Hurricane Fiona is approaching Nova Scotia and forecasting shows it transforming into a major post-tropical storm, and while it is tracking to the northeast of Halifax, experience shows major storms and hurricanes seem to ‘make up their minds’ once they are in sight of land.
The direction the storm takes could see it land anywhere from St Margaret’s Bay to missing Nova Scotia entirely. It is important to be prepared.
If required I will post further updates later in the week. I’ve also created a Halifax EMO Twitter list – https://twitter.com/i/lists/53405874
Environment Canada Tropical Cyclone Information Statement
Hurricane Fiona expected to impact Atlantic Canada land areas Saturday and southern offshore areas Friday
The CHC (Canadian Hurricane Centre) is monitoring category 3 Hurricane Fiona east of the Bahamas as of Tuesday morning. This storm is expected to travel northward this week and transform into a large and potent post-tropical storm by Saturday. Most computer weather models are predicting this evolution. Currently, the range of uncertainty with regard to the centre of the low when it approaches is approximately an 800 kilometre wide zone (cone of uncertainty) centered near eastern Cape Breton. Since we expect the storm to become quite large, the impact area will be very broad. The CHC will begin regular 6-hourly bulletin updates tonight or early Wednesday.
Public Weather Alerts: https://weather.gc.ca/warnings/index_e.html?prov=ns
Current Hurricane Conditions: https://weather.gc.ca/hurricane/index_e.html
Halifax EMO Information
Safety is the municipality’s top priority. The municipality’s Emergency Management Division continues to monitor weather forecasts and will work closely with provincial partners, including NS EMO, to respond to and mitigate potential impacts of the forecasted severe weather event.
Register for hfxALERT, the municipality’s mass notification system to receive urgent and non-urgent public alerts by phone, email or text. Sign up here. Stay informed by following HRM on social media @hfxgov @hfxmoments , and listening to the radio and local news channels.
For more information on hurricane preparedness and response, visit https://www.halifax.ca/fire-police/fire/emergency-management/emergency-preparedness/hurricanes
Some Practical Recommendations for Storm Preparedness
All of these suggestions are made recognizing not everyone has the equipment/appliances/resources to act on all of these ideas. These ideas are presented for you to “do as you are able”.
- Do laundry, especially kids’ clothes, towels, and underwear
- Make sure all your dishes are done
- Take a shower
- Clean and tidy the room where you will mostly hang out if the power goes out. This makes for a better experience if you are waiting out the storm.
Food and drink:
- Pre-grind your whole bean coffee (if you are fancy, that is)
- Cook and bake in preparation, for example, hard-boiled eggs
- Canned & shelf-stable (no refrigeration) food and snacks
- Put ice packs or bottles of water or plastic containers in the freezer, and deep freeze if you have one. Idea is to fill all available space now so it freezes solid and will stay cold longer.
- Store BBQ-able meat in the kitchen freezer so won’t have to open the deep freeze.
- Make the fridge and freezer as cold as possible so it stays colder longer
- Make a big pot of soup/stew/chowder that can be re-heated on a wood stove/bbq/Coleman
- Ideally have some way to cook that does not require electricity – a stove for camping, a bbq, etc
- If you are on a well, lots and lots of buckets of water. Halifax has backup generators at both Halifax Water pumping stations, it is very unlikely city water will fail.
- Check pet supply food
Life with no power:
- Have some flashlights and or fresh batteries, and/or tea lights, but careful with candles as they can be a fire hazard
- Tether any BBQ to the railing & tie down patio furniture or bring it indoors/shed
- If you keep your freezer(s) closed, things will stay frozen for 24+hours. If power is out longer than that, please don’t throw stuff away. Fire up the BBQ or camp stove and cook stuff for you and your community. Or give stuff away to neighbours who can cook it.
- Freeze a container of water and put a quarter on top of it in your freezer and you can tell how much things thawed if that power goes out.
- Have lots of things downloaded and printed in case school goes down
- A full tank of gas/full charge in the car/vehicle
- Get some cash out in case there is an ATM or internet disruption.
- Do not use your powerless stove as a worktop/storage surface, when the power comes on history has shown lots of stoves still have burns turned on and the burners set the stuff on fire.
- Consider unplugging appliances (microwaves etc) and other electronics (TVs etc) if power is flickering.
- When there is a power outage, without or without a storm, and then power is restored, there could be a “power surge”, which could (but probably not) damage electrical and/or electronic equipment. Most equipment is designed to withstand such surges. Solar panels are especially robust in terms of withstanding such surges.
- Some solar installers recommend turning off the solar panel at the cut-off switch as a storm rolls in.
- Some others recommended turning off the power at the main breaker in the electrical panel to disconnect everything from NS Power until the storm passes
- Have a 72-hour pack ready, in case you need to leave your home – https://www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/yprprdnssgd/index-en.aspx