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Huron County prepares for ‘extreme heat’ event



Huron County’s decision makers have holed up in Clinton’s Libro Hall to simulate an emergency they hope never actually materializes.

“It’s part of their emergency preparedness and planning. We’ve decided to do one group, all together in one room, simulating a heat and power outage emergency,” said Chad Kregar, Huron County’s emergency manager.

Mayors, fire chiefs, public works, CAO’s, OPP, and paramedics from all nine Huron County municipalities are going through what a sustained heat emergency and subsequent power outages and storm damage could leave in their wake.

It’s an annual exercise mandated by Emergency Management Ontario.

“Every municipality needs to be prepared for any kind of event. Goderich had a tornado several years ago, and this helps our municipalities deal with and know our current critical infrastructure and how to respond in the event of an emergency,” said Huron County’s Health and Safety Manager Michaela Johnston.

Monday’s tabletop emergency exercise is a precursor to this weekend’s emergency exercise spanning Huron and Bruce County, involving the military.

Huron County emergency exercise in Clinton on April 29, 2024. (Scott Miller/CTV News London)

There will be 800 Canadian army reservists simulating fighting wildfires, search and rescues, and wellness checks across the two counties on May 3-5.

“It’s the same premise the military exercise is based on. It’s a heat event with power outages where the military might have to respond after a tornado and wildfires, where they’d be coming to assist municipalities with clearing brush, setting up water distribution, and cooling centres,” said Johnston.

‘Exercise Trillium Venture’ will be most evident on Saturday as the military mobilizes across Huron and Bruce County.

Monday’s exercise in Clinton is getting officials ready for that kind of disaster and what they’d be expected to do to keep people safe.

“That’s what they’re practicing today. Essentially it’s practice for a live event,” said Kregar.

“It can happen at any time to any community. It’s one thing to be prepared and know the steps to ask for help from other municipalities, and the province, if need be,” said Johnston.

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