An increase in demand for safety information motivated the County of Perth to launch a winter severe weather guide.
The booklet, launched in print and digital editions on Thursday, contains helpful information about how to prepare for severe winter weather, definitions and weather terminology and links on where to find accurate road and weather information.
Rick Fraser, community emergency management coordinator for the County of Perth, said similar materials existed previously. After a winter wallop slammed the county around last Christmas, the idea came together to package emergency information into one place, he said.
"We had a debrief with staff and one of things that came out of that is that people needed more information and more condensed information," he told StratfordToday.
It was Fraser's first major weather event since he started working for the county and one of the harshest winter storms to ever hit the area, closing roads in Stratford and throughout the county at the worst time of year, when people had plans to travel for the holiday season.
Residents need to abide by travel advisories and road closures to ensure their safety and the safety of others, Fraser said.
"The storm happened at the worst time. Two weeks before or after, keeping people off the roads would not have been such a problem."
The guide will help educate people with important information to stay informed and safe, he said. Safety is paramount, including for the county's first responders and roads teams, who are often on the front lines in dangerous conditions, he said.
Fraser said the county's main website and a top-of-page banner will be used for emergency weather information this season, although he noted that it is not for daily weather updates in a region known for tough winters. The county's social media pages will also continue to be a source for emergency weather information.
Fraser is optimistic residents will read the guide, and he noted that a lot of work went into creating it.
Copies of the new guide are available for pick up free of charge at municipal offices and locations across the county:
- Perth County Courthouse: 1 Huron Street, Stratford (entrance now via St. Andrew Street)
- Municipality of North Perth: 330 Wallace Avenue North, Listowel
- Township of Perth South: 3191 Road 122, St. Pauls
- Township of Perth East: 25 Mill Street East, Milverton
- Municipality of West Perth: 160 Wellington Street, Mitchell
- Stratford-Perth Archives: 4273 Line 34, Stratford
To view a digital copy or to learn more about emergency preparedness in the county visit: www.perthcounty.ca/emergency