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March 24, 2014
For immediate release

Islanders should prepare for a major winter storm

Environment, Labour and Justice

The Office of Public Safety is advising Islanders to take extra precautions this week for a late winter blizzard that has the potential to bring heavy snow, strong winds, storm surge, rain and ice.

The aftermath of a major winter storm can have an impact on a community for days, weeks or even months. Snow and ice build up on tree branches, rooftops and utility lines, can lead to dangerous conditions with breaking branches, downed utility lines and possibly power outages.

You may not have heating, hot water, lighting or plumbing. The Office of Public Safety offers the following reminders:

• Emergency preparedness begins at home. Be prepared to cope on your own for at least 72 hours so first responders can focus on those in urgent need.

• Ensure you have supplies on hand, such as medications and special care supplies, non perishable food, and a manual can opener.

• Prepare a three-day supply of water – at least two litres per person per day. Have extra food and water on hand for pets and consider keeping them indoors, if possible.

• Cordless phones need electricity to operate. Keep at least one corded phone in your home so you can make emergency calls.

• Have a hand crank or battery operated radio and flashlight with spare batteries nearby so you can hear updates on weather, travel and utility outages.

• If you live near the coast, be prepared for storm surge and potential flooding.

• Travel may not be possible for one or more days. Listen to local weather reports and check road conditions by calling 5-1-1, or go to

• As soon as possible, shovel out your 911 sign. Emergency responders can’t help you if they can’t find you.

• Home fires can be a greater risk during a storm, when people are using candles for lighting or wood burning appliances.

• Maintain a three-foot clearance around heating equipment such as the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or generator.

• Always keep burning candles within sight. Extinguish lit candles before leaving a room or going to bed. Consider using flameless battery operated candles instead.

• Never use a portable generator inside a home, garage or crawlspace, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation.

To learn more about emergency preparedness, or to download a copy of the 72 Hour Emergency Preparedness Guide which has checklists and templates for personal emergency planning, go to or call EMO at 894-0385.

Media Contact: Connie McNeill
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