Atlantic hurricane season runs from June to November, although the risk of hurricanes in Nova Scotia is highest during the months of September and October. Hurricanes are classified by categories ranging from 1 to 5. Regardless of the category a hurricane can cause extensive damage. Wind is responsible for much of the structural damage, as well as the uprooted trees and the downed power lines. Even a significantly weakened hurricane can carry winds strong enough to cause widespread destruction.
If a Hurricane Watch or Hurricane Warning is Issued:
- Fill your bathtub(s) with water for flushing, washing and cleaning
- Be sure to tune in to local broadcast networks for updates from authorities
- Secure all gates, doors and windows
- Move lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything that can be picked up by wind
- Trim dead or diseased branches from trees to help make them more wind resistant, or remove dead trees entirely. Safety should always be your first priority when trimming trees. Ensure that you are not working near a power line.
- Park your vehicles in a garage or away from trees
- Fill your car’s gas tank
- Keep pets indoors
- If you own a watercraft be sure it is out of water and up to high ground
Hurricane Watch: If an approaching hurricane is considered a threat to coastal and inland areas, meteorologists issue a hurricane watch. This is meant to alert everyone in the area to be prepared to act if definite hurricane warnings are issued.
Hurricane Warning: A hurricane warning is issued to coastal areas where winds of 118 km. per hour are expected to occur, or if dangerously high waves are expected. The warnings are seldom issued more than 24 hours in advance, sometimes just a few hours before the onset of a hurricane.
When a warning is issued, all recommended precautions must be followed. For more information on hurricanes visit the Canadian Hurricane Centre website.