Minister Cannon Urges Canadian Travellers to Take Precautions During Hurricane Season

(No. 211 - July 5, 2010 - 1 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today urged Canadian travellers to take additional safety measures during hurricane season, which lasts from early June to late November and affects the North Atlantic and northeastern Pacific regions.

“The safety and well-being of Canadians abroad is of the utmost importance to this government,” said Minister Cannon. “I urge Canadians to inform themselves about the risks of travelling to threatened areas during hurricane season.”

Hurricanes often cause severe damage to infrastructure, cutting off access to transportation, emergency assistance, medical care, power, telecommunications, and food and water. The Government of Canada’s ability to assist travellers may be limited in such circumstances.

International hurricane authorities, including the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, predict a higher-than-normal level of hurricane activity in the Atlantic in 2010.

“Canadians who choose to travel to vulnerable areas during hurricane season should take extra measures to help protect themselves and their families,” said Minister Cannon.

The following steps can reduce personal risk for travellers to hurricane-prone areas:

  • Checking the Government of Canada’s Travel Reports and Warnings and Hurricane Season before leaving for up-to-date, essential information on the destination and further information on hurricanes.
  • Registering travel plans online at Registration of Canadians Abroad, so government officials can contact and assist travellers in an emergency.
  • Confirming travel arrangements before departure and obtaining travel-health insurance that specifically covers trip cancellation or interruption in the event of a hurricane.
  • While abroad, keeping an eye on local news and weather reports and following the advice of local authorities and tour operators.
  • Getting the latest weather forecasts for the region and visiting the Canadian Hurricane Centre’s Storm Preparedness: Taking Action Against Hurricane Hazards.
  • Carrying the contact information for the Government of Canada’s Emergency Operations Centre, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and accepts collect calls (where available) from Canadians requiring assistance abroad. The Centre may be reached by telephone at 613-996-8885 or by email at sos@international.gc.ca.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Melissa Lantsman
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874