As New Brunswick braces for the potential impacts of Hurricane Fiona, the provincial minister of public safety has reminded residents not to overlook the importance of preparation.
“We shouldn’t take it lightly, you know, it’s not the type of thing that you want to go watch the waves crashing into the shore,” Bill Hogan told reporters Thursday afternoon at a media availability in Fredericton.
According to Environment Canada, Fiona is expected to bring dangerous weather conditions to regions in the province beginning on Friday. As of 6 p.m. Thursday, many regions are under a tropical storm watch.
Currently, the provincial government is preparing the majority of resources to aid the southeastern communities in New Brunswick, where Fiona is expected to be most impactful.
Hogan said work by the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization and teams at the municipal level has already begun to manage evacuations, storm surge, localized flooding and any other consequences of Fiona.
“Batten down the hatches, as it were. Put anything that might blow away, put it away and get prepared to be at least 72 hours preparedness, if not more, in case there’s a power outage to go along with it.”
In anticipation of Fiona, N.B. Power has prepared additional resources to manage outages.
“At this time, we have over 400 field resources available to respond in all districts when outages occur,” a spokesperson said in a statement to Global News.
“These resources are NB Power crews and additional contractor crews engaged as a precautionary measure.”
To prepare for the days ahead, New Brunswickers are encouraged to assemble a 72- hour preparedness kit.
Hogan urged residents not to travel over the coming days and stay updated on changes issued by Environment Canada, New Brunswick EMO, and the provincial government.
Given the expected impact in neighbouring provinces, Hogan said once New Brunswick has managed the aftermath of Fiona, resources will be allocated where they are needed.
Providing aid to Prince Edward Island will be “a bit more of a challenge,” Hogan said, because of the expected closure of the Confederation Bridge.
“We’re prepared to deploy into Nova Scotia to help those folks out too, so we’re all Maritimers, and we act as Maritimers, and we all want to help each other out when we can, so as soon as it’s safe to go, we’ll be going into help.”
— with files from Nathalie Sturgeon