We’ve had a great summer in Nova Scotia and now attention is turning to the upcoming storm season. As Nova Scotians, we see more than our fair share of storms – either tropical in nature or possibly hurricane strength. These storms provide an opportunity to take in the awesome power of Mother Nature, but it’s important to recognize the potential for danger as well.
HRM Partners in Policing encourage citizens to take this opportunity to plan ahead to ensure their safety at home and on the road.
One question people should be asking themselves right now is “Am I prepared?” Any major storm carries the potential to create emergency situations such as flooding, power outages, road washouts, and other dangers. Check out www.getprepared.ca for information on how to prepare a 72-hour kit to “weather” out the storm.
Here are some of the items to recommended for your 72-hour Emergency Preparedness Kit:
· Records management system enabling users to organize and document critical household, medical and financial information;
· Reference material designed to provide information regarding diet, hygiene and warmth requirements;
· Dual power hand crank/solar radio/flashlight that can also be used to charge a cell phone;
· Vial of Life (vial kept in the fridge containing medical information critical to First Responders);
· Dual-sided window sign (30 cm x 20 cm). The sign is to be used in a window visible from the street ”OK" is displayed on one side and "Call 911" is displayed on the other;
· Fridge magnet with emergency contact phone numbers;
· Face cloth, towel and tissues;
· Food, water and blankets; and
The key is to have enough basic supplies for all family members for a period up to 72 hours to allow emergency officials time to restore services
Safety on our roadways is just as important. If there is significant wind and rain, motorists should expect challenging driving conditions, especially on the 100-series highways. Drivers should keep the following in mind:
· Monitor local weather reports for changing conditions before travelling;
· Avoid any unnecessary travel;
· Watch for advisories or road condition updates;
· Ensure an emergency kit is prepared and in your vehicle;
· Ensure cell phones are charged and ready for use in the event of an emergency;
· Adjust your driving according to the conditions;
· Allow extra time to arrive at your destination;
· Maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and those in front of you; and
· Ensure other motorists can see you. Turn on your headlights.
Police also strongly discourage you from venturing out into a storm to our beaches and coastlines; they are often popular attractions to view the waves but can be extremely dangerous.
“People needto avoid the rocks at our beaches and areas like Peggy’s Cove during times of severe weather. It only takes a second for a wave to appear out of nowhere and sweep you away. We don’t want to see someone lose their life or become critically injured,” says Cpl. Scott MacRae, Halifax District RCMP. “First responders are also placed in harm’s way when they attempt a rescue in these types of conditions.”
Planning, preparing and recognizing the potential for emergencies will help ensure everyone remains safe during extreme weather situations.