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Hurricane Fiona: Tips to protect yourself and your possessions

Posted by Staff on September 22, 2022 in Residence
Hurricane Fiona
Hurricane Fiona

Hurricane Fiona is currently making its way north from Bermuda, bringing with it strong winds and heavy rain. According to the latest weather forecast, the storm is expected to arrive east of Halifax between Friday night and Saturday morning.

What to Expect

Don’t be alarmed! This is hurricane season, and every year around this time Nova Scotia experiences the occasional storm. Even though they are nothing new, we must take them seriously and be prepared for the worse.

In addition to high winds and lots of rain, here’s what you can expect:

  • Power outages - Strong winds can bring down trees or heavy branches onto power lines. 
    • HALIFAX CAMPUS: Fortunately, most residences on the Halifax Campus are on a generator, so even if the power goes out in your area your residence will have power. The exceptions are Mini Res, Glengary, Grad House and O’Brien, which is home to our dining hall servicing the Sexton campus. If we lose power, residents in those buildings will be allowed to access the lounges in a residence with power. See your CAT if you need assistance walking to another residence that has power. 
    • TRURO CAMPUS: Residence buildings on our Truro Campus do not have generators. 
    • We also recommend keeping a flashlight on hand for your own use.
  • Use of Elevators (HALIFAX) - As there is a potential for bumps in power, we are advising students to use stairwells instead of elevators if you are able to do so. We recognize that this might not be possible for all students but advise as little use as possible. It could be difficult to get technicians on campus during a major storm.
  • Suspension or reduction of public transit (HALIFAX) – Bus and ferry services in Halifax may be slow or suspended. We recommend following Halifax Transit’s Twitter feed or their website to keep up to date on scheduling or route changes.
  • Reduced menu options in the dining halls – We may experience staffing shortages as a result of the storm and ensuring staff safety. If that happens, we may have to modify our menu offerings. Please monitor your Dal email regularly throughout the storm for updates on dining or see a member of the Residence Life staff for information.
    • HALIFAX CAMPUS: Modified food offerings may be required for Gerard Hall if power outages occur at O’Brien Hall.     
  • Postponement of scheduled events – Social events planned for your residence Saturday maybe be postponed. Check with your Residence Life staff.
  • No guests
    • HALIFAX CAMPUS: We are still under a no guest policy. It is particularly important that there are NO external guests in the buildings over this time.
    • TRURO CAMPUS: No guests will be allowed in residence on Friday or Saturday. Inter residence travel is suspended for these two days. 

Be Prepared

To protect yourself and your property, please do the following:

  • Close and lock your windows – Keep the water out by closing your window and lock them. (High winds can force even a closed window to open.) And for your added safety, pull your curtains over the windows.
  • If you must go out, check the weather – We recommend you stay in during the storm. High winds can knock down trees, branches and even store signs. You don’t want to get hit by these or other flying debris. However, if you must go out, please be sure to check the weather forecast. Don’t get caught out in the storm as it may be hard to get back.
  • Don’t light candles – Candles, incense and open flames pose a serious fire hazard and are not permitted in residence at any time.
  • Protect your valuables – Move your computer and anything of value off the floor and away from your window.
  • Stock Up on Snacks – The impact of the storm is unknown currently, so it is advisable to stock up on snacks, drinks, etc. in the event dining hall service is interrupted or travel outside is not safe.
  • Charge up - Charge your devices before the storm makes land fall.
  • Be DalSafe - Download the DalSafe App. It will send you Campus Alerts to your phone and is the best way to keep informed of building closures and other hazards.

One final reminder

As noted in your Residence Agreement, the university is not liable for the loss, damage or theft of personal possessions. We strongly recommend you carry adequate personal insurance coverage. Your parents' home policy may cover you. Be sure to check with them.

Thank you for your patience, understanding and co-operation. Your safety and security are our number one priority. Please remember to treat storms with respect and keep yourself and your valuables out of harm’s way.