At any time, an emergency or disaster could happen. Roads could be rendered impassible, supplies could become unavailable, and services could be disrupted.

Local, Provincial and Federal agencies prepare for emergencies, however, individuals should be prepared both at home and at work. With changing weather and civil conditions throughout the world, it makes sense to be prepared for the unexpected. Everyone should be prepared to take care of themselves and their families for up to three days (72 hours), should an emergency or disaster happen. Even a severe winter storm could result in roads not being cleared for up to three days.

During an Emergency

In the event of a declared emergency, the Town of Aurora will communicate with residents via Facebook, Twitter, the Town website, local news media outlets (the Banner, yorkregion.com, the Auroran, 105.9 FM), phone line (905-727-1375), information centres and by conducting in-person visits to residents and businesses where necessary.

We also encourage residents to sign up for Red Alerts, Tornado Warnings and Emergency Information Advisories through Emergency Management Ontario.

For tips on how to be prepared in an emergency and how to  put together an emergency kit visit our Emergency Preparedness page.

Power Outages & Electricity

Alectra services the Town of Aurora’s power outages. For information on power outages visit the power outage map for updates on affected areas. If you are still without power and your outage isn’t showing up on the outage map, there could be a problem at the electrical stack where the power lines connect to your house. If so, you will need to hire a licensed electrician and get an ESA inspection.

If you have a power outage visit Alectra’s page for helpful tips on what to do during a power outage. For more information contact Alectra at 1-833-253-2872.

Downed Trees

Following a storm or emergency, Town staff will assess the damage and will prioritizie public safety and road and sidewalk safety. If you have a downed boulevard tree or concerns with a Town owned tree, please email Access Aurora at info@aurora.ca.

Residents are responsible for trees on their property and are asked to contact a private contractor to assist in clearing and removal. Small branches can be bundled for yard waste removal by GFL. Please refer to the Waste Management Guide for set out guidelines.

All yard waste must be bundled and tied and cannot exceed the length off four feet as it will not fit in the collection truck. Large branches or trunks are the responsibility of the homeowner and should not be placed at the curb for removal. Oversized branches can be disposed at the following depots:

  • Bloomington Yard Waste Depot - 1351 Bloomington Road East, Richmond Hill
  • McCleary Court Environmental Centre - 130 McCleary Court, Vaughn
  • Georgina Transfer Station - 23068 Warden Ave, Georgina

Extreme Heat Advisory - Cooling Centres

Aurora's recreation facilities are open to the public when the Region of York issues a heat advisory. For a list of recreation centres in Aurora visit our Recreation and Fitness page.

Residents are also encouraged to visit our splash pads for an alternate way to cool off.
For more information on extreme heat and how to stay safe visit York Region's Extreme Heat page.

Extreme Cold Advisory - Warming Centres

Aurora's recreation facilities are open to the public when the Region of York issues a cold weather advisory.

For a list of recreation centres in Aurora visit our Recreation and Fitness page.
For more information on extreme cold and how to stay safe visit York Region's Extreme Cold page.

Enbridge Gas

Gas in Aurora is provided by Enbridge Gas. For all gas emergencies call 9-1-1 or contact Enbridge Gas.

Emergencies and Hazards - How to prepare before and during an emergency 
 Floods

Floods are the most frequent natural hazard in Canada. 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 more rarely, the failure of a natural or man-made dam.

Before a flood

To help prevent or lessen the effects of flooding:

  • Ensure sump pump is working; have a battery back-up
  • Clear eaves troughs, catch basins, culverts and drainage ditches
  • Review your insurance policy to ensure you are adequately covered
  • Ensure your insurance coverage includes sewer back-up insurance
  • Assemble a 72-Hour Emergency Kit

If a flood is imminent

  • Turn off basement furnaces and the outside gas valve
  • Move furniture, electrical appliances and other belongings to floors above ground level
  • Move animals to floors above ground level
  • Remove toxic substances such as pesticides and insecticides from the flood area to prevent pollution
  • Remove toilet bowls and plug basement sewer drains and toilet connections with a wooden stopper
  • Disconnect eavestroughs if they are connected to the house sewer
  • Do NOT attempt to shut off electricity if any water is present. Water and live electrical wires can be lethal. Leave your home immediately and do not return until authorities indicate it is safe to do so

During a flood

  • Keep your radio on to find out what areas are affected, what roads are safe, where to go and what to do if the local emergency team asks you to leave your home.
  • Keep your emergency kit close at hand, in a portable container such as a duffel bag, back pack, or suitcase with wheels.
  • Evacuate your home when you are advised to do so by local emergency authorities. Ignoring such a warning could jeopardize the safety of your family or those who might eventually have to come to your rescue.
  • Take your emergency kit with you.
  • Follow the routes specified by officials. Don't take shortcuts. They could lead you to a blocked or dangerous area.
  • Make arrangements for pets.
  • Time permitting, leave a note informing others when you left and where you went. If you have a mailbox, leave the note there
 Severe Storms
Thunderstorms, hail, blizzards, ice storms, high winds and heavy rain can develop quickly and threaten life and property. Severe storms occur in all regions of Canada and in all seasons.

Listen to the local radio or television stations for severe weather warnings and advice. Keep a battery-powered or wind-up radio on hand as there can be power outages during severe storms.

Before a storm

Stock up on heating fuel and ready-to-eat food, as well as battery-powered or wind-up flashlights and radios - and extra batteries. 

  • If a severe storm is forecasted, secure everything that might blown around or become loose - indoors and outdoors. Flying objects such as garbage cans and lawn furniture can injure people and damage property.
  • Trim dead branches and cut down dead trees to reduce the danger of these falling onto your house during a storm.
  • If you are indoors, stay away from windows, doors and fireplaces.
  • You may want to go to the sheltered area that you and your family chose for your emergency plan.
  • If you are advised by officials to evacuate, do so. Take your emergency kit with you.
  • You can use a cellular telephone during a severe storm, but it's not safe to use a land-line telephone.
  • If you are in a car, stop the car away from trees or power lines that might fall on you). Stay there.

During a storm

  • If you are outside, stay away from trees, telephone poles, wires, fences, or anything metal. Seek a low lying area and don’t stand near anything made of metal.
  • If indoors stay away from appliances or equipment — anything that will conduct electricity including sinks, tubs and showers and avoid using a telephone that is connected to a landline.
 Tornado

A tornado is an extremely powerful, dangerous, funnel-shaped wind vortex that comes into contact with the ground and causes damage. Tornado season runs from March to October with peak activity in late June or early July. These dangerous storms leave a path of destruction in their wake and an average tornado can cause a trail of damage six kilometres long. Signs of a tornado include: a dark greenish sky, large hail, often with little rain, visible cloud rotation, a funnel cloud hanging towards the ground, visible debris and a rumbling or whistling sound.

Before a Tornado

Environment Canada is responsible for warning the public when conditions exist that may produce tornadoes. It does this through radio, television, newspapers, its internet site, as well as through its weather phone lines.

If you live in one of Canada's high-risk areas, you should listen to your radio during severe thunderstorms.

  • If you receive a tornado watch or warning seek shelter immediately

During a Tornado

If you are in a house

  • Go to the basement or take shelter in a small interior ground floor room such as a bathroom, closet or hallway.
  • If you have no basement, protect yourself by taking shelter under a heavy table or desk.
  • In all cases, stay away from windows, outside walls and doors.

If you live on a farm

  • Livestock hear and sense impending tornadoes. If your family or home is at risk, the livestock will be a non-issue. If your personal safety is not an issue, you may only have time to open routes of escape for your livestock. Open the gate, if you must, and then exit the area in a tangent direction away from the expected path of the twister.

If you are in an office or apartment building

  • 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.

If you are in a gymnasium, church or auditorium

  • Large buildings with wide-span roofs may collapse if a tornado hits.
  • If possible, find shelter in another building.
  • If you are in one of these buildings and cannot leave, take cover under a sturdy structure such as a table or desk.

