FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Department of Public Safety's New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization is advising New Brunswickers to prepare their properties for heavy rainfall and wind gusts over the next few days as a result of Hurricane Sandy.

Parts of southern New Brunswick could get between 75 and 100 mm of rain, and wind gusts of up to 70 km/h. This could result in localized flooding, particularly for areas that have flooded in the past. There is also potential for increased wave activity in the Bay of Fundy. However, this is expected to coincide with low tide and should not pose a significant risk to coastal property. Boaters are advised that they should take steps to protect boats, docks and other equipment, and to check marine forecasts.

Heavy rainfall can result in rapid increases in water levels in streams and rivers, and can cause localized flash flooding, even in areas that have not been prone to floods in the past.

With the high winds, utility poles and lines are at risk of possible damage from blown down tree branches and trees, which can result in the loss of telephone and electrical services.

The New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization advises residents to prepare to have everything they need for up to 72 hours. Residents should stock up on food, water, medications, batteries and other necessities. The public is encouraged to download the 72-Hour Emergency Guide, which contains practical information and checklists to assist in developing an emergency plan. Copies of the guide are also available through 1-800-O-CANADA (1-800-622-6232), or via email, info@GetPrepared.ca.

NB Power has crews on stand-by in the event of any power outages. People are reminded never to touch any downed power lines or associated debris. In addition, NB Power reminds those on a well system to draw off water before the storm. A full list of outages and expected time of reconnection is online, updated every 10 minutes and is also accessible via smartphones.

People should also check on neighbours, elderly relatives, and anyone with special medical needs, to ensure they have everything they need in the event of a power outage.

The following reminders are for motorists:

●    In severe weather, stay off the roads if possible.
●    If you do have to drive in high winds, be cautious and watch for debris on the roads such as branches and trees.
●    Visibility can be severely reduced during downpours; reduce your speed.
●    Watch for standing water on the roads, which could cause hydroplaning.
●    Be on the lookout for washed-out road shoulders and culverts. If you see any debris on the roads, or damaged culverts, report it to your local RCMP detachment.
●    Be careful in construction zones, as high winds may damage or move safety signage.

The public is reminded that the best way to access emergency services is to call 9-1-1.

All New Brunswick residents should continue to monitor conditions and local forecasts, as conditions could worsen at short notice.

LINKS:

●    72-Hour Emergency Guide
●    Canadian Hurricane Centre
●    Local weather conditions and forecasts
●    NB Power outages
●    New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization