Like Hurricane Fiona barrel towards Atlantic Canada With landfall expected to make landfall later this week, officials across the province are preparing for the storm and urging residents to do the same before it makes landfall.
Representatives from the province’s Office of Emergency Management, Nova Scotia Power, Cape Breton Regional City and the Canadian Red Cross held a press conference on the preparations Wednesday.
Jason Mew, the EMO’s director of incident management, says people shouldn’t wait until the last minute to get the supplies they need.
“Driving through flooded roads or encountering debris from fallen trees, if possible, you should stay home during the storm,” Mew said.
“And really this is the moment where we’re trying to reach out to people to make sure they’re prepared now so they don’t have to go out to the grocery store in the middle of a storm to find bottled water. or phone. charger.”
Bob Robichaud, Canadian meteorologist for Environment and Climate Change, said the latest information suggests Nova Scotia will be hardest hit by Fiona overnight from Friday to Saturday.
“In terms of satellite imagery alone, we can track these things a lot better than we could five years ago,” says Robichaud.
“So science is now at a point where we have a pretty good idea of where these storms are going, how intense they are, but always when we start going into the depths local degrees, that’s where things can change a bit.”
Strong wind, heavy rain
The storm is forecast to bring strong winds, heavy rain and high tides, which could cause power outages, flooding and severe damage.
Nova Scotia Power will send additional resources to Cape Breton to deal with the expected power outages as eastern Nova Scotia is expected to bear the brunt of the storm.
Christina Lamey, a spokeswoman for the Cape Breton Regional Government, said the local emergency management office had been preparing for days. Lamey said residents should prepare for longer blackouts.
“We really want to get the message across right now to tell people to be ready in every sense of the word, prepare around your house, prepare the materials you need – water, batteries,” she said. ,” she said.
The Nova Scotia Office of Emergency Management is asking people to prepare for Fiona by:
- Have enough food and water to last 72 hours.
- Protect any objects that may be blown around by the wind.
- Move ships to high ground.
- Fill the car with gasoline and keep it away from trees.
- Keep pets indoors.
- Check battery and radio flashlight.
- Check out the neighbors.
Ancel Langille, a senior manager with the Canadian Red Cross, said people don’t need to spend a lot of money on emergency kits.
“When it comes to a personal prep kit, you might be surprised how many of these. pets,” Langille said.
“There’s no need to go out and have the luxury of building a personal kit. It’ll be the comfort of your own if you don’t have electricity for a few days.”
Supporting the homeless
Some help will be available to those who do not have access to safe housing.
Bruce MacDonald, Cape Breton Regional City’s emergency management leader, said the Sydney homeless shelter would be available and potentially expandable into an extreme weather hub in the basement. facility if necessary.
“We will look at anything else we can to provide additional support upon request,” MacDonald said during the press conference.
Langille said when the organization opens a shelter on behalf of a province or city, it is open to anyone.
“We’re not closing our doors to anyone who needs assistance,” he said. “So if there’s an open shelter in a municipality where anyone comes because they have to evacuate their home, our services will be available to anyone who shows up.”
Maggie-Jane Spray, a spokeswoman for the Regional City of Halifax, said staff are looking at options for people living at designated shelters and other locations, and more information will be provided. soon to be announced.
Prepare for telecommunications
After Hurricane Dorian, many people no mobile phone and internet service for days after the storm knocked out the power to the cell phone towers, and the backup batteries for the wireless sites finally ran out.
The situation prompted then-prime minister Stephen McNeil to say that telecom companies should join the provincial emergency operations group during major storms to ensure service interruptions are minimized.
Mew said the province has been in contact with Bell, Eastlink and Rogers to determine who will be working with the province on the coordination center during the storm. “We believe they’ll be completely attached,” Mew said.
In a statement to CBC News, Bell said the company has been in contact with the province, EMO and Nova Scotia Power and will work closely with them to keep customers connected.
During a power outage, if the backup battery runs out, Bell will activate a generator to keep the sites running.
The company said it has activated its internal emergency response process and that teams are refueling generators and inspecting sites.