During Emergency Preparedness Week 2019, May 5-11, the City of Brampton will be launching its Lighthouse Program.
The program allows members of the community to seek refuge within the premises of participating faith-based organizations – “lighthouses” – during times of community-wide emergencies in Brampton.
Why is this important now?
Incidents such as fire, floods, storms and tornadoes are on the rise. It is the responsibility of every resident to learn how they can best prepare themselves and their loved ones for such emergencies.
A citywide emergency may affect essential services such as water, power, heating, phone lines, transit, food and medical access. Depending on the severity of the incident, the City’s ability to provide emergency assistance may also be impacted.
At such times, you and your loved ones may need to move to a safe location away from your home. Facilities like libraries or recreation centres can serve as emergency shelters and are often better equipped to provide you with essential services and support.
Now, under the Lighthouse Program, certain faith-based facilities have agreed to open their doors to offer refuge to people during emergencies. These places will serve as public safe places, welcoming anyone in need of assistance, of any faith or personal belief system. Every faith-based facility participating in the program is a lighthouse.
How lighthouses stand ready to help you
Lighthouses help in two important ways – before and during an emergency.
Before: Lighthouses help educate their congregations on the essentials of emergency preparedness, including the features and advantages of the Lighthouse Program. Such education places the community in a better position to help each other during emergencies.
During: Lighthouses act as safe havens during emergencies.
- Every lighthouse facility has a dedicated team of volunteers that is prepared to welcome and support you to the best of their abilities during a citywide emergency.
- Every lighthouse will offer you essential relief such as refuge and drinking water during times of community-wide crisis. Certain lighthouses, depending on their abilities and resources, may also provide food and first aid.
- Each participating faith-based facility has identified a special area within its complex that will serve as a community safe place during an emergency.
Steps you can take to benefit from the Lighthouse Program
- Refer to the Lighthouse Directory: Please see our directory below to find the lighthouse closest to you. Do check back over the coming months, since we expect more faith-based facilities in Brampton to sign up for the Lighthouse program.
- Visit a lighthouse beforehand: You are welcome to visit a lighthouse facility during any weekend, between 9 am to 5 pm. Ask for the lighthouse representative at that facility, and they will be happy to give you a tour and answer your questions.
- A few things to keep in mind: Remember that each faith-based facility is, first and foremost, a place of worship. Such facilities also have rules and regulations for visitors that are designed to preserve the sanctity of the place. While visitors seeking refuge inside a facility will never be expected to participate in religious activity, you may be expected to comply with certain basic requirements.
- No smoking, no alcohol and no consumption of meat on premises.
- Certain areas of the facility may be off-limits to visitors.
- Dress modestly. Certain facilities, such as a gurdwara and a mosque, may require you to remove your footwear and keep your head covered
- Your hosts are doing their best to help you and your neighbours during a difficult time. Please be patient, and follow their directions for your wellbeing.
If you need specific help or have questions or concerns, please approach your local lighthouse representative. Read more about emergency preparedness.
The Lighthouse Directory
We are currently finalizing agreements with several faith-based organizations in Brampton that wish to serve as “lighthouses.” To date, we have signed agreements with the following facility:
- Gurdwara Baba Nanak
79 Bramsteele Road, Brampton, ON L6W 3K6
Visit us! Members of the community are welcome to visit the above “Lighthouse” location May 6 to11, between noon to 5 pm.