News release

Follow Safety Precautions During Flooding, Power Outages

The Emergency Management Office (EMO) advises Nova Scotians impacted by flooding and power outages to follow safety precautions.

Heavy rains and freezing rains have caused flooding in areas of Colchester, Cumberland and Pictou counties, as well as power outages affecting several thousand Nova Scotians.

In the event of a flood:

  • Listen to the radio for instructions from local authorities.
  • Know how to turn off water, gas and electricity in case instructed to by local officials. If the main power box is not in a dry, safe area, do not try to turn off the electricity. Contact Nova Scotia Power at 428-6004 or 1-877-428-6004 for instructions.
  • Do not use well water for drinking, cooking or bathing until the water has been tested and it has been declared safe to use. To learn about protecting and testing your well water go to: www.gov.ns.ca/nse/water/privatewells.asp . To contact your local provincial department of Environment office, call 1-877-936-8476 (1-877-9ENVIRO)

After a flood, the two most important concerns are safety and sanitation:

  • Do not attempt to cross flooded roads. It only takes six inches of rapidly moving water to knock people off their feet.
  • Do not reconnect gas or electrical supplies. Arrange for qualified personnel to inspect and connect these services.
  • Leave and contact the gas company immediately if gas is smelled.
  • Check carefully for signs of damage, broken glass and other debris.

Items such as mattresses, pillows, sofas and upholstered furniture that have been soaked with flood water are no longer safe from harmful bacteria and must be discarded. Any food that has come in contact with flood water must also be thrown out, including fresh or frozen food, food in boxes or jars, and bottled drinks or cans that show signs of damage.

Recording damages will help with claims, if flooding is severe enough to trigger a disaster financial assistance program. Make a list and include photographs of all damages and items that had to be disposed of after the flood. Keep a record of flood-related activity, such as the amount of time spent cleaning and keep copies of all invoices and receipts, including for hotels or food. Be sure to phone your insurance agent to see if you are covered.

Power outages can impact food safety. Following are some general food safety tips from the Department of Agriculture:

  • Perishable food that has reached room temperature for more than two hours must be discarded.
  • Any food in a deep freeze that is fully stocked is good for about two days from the time of power failure.
  • Any food in a half-filled deep freeze is safe to eat for one day from the time of power failure.
  • Food retail outlets are advised to keep food below 4 C (40 F). Any perishable food left above this temperature for more than two hours should be discarded immediately.

For more information, visit EMO's website at www.gov.ns.ca/emo .


The Emergency Management Office (EMO) advises Nova Scotians

impacted by flooding and power outages to follow safety

precautions.

Items such as mattresses, pillows, sofas and upholstered

furniture that have been soaked with flood water are no longer

safe from harmful bacteria and must be discarded. Any food that

has come in contact with flood water must also be thrown out,

including fresh or frozen food, food in boxes or jars, and

bottles or cans showing signs of damage.

During a power outage, perishable food that has reached room

temperature for more than two hours must be discarded.

Nova Scotians suffering flood damages are advised to

document any damages, take photographs and keep all related

receipts in case the flooding is severe enough to trigger a

disaster financial assistance program.

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Media Contact:

David Rodenhiser
Emergency Management Office 902-424-0284 Cell: 902-220-7956 E-mail: