Emergency Services stresses preparedness as hurricane season begins in N.L.

·2 min read
A tree is seen downed in St. John's after Hurricane Larry crossed over Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula in the early morning hours of Saturday. (Paul Daly/The Canadian Press - image credit)
A tree is seen downed in St. John's after Hurricane Larry crossed over Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula in the early morning hours of Saturday. (Paul Daly/The Canadian Press - image credit)

June marks the start of the Atlantic hurricane season, with early predictions from Newfoundland and Labrador's emergency services department indicating another above average year.

In the wake of storms such as Hurricane Larry, Emergency Services has issued a number of recommendations as the province braces for future storms.

Jamie Kennedy, director of emergency services, stresses three basic things that the public needs to do in preparation for any emergency situation:

  • Know the risks.

  • Make a plan.

  • Have an emergency kit ready.

What do I need in my emergency kit?

An emergency kit should contain enough essential supplies to last at least 72 hours.

According to Kennedy, ample water supply is paramount. He recommends two litres of water per person, per day, while reminding to have extra on-hand for pets.

In addition, any medications that may be required, as well as non-perishable food items should be included. For those with infants and small children, baby formula, diapers and extra clothing are also recommended.

Kennedy also recommends having a first aid kit, some cash, and a copy of your family's emergency plan.

Ashley Brauweiler/CBC
Ashley Brauweiler/CBC

Flashlights and radios are strongly encouraged in the event of power outages.

Phone chargers and banks, keys for home and vehicle and copies of important documents should also be considered.

Further recommendations can be found here.

While families are encouraged to build their own emergency kits based on their specific needs, they can also be purchased at various retailers ranging in cost anywhere from $50 to $500. The average family kit contains roughly $150 of supplies.

How to prepare for an impending storm

As storms such as hurricanes bring heavy winds, there are significant risks to personal property. Residents are encouraged to trim any trees and branches around their homes, and move items that may become airborne indoors whenever possible. If items cannot be moved, they should be tied down.

If residents make use of personal generators, ensure there is enough fuel for the equipment prior to the storm making landfall.

Severe storms are often accompanied by flooding, leading Kennedy to recommend that each family include an evacuation plan with their emergency kit.

Municipalities and local service districts are expected to review their emergency preparedness plans, while ensuring infrastructure and storm drains are clear of debris in order to prevent a disruption to services.

Hurricane season spans from June to November.

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