FREDERICTON (GNB) – In the wake of hurricane Fiona, New Brunswickers are reminded of the need to be ready in case of an emergency.

Storm Preparedness Week, Nov. 6-12, is being recognized by the provincial government and its New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization, along with partners NB Power, Saint John Energy, Edmundston Energy and the Canadian Red Cross.

“We had been spared a major storm for a few years, and hurricane Fiona was probably a wake-up call for some,” said Public Safety Minister Kris Austin. “New Brunswick must remember disaster can strike at any time of year. Anyone who thinks ‘It can’t happen to me’ is taking a huge risk.”

Severe weather results in some residents being isolated and having their access to vital services interrupted for hours or, in extreme cases, for days. Being prepared means people will be able to carry on if and when these circumstances arise.

There are three important components to being prepared for an emergency:

·         Know the risks: Evaluate the kind of emergency that can affect your family and community. Knowing the risks can help you prepare for any disaster.

·         Make a plan: Every household needs an emergency plan. It takes less than 30 minutes to organize. Talk to your family about where you would meet, how you would contact each other and what you would do in different situations. Write it down and keep it in a safe place.

·         Create an emergency kit: Have all the necessities for you and your family: water, food, flashlights, radio, batteries, first aid kit, prescription medications, infant formula, cash (ATM machines might not be operational in times of crisis).

“Hurricane Fiona showed us that being prepared and collaborating with other utilities across Atlantic Canada can help us weather the toughest of storms,” said Ryan Mitchell, president and CEO of Saint John Energy. “Saint John Energy crews are ready to help restore power quickly and make repairs as soon as possible. It can sometimes take a while to get things back up and running, so we would like to encourage everyone in our community to prepare for winter storms.”

NB Power president and CEO Lori Clark said her team is pleased to join with its partners in preparation for storm season and highlight the importance of readiness for all New Brunswickers.

“Severe storms are becoming more commonplace in our region. We invest year-round to ensure we have a strong grid by conducting proper maintenance and replacing assets as needed,” said Clark. “In spite of all this preparation, outages can still happen. It is very important that all New Brunswickers are ready in the event of severe weather.”