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Fall is a beautiful season; the weather starts to cool, harvest brings a bounty of fresh produce and we get to enjoy the outdoors with a big comfy sweater.
Fall is also hurricane season. In 2003, Hurricane Juan made landfall in Nova Scotia and was one of the most powerful and damaging hurricanes to ever affect Canada. While storms of this magnitude are rare, throughout the fall it’s not uncommon for Nova Scotians to be riding out the tail end of a storm and trying to manage without power.
According to the Canadian Hurricane Centre (CHC), there are five things to keep in mind when preparing for a storm…
1) Learn about hurricanes- The more you know, the safer you will be. On the climatology section of the CHC website you can learn the four basic threats posed by hurricanes or tropical storms.
2) Secure your home- Find the hazards in and around your home before they become a concern. Fix a leaky basement, trim trees around your property. If you live in an area where storm surges could be an issue, have a plan to evacuate to higher land when a storm is forecast. Check insurance to see what is covered and what is not and invest in a generator.
3) Develop a family plan- check out Public Safety Canada’s Get Prepared site, and use it to help you create your own personalized family emergency plan.
4) Create an emergency supply kit - You can either buy an assembled kit or create your own. It should include first aid items, personal prescriptions, food, water, etc.
You should also consider an emergency car kit and ensure that your vehicle has a full gas tank before a storm.
Ensure cell phones are fully charged.
5) Information sources – Make sure that you know where to get the latest weather forecasts and public announcements from emergency managers. During a disaster, battery-operated radios are the most reliable way to get information.
Storms can be scary but if you are well prepared in advance, it will lessen the stress and help to ensure that you and your family ride out the next storm safely.