Canadians in Path of Hurricane Irene Urged to Heed Advice

(No. 248 – August 27, 2011 – 8:00 a.m. ET) The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), today urged Canadians on the east coast of the United States to follow advice on Hurricane Irene.

“Canadians residing or travelling in the affected areas should exercise caution, monitor local news and weather reports, and follow the advice of local authorities,” said Minister of State Ablonczy. “Our government  works to advise and support Canadians to better ensure their safety and security while travelling abroad.”

Heavy rains and strong winds are forecast, and flooding and mudslides may occur. Services that may be affected include telecommunications, transportation, emergency and medical care, as well as water and food supplies.

The Government of Canada’s Travel Report for the United States advises against any non-essential travel to the U.S. east coast from North Carolina to Massachusetts.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) offers the following recommendations to Canadians in the affected area:

Travellers should be aware that travel warnings often affect an individual’s private travel insurance. They should be sure to check with their provider to see if they are affected by the change.

DFAIT’s Emergency Operations Centre 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 1-888-949-9993 (toll free) or 613-996-8885 (collect calls), or by email at sos@international.gc.ca.

Canadians can stay up to date by subscribing to DFAIT's Consular RSS feed, by visiting travel.gc.ca, or by following DFAIT on Twitter, @DFAIT_MAECI.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

John Babcock
Senior Communications Adviser
Office of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)
613-944-2300

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
Follow us on Twitter: @DFAIT_MAECI