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Storm prep 101: Here are the basics to get ready for Dorian

Flashlight image from
Flashlight image from

Are you ready for Dorian's arrival this weekend?

Disaster preparedness and relief organizations recommend some basic steps to get ready for any storm. Don't leave things till the last minute either because once bad weather begins, you need to stay inside in a safe place. 

With a significant weather event, experts recommend that you prepare with the idea that you could be without power or access to stores and ATMs for three days.

Here's an edited checklist that combines tips from Nova Scotia's Emergency Management Office and the Canadian Red Cross:

  • make sure you have enough food and water for 72 hours. Add a manual can opener to your shopping list if you don't already have one.
  • ensure other needed items such as medications, eyeglasses and first-aid supplies are where you can easily find them, even in the dark.
  • secure gates, doors and windows.
  • stow away or secure anything outdoors that could be blown around. That includes outdoor furniture, trash cans and composting bins, and hanging plants.
  • make sure all your electronic devices are charged. A handy item is an portable power bank -- you can usually find one on sale for about $20 that can store enough juice to recharge your phone about four times.
  • check batteries on anything else (like a radio) that could come in handy if you wind up without power.
  • gas up your vehicles and park them away from trees.
  • check that you have enough propane for the BBQ for cooking (and boiling water for tea).
  • have enough pet food for a few days for Fluffy and Fido -- you don't want to share that canned tuna you're having for lunch -- and keep your pets inside during the storm.
  • power outages in storms the size of Dorian are likely so make sure you have a safe source of light. Flashlights, LED candles, solar lanterns (you can also get those for about $20), or even solar lights that you bring in from the garden are safer than candles.
  • pick up some cash from your local bank or credit union branch -- power outages could mean your local ATM is down and nearby stores aren't able to accept debit. 

If you have internet access during or soon after the storm, here are some handy links:

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