Avoid cars and mobile homes

  • More than half of all deaths from tornadoes happen in mobile homes.
  • Find shelter elsewhere, preferably in a building with a strong foundation.
  • If no shelter is available, lie down in a ditch away from the car or mobile home. Beware of flooding from downpours and be prepared to move.

If you are driving

  • If you spot a tornado in the distance go to the nearest solid shelter.
  • If the tornado is close, get out of your car and take cover in a low-lying area, such as a ditch.

In all cases

  • Get as close to the ground as possible, protect your head and watch 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 but is, in fact, moving toward you.
 Hurricanes

Hurricane season officially runs from June through November when the waters of the Atlantic Ocean are warm enough to produce a tropical cyclone, a category of weather systems that includes tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes. Environment Canada's Canadian Hurricane Centre encourages Canadians to prepare for the hurricane season.

Hurricanes can often be predicted one or two days in advance of their landfall. The key to hurricane protection is preparation. By taking precautions before, during, and after a hurricane, lives can be saved and property damage averted.

Before a Hurricane

It is important to stay informed by listening to the latest warnings and advisories on radio, television, or web sites. The Canadian Hurricane Centre will issue and update these when necessary.

  • If a hurricane is forecast, secure everything that might be blown around or torn loose. Flying objects such as garbage cans and lawn furniture can injure people and damage property.
  • Trim dead branches and cut down dead trees to reduce the danger of these falling onto your house during a storm.
  • Stock up on water, ready-to-eat food and heating fuel, as well as battery-powered or wind-up flashlights and radios - and extra batteries. Make sure that there is gasoline in the car. For a complete list of emergency supplies, go to emergency kits. Also, learn what to have in your car emergency kit.

During a Hurricane

  • Always check the marine forecast from the Weatheroffice website before going boating and listen to weather reports during your cruise. Never go out in a boat during a storm. If you are on the water and you see bad weather approaching, head for shore immediately.
  • Do not go down to the water to watch the storm. Most people who are killed during hurricanes are caught in large waves, storm surges or flood waters.
  • If the eye of the hurricane passes over, there will be a lull in the wind lasting from two or three minutes to half an hour. Stay in a safe place. Make emergency repairs only and remember that once the eye has passed over, the winds will return from the opposite direction with possibly even greater force.
  • Listen for reports from authorities on your portable radio.
  • If lightning is present, remember that you can use a cellular telephone during a severe storm, but it's not safe to use a land-line telephone.
 Earthquake
Wherever you are when an earthquake starts, take cover immediately. Move a few steps to a nearby safe place if need be. Stay there until the shaking stops.


If you are indoors: "DROP, COVER, HOLD ON"

  • Stay inside.
  • Drop under heavy furniture such as a table, desk, bed or any solid furniture.
  • Cover your head and torso to prevent being hit by falling objects.
  • Hold onto the object that you are under so that you remain covered.
  • If you can't get under something strong, or if you are in a hallway, flatten yourself or crouch against an interior wall.
  • If you are in a shopping mall, go into the nearest store.
  • Stay away from windows, and shelves with heavy objects.
  • If you are at school, get under a desk or table and hold on. Face away from windows.
  • If you are in a wheelchair, lock the wheels and protect the back of your head and neck.

If you are outdoors

  • Stay outside.
  • Go to an open area away from buildings.
  • If you are in a crowded public place, take cover where you won't be trampled.

If you are in a vehicle

  • Pull over to a safe place where you are not blocking the road. Keep roads clear for rescue and emergency vehicles.
  • Avoid bridges, overpasses, underpasses, buildings or anything that could collapse.
  • Stop the car and stay inside.
  • Listen to your car radio for instructions from emergency officials.
  • Do not attempt to get out of your car if downed power lines are across it. Wait to be rescued.
  • Place a HELP sign in your window if you need assistance.
  • If you are on a bus, stay in your seat until the bus stops. Take cover in a protected place. If you can't take cover, sit in a crouched position and protect your head from falling debris.

