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Hurricane Preparedness Tips

Safety During a Hurricane or Tropical Storm

Call 911 to report a fire, report a crime, or save a life

Basic Information:

  • Follow the Canadian Hurricane Centre for predictions, advice on a storm and its potential impact.
  • Hurricanes are violent tropical storms which change direction at short notice and even a significantly weakened system can carry winds strong enough to cause widespread destruction.
  • September is the peak month for hurricanes and tropical storms in the Maritimes.

Storm Surge:

  • The most destructive effect of a hurricane is a storm surge.
  • The high winds create huge waves at sea which, when they reach the shore, may become tidal waves or storm surges.
  • Flooding is possible.
  • If you have a cottage, or are camping, or live on the coast or in a low-lying area near the coast, move inland and to higher ground.
  • Do not go down to the water to watch the storm, most people who are killed during hurricanes are caught in large waves, storm surges or flood waters.
  • Move watercraft out of water and to higher ground.

Emergency kit:

  • When it comes to emergency management, we all have a role to play; everyone should learn the risks, prepare an emergency plan, and assemble a basic emergency kit.
  • Prepare an emergency kit that will help your family survive for at least 72 hours.

    Emergency supply kits should include:

    • Battery operated or wind up radio and flashlight,
    • Bottled water (2 litres per person per day),
    • Non-perishable food and a manual can opener,
    • A first aid kit, medication,
    • Special products for babies, seniors, pets and medically fragile family members,
    • cash, medical papers.
  • Keep your kit in a portable container such as a duffel bag or suitcase with wheels.
  • For more information on preparing an emergency kit, go to Get Prepared.

General Safety tips:

  • Stay in a safe place.
  • Listen for reports from authorities and follow advice.
  • Have cash on hand in case of power outages (debit and credit won't work).
  • Park your vehicles in a garage or away from trees.
  • Fill your car's gas tank (and fuel generators). Many gas stations cannot operate in a power outage.
  • Don't go outside even if there is a lull; if the eye of the hurricane passes over, there will be a lull in the wind lasting from two or three minutes to half an hour. Once the eye has passed over, the winds will return from the opposite direction with possibly even greater force.
  • Keep pets indoors.

In advance, around the home:

  • Secure all gates, doors and windows.
  • Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants and anything else that can be blown around.
  • Trim dead or diseased branches from trees, or remove dead trees entirely; ensure that you are not working near a power line when trimming tree.


  • Monitor broadcasts and listen to instructions from local officials.
  • Secure anything that can be blown around; ensure all outdoor items are secured. Items such as lawn chairs, barbeques, toys can be blown around and can be dangerous.
  • Seek shelter in a secure building; tree branches may break off and power lines may be downed.
  • Do not go out to watch the storm; high waves and currents accompanying the storm are very dangerous; stay away from the water.
  • Ensure you have emergency supplies on hand such as a battery operated or wind up radio and flashlight, non-perishable food, etc.
  • Call 911 to report a fire, report a crime, or save a life.

Fire Safety tips (in power outages):

  • Make sure smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working (battery back up).
  • Keep candles away from combustible materials, secure them in a solid container and protect them with a glass chimney; never leave candles unattended.
  • Propane and charcoal barbeques must never be used inside the home.
  • Generators must never be brought or used inside the home for any reason.
  • Portable space heaters should be used only with the fuel for which they were designed. Keep all heaters at least one metre (3 feet) away from combustibles including furniture, drapes and clothing.
  • If your fireplace or wood-stove has not been used for a long time, the chimney should be checked by a professional technician before using.
  • Keep a window open to provide necessary ventilation.
  • Before going to bed, do a check of every room to make sure candles are out and heaters are off.
  • Spend some time each day outside in the fresh air.
  • In case of fire, get out, stay out and call 911.

Municipalities, Businesses:

  • Review your emergency management plan, ensure contact and resource lists are up to date and that responsibilities in an emergency are clearly understood by everyone.
  • Test generators and ensure generators and vehicles are fueled.
  • Review business continuity plans.

For more information visit: PEI Public Safety

To download this information to a PDF file, please click here.

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