While HRM’s Emergency Management Office (EMO) continues to monitor the progression of tropical storm Irene, the municipality is urging residents to take appropriate precautions for personal safety and property protection.
“Although this storm has weakened, residents should be prepared for post tropical storm conditions,” said Mayor Peter Kelly. “Please take the time to prepare a family emergency kit, secure your property and reach out to those friends and neighbours who could use help securing their properties.”
HRM is urging residents to take time to put away lawn furniture and any other items that could become projectiles in the high wind conditions expected overnight and into Monday. Residents can also help by clearing catch basins near their property to prevent blockages if there is heavy rain.
Halifax District RCMP detachment is also warning surfers and wave watchers to stay away from coastal areas where waves will be especially dangerous today and Monday. Cooperation in this will allow emergency responders to focus their resources on overall storm response and other potential emergencies.
“This remains a massive storm system which will have a significant impact on coastal areas,” said Halifax RCMP Insp. Joanne Crampton. “No one should be putting themselves in harm’s way.”
Residents should be prepared year round with a three-day emergency supply of water, food, clothing, first aid supplies, batteries, flashlights, and blankets. These should be in a bag or container that is easy to transport in the event of an evacuation. You can find tips to follow prior to, during and after a hurricane at www.halifax.ca/emo.
The local emergency response group – which includes key personnel from Fire and Emergency, Regional Police, RCMP, Metro Transit, HRM Transportation and Public Works, and Halifax Water, along with representatives from EMO Nova Scotia, Public Safety Canada, NS Department of Community Services, Nova Scotia Power, EHS, and Red Cross – are in close communication and ready to respond to any need.
“The EMO community takes storm warnings seriously. Our team is well-connected and ready to help co-ordinate the region through any emergency situation,” said HRM’s EMO Coordinator Barry Manuel. “We plan all year to take action to address whatever hurricane system tracks this way.”
Mr. Manuel and Mayor Kelly said residents should keep an eye on weather warnings and storm conditions through the Environment Canada’s website at www.weatheroffice.gc.ca.
Throughout HRM, staff is on standby. This includes having generators for critical infrastructure checked, construction sites secured, water reservoirs topped up, vehicles fuelled, and tree crews available. Halifax Water will have crews and contractors on standby to keep catch basins cleared and pumped out and will monitor flood prone areas.
Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency cautions residents to think about fire safety during power outages and to use battery-operated lights or oil lamps instead of anything with an open flame such as candles. Residents are also cautioned to follow the manufacturer’s safe operations instructions when using generators.
For HRM-related non-emergency inquiries, members of the public can call 490-4000. Public questions related to power outages should be directed to Nova Scotia Power’s Outage Line at 1-877-428-6004 (428-6230 in metro Halifax).