AVOID the following in an earthquake

  • Doorways. Doors may slam shut and cause injuries.
  • Windows, bookcases, tall furniture and light fixtures. You could be hurt by shattered glass or heavy objects.
  • Elevators. If you are in an elevator during an earthquake, hit the button for every floor and get out as soon as you can.
  • Downed power lines - stay at least 10 metres away to avoid injury.
 Power Outage
Most power outages will be over almost as soon as they begin, but some can last much longer - up to days or even weeks. Power outages are often caused by freezing rain, sleet storms and/or high winds which damage power lines and equipment. Cold snaps or heat waves can also overload the electric power system.

During a power outage, you may be left without heating/air conditioning, lighting, hot water, or even running water. If you only have a cordless phone, you will also be left without phone service. If you do not have a battery-powered or crank radio, you may have no way of monitoring news broadcasts. In other words, you could be facing major challenges.

You can greatly lessen the impact of a power outage by taking the time to prepare in advance. You and your family should be prepared to cope on your own during a power outage for at least 72 hours.

Before a power outage

  • Use surge protectors to protect valuable electronics like computers and home entertainment systems
  • Know how to safely shut off your electricity, water and gas (and if any special tools are needed)
  • Keep your vehicle with no less than a half tank of gas because gas stations are electrically operated and won’t work during a power outage
  • Have back-up light sources such as flashlights with batteries in all major rooms of your house
  • Have a corded telephone that will work without home power (cordless phones will not work without electricity)
  • Know how to release your electric garage door opener and how to open the door without electricity (some openers have a battery back-up)
  • Have a cooler on hand that can be filled with ice or freezer blocks for cold food storage if needed If you depend on home oxygen (or other life-sustaining equipment), have a back-up that does not rely on power (such as battery back-up). Contact your service provider for options.

During a power outage

  • Check if the power outage is limited to your home. If your neighbours' power is still on, check your own circuit breaker panel or fuse box. If the problem is not a breaker or a fuse, check the service wires leading to the house. If they are obviously damaged or on the ground, stay at least 10 meters back and notify your electric supply authority. Keep the number along with other emergency numbers near your telephone.
  • If your neighbours' power is also out, notify your electric supply authority.
  • Turn off all tools, appliances and electronic equipment, and turn the thermostat(s) for the home heating system down to minimum to prevent damage from a power surge when power is restored. Also, power can be restored more easily when there is not a heavy load on the electrical system.
  • Turn off all lights, except one inside and one outside, so that both you and hydro crews outside know that power has been restored.
  • Don't open your freezer or fridge unless it is absolutely necessary. A full freezer will keep food frozen for 24 to 36 hours if the door remains closed.
  • Never use charcoal or gas barbecues, camping heating equipment, or home generators indoors or in garages. They give off carbon monoxide. Because you can't smell or see it, carbon monoxide can cause health problems and is life-threatening.
  • Use proper candle holders. Never leave lit candles unattended and keep out of reach of children. Always extinguish candles before going to bed.
  • Listen to your battery-powered or wind-up radio for information on the outage and advice from authorities.
 Ice Storm

Ice from freezing rain accumulates on branches, power lines and buildings. If you must go outside when a significant amount of ice has accumulated, pay attention to branches or wires that could break due to the weight of the ice and fall on you. Ice sheets could also do the same.

During a Ice Storm

  • Stay inside and have your emergency prepared and near you
  • If you must go out, never touch power lines. A hanging power line could be charged (live) and you would run the risk of electrocution. Remember also that ice, branches or power lines can continue to break and fall for several hours after the end of the precipitation.
  • When freezing rain is forecast, avoid driving. Even a small amount of freezing rain can make roads extremely slippery. Wait several hours after freezing rain ends so that road maintenance crews have enough time to spread sand or salt on icy roads.
  • Rapid onsets of freezing rain combined with the risks of blizzards increase the chances for extreme hypothermia. If you live on a farm, move livestock promptly to shelter where feed is available. Forage is often temporarily inaccessible during and immediately after ice storms. Animal reactions to ice storms are similar to that of blizzards.

For more on how to prepare for an emergency view our Emergency Preparedness page.