Human Health

If your health or well-being is at risk, it is a human health emergency . This could include infectious disease outbreaks, food and water safety issues and air quality concerns arising from disasters.


Pandemics & Epidemics

A pandemic occurs when an infectious disease spreads throughout the global population. It is different than an epidemic, which is contained within a region or country.

Your Health

Managing anxiety during and after a disaster. The impact of a natural disaster or traumatic event goes far beyond physical damage.

Water Emergencies

The County of Oxford monitors water 24/7 to ensure it is safe to drink. We treat water, remove harmful contaminants, and maintain the underground network of pipes that deliver it to your house.


Pandemics and Epidemics

A pandemic occurs when an infectious disease spreads throughout the global population. It's different than an epidemic, which is contained within a region or country. Pandemics may arise from a new strain of influenza. A pandemic will have a major impact on our lives – and we need to be ready for that.

These tips could lessen the impact of a pandemic for you and your family:

  • Stock up on supplies in case of an extended stay at home, such as food, water, medications and cleaning aids 
  • Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home 
  • Limit the spread of germs by practicing good hygiene; frequent hand washing, cough into a tissue or into your sleeve, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. 
  • Stay home from work or school if you are sick to prevent others from catching your illness 
  • Stay healthy; eat nutritious food, exercise and get enough sleep 
  • Get a flu shot

Wellbeing – Managing Anxiety

The impact of a natural disaster or traumatic event goes far beyond physical damage. Large-scale emergencies can be extraordinarily stressful and can lead to anxiety for both victims and observers. The emotional toll is different for everyone and can result in a wide variety of intense feelings. Normal emotional responses to traumatic events

Shock and disbelief Fear Sadness Helplessness Guilt Anger Shame Relief


Tips for helping children heal after a disaster

  • Provide your kids with ongoing opportunities to talk about what they went through or what they’re seeing on TV. Make it clear that there are no bad feelings. 
  • If you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t be afraid to admit it. Don’t jeopardize your child’s trust in you by making something up. 
  • The traumatic event or disaster may trigger or bring up unrelated fears and issues in your kids. Acknowledge and validate these concerns, even if they don’t seem relevant to you. 
  • Monitor television watching. Limit your child’s exposure to graphic images and videos. As much as you can, watch news reports of the disaster with your children. This will give you a good opportunity to talk and answer questions. 
  • Remember that children often personalize situations. They may worry about their own safety or that of their family, even if the traumatic event occurred far away. Reassure your child and help him or her place the situation in context. Watch for physical signs of stress. The symptoms of traumatic stress may appear as physical complaints such as headaches, stomach pains, or sleep disturbances. (helpguide.org)

Here are some tips to help ease the anxiety

(Please note that if these reactions seem extreme or last for a long time, the person suffering from the condition should seek help):

  • Limit your exposure to graphic news stories 
  • Get accurate, timely information from reliable sources 
  • Acknowledge and accept your feelings 
  • Maintain your normal routine, if possible 
  • Make stress reduction a priority by getting enough sleep, eating well, staying active and avoiding drugs and excessive alcohol 
  • Seek comfort and support by staying in touch with family and friends and sharing your concerns with others
The affected municipality may call upon Victim Assistance Service of Oxford County and/or the Salvation Army to provide crisis counseling. You can also contact the Canadian Mental Health Association – Oxford (Help Line 1-877-339-8342) or your local faith-based organizations, but depending on the disaster these services may not be immediately available.

Links

Victim Assistance Service of Oxford County

Salvation Army

Canadian Mental Health Association – Oxford (Help Line 1-877-339-8342)

Guide to Mental Health 


Water Emergencies

The County of Oxford monitors water 24/7 to ensure it is safe to drink. We treat water, remove harmful contaminants, and maintain the underground network of pipes that deliver it to your house.

Safe drinking water is not usually a problem here, however emergency situations may arise when your tap water is unsafe to drink. After heavy rainfall or a flood, drinking water from private wells may also become contaminated.

There are two primary ways to treat water: boiling and adding bleach.

Residents with private wells are encourage to test their water regularly. For more information on water safety, visit Oxford County Public Health.

Tap into these tips:

  • Use bottled water if available 
  • Fill a large pot with water after straining the water through a coffee filter or cheesecloth to remove dirt and other particles - bring the water to a rolling boil and keep it boiling for three minutes 
  • Pour the water into a disinfected drinking water bottle 
  • Store in the fridge, if possible 
  • If using bleach to purify water, add 1/8 teaspoon of regular, unscented bleach for each gallon of water 
  • Stir and let water stand for 30 minutes before use
  • Store in a covered container 
  • If you have a well, contact Public Health about testing your water for bacteria before resuming water use after a flood.