Preparing for Hurricane Season

first_img “As we discovered with Hurricane Juan, these storms are very unpredictable,” said Mr. Fage. “By following a few simple procedures and planning in advance, we will be better equipped to handle whatever Mother Nature sends our way.” For more information on personal emergency preparedness, how to deal with floods and what to do in an evacuation, visit the Emergency Measures Organization website at www.gov.ns.ca/emo or call toll-free, 1-866-424-5620. Choose a sheltering-in-place for you and your family — a basement, a storm cellar or a secure area away from windows. Maintain a disaster or emergency supply kit, that includes food, a supply of drinkable water, clothing, blankets, extra money, medication, flashlight, battery-powered radio, extra batteries and a first aid kit. Secure your home and property. Trim dead or diseased branches from trees and secure objects that could be torn loose or blown around. Protect your home as much as possible from heavy rains and floods. Identify a meeting place for you and your family in advance, in the event of separation. This makes it easier to set up communications and to notify one another of whereabouts and safety. Residents of New Orleans faced mandatory evacuation and other communities in the United States’ south-east were urging citizens to move to higher ground on the weekend in preparation for today’s attack of Hurricane Katrina, one of the most forceful storms to hit the region in decades. While storms as powerful as Katrina are rare, officials from the province’s Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) say the news is a timely reminder that peak hurricane season is now upon us and all Nova Scotians should take the time to be prepared. “Forecasters are predicting a particularly active hurricane season this year,” Ernest Fage, Minister responsible for the Emergency Measures Act said today, Aug. 29. “It’s difficult to know exactly what the impact on Nova Scotia will be. That is why it is so important for individuals to be prepared.” The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts that this hurricane season will produce 18 to 21 tropical storms and nine to 11 hurricanes, with five to seven becoming major. The hurricane seasons of 1995 to 2004 averaged 13.6 tropical storms, 7.8 hurricanes and 3.8 major hurricanes. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June to November with this time of year proving to be the peak time in our region. Typically, one-third of Atlantic hurricanes/tropical storms impact Canada to some degree. To encourage more individuals to become better prepared, EMO is launching its annual public education campaign. This will include public service announcements, advertisements and a poster campaign. “We provide information on preparedness activities to all emergency measures co-ordinators in each municipality in Nova Scotia,” said Craig MacLaughlan, executive director, EMO. “They, in turn, will make this information available to the residents of their communities.” Good information is key to protecting you and your family in an emergency. Nova Scotians are encouraged to listen for weather advisories or warnings and act accordingly. To prepare for a weather-related emergency, there are four main things to remember:last_img

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