With the hurricane season heavy upon us, prevention is more important than ever.
These are the do’s and dont’s of hurricane season
Before the hurricane
- Teach family members how and when to turn off the gas, electricity, and water supply.
- Teach children how and when to call the police or fire department and which radio station to tune to for emergency information.
During a hurricane watch
(A Hurricane Watch is issued when there is a threat of a hurricane within 24 to 36 hours.)
- Listen to reports of the hurricane’s progress on a battery-operated radio or television.
- Check emergency supplies.
- Bring in all objects that are outside, such as lawn furniture, toys, and garden tools, and secure all objects that you can’t bring inside.
- Secure buildings by closing and boarding windows. Remove the outside antennas.
- Put the refrigerator and freezer on the coldest temperature. Open them only when absolutely necessary and close them quickly.
- Store valuables and personal documents in a waterproof container on the highest level of your home.
- Clear drainages and trash from the streets, to avoid flooding and blockages.
- Get plenty of water and food supplies, as well as indispensable articles and canned food.
During the Hurricane Warning
A Hurricane Warning is issued when hurricane conditions (winds of 74 miles per hour or greater, or dangerously high rough water and surf) are expected in 24 hours or less.
- Constantly listen to the radio or television for official instructions.
- Stay inside, away from windows, skylights, and glass doors.
- Keep a supply of flashlights and extra batteries on hand. Avoid open flames, such as candles and kerosene lamps as a light source.
- If power is interrupted, turn off major appliances to reduce voltage variations when power is restored.
- Keep pets safe and create an evacuation plan for them as well.
If authorities indicate that an evacuation is necessary:
- Get out as soon as possible. Avoid flooded roads.
- Secure your home by unplugging electrical appliances and turning off the electricity and main water valve.
- Tell someone who is not in the storm area and where you plan to go.
- If weather permits and you live in an identified flood zone, elevate furniture to protect it from flooding, or better yet, move it to a higher floor or location.
After the hurricane
- Tune in to local radio stations to hear information.
- Help injured or trapped people.
- Administer first aid when appropriate if you have been trained to do so.
- Return home only after the authorities advise you that there is no danger.
- Avoid loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company, police or fire department.
- Enter your home with caution. Watch out for snakes, insects, and animals washed up on higher ground by floodwaters.
- Open windows and doors to ventilate and dry your home.
- Take pictures of the damage, both to the house and its contents, for insurance claims (if you have insurance).
- Drive only if absolutely necessary and avoid flooded roads.
- Use the phone for emergency calls only.