Community Awareness

Chemical incidents around the world drew attention to the need for the preparation of residential communities to respond correctly to the release of toxic chemicals. In Ontario, a train derailment in Mississauga on November 10, 1979, involving Sarnia-produced chemicals, raised the level of interest in a potential problem.

Five years later, the injury and loss of life at
Bhopal, India made community preparation for an emergency a high profile topic, far and wide. Early in 1985, the Lambton Industrial Society developed a community awareness program in Lambton County and on January 1, 1986, the Canadian Chemical Producers Association brought out it's Code of Practise.

The two Sarnia organizations were ready. The newly organized Community Awareness Committee became the "CA" part and the 35 year old CVECO became the "ER" part and Lambton CAER was formed. As a consequence, Sarnia was one of the first three municipalities in Canada to be awarded the CAER Achievement Award by the Canadian Chemical Producers Association, signifying integrated industrial-community preparedness for an emergency.

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A significant undertaking to inform the citizens of Lambton County about the hazards associated with the valley was started in 1996. On September 23, 1998, the Bluewater Risk Communication Project was complete and a public information session was held.



Containing information on preparing for and responding to emergencies from chemical releases to tornadoes, the Personal Action Guide for Community Emergencies is published by CAER for distribution throughout the community.

This book along with the "Take CAER" newsletter and a speaker's bureau for local schools and groups form some of the major activities of the Community Awareness side of CAER.



In the event of a natural or industrial emergency, the public would be warned by the use of emergency sirens. Once warned of a problem, the information contained in the Personal Action Guide above would be put to use.


Once alerted by the sirens, members of the public can turn to local radio stations to obtain details on the nature of the emergency. The Sarnia Police can also break into local broadcasts with emergency information via the "EARS" or Emergency Alert Radio System developed by Brian Hinz, Technical Manager of

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