Information sources for emergencies

On this page

Knowing how to find the most up-to-date information during a weather event or other emergency is crucial. Before, during and after an emergency, refer to the sources below to keep yourself, your family and your neighbours as informed as possible.

Every emergency is different. Some of the information sources listed below may not be available at all times or may be slower to update during different types or phases of an emergency. Remain calm and continue to check for updated information.

City of Ottawa


The City of Ottawa will communicate emergency information on the homepage and through the City News email newsletter and the City’s official social media accounts. Your Ward Councillor may also share updates through their official communication channels.

Check and these social media accounts regularly for updates:


Many services offered by 3-1-1 are also available online through or the City of Ottawa mobile app. Help 3-1-1 prioritize critical calls during the early stages of an emergency by checking our website or app first for updates.

Contact 3-1-1 during an emergency only if you need urgent information about City of Ottawa services, including:

  • By-laws
  • Child care services
  • Emergency housing
  • Financial assistance
  • Forestry services
  • Garbage collection

For urgent inquiries relating to structural damage after an emergency, contact the City of Ottawa’s Building Code Services at:


Contact 2-1-1 or call 1-877-330-3213 (toll-free) for information on provincial government and local community-based health and social services, including:

  • Abuse / Assault
  • Community Programs
  • Disabilities
  • Emergency / Crisis
  • Employment / Training
  • Family Services
  • Financial Assistance
  • Food
  • Francophone
  • Government / Legal
  • Health Care
  • Homelessness
  • Housing
  • Indigenous Peoples
  • LGBTQ+
  • Mental Health / Addictions
  • Newcomers
  • Older Adults
  • Youth

Alternate methods

Depending on the emergency, the City may also communicate to residents through:

  • Media interviews
  • Public information meetings when required in affected neighbourhoods
  • Door-to-door visits from City employees or partners when required in affected neighbourhoods

Local media

Weather stations

Keep an eye on the skies and tune into your local weather network for the latest forecasts and severe weather warnings. When you see dark storm clouds or a severe weather warning is issued, be prepared to seek shelter if you’re outdoors and head to shore if you’re on the water.

Check the weather regularly through your preferred radio station, television network or news outlet or mobile phone app. Weather forecasts are also available online at:

Radio and television stations

While television stations may be on air before and after an emergency, listening to a radio station is a more reliable source of information during a power outage emergency. Be sure to stock extra batteries and a hand crank radio in your emergency preparedness kit.

Listen to one or more of these local news radio stations regularly for updates:

Daily newspapers

Local daily newspapers are a trusted source of information before, during and after an emergency. National newspapers, also a trusted source, may not provide the same level of coverage for localized emergencies.

During an emergency, newspapers will share information online as soon as they can – there is no need to wait for a printed paper. Newspapers in Ottawa with both digital and printed publications include:

Utility and service providers

Heating and hydro

If you have questions about your natural gas or hydro service, or are experiencing a service issue, reach out to your provider:

Property insurance

If your property was damaged during an emergency, contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Be sure to document and take photos of any damage. Keep all receipts related to the storm, such as for hotels, food, pet boarding and supplies.

Contact your insurance representative directly or the Insurance Bureau of Canada:


If you have questions about your internet, mobile or home telephone service, or are experiencing a service issue, contact your provider.