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Are You Prepared?

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The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season is forecast to be “above normal,” with an expected 13 to 20 named tropical storms, 6 to 10 hurricanes and as many as 3 to 5 major hurricanes. While most of these will not reach Canada, it’s still important for everyone to be ready for the potential for storms to impact the country.

According to the Canadian Hurricane Centre, on average one to two tropical storms make landfall in Canada each year. And even storms that don’t directly impact the country can result in heavy rains that cause flooding. In addition to tropical storms, parts of Canada are also at risk for wildfires and tornadoes at this time of year.

Crisis Assist Is Here to Help

In weather-related emergencies, specially trained OnStar Advisors are available 24/7 to help Members. They can provide driving directions away from the storm, help find resources like fuel or hotel rooms, or connect you to loved ones. You can also push the blue OnStar button to contact Advisors for up-to-date information about the crisis, but if you’re ever in danger, always push your red Emergency button. As a Member, you get Crisis Assist*12 services as part of the OnStar Safety & Security Plan.*3 And, if you’re outside of your vehicle, you can use the OnStar Guardian™ app*58 to contact an Advisor right from your smartphone.

Get Ready and Prepare Now

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season produced 30 named tropical storms, including 13 hurricanes, of which six were classified as major. That was the most named tropical storms on record and the second highest number of hurricanes on record, according to NOAA. An average hurricane season includes 14 named storms, seven total hurricanes and three major hurricanes, according to NOAA’s most recent definitions.

Despite the active season, Canada fortunately experienced only limited impacts from hurricanes in 2020. Tropical Storm Fay and Hurricane Isaias crossed Quebec in weakened states, and Hurricane Teddy made landfall in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

Hurricanes classified as Category 3, 4 or 5 are considered major because their higher wind speeds mean a higher potential for significant damage and loss of lives. With the potential for more severe storms this year, it’s smart to revisit your disaster plans and prepare now.

The following tips will help you get started:

  • Plan to receive emergency alerts and warnings from multiple sources (TV, radio, phone).
  • Build an emergency kit.
  • Help protect yourself and your family by creating a family communications plan.
  • Know the risks of your surrounding area. Are you in an area at risk for flooding or wildfires?
  • Create an evacuation plan. Where do you plan to go if you need to evacuate?
  • Make sure your plan accounts for any specific needs for your family.
  • Identify how you can register in your community if your family has specific needs, and then register.
  • Download the Guardian app so you can have access to key OnStar safety services, even when you’re not in your vehicle.
  • Have a plan to care for any pets.
  • Know the emergency plans at your work and your children’s schools.
  • Familiarize yourself with how Crisis Assist can help.
  • Finally, practise your plan with your family.

Additional Resources

Getprepared.gc.ca, part of the emergency preparedness campaign created by Public Safety Canada, offers detailed guidance on how to prepare for severe weather and other disasters.