As Nova Scotia enters the height of the 2023 hurricane season, it won’t take much to remind Cumberland County residents of the impact these storms can have after post tropical storm Fiona caused extensive damage across the region last September.
Stephen Wood, Cumberland County’s regional emergency management coordinator, is urging people to prepare now, and with the tropical Atlantic bubbling with activity he is urging people to have a plan instead of reacting when it’s too late.
“The surprising thing is most people think they’re prepared but when it comes down to it, they’re not,” Wood said. “People should ensure they have a Home Emergency Kit with enough supplies to last them for at least 72 hours.”
If an emergency happens, it may take time for emergency personnel to reach you.
Last year, when Fiona blew through the area, most of the municipality lost power with some areas going without electricity for approximately two weeks. There was extensive tree damage, which slowed recovery efforts after the storm.
Wood said the best time to prepare for the next major storm is to take steps now to make an emergency plan and prepare an emergency kit that will make sure they are ready for the next time a tropical system or blizzard approaches the province.
Storms, like hurricanes and tropical storms, can cause heavy rain, wind, storm surges, flooding and property damage. He said people can prepare in advance by:
- having an emergency kit with food, water, medications, important documents and supplies to last several days.
- preparing property by trimming trees, securing loose items and cleaning gutters and storm drains.
- making a plan for their families now, before one is needed.
Environment and Climate Change Canada is warning of an active hurricane season, and while Nova Scotia has avoided any storms to date there have already been several tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic. The newest storm, Lee, is expected to reach major hurricane status later this week. It’s way too early to determine if Lee will impact Atlantic Canada, but Wood said it’s important to be prepared.
“It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when,” he said. “If Fiona last year and Dorian in 2019 prove anything, it’s these storms can happen here and steps you take today in your home and around your property could help minimize the damage when the next storm comes.”
For more information, go to: https://www.cumberlandcounty.ns.ca/regional-emergency-management.html
People can keep an eye on the forecast and alerts by monitoring the WeatherCAN mobile application, the website https://Canada.ca/weather .
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