risk flood
zones are in low-lying areas along river banks,
called flood plains. These areas naturally flood when
water levels rise.
Flooding can occur at any time of year and can
- Heavy rainfall, particularly when the ground is
still frozen or already wet
- Ice jams
- Rapid melting of glaciers or snowpacks
- Natural or man-made dam failures
Low-lying areas along rivers or in ravines have a
high risk of flooding. Heavy rainfall or dam failures
can cause flash floods, which happen quickly and
with no warning.
Protect your home and belongings
- Use weather protection sealant around
basement windows and the base of ground-level
- Ensure downspout drainage moves water away
from the property.
- Install a sump pump and zero reverse flow
valves in basement floor drains.
Water is powerful. It only takes 6
inches of moving water to knock
over an adult, 12 inches to carry
away a car, and 2 feet to move
an SUV. Never attempt to cross
a flooded area.
During a flood
If there is a threat of flooding in your area, prepare to
leave. Consider the following:
Prepare to leave
- Stay informed on the situation by listening to
updates from authorities. Be sure to follow all
directions and instructions from authorities.
- Have your emergency kit, including your
important documents, ready to go.
Protect your home and belongings
- Consult your electricity or fuel supplier for
instructions on how to safeguard electrical,
natural gas or propane equipment.
- Do not shut off electricity if any water is present.
- Move furniture, electrical appliances and other
belongings to floors above ground level.
- Remove toxic substances such as pesticides
and insecticides from the flood area to prevent
- Remove toilet bowls and plug basement sewer
drains and toilet connections with a wooden
After flood waters are gone, there could be
substantial damage to a community and hazards to
be aware of when you return.
If you are ordered to evacuate, you aren’t allowed to
return until authorities have declared it is safe to do
You should not re-enter your property if:
- the City has not deemed it safe to do so
- any part of the structure has collapsed
- the structure is off its foundation
- the main power switch was not turned off prior to
Remember to use extreme caution, especially if
there are holes in the floor, broken glass and
It is important to clean and dry your property after a
flood as soon as possible to prevent further damage
and reduce risks to your health. Here are some
- Maintain good hygiene during flood cleanup by:
- Reducing contact with floodwater or anything
that may have been in contact with it.
- Wearing protective clothing like rubber boots,
safety glasses, and hard hats.
- Never use water that may be contaminated,
and wash your hands often.
- Keep children and pets away from contaminated
areas during clean-up.
- Dry carpets within the first two days, and replace
if carpets are deeply penetrated or damaged.
- Clean all interior wall and floor cavities with a
solution of water and unscented detergent.
- Mud can be dried and brushed off.
- Move damp items to a cool, dry area as soon as
possible. Set up fans to minimize mold growth.
Mold spores are often invisible and can cause long
term illness. Symptoms include persistent
headaches, sudden nosebleeds, or colds. Mold is
identifiable by signs of brown, grey or black growth
on surfaces; not all mold damage is visible though.
- Wear a dust mask and rubber gloves.
- Dispose of all insulation material, particleboard,
furniture, mattresses, box springs, stuffed toys,
pillows, padding, cushions and furniture
coverings that show signs of mold.
- Freeze important textiles and documents until
you have time to treat them.
Plastic and hardwood items may be saved. Let wet
mold dry, then brush it off outdoors, and disinfect.
Washable items can also be saved. Disinfect by
lightly misting each item with a cleaner (e.g. rubbing
alcohol or chlorine bleach; use 1 part cleaner to 4
- Protective gear
- Pails, mops and squeegees
- Plastic garbage bags and large containers
- Unscented detergent, chlorine bleach or rubbing
- Equipment such as extension cords, water
pumps, shop vacuums, carbon monoxide
detectors, dehumidifiers, fans, and heaters
If your property has signs of
mold, stay safe by finding
- Check local water advisories. Do not use water
from the local supply unless it is declared safe
- Do not drink water if it shows signs of
contamination, such as colour, odour, or taste.
- Standing water should be drained slowly and in
stages. Use pumps or pails to remove, then a
wet/dry shop vacuum to clean up the rest.
- Contact your local or provincial health authority
for instructions on how to disinfect and restore
wells and cisterns.
Heating and appliances
- Do not heat your property to more than 4°C/40°F
until after all the water is gone.
- Do not use any appliances or electrical systems,
or touch electric panels, until all components
have been thoroughly cleaned, dried and
inspected by a qualified electrician.
- Buy and install a carbon monoxide sensor if you
plan to use pumps or heaters powered by
gasoline, kerosene or propane during clean up.
- Clean or replace soaked or damaged parts,
such as filters, ducts, and electrical components,
in the furnace and hot water tank.
Food and medicine
- Thoroughly wash and disinfect all undamaged
food, medicine, and supplies.
- Dispose of all food, medicine, cosmetics and
toiletries that made contact with flood water.
An outage is a short or long term loss of water or
electric power. It can affect a single property, a
building, or an entire community.
Many of Alberta’s hazards, such as high winds,
freezing rain, and flooding, can damage power lines
causing power outages. Water outages are caused
by extreme temperature fluctuations and pipe
corrosion causing water main breaks, among other
Carbon monoxide poisoning is
preventable. Generators, camp
stoves, or barbecues do not
belong indoors; gas stoves and
ovens are not a safe source of
During an outage
Outages can leave you without heat, water, lights,
air conditioning, information services, and vital
communication channels. Services such as grocery
stores, pharmacies, gas stations, banks, and ATMs
may be closed during an extended outage.
- If the power is still on in your neighbourhood but
not in your home, check your breaker.
- Call your utility provider to determine if the
interruption is widespread or only affecting your
- Leave one light on inside and one light on
outside so you and the utility worker will know
when power has been restored.
- Don’t use any household appliances that require
Know when to go
Extreme heat and cold can have a greater impact on
older adults, young children or those with health
issues. If it is too cold to stay where you are, and it is
safe to leave, head to a shelter until it is safe to
Outage survival tips
- Head to the lowest level of the building. Heat is
drawn from the ground so it will stay warm
- Keep doors and blinds closed.
- Have extra blankets and warm clothes on hand.
- Use a wood-burning or gas fireplace if you have
- Turn cell phones to battery-saving mode and
only use them for emergency calls.
- Disconnect appliances and electronics.
- Keep freezer and refrigerator doors closed.
After an outage
Outages can create safety risks and cause property
damage. Be aware of the risks and take caution
when power and water returns.
- Do not enter a flooded basement unless you are
sure the power is disconnected.
- Keep yourself, kids, and pets away from affected
areas in your community.
- Never use water-damaged appliances, electrical
outlets or fuse-breaker panels until they have
been checked by a qualified electrician.
- Check all food for signs of spoilage and
damage. When in doubt, throw it out.
- After 24 hours of no power, all refrigerated
medication should be thrown out, unless the
label says otherwise.
- Restock your emergency kit.
How to prevent further damage
- Unplug appliances and electronics before
turning on the main power switch.
- Allow the power to stabilize and wait 15 minutes
before reconnecting tools and appliances.
- Turn the essentials on first. Start with heat,
followed by the refrigerator and freezer.
- Turn on the main water supply.
- Make sure the hot water heater is filled before
turning it on.
- Connect with your utility provider for more