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As Hurricane Earl Approaches, HRM Says ‘Be Prepared’
(September 2, 2010) - While HRM's Emergency Management Office (EMO) continues to monitor the progression of Hurricane Earl, Mayor Peter Kelly urges citizens to take appropriate precautions for their homes and families.
"While we wait to determine the path of Hurricane Earl, it is a perfect time to prepare," said Mayor Kelly. "Please take the steps necessary to protect your property and your loved ones while remembering those neighbours who are elderly, infirm, or alone who may need support."
HRM residents should be prepared at all times of the year for an emergency with a three-day 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.
"The EMO community takes all hurricane warnings seriously. Our well-connected group is ready to help coordinate our region through any emergency situation," said HRM's EMO Coordinator Barry Manuel. "We are already planning for whatever Hurricane Earl or any other system may track this way."
Throughout HRM, staff is on standby. This includes having generators for critical infrastructure checked, construction sites secured, readying to have 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.
Residents can help by clearing catch basins near their property to prevent blockages if there is heavy rain.
HRM is asking residents to avoid coastal beaches as the hurricane approaches. In addition, emergency responders are asking that residents not call 911 during the storm unless it is an emergency situation.
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.
As HRM learns more from Environment Canada, decisions may need to be made about access to municipal parks and other services. Those decisions will be clearly communicated through the media and on the www.halifax.ca website as well as Information Radio 107.7, HRM’s official emergency broadcaster. For HRM-related 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).
HRM Public Affairs
HRM EMO Coordinator