As officials continue to track the path of Hurricane Earl, the Emergency Management Office is advising the public to take necessary steps to protect themselves and their families in the event of an emergency. “While we continue to monitor Hurricane Earl, Nova Scotians are reminded that the best way to keep our families safe is to be prepared,” said Ramona Jennex, Minister of Emergency Management. “I encourage everyone to continue to listen for updated weather information as this storm moves closer to our province.” It is important to realize that hurricanes can be very unpredictable. EMO is monitoring the hurricane closely to ensure the most current information is available to the public. “We are now in the midst of hurricane season, which will last until the end of November,” Ms. Jennex said. “Now is the time for Nova Scotians to be preparing for an emergency.” People are also cautioned about increasing surf activity at a number of beaches across the province. It is always best to visit supervised beaches, stay within your depth, keep children within arm’s reach and swim with a partner. If conditions become more severe, storm surge and undertow can be extremely dangerous. People should refrain from going to coastal areas, including beaches, to watch a severe storm. Businesses should also begin reviewing their business continuity plans. Nova Scotians are encouraged to have some basic supplies prepared in the event of an emergency, which may include being without power or running water. Some ways to prepare for a weather-related emergency are: Maintain an emergency kit, including food, water, clothing, blankets, a flashlight, battery or crank-powered radio, extra batteries, a first-aid kit, extra prescription medications and copies of important papers. People should be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours. Have cash on hand in case of a prolonged power outage. Prepare freezer packs by placing water-filled soda or plastic milk containers in deep freezers. These can be used to help keep the freezer and/or refrigerator cold in a power outage. Choose a family shelter area away from windows. A basement, storm cellar or closet beneath the stairs can provide a good shelter in a severe storm. Choose a meeting place for family members and set up some form of communication to notify each other of whereabouts and safety. Make arrangements to help a senior or other people in the neighbourhood that may need help. Secure objects that could be torn loose or blown around. Protect homes as much as possible from heavy rains and floods. Visit the EMO website at www.gov.ns.ca/emo for more information on emergency preparedness.