MONCTON (GNB) – With winter around the corner, Storm Preparedness Week, Nov. 4-10, is an opportunity to remind New Brunswickers of the need to be ready in case of an emergency.

The week is being recognized by the provincial government and its New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization (NBEMO) in partnership with NB Power.

“The weather presented a number of challenges this year,” said NBEMO director Greg MacCallum. “Thousands of New Brunswickers, at one point or another, found themselves without power and without immediate access to emergency services. From an ice storm to flooding to snow storms, Mother Nature once again showed us the importance of having an emergency kit and being able to take care of yourself and your family for 72 hours.”

There are three important components to emergency preparedness:

  • Know the risks: New Brunswickers should evaluate the kind of emergency that can affect their family and their community. Knowing the risks can help them better prepare for any disaster: storms, flooding, train derailments, power outages or other events.
  • Make a plan: Every household needs an emergency plan. It will help families to know what to do in case of an emergency and it takes less than 30 minutes to organize. Family members should take the time to discuss how and where to meet, how to contact each another and what to do in different situations. Write it down and keep it in a safe place.
  • Get an emergency kit: New Brunswickers should have all the necessities for themselves and their families: water, food, flashlights, radio, batteries, first aid kit, prescription medications, infant formula, cash (ATM machines might not be operational in times of crisis).

“There is no substitute for being prepared for and staying informed during extreme weather events,” said MacCallum. “We encourage residents to be in a position to help themselves. Emergency preparedness begins at home.”

NB Power president and CEO Gaëtan Thomas said the utility has been doing more each year to help restore power faster during storm events, but there is no substitute for teamwork and preparation.

“We have invested in better forecasting technology and have storm-hardened a great deal of our infrastructure in many areas of the province,” said Thomas. “But, to me, the biggest success is the strong teamwork and relationships we have developed over the years with NBEMO, the Canadian Red Cross, municipalities and other partners. Ultimately, by working together, we will be able to address storm challenges faster and better.”

A 72-Hour Guide is available online. It contains useful information for families to prepare an emergency kit and to make a family emergency plan.

NBEMO co-ordinates preparedness for emergencies. It also co-ordinates provincial response operations during emergencies and administers disaster financial assistance programs during recovery. It works at provincial, regional and municipal levels to ensure that communities are protected during all phases of an emergency.