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Prepare for storms as a residence student

Posted by Staff on September 5, 2023 in Residence
A tree downed by Hurricane Fiona (2022)
A tree downed by Hurricane Fiona (2022)

Nova Scotia experiences hurricanes, snowstorms, and other severe weather events. In September and October, our region frequently experiences hurricanes that bring high winds and may cause flooding, power outages, and building closures.

Don’t be alarmed! Even though hurricanes are common in Nova Scotia at this time of year, we must take them seriously and be prepared.

What to expect

Power outages


Strong winds can bring down trees or heavy branches onto power lines. Most Dalhousie residence buildings are on a generator, so even if the power goes out, your residence will have power.


Residence buildings that do not have generators include Mini Residence, Glengary, Grad House and O’Brien (which is home to our dining hall servicing the Sexton campus). If the power goes out, residents in those buildings can access the lounges in a residence with power. See your CAT if you need assistance getting to another residence.


Access to laundry and non-essential uses of power, during these storm events will be reduced or restricted.


Use of elevators


With power loss, there is potential for bumps in power. We advise students to use stairwells instead of elevators if able to do so. We recognize that this might not be possible for all students, so advise as little use as possible. It can be difficult to get elevator technicians on campus during a major storm. 


Reduced menu options in dining halls


We may experience staffing shortages as a result of storms. In this event, we may modify 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. 


Suspension or reduction of public transit

Bus and ferry services in Halifax may be slow or suspended during storms. We recommend checking the Halifax Transit website to keep up to date on scheduling or route changes. 



Tips to prepare for a storm

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.

Stock up on snacks: It is advisable to stock up on snacks and drinks in the event dining hall service is interrupted or travel outside is not safe. You should be prepared for 72 hours if the weather event is major.

Charge up: Charge your devices before the storm makes land fall and power outages occur. You might consider having a portable cell phone charger.

Get a flashlight: We recommend keeping a flashlight on hand for your own use, in the event of a power outage. As well, many cell phones have a flashlight option.

If you must go out, check the weather: We recommend staying indoors during a storm. High winds can knock down trees, branches and large street signs. 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.

Be DalSafe: Check the DalSafe App and Dal Mobile app to receive alerts and updates about closures.

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.