Keeping it safe and sound

John Gushue
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

A week or so after hurricane Igor, and I still can’t take my mind off what happened — and what’s happening. I imagine chances are excellent you’re in the same position.

Your weekly web tour starts this week with some sites that are connected to where we’ve been, where some of us may be going and what all of us might need to know.

Food safety and the fridge

If you lost power, it’s a bit late now to be thinking about what to chuck from the fridge or freezer. Or is it? My wife has much more experience with food safety than I do, but even she wanted to be sure before certain items had to be thrown in the garbage to protect our health.

This page is  a comprehensive guide from the government of Ontario, and it’s packed with excellent details on how long, say, meats in the freezer or cheese in the fridge can safely last after the power gets knocked out. If you lost power and still have something in the freezer, I urge you to read this guide to see if your food is still safe for you and your family. It pained me to lose a fair bit of food — especially my beloved turkey bacon — but I was cheered to know that our freezer contents remained safe after our power interruption.

Salvation Army: Newfoundland East Division

Canadian Red Cross

Although many of my friends, family and co-workers had a bit of a knock from Igor — we lost power, some of us also lost trees — we’re all astounded by the devastation we’ve seen in other communities, particularly on the Burin and Bonavista peninsulas. Fixing these places will require a lot more than the army. The Salvation Army and the Canadian Red Cross are among the credible organizations that have stepped up to supply aid. You can learn about their efforts here.

Facts about mould

Having gone through a serious flooding situation — we lived in one of the St. John’s neighbourhoods that tropical storm Gabrielle swamped in 2001 — I learned more than I wanted to about mould, and how pernicious it can be. Bottom line: we had no choice after Gabrielle but to strip our bottom floor to the studs and rebuild. Why? Mould was setting in, and we had no choice but to take out the floors, walls … everything. This page, in PDF format, is basically a fact sheet, but you may want to have a look, or share it with someone who needs to know. Better to be safe than be struck by a serious respiratory disease, not to mention even greater damage to your worldly goods.

Newfoundland Power on Twitter

In the first hours after hurricane Igor, confusion reigned, and information became increasingly important. That was especially true after the power went out, and people didn’t know what was happening next. As a journalist, I used Twitter quite a bit last week, to haul together countless bits of information … and one source that was sorely missing at the start was Newfoundland Power. Kudos, though, to the team at the power company for launching a social media presence that had been in development, but was pushed to prime time. In just hours, Newfoundland Power’s Twitter feed became a really key source of getting information out, and not just because media types like me were watching it so closely.

Elsewhere this week


A search engine for kids? The idea of returning family-friendly results dates back many years, but there’s always room for another option. If your child is wanting to learn more, whether it’s for a school project or just plain curiosity, this is a search site that will bring down your anxiety level. As always, though, I recommend that parents stay near their kids when they’re online.


If historical events had Facebook statuses

Abraham Lincoln goes to the theatre, the Titanic goes for a sail … just a couple of the events here that are reimagined for the Facebook generation.

Even the asteroid that purportedly killed the dinosaurs, and God, Adam, Eve and a snake make an appearance. A heads-up: the language is not safe for work, and the content may offend some. If you like it, though, look for a link at the bottom for a second series.

John Gushue is an online editor with CBC News in St. John’s. Twitter: @johngushue.


Organizations: The Salvation Army, Newfoundland Power, Newfoundland East Division CBC News

Geographic location: Ontario

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page