FREDERICTON (GNB) – As winter approaches, New Brunswickers are reminded of the need to be ready in case of an emergency.

Storm Preparedness Week 2021, Oct. 31-Nov. 7, 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 have been fortunate that since the pandemic began the province has been spared significant storms causing wide-spread damage,” said Justice and Public Safety Minister Hugh J. Flemming. “However, I hope this good fortune has not lulled people into a false sense of security. They need to be prepared to handle the unexpected.”

Every year 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).

“The good news is we are coming to the end of hurricane season. The bad news is winter is around the corner and may bring severe weather with it,” said Greg MacCallum, director of the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization. “I understand many people are battling pandemic fatigue, but preparedness is a year-round necessity and responsibility.”

Keith Cronkhite, NB Power president and CEO, said his team is pleased to join with its partners in preparation of storm season and highlight the importance of readiness.

“Severe storms are becoming more commonplace in our region and while we have done a great deal in recent years to strengthen our system, we know outages will still occur,” Cronkhite said. “It remains very important for all New Brunswickers to be ready in the event of severe weather. I would encourage New Brunswickers to visit our website to get tips and information on being storm ready.”

“We may not be able to control the weather, but we can prepare so that we are ready for what winter will bring.” said Ray Robinson, president and CEO of Saint John Energy. “When a storm hits and causes power interruptions, we work hard to reconnect customers as safely and as quickly as possible. In severe conditions, it can take some time to get things back up and running, so we would like to encourage everyone in our community to prepare for winter storms.”