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Be Prepared for Flooding
Published: Wednesday, 09 February 2022 13:36
Winter in Atlantic Canada brings snow, freezing rain, ice, rain, high winds, and power outages. This year, high levels of snow have produced more snow melt and runoff than in previous years.
Did you know that floods are the most frequent natural hazard in Canada? They can occur at any time of the year and can cause significant damage to your home and property. Sewer backups, leaks, broken water mains, torrential rainfalls, and sudden ice thaws can result in flooding and storm surge.
Here are some steps you can take to prepare for a flood, and respond when confronted with one.
Before a Flood:
- Clean grates and culverts removing any debris obstruction to assist water flow.
- Put weather protection sealant around ground-level windows and doors.
- Install drainage for downspouts to ensure that water moves away from the buildings.
- Clean eavestrough so rain can drain into downspouts.
- Consider installing a sump pump and zero reverse flow valves in basement floor drains.
- Do not store your important documents in the basement. Keep them at a higher level, protected from flood damage.
- Set aside a supply of drinking water in case your drinking supply becomes contaminated.
- If your property is close to water, consider piling sandbags.
- Put away lawn furniture, planters, picnic tables, small boats or anything that could be swept away in a flood.
- Obtain insurance and review coverage annually to ensure you are protected. All insurance policies are different–review your insurance with your broker.
- Know who to call for assistance. Not all fire departments assist with flooding or flooded basements as it can damage equipment. Research local disaster restoration companies to have their contact information handy.
If your home becomes flooded:
- Turn basement furnace off and shut off outside gas valves.
- Turn off electrical power. If your main power box is not in a dry, safe location, do not attempt to turn it off. Contact Nova Scotia Power at 1-877-428-6004 or your electric utility provider.
- Do not stand or wade in water where contact has been made with electrical equipment.
- Do not use well water for drinking, cooking, or bathing until the water has been tested and determined to be safe. If you have questions about your water, contact your local Nova Scotia Environment office by calling 1-877-9ENVIRO (936-8476).
Were you prepared for the back-to-back winter storms?
Published: Wednesday, 26 January 2022 10:57
Were you prepared for the back-to-back winter storms?
January sure has brought some wild weather to Lunenburg County so far. The January 14/15 storm brought snow, freezing rain, high winds, and extended power outages, all while experiencing cold weather. The January 17/18 storm brought more snow, rain, high winds, and power outages, followed immediately by much colder weather the next day freezing the mess on the ground.
- Did you lose power?
- Did you have an alternate heat source?
- Did you have food?
- Did your pipes freeze?
- Were you unable to travel due to impacted roads (trees, snow, power lines, etc.)?
- Did you check on your neighbour?
- Did your neighbour check on you?
- Did you go to a comfort centre, or know you could go to get warm and charge devices?
- Did you lose landline or cell service?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, with another storm forecast for this weekend, it’s a good time to think about how you might be able to better prepare for a future storm or emergency.
Some options to prepare for future emergencies may include:
- Having an alternate heat source, wood stove, generator, or an indoor portable heater. If you are using an alternative heating or cooking source, ensure they are approved for your type of household and there is a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector in your home for additional safety. To get more information visit https://novascotia.ca/lae/fuelsafety/.
- You can go to a neighbour, family member, or a comfort centre. The list of comfort centres can be found here https://lunenburgremo.ca/comfort-centres.html and will be updated when facilities open. These are run by volunteers and are open based on resource availability.
- Purchasing food in advance and having non-perishable foods like canned meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, granola bars, cereal, crackers, etc. A camp-like stove or BBQ to heat food outside – do not bring these cooking instruments indoors.
- Insulating your pipes in the event of a power outage to keep them from freezing.
- With roads unable to be plowed in some areas due to power lines or trees on the road, it made it difficult to get out for assistance. Being self-sufficient or coordinating with a neighbour can make these events easier. Neighbour networks are the best and most efficient way to check on each other and share equipment between households.
- Having a cell phone is an additional option instead of just a landline, but they can go down in bad weather. If you have a cell phone, having a backup charger can assist to keep it charged, and texting reduces bandwidth. If phone lines are down, checking on your neighbour in person is helpful if safe to do so.
Winter Preparedness and Power Outages
Published: Friday, 05 November 2021 09:23
Last winter we talked about Winter Driving. This winter, we’ll talk about how to prepare for possible power outages in the colder months
Winter brings blizzards, cold weather, heavy snow, freezing rain and can cause power outages. Cold snaps often overload the power system. Planning now for what to do in a winter power outage is important.
Winter Power Outage Tips
Power outages may leave you without heat, lights, hot water, or possibly running water.
- If you have a landline, have a corded phone not just a cordless phone.
- Have a battery-powered or crank radio to monitor the news broadcasts.
- Install a non-electric heat source – standby stove or heating unit that is not dependent on electricity.
- If you have a wood-burning stove/fireplace, clean the chimney every fall to eliminate creosote build-up which could ignite and cause a chimney fire.
- Consider the use of an emergency generator:
o Generators produce carbon monoxide (CO), a poisonous toxic engine exhaust.
o Operate the generator outdoors, in a well-ventilated area away from the garage, doors, windows, and vents.
o Turn the generator off and let it cool down before refueling. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.
o Generators do not need to run constantly. For example, fridges and freezers can be on the generator every 3-6 hours to keep things cold.
Life-Saving Electrical Devices
People who require electricity to sustain life, (for example those who require power for their medical devices) should take extra precautions to prepare for a power outage.
- Create a power outage safety plan in advance.
- Plan for a backup power supply for essential medical equipment.
- Establish a self-help network to assist and check on you during an emergency.
- Know which family/friend/neighbours have power or back-up power so you can go there.
- Keep a flashlight and a cell phone handy to signal for help.
- Know your evacuation route - without elevator service (if applicable).
- Enroll in a medical alert program that will signal for help if you are immobilized.
- Keep a list of medical conditions and treatments.
- Call your electric utility provider to see get added to their Critical Customer List.
- If you live in an apartment, advise the property management that you may need assistance or that you must be evacuated if there is a power outage.
- For more information, visit People with Disabilities or Special Needs
Published: Wednesday, 16 June 2021 10:28
Wildfire Season begins March 15 and ends October 15. This is when wildfires are at greater risk due to the dry season as the earth and forest lack moisture. The weather has a significant impact on wildfires – in how they start, how aggressively they spread, and how long they burn. Wildfires can do damage to homes, vehicles, properties, and even cause evacuations.
Read more: Wildfires