Preparations underway as Nova Scotians brace for impact of Hurricane Dorian

Click to play video 'Nova Scotians living near coastline prepping for storm' Nova Scotians living near coastline prepping for storm
ABOVE: Residents who own homes and other valuable pieces of property like boats are doing all they can to brace for Dorian’s blow. Alexa MacLean has more.

As Hurricane Dorian continues to steer towards Nova Scotia, messages urging members of the public to be prepared for severe weather effects are being communicated by government officials and emergency response teams.

READ MORE: Cancellations begin as Dorian moves toward Canada’s East Coast

“What we’d like to do is remind citizens at this time to take any flying object debris that could be found around their house such as flower pots, lawn chairs, umbrellas,” said Erica Fleck, the division chief of the provincial Emergency Management Office. [EMO].
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“If they could take that stuff, put it away in their sheds and other protected areas, that would go a long way from things smashing through windows and flying.”

Fleck says citizens should contact 911 for emergencies such as downed powerlines and lifesaving circumstances. All other municipal inquires are being directed to 311.

READ MORE: ‘We will rise’: Bahamian diaspora in Nova Scotia collects donations for Dorian survivors

While Dorian is currently being forecast as a Category 1 hurricane, meteorologists with the Canadian Hurricane Centre are urging people to be prepared for severe weather regardless of the storm classification.

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“This is absolutely a very serious storm,” said Ian Hubbard said, a meteorologist with the Canadian Hurricane Centre.

“It’s going to be very significant in terms of its impacts from wind and rain and also probably from waves and possible storm surge, and it’s definitely something to take serious and to pay attention to the forecast over the next few days.”

WATCH: Preparation for potential hurricane underway across Nova Scotia

Click to play video 'Preparation for potential hurricane underway across Nova Scotia' Preparation for potential hurricane underway across Nova Scotia
Preparation for potential hurricane underway across Nova Scotia

Fleck says EMO is preparing for widespread power outages and is currently trying to strategize how to assist people with vulnerable coastline structures.

“The big thing, of course, is power outages, but I received a call today from one of our councillors in one of our municipalities and they’re concerned with people who live in older trailers near the coast,” Fleck said.

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Comfort centres are on standby to be established and communicated to citizens if they are required.

“We have hundreds of potential comfort centres ready to go throughout the municipality and of course we won’t advertise those prior to because we don’t want to send people misinformation. For example, if we had one designated and that area is damaged, we would send the residents a little further to somewhere where it’s safe where we could get into that community and work,” Fleck said.

Fleck says while the east coast of Atlantic Canada is no stranger to severe weather, extra cautions are being taken to prepare for Hurricane Dorian.

“What we’re concerned about is obviously the similarities to Hurricane Juan when it hit Halifax some years ago. So, that’s why we’re watching so closely and the effects of course that we’re seeing Dorian make across the world right now,” Fleck said.