You are now in the main content area

Natural Hazards

Natural disasters and extreme weather are caused by forces of nature. They can also be triggered or worsened by human activity and sometimes occur with little or no warning. 

Across Canada, communities face a number of natural hazards, which can vary from region to region. In 2017, the City of Toronto identified top hazards for the city, which includes three meteorological hazards: winter weather, floods and extreme heat.

General instructions

  • Take shelter indoors.
  • Avoid unnecessary travel.
  • Stay away from glass and windows.
  • In the event of flooding, stay out of building areas below street level.

Snow, ice or wind storm

  • Avoid unnecessary travel.
  • Remain in a safe, indoor space.
  • Stay up to date with your local weather report. 
  • Take extra caution when walking on slippery surfaces.
  • Stay away from windows, skylights and glass doors — strong winds and large hailstones can shatter them

Major floods or torrential rain

  • Remain in a safe, indoor space.
  • Go to an elevated level (avoid basements below ground).
  • Stay out of building areas that are below street level.
  • Don't walk through moving water
  • Don’t drive through floodwaters
  • Disconnect electrical appliances — don’t touch electrical equipment if you’re wet or standing in water

Extreme heat

  • Go to a cool place.
  • Sit or lie down.
  • Drink water.
  • Wash your face with cool water.
  • Stay indoors to limit sun exposure.
  • Stay on lower floors if there’s no air conditioning.
  • Drink water and eat light, regular meals.
  • Dress in lightcoloured, loose-fitting clothing covering as much of your skin as possible
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face
  • Wear full UVA and UVB protection sunglasses