New Brunswick storm causes power outages; Red Cross supports shelters, warming centres

Topics: New Brunswick, Emergencies and Disasters in Canada
January 27, 2017

Canadian Red Cross volunteer assists people affected by New Brunswick ice storm.

Canadian Red Cross volunteer assists people affected by New Brunswick ice storm.

On January 24-25, 2017, an ice storm in New Brunswick brought down hundreds of utility poles and thousands of kilometres of wires, resulting in widespread power outages initially affecting more than 133,000 homes and businesses. Damage is severest in the northeast part of the province where thousands of people may have to ensure cold weather for up to two weeks without electricity.

The Canadian Red Cross is working closely with the New Brunswick Department of Public Safety, municipalities and other partners to help those most impacted. We have deployed to hardest-hit areas vehicles, cots, blankets, generators and other supplies, and teams of trained disaster volunteers from throughout New Brunswick, augmented by others from neighboring Maritime provinces and Quebec.

More than 40 warming centres or shelters opened, with Red Cross teams managing shelters in hardest-hit communities such as Shippagan, Caraquet and Bas-Caraquet. We have provided cots, blankets and other supplies to many other shelters run by municipalities and other groups.

Some of the most vulnerable people affected by the emergency, including many elderly or people with mobility, income or other challenges, will need Red Cross help to cope with extraordinary, unbudgeted expenses resulting from this emergency. You can help by making an online donation today to support Emergency Response in New Brunswick.

The Canadian Red Cross reminds all Canadians prepare for weather emergencies such as this one by having everything they need for at least 72 hours following a storm, flood or fire. This includes preparing an emergency kit for home and car, knowing what to do and how to stay safe during power outages.

An emergency kit should include food, water, batteries, a battery-powered radio, first-aid supplies and any special items such as prescriptions, infant formula, and equipment for people with disabilities.