Hurricanes

Municipal Service Levels 

Any municipal service level adjustments, including transit, solid waste collection and parks and recreation, will be communicated to the public with as much advanced notice as possible.

Safety is the municipality’s top priority. The municipality's Emergency Management Division continues to monitor weather forecasts and will work closely 
with provincial partners, including NS EMO, to respond to and mitigate potential impacts of the forecasted severe weather event.

Storm Preparedness

Hurricane season officially runs from June through November when the waters of the Atlantic Ocean are warm enough to form tropical cyclones. 

Hurricanes can cause more widespread damage than tornadoes because they are bigger- some are as large as 1,000 km across

One of the most destructive effect of a hurricane is the storm surge, often causing serious flooding.

By taking precautions before, during, and after a hurricane, lives can be saved, and property damage averted.

Follow storm warnings and weather forecasts through Public Weather Alerts Canada.

Register for hfxALERT, the municipality’s mass notification system to receive urgent and non-urgent public alerts by phone, email or text. Sign up here.

Before 

  • The key to staying safe is to prepare and to have an emergency plan  in place.
  • Stock up on water, ready-to-eat food and heating fuel, as well as battery-powered or wind-up flashlights and radios - and extra batteries. Make sure that there is gasoline in the car. For a complete list of emergency supplies, go to emergency plan. 
  • Listen to local news and weather reports for any potential hurricane watches and warnings in your area.
  • Trim dead branches and cut down dead trees to reduce the danger of these falling onto your house .
  • If you live on the coast or in a low-lying area near the coast, be ready to move inland or to higher ground. High winds can create large waves, which may become storm surges when they reach the shore.
  • Be prepared for power outages 

During

  • Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
  • Listen for reports from authorities on your crank or battery powered radio.
  • Stay informed by listening to the latest warnings and advisories. Tune in to the radio or local news channels, and/or follow us on social media @hfxgov
  • You can also find information on the Canadian Hurricane Centre website .
  • Secure everything on your property that can be blown around or torn loose.
  • Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If you do not have hurricane shutters, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.
  • Turn around - don’t drown! Avoid walking and driving through flooded areas.
  • Never go out in a boat during a storm. If you are on the water and you see bad weather approaching, head for shore immediately. 
  • Do not go down to the water to watch the storm. Most fatalities during hurricanes occur as a result of being caught in large waves, storm surges or flood waters.
  • Evacuate if advised by authorities or community leaders. Be careful to avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
  • if you are trapped or injured call 911
  • 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. Stay in a safe place on the main floor but not in the basement during this time. Remember once the eye has passed over, the winds will return from the opposite direction.

After

  • Continue to take precautions and listen to and follow directions from local authorities.
  • Tune in to the radio or local news channels, and/or follow us on social media. @hfxgov @hfxmoments
  • Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.
  • Individuals who encounter or experience flooding should contact 311. Calls will be assessed and re-directed accordingly.
  • If you suspect your home is unsafe, do not enter. Rely on the professionals to clear your home for re-entry, if you are unsure. 
  • Stay away from damaged areas and fallen power lines. Watch out for debris such as sheet metal, glass or other sharp material.
  • You shouldn’t try to remove or trim branches near a power line. If a tree or tree limbs have fallen on a power line or pulled it down, keep a safe distance from the line or the tree and call 911! 
  • Do not use water that may have been contaminated. Throw out food that may have been contaminated, including from refrigerator and freezers. 
  • Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and sturdy shoes when cleaning up. 
  • Examine your walls, doors, staircases, and windows for damage.
  • Take pictures of damage, both building and its contents, for insurance claims. 
  • Check with local authorities on how to properly dispose of damaged items from your home.

Mobile homes

If you live in a mobile home:

  • Position your mobile home near a natural windbreak such as a hill or clump of trees.
  • Anchor the structure securely. Consult the manufacturer for information on secure tie-down systems.
  • When a severe storm approaches, seek shelter in a more secure building as staying in a mobile home during a hurricane can be more dangerous than going outside

FAQ

When is hurricane season?

  • Runs from June 1st- November 30th 

What is the difference between a hurricane watch and hurricane warning?

  • A hurricane warning means a hurricane is already occurring or will occur soon in your area. Evacuate if advised to do so.
  • A hurricane watch means a hurricane is possible in your area. Stay alert for more information.

How can I protect myself?

  • Identify a safe space on lower floors but not the basement; Evacuate  when instructed by authorities. 
  • Turn around, don’t drown – avoid flood waters.
  • Prepare for secondary risks such as flooding. 

How can I stay informed?  

  • Stay up to date on storm warnings and risks of hurricanes through Environment Canada .
  • Stay alert by following storm warnings and weather forecasts through Public Weather Alerts Canada.
  • For up to date information on hurricane conditions, storm maps, and weather warnings, visit the Canadian Hurricane Centre .
  • Stay informed by following us on social media @hfxgov @hfxmoments , listening to the radio and local news channels. 
  • The municipality will issue a public service announcement to all local media outlets and will share the information through its social media channels.
  • Register for hfxALERT

How can I help?

  • Join our JEM team !
Hurricane Juan