As we head into the height of hurricane season, this is a good time for tourism operators to get prepared for extreme weather events. Nova Scotia has already seen devastating severe weather this year and planning ahead can help keep your property and your customers safe.
Resources to Help You Prepare
To help businesses and residents get prepared, the Province is sharing advice and information people can use to protect themselves and their properties before a hurricane or tropical storm happens.
A hurricane’s strong winds and heavy rain can cause power outages, storm surges, flooding and property damage. People can get ready in advance by:
- Preparing property by trimming trees, securing loose items, and clearing gutters and storm drains
- Making an emergency plan for your staff, customers, and property now, before one is needed. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety provides information and guidance for emergency planning: https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/hsprograms/planning.html
Updates and tips from Nova Scotia’s emergency management office are available at:
- Website: https://novascotia.ca/Alerts
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EmergencyManagementOfficeNovaScotia
- X (formerly Twitter): https://twitter.com/nsemo
If your business has been affected by a disaster, you may be eligible for assistance through the Disaster Financial Assistance Program.
Environment and Climate Change Canada is warning of an active hurricane season this year and reminding Nova Scotians to closely monitor the WeatherCAN mobile application, the website or its other weather channels for official hurricane alerts.
Greater Halifax Partnership has launched a Disaster Recovery Business Support webpage for businesses in the Halifax area to access services and support in the event of severe weather.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada can provide answers for individuals and businesses with insurance questions and concerns by calling 1 844 2-ASK-IBC (1 844 227-5422)
Communicating with Customers about Severe Weather
Keep customers informed about how severe weather events might impact their visit.
- Let customers know if major storms are happening in your area that affect your services and operating hours.
- If storms are or have recently happened in the province, but do not affect your business, consider reaching out to reassure customers that your business is not impacted by severe weather they may be hearing about in the news. If you were recently impacted by severe weather but conditions have improved, let your customers know that you are looking forward to seeing them and their experience won’t be affected by recent events.
- Keep your website and social media updated with any changes. Remember to update listings on NovaScotia.com, Google and other sites if you are temporarily closed or have reopened following a closure.
- Ensure your refund and cancellation policies are clearly communicated on your booking site and when customers make a reservation. Let your customers know if there are changes to the policies due to severe weather events and be conscious of how severe weather may affect customers’ ability to travel.