Riding Out the Storm
Get information from as many sources as possible, including television, internet and radio. Unfortunately, oftentimes hurricanes knock out cable and power, making it impossible to get any info from your TV or computer. Therefore, a battery-operated radio is a MUST! The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suggests having a radio that has the ability to receive “Public Alerts”.
Pay Attention to Alerts
Common alerts are:
· Hurricane/ Tropical Storm Watches – This is directed to an area where a hurricane hit is possible within 36 hours. You should start preparing your house now if you haven’t already.
· Hurricane/Tropical Storm Warnings – Hurricane conditions are expected within 24 hours. Leave the area if directed to by officials.
· Flood Watch – An area has the possibility of being flooded. Be prepared to act if a warning is issued.
· Flood Warning – A flood will hit the specified area. Take precautions immediately.
· Evacuation Warning – If issued, evacuate the area.
Cover Windows and Doors with Shielding Materials
Flying debris can puncture a window and door easily. Covering these openings with storm shutters, plywood or sheet metal can prevent deadly missiles from entering your home. For a full debriefing on preparing your home for a storm, watch our video.
Follow instructions from local officials
If they tell you to evacuate, don’t be stubborn. EVACUATE!
Do not stay in a mobile, manufactured, or beach home
These are the first structures to be destroyed in hurricanes. Trying to ride out a hurricane in one of these residences is very dangerous. Leave if you live in one of these homes.
Turn refrigerator to its maximum setting and avoid opening the door
This will allow you to maintain perishable food for longer. Try to open and close the door as quickly as possible so that you let out as little cold air as possible.
Unplug unnecessary appliances
If a power surge occurs during the hurricane, you do not want it to fry all your appliances or start an electrical fire. Unplug all unnecessary appliances.
Turn off propane tanks
Hoses and other connection to propane tanks can break during the chaos of a hurricane. Turning off the propane tanks helps to avoid a leak. Also, put the propane tank in a safe area where it is unlikely to become damaged.
Fill Bathtub up with water
You can use this stored water for cleaning and flushing the toilets. Don’t drink this water, as lead and other poisonous chemicals can seep into water that’s been sitting for extended periods of time. For drinking water, fill up old milk jugs or plastic bottles.
Stay away from windows and doors
Find an interior part of the house, be it a hallway or room without windows, in which to wait out the storm. In more intense situations where flying debris has entered your home, take refuge underneath a table or other piece of furniture.
sources: FEMA, NOAA and the American Red Cross
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