WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23, 2014
Hurricane Safety Tips
Prepare for a Hurricane Before It Hits
Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 until November 30 with a peak season from mid August to late October. Hurricanes can bring torrential rains, winds from 74 miles per hour to over 155 miles per hour, and can cause catastrophic damage to homes and property. The following tips can help you and your family be prepared in the event of a tropical storm or hurricane.
Before the hurricane:
Have supplies put aside in case of an emergency.
Store them in a waterproof, easy to carry container. Make sure you have at least all of the following:
- 3-5 gallons of water per person.
- Prescription medications.
- Non-perishable food items, canned goods and a manual can opener.
- Battery powered radio, flashlights and extra batteries.
- Important documents, cash and credit cards.
- Sleeping bags and extra blankets.
- Rain gear and other protective clothing.
- Personal hygiene supplies, i.e.: soap, toothbrush/toothpaste, deodorant, etc.
- A new, fully stocked first aid kit.
- Also, agree on the safest place to be during the storm. If inside the house, it’s generally a bathroom or closet in the middle of the house with no windows.
Prepare an evacuation plan.
The most important thing is to be prepared to evacuate:
- If you are instructed by local authorities to do so.
- If you live in a mobile home OR in a high -rise building. Neither can withstand hurricane strength winds.
- If you live on the coast or other waterway.
- If you feel you and your family are in immediate danger, you should:
- Make a plan with your family so you know how to contact each other in the event of an emergency and where to meet.
- Have an out-of-town contact that each person can call; sometimes it is easier to make contact out of the disaster area.
- Make an emergency contact list that each family member can carry.
- Identify an evacuation route, with alternate routes, that each family member knows
- Be sure to be prepared with your supplies, if evacuated to a shelter.
- Make advance preparations for pets; they may not be allowed in shelters due to health code regulations.
Prepare your home for high winds.
- Obtain hurricane shutters or cut pieces of plywood to cover windows. Tape DOES NOT prevent windows from breaking during a storm.
- Remove damaged tree limbs well before there is a storm. Be sure all other shrubs and trees are trimmed.
- Move outdoor furniture and flower pots inside.
- Clear gutters and downspouts.
- Install straps or additional clips to secure your roof to the frame. It may help to reduce damage to the roof.
- If you have a boat, decide how and where you will secure it before a storm.
- If you live in a manufactured home, double check the tie-down straps and make sure they are secure.
During the hurricane:
- Listen to the TV or radio for more information on the storm.
- Double check to make sure your home is secure and that you have performed all the tasks to ensure this.
- Turn off propane tanks.
- Fill all bathtubs with a clean supply of water.
- Calming weather does NOT indicate the storm is over; it may just be the eye passing over.
- Stay away from doors and windows.
- Follow all instructions from authorities.
- If you must evacuate:
- Take only the items that are essential.
- Follow only designated routes. Some may be blocked or unusable.
After the hurricane:
- Continue listening to radio and TV for weather and disaster updates.
- Make sure any injuries are treated ASAP. Most injuries that occur during a hurricane are minor cuts and puncture wounds caused by glass and debris.
- If you were evacuated DO NOT return home until officials have deemed it safe.
- Do not attempt to start the engine of a vehicle that has been flooded; it may cause damage to the engine or transmission.
- Inspect your home thoroughly for any damage from the storm. Cover any holes in wall or roof and promptly report the damage to your insurance company.
- Use flashlights if the power is out, do not use candles. Do not touch or go near downed power lines.
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