Province creates Major Incident Readiness Team to prepare for 2023 Hurricane Season
Today, the province announced that a Major Incident Readiness Team (MIRT) has been created, comprised of elected and government officials, to prepare for major events and emergencies that have the potential to impact the Island.
This new team will work with Emergency Measures Organization (EMO), government departments, and local municipalities to help prepare the Province for any major event, including the 2023 Hurricane season which is forecasted to have higher than normal activity in the coming months.
The objectives the Team include:
- Collaborating with EMO to ensure information about potential adverse weather events are recognized early and proper preparatory messaging is made available to the public;
- Planning in advance for any adverse weather event, to be ready to execute programs and services to support Islanders to the best of the government's ability;
- Ensuring the province has access to proper resources and assets to respond in case of adverse weather events;
- Working with stakeholders and communities to ensure that appropriate supports are prepared, in advance, at the local level to support residents;
- Identifying areas of concern from previous adverse events in relation to supporting residents and business continuity of government and other essential services, and address them in advance of another adverse weather event;
“Hurricane Fiona was the most destructive storm to ever hit our Island’s shores. With the impacts of climate change, the rising water temperature, and the forecast of having between 14 to 21 named storms in the Atlantic this Fall, as a province we must do everything we can to prepare for what could be challenging few months ahead.”
- Premier Dennis King
The Team will begin their work immediately including receiving a briefing from EMO and other experts in the coming days. The entire Major Incident Readiness Team will meet bi-weekly, or more frequently if required, and working groups will be established based on the needs that are identified.
“The Major Incident Readiness Team will be working diligently in the coming weeks to do everything we can across government and throughout our communities to continue to ensure we are prepared to the best of our abilities to support residents should our Island be targeted by another storm this Fall,” said Hon. Bloyce Thompson, Deputy Premier and Minister of Justice and Public Safety. “It’s the job of all Islanders, all communities, all Departments and all levels of government to work together and do what we can to ensure our families, our neighbours and our communities are there to support each other during a major storm.”
The province is in the final stages of completing an After-Action Report of the response to Hurricane Fiona that occurred in 2022. The report is expected to be released early in the Fall.
Members of the public can expect to start hearing more preparedness messaging in the coming weeks, including what Islanders can do be adequately prepared for the upcoming Hurricane season.
Atlantic Hurricane Season for the 2023 year officially began on June 1, and runs through the month of October. In various reports, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) increased its projections for the 2023 hurricane season from expecting a “near normal” to “above normal” season.
As per meteorological experts including the NOAA, current ocean and atmospheric conditions, such as record-warm temperatures in the Atlantic are contributing to the projected above normal season. Currently, there are 14-21 named storms for the Atlantic, with the most recent and active storm being Hurricane Franklin.
PEI EMO continues to work with meteorologists and the Canadian Hurricane Centre to actively monitor current and prospective storms, including Hurricane Franklin which is currently 810 kilometres southwest of Bermuda. Storms and weather events of any magnitude can have a significant impact on PEI, and they should be taken very seriously. The best way to prepare for these events is to have proper emergency planning. Helpful reminders when planning for an emergency include:
- making a household emergency plan to help everyone know what to do in case of emergency;
- updating your preparedness kits with extra food, water, a battery-operated radio, batteries, cash, portable phone chargers, and other household supplies such as pet supplies;
- remember to bring in or tying down furniture, play equipment, barbeques or anything that can become projectiles in the event of high winds;
- ensuring you have fuel for generators and vehicles, as well as propane for outdoor cooking devices such as barbeques;
- replacing batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms; and
- keeping up with the latest information from reliable sources such as following PEI Government, local media, and law enforcement social media channels.
Senior Communications Officer
Department of Justice & Public Safety and Emergency Measures Organization