You can prepare for potential hazards by having a plan in place to deal with anticipated impacts of an event. Having your plan and emergency kit prepared in advance is the best way to support your family and pets. You may need to Shelter in Place or “hunker down” in your home for at least 72 hours (3 days) without needing to leave for supplies. Plan to be without power in many hazards that could occur.
Hurricane season officially runs from June through November when the waters of the Atlantic Ocean are warm enough to produce a tropical cyclone, a category of weather systems that includes tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes. Environment Canada's Canadian Hurricane Centre encourages Canadians to prepare for the hurricane season. The United States' National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts the upcoming season and continually monitors storms and forecasts. Canadians can find up-to-date information on storms occurring in their area by following Environment Canada's watches and warnings from Weather.gc.ca, via e-mail subscription, on Weatheradio, or through the local media.
Before a hurricane
- Hurricanes can often be predicted one or two days in advance of their landfall. The key to hurricane protection is preparation. By taking precautions before, during, and after a hurricane, lives can be saved, and property damage averted.
- It is important to stay informed by listening to the latest warnings and advisories on radio, television, or websites. The Canadian Hurricane Centre will issue and update these when necessary.
- If a hurricane is forecast, secure everything that might be blown around or torn loose. Flying objects such as garbage cans and lawn furniture can injure people and damage property.
- Secure all gates, doors, and windows.
- Move lawn furniture, tents, trash cans, hanging plants or anything that can be picked up by wind.
- Trim dead branches and cut down dead trees to reduce the danger of these falling onto your house during a storm.
- Park your vehicles in a garage or away from trees.
- Travel may be difficult after the storm and stores and businesses may not be open immediately. Ensure your vehicle gas tanks are full in case you need to leave the area.
- Bring watercraft out of the water and up to high ground.
- Move campers and trailers to a garage or storage facility, away from trees or to high ground and secure.
- Keep pets indoors.
- Stock up on water, ready-to-eat food, and heating fuel, as well as battery-powered or wind-up flashlights and radios - with extra batteries. For a complete list of emergency supplies, go to emergency kits. Also, learn what to have in your car emergency kit.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to get your supplies – you risk long line-ups and supply shortages.
- If you live on the coast or in a low-lying area near the coast, be prepared to move inland and to higher ground if instructed by local officials. The high winds can create large waves which may become storm surges when they reach the shore.
- If you are advised by officials to evacuate, do so. Take your emergency kit with you.
- Depending on the strength of the storm, the predicted path, and your proximity to coastal areas you may need to evacuate prior to the storm arrival or once the storm has passed.
- Consider trees that may come in contact with your home or power lines. To determine the trees that are your responsibility, please visit NS Power Tree Trimming.
During a hurricane
- Before going boating, always check the marine forecast from Weatheroffice and listen to weather reports during your cruise. Never go out in a boat during a storm. If you are on the water and you see bad weather approaching, head for shore immediately.
- Do not go down to the water to watch the storm. Most people who are killed during hurricanes are caught in large waves, storm surges or flood waters.
- If the eye of the hurricane passes over, there will be a lull in the wind lasting from two or three minutes to half an hour. Stay in a safe place. Make emergency repairs only and remember that once the eye has passed over, the winds will return from the opposite direction with possibly even greater force.
- Listen for reports from authorities on your portable radio.
- On a farm, depending on your location and available shelter, it may be better to leave livestock unsheltered. During Hurricane Andrew, some horses left outside suffered less injury than those placed in shelters. This was because some shelters did not withstand the high winds. Horses were injured by collapsing structures and flying objects that may have been avoided on the outside. For more information, view Emergency Preparedness for Farm Animals.
- If you live in a mobile home:
- Position your mobile home near a natural windbreak such as a hill or clump of trees.
- Anchor the structure securely. Consult the manufacturer for information on secure tie-down systems.
- When a severe storm approaches, seek shelter in a more secure building as staying in a mobile home during a hurricane can be more dangerous than going outside.
For more information on hurricane-related topics
Source: Get Prepared