IAFF Preparing for Weekend Hurricane, Potential Storm

September 24 • 2022

UPDATE (9/25 at 4 p.m. EST): Several IAFF members experienced damage to their homes as Fiona advanced through Canada yesterday, including four with roof and structural damage in Sydney and a kitchen fire in Halifax.

Hundreds of thousands of residents across Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island (PEI), Newfoundland, Quebec and New Brunswick remained without power on Sunday. Outages may continue through at least mid-week.

IAFF command staff is operating out of Halifax and is assisting locals and members with needed resources. Charlottetown, PEI Local 5219’s SCBA refill station was impacted by the storm; the IAFF is connecting with other locals about extra inventory and mobile filling stations by L-5219.

Members needing immediate assistance can contact the command staff at (321) 430-4233.

Danger is still present beyond the storm. Some important tips:

  • Avoid floodwater; do not drive in flooded waters
  • Wash your hands with soap and water if you have been in floodwater
  • Stay away from downed power lines
  • Do not drive through standing water if downed power lines are in the water
  • Never use portable gasoline or coal-burning equipment or camp stoves inside your home, basement, or garage. Keep it outside and at least 20 feet from any window, door, or vent.

Donations to the IAFF Foundation directly support the IAFF’s disaster relief operations. Help those who help others by giving at IAFFfoundation.org.

UPDATE (9/24 at 3:30 p.m. EST): Fiona has made landfall in Canada, forcing evacuations and leaving hundreds of thousands without power across Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Quebec’s Magdalen Islands.

There are currently no reports of catastrophic damage to members’ homes and no reports of injuries to members or their families. The IAFF continues to assess the situation and is establishing a base of operations in Halifax.

Earlier in the storm, a tree fell on a Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency truck while members were inside. No one was injured. The department has responded to 286 calls in less than 24 hours.

Danger can exist post-storm, as well. Flood water, downed power lines, and damaged buildings pose risks to the public. Review these tips from the CDC to stay safe.

9/23: The IAFF is initiating disaster relief operations and prepositioning post-storm response resources as Hurricane Fiona heads toward Canada’s Atlantic coast. The union is also monitoring Tropical Depression 9, which could threaten parts of Florida.

According to the IAFF’s Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis and mapping, nearly 820 members live within Fiona’s potential impact zone. Contact information for the IAFF’s Go Team, which assists with home repairs and financial support, was shared with those members.

“Our members are on the frontlines of a storm, often working around-the-clock to serve their communities,” said General President Edward Kelly. “That’s why it is important they know the union, this IAFF, is there to support them and their families in these times of need.”

15th District Vice President David Burry has been coordinating response efforts to Hurricane Fiona, while 12th District Vice President Walt Dix is preparing potential responses to Tropical Depression 9. IAFF Headquarters staff is supporting operations, from preparedness to deployment to recovery.

The IAFF will post updates as they become available.