Nova Scotians need to be ready for busier than previously predicted hurricane season

A man in business attire addresses media from behind a desk. The edge Nova Scotia flag can be seen on the left.
Bob Robichaud, Meteorologist, Environment and Climate Change Canada. Screen capture from Communications Nova Scotia Zoom conference Aug 24, 2023
Ed Halverson - QCCR/CJQC - LiverpoolNS | 24-08-2023
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The province is warning Nova Scotians now is the time to prepare for an active hurricane season.

Officials from Environment Canada, Nova Scotia Power, the Red Cross and the province’s Emergency Management Office gathered together Thursday to announce an information campaign designed to inform Nova Scotians on how to ready themselves for the upcoming season.

Meteorologist Bob Robichaud says the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting 14 to 21 named storms, six to 10 hurricanes and two to five major hurricanes before the end of the year.

Robichaud says those numbers are higher than initially predicted in May and include storm activity across the entire Atlantic Ocean.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean that a lot of those storms will approach Atlantic Canada or have any kind of impact on Nova Scotia but we always have to be ready for that one or two storms that might impact us,” said Robichaud.

As an example, Robichaud pointed to Hurricane Fiona and the damage it caused in September of 2022.

Robichaud was asked about Hurricane Franklin and says it is currently about 1,200km southwest of Bermuda, tracking northeast. It’s expected to reach category 2 status as it moves north over the weekend.

As of Thursday, modelling shows the hurricane will track south of Nova Scotia but Robichaud says even if it does turn towards the province it won’t be anywhere close to the power of Fiona.

He encourages people to follow trusted weather forecasting sites to get information about impending storms.

Operations Manager with the Canadian Red Cross of Nova Scotia, Ancel Langille says it’s important for families to have an emergency plan and kit ready ahead of storm season.

“Your kit should include things that will make a stay away from home more comfortable for you and your family,” said Langille. “Things like clothing, medications, if you have children some toys and games, if you have pets prepare a kit for them as well with the leash, some food, water, medications for them, a pet carrier something great to have on hand. If you have a vehicle, make sure it's full of gas before the storm arrives and it's always great to have some cash on hand.”

Langille added if there is time, it’s a good idea to take photos or videos of the rooms of your house before you need to evacuate so you have a record to provide to your insurance company.

John Lohr, the minister responsible for emergency management in Nova Scotia says the province works closely with municipalities through the provincial control centre in times of emergency.

Lohr says the province is preparing for the upcoming hurricane season.

“And I would like to encourage all Nova Scotians to take some time now before a storm or weather warning is issued to our region to do the same,” said Lohr. “Before an event happens is a good time to sit down with your family and talk things over, check to see what may need to be done around your house or cottage make a plan and prepare.”

The province will be running an information campaign across social and traditional media over the next four weeks.

Updates and tips from Nova Scotia's emergency management office are available here.

To listen to the radio broadcast, press play below.