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PREPARING THE HRM AND PREPARING AT HOME
August 22, 2009 - While HRM's Emergency Measures Organization continues to monitor the progression of Hurricane Bill, Mayor Peter Kelly urged citizens to make take appropriate precautions for their homes and families and reach out their neighbours.
"We're all in this together," 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."
The emergency response group through municipal EMO continues to meet and discuss preparations. Key personnel from Fire and Emergency, Regional Police, RCMP, Metro Transit, HRM Transportation and Public Works, and Halifax Water, along with representatives from EMO NS, Public Safety Canada, NS Department of Community Services, Nova Scotia Power, EHS, and Red Cross are in close communication.
"The EMO community is a well-connected group, experienced in managing through difficult times," said HRM's EMO Coordinator Barry Manuel. "We work well together and we're up to the job that's before us as we plan for whatever Hurricane Bill brings our way."
Throughout HRM staff are on standby, generators for critcal infrastructure have been checked, water reservoirs have been topped up, and vehicles are fueled.
HRM is asking residents to please avoid coastal beaches where swells are gaining in size and intensity. 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 yesterday cautioned residents to think about fire safety during power outages and to use battery operated lights or oil lamps instead of open flame devices such as candles. Residents are also cautioned to follow the manufacturer's safe operations instructions when using generators.
As we learn more from Environment Canada about the hurricane's path, decisions may need to be made about access to municipal parks and other services. Those decisions will be clearly communicated through the media, the www.halifax.ca website and the HRM call centre at 490-4000.
For HRM-related inquiries members of the public should call 490-4000. Public questions related to power outages should be directed to Nova Scotia Power's customer service line at 1-800-428-6230 (428-6230 in metro Halifax).