As most have heard by now, Hurricane Fiona which is predicted to escalate to category 4 hurricane this evening, is tracking towards the Atlantic with most models having eastern Cape Breton as the center but severe weather is predicted across Eastern NB to Newfoundland as well. It is predicted to be a hurricane-force cyclone when it hits the east coast and wind gusts are still being predicted at approximately 150km/hr. The effects of this system are expected to start as early as Friday with most impact happening on Saturday.
The main hazards associated with this system are:
Intense Rain (possibility of up to 300mm)
What Should You Do?
START PREPARING NOW!
Preparing our workplaces:
Closely monitor the forecast for updates on the storm.
Have many people perform yard inspections tomorrow and Friday. Look for any loose items or debris that could become a serious hazard should they become airborne due to severe wind – i.e. pieces of wood, plywood, sheet metal, etc. and remove or tie them down. Many of our plants and construction sites contain these hazards.
Ensure all exterior floor drains are clear and have debris cleared away from them (With this much rain, flooding is always a possibility)
Secure all gates, doors, and windows.
Bring as much equipment inside as possible to prevent damage to that equipment.
Ensure all employees that may be working during this storm event have clear emergency contact directions and plans.
Post-storm – there may be a range of hazards when employees return to the workplace post-storm. Downed power lines in particular are a potential hazard, ensure everyone knows not to go near a downed powerline and make sure proper authorities are notified.
Preparing Our Homes:
We should monitor local weather forecasts and be ready for the storm’s arrival. The Pre-storm basic checklist includes:
Have enough food and water for 72 hours
Constantly monitoring local media outlets for updates
Securing gates, doors and windows
Moving yard furniture and securing trash cans, hanging plants, and anything that can be picked up by the wind to somewhere safe
Check radio and flashlight batteries
Fill vehicles with gas and park them away from trees
Keep pets inside and ensure you have pet food on hand
Move any type of watercraft to high ground
Ensure your personal and your family’s safety by staying inside during storm
Check on neighbours if possible
Don’t leave candles unattended
Do not attempt to watch storm surge near oceans
If using a generator, follow manufacturer’s recommendations on running (most should not be run in wet the conditions)
If using a generator, ensure it is operated far away from open doors and windows and have a CO detector operating in your house when the generator is in use
If you are on a well, fill bathtub with water while you can before you lose power. (You may be without power for days, flushing toilets and washing with this water will be important)
Never move or contact a downed power line
Make sure phones and other portable devices are fully charged as well as portable charging banks
Now is a good time to check on your insurance documents and coverage
Consider unplugging larger appliances and sensitive electronics during the storm to avoid potential damage
Ensure first aid kit is stocked
Have fuel for BBQ or camp stove for cooking if the power outage is extensive
Ensure rain gutters and drain holes are cleared of debris
These are some suggested precautions to consider both at work and at home, you can find additional information from your provincial Emergency Management Office or National Hurricane Center.
Thank you and please share this with your co-workers that may not be on this email.