Volunteers across Atlantic Canada are ready to step in and help should hurricane Dorian touch down as expected according to the latest models.
Ancel Langille, senior manager of emergency management with the Canadian Red Cross for the Atlantic region, says the organization notified its more than 800 volunteers across the Maritimes Thursday, telling them to be on standby this weekend.
Dorian is currently being forecast as a Category 1 hurricane in the region, and models show the storm making landfall in Nova Scotia Saturday evening, tracking over the eastern part of the province toward Newfoundland.
Langille says the Red Cross has inventory ready to deploy throughout the province, including things like cots, blankets and hygiene kits, should there be an emergency situation and shelters need to be set up.
But, he adds, personal preparedness is key.
“We suggest people have food and water and any personal items — prescription medications — for at least 72 hours following a disaster,” he said, adding that people should be at home when the storm touches down.
“Stay with your family, stay with friends and let the storm pass. And then, when safe to do so, get out and assess the damage on your property.
“But we don’t want people to be on the roads. It’s not going to be safe, and we want the roads clear for emergency and power officials to be able to do their jobs.”
WATCH: Preparation for potential hurricane underway across Nova Scotia
During the height of the storm, severe wind gusts reaching 150 km/h are possible over parts of the province, according to Environment Canada.
“You can look after your yard by taking down hanging baskets, putting away green bins, which tend to fly around during the strong winds,” said Langille.
Langille stresses the importance of heeding the warnings and listening to emergency officials.
“If they say evacuate, evacuate. If they say stay off the bridges, stay off the bridges. Stay away from the rocks at Peggy’s Cove. Don’t put yourself at risk because that puts others at risk,” he said.