Cape Breton non-profit prepares to shelter people from the storm

·2 min read
Staff at the Ally Centre of Cape Breton say not everyone can access an emergency shelter for the homeless.  (Ally Centre of Cape Breton/Facebook - image credit)
Staff at the Ally Centre of Cape Breton say not everyone can access an emergency shelter for the homeless. (Ally Centre of Cape Breton/Facebook - image credit)

A Sydney non-profit is scrambling to help people who are homeless or living in inadequate housing ahead of this week's storm.

Christine Porter of the Ally Centre of Cape Breton said she's heard from people living in tents who had no idea that damaging winds and rains are forecast as Hurricane Fiona makes its way toward Atlantic Canada.

"The folks that we're concerned about are the folks that can't go to the shelter, so they'll have absolutely nowhere to go," said Porter.

"Tents don't hold up well in hurricanes. We're really concerned about them. We want them to get through this storm OK."

Donations and supplies sought

CBC
CBC

Porter said there's fear that tents will collapse and injure those living inside. Although space is available in Sydney at a shelter on Townsend Street, Porter said not everyone can stay there for one reason or another.

Ally Centre staff are planning to volunteer their time in order to stay open all day and night on Friday and Saturday, so that people will have another place to go. To ensure everyone is safe, Porter said they'll need a generator, food, money and things like batteries, lanterns and raincoats.

"We certainly aren't prepared for it," she said. "We're trying to get prepared is what we're doing right now…we're going to try the best we can."

Preparing for long outages

Cape Breton Regional Municipality said it's working with community partners to make sure people are safe and that supplies are available to the people who need them. They also asked residents to prepare for long power outages.

During a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Nova Scotia's Emergency Management Office said municipalities should be checking on people who they know are homeless or living rough to see if they have shelter.

EMO also encouraged all Nova Scotians to prepare an emergency kit and have it ready before the storm arrives.

Environment and Climate Change Canada said the latest information predicts that Nova Scotia will be hardest hit by Fiona overnight Friday into Saturday.

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