News release

EMO Partners to Provide Sand Bagging Machines

Municipalities now have access to four sand bagging machines thanks to a joint partnership among the Emergency Management Office, Department of Transportation and Public Works and the federal government through Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada.

"Being prepared is the first step to minimizing the effects of an emergency," said David Morse, Minister responsible for the Emergency Management Act. "This equipment will rapidly fill sand bags compared to the traditional shovel method and it will provide a co-ordinated response based on the needs of the communities."

The machines will be strategically located across the province at Transportation and Public Works locations in Truro, Miller Lake, Bridgewater and Sydney. Staff will transport the machines to the affected site during an emergency.

"Having access to this equipment will greatly enhance the municipalities' ability to fill sand bags in a timely fashion during flood conditions when time is critical," said Carl Shaw, regional emergency measures co-ordinator for the Colchester region. "We hope we never have to use them, but we live in an area where there is always potential for flooding, and the product from these machines could go a long way to protecting homes or businesses in our communities."

Emergency management officials estimate 250 to 500 sand bags are needed to protect the foundation openings of a single home from river overflow or flood conditions. Each sand bag machine has the capability of filling 1,000 bags per hour.

"This is the first time equipment such as this has been available from the provincial government and EMO is hoping to acquire additional sand bagging machines for other sites across the province," said Mr. Morse.

National Emergency Preparedness Week is May 7 - 13. EMO is reminding Nova Scotians that it is everyone's responsibility to plan ahead and prepare for potential emergencies. More information on emergency preparedness, is available on the EMO website at www.gov.ns.ca/emo .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

As we enter flooding season, municipalities have access to four sand bagging machines thanks to a joint provincial and federal partnership.

David Morse, Minister responsible for the Emergency Management Act, says preparedness is the first step to reducing the impact of an emergency.

Each machine can fill up to one thousand bags an hour and is a remarkable improvement over filling the bags manually using a shovel.

The machines will be located across the province and Department of Transportation and Public Works staff will transport the machines to the affected site during an emergency.

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Media Contact:

Sheliah Tulloch
Emergency Management Office 902-424-0284 E-mail: