As the first Atlantic hurricane of the 2011 season threatens Caribbean locations today, Aug. 24, the Emergency Management Office is reminding Nova Scotians to prepare themselves, their families and their homes for hurricane season.
"This is the time of year when hurricanes begin to threaten Nova Scotia and we are asking people to take the time now to get ready," said Ross Landry, Minister of Justice. "It's a good time to review your family emergency plan, restock your emergency kit and stay vigilant."
People should keep an eye on long-range forecasts during hurricane season and be ready for severe weather.
Families should review or develop an emergency plan that outlines meeting locations, emergency contacts and evacuation plans. They should have a 72-hour emergency kit with adequate food and water, flashlights and a battery, crank or solar powered radio. In case of the need to leave home quickly, it is also a good idea to have emergency supplies and copies of important documents in an emergency go-kit near a door.
When severe weather is imminent, outdoor items such as barbecues and lawn furniture should be tied down and vehicles should be fully fuelled.
EMO held routine hurricane planning meetings with partners Monday. The office works closely with Environment Canada to monitor severe weather threats and both agencies issue alerts and warnings as necessary. There are no Canadian tropical storm or hurricane warnings at this point.
So far this season, there have been nine named tropical storms. None has hit the Maritimes. Typically, one or two hurricanes have an impact on Nova Scotia each year. These storms can happen between early June and late November, with late August and September traditionally being the most active period.
For more information on hurricane and severe weather preparations, go to www.gov.ns.ca/emo. Weather warnings are available at www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/warnings/ns_e.html .