How To Prepare Yourself For A Hurricane/tropical Storm

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PLAN AHEAD

Just like you should have a fire plan, you should have a hurricane plan if you live in an at-risk area. Plan out what to do about:

* Power outages

* Personal injury

* Turning off gas, water, and electricity

* Evacuation

* Emergency contacts and where to meet if you get separated

Also, don’t forget to:

* Post emergency numbers by the phone

* Teach young children about using 911

* Make arrangements for any pets

* Take a Red Cross First Aid/CRP Class

While you’re at it, make sure you have a first aid kit and anything else needed in an emergency kit.

FOOD

You should have a 3+ day supply of non-perishables ready for the event of an emergency. 2 weeks’ worth is a good aim. The foods should not have to be refrigerated or cooked, and preferably need little to no water. Some suggestable foods are:

* Canned meat, fruits, veggies, etc…

* Canned juice, milk, and soup

* Basic staples (sugar, salt, etc…)

* High-energy foods (granola bars, jelly, peanut butter, etc…)

* Vitamins

* Any special foods needed (infants, elderly who are limited to certain foods)

* Comfort foods, of course! (Tea, coffee, cookies, candy, etc…)

If there is no running water or electricity, you will also need to take care of a few things.

* Have disposable utensils on hand (paper plates, paper cups, plastic eating utensils)

* MANUAL can/bottle openers

* Camp stove or closed heat stove for warmth (with extra fuel, just in case!)

PREPARING THE HOME

Your home needs protection too! Be sure you:

* Board up the windows/attach storm shutters

* Tape the windows (this will not prevent breakage, but WILL prevent shattering)

* Have your supply of non-perishables ready

* Clean the bathtub, jugs, bottles, and eating utensils, and make sure that every person has at least one gallon of drinking water PER DAY

* Check your flashlights and radios, and have extra batteries on hand

* Remove any tree (or even shrubbery) limbs that can potentially damage the house or utility lines.

* Secure loose things, such as toys, awnings, grills, patio furniture, potted plants, etc…

* Fill up the car’s gas tank.

* Underground swimming pool? Don’t cool down the temperature of the water; the pool may pop out. Remove the pumps, and waterproof the filter pump if neccessary. Have extra chlorine in the water, to avoid contamination; 3 gallons chlorine per 5,000 gallons of water.

PREPARING YOUR BOAT

Don’t wait until the storm is declared! Be prepared!

* Secure the boat at home. In an evacuation area? Hopefully, you have a trailer and can bring the boat along with you.

* If your boat remains in berth, check the primary cleats, winches and chocks. They should have substantial back plates and adequate stainless steel bolts.

* Have extra mooring lines and chafing gear; right before a hurricane, you may not be able to aquire any!

* Cover rub spots in old hose or leather. Double all lines (rig cross spring, fore and aft). Attach the lines high, to allow for surges and tidal rise.

* To assure that the boat is watertight, duct tape any openings.

* Charge the batteries to the automatic bilge pumps.

* Tie tires along the sides of the boat, to reduce damage.

* Remove loose gear from the deck.

* If you are storing the boat on a trailer, tie both down adequately. Release the air from the trailer tires before tying it down. Place blocks between the frame members and the axle inside each wheel. Be sure you secure them to stationary objects in four different directions. If you want, you can also lash down the trailer and boat separately.

* Remove and store the outboard motor, battery and electronics.

* Fill small boats with water for extra weight when you lash them down, so that they won’t come up.

* If you’re just in love with your boat or have an old clunker [car], you can swap them out; put the boat in the garage, and the car in the driveway.

SPECIAL ASSISTANCE

Be sure anyone with special needs will be taken care of during the storm.

* Create a “network” of friends, neighbors, and co-workers within your city in case of an emergency. Let them know what you need.

* In apartment buildings, make sure that the management clearly marks exits in case of evacuation.

* When neccessary, have extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication, and food for guide- or hearing-ear dogs.

* Make sure you have the type and serial numbers of any medical devices you use.

WHETHER OR NOT TO STAY PUT

* If you don’t live in a mobile home, the house is sound, and you are not in an evacuation zone, your best bet may be to stay home.

* Try not to leave the house too much, as this adds to the horrible traffic and slows people who need to evacuate.

* When the storm hits, use battery-operated appliances (like some T.V.s and radios). If you actually lose power, turn off the water heater and air conditioner to prevent any additional damage.

* Just like you would do in a tornado, keep away from windows and doors. Also, you will want to stay on the leeward of the house; the down-wind part. Move around as the wind changes.

* If things calm, don’t immediately go outside! You may be in the eye of the storm. Things will only be calm temporarily; then the other side of the storm will appear in the opposite direction. Don’t leave the house unless there is an official announcement that you may do so.

DURING THE HURRICANE

* Keep monitoring your radio/T.V. for updates.

* Safe areas in the home are an interior, reinforced room, closet or bathroom on the lower floor. Stay on the leeward of the house, and avoid windows and doors.

* If things calm, don’t immediately go outside! You may be in the eye of the storm. Things will only be calm temporarily; then the other side of the storm will appear in the opposite direction. Don’t leave the house unless there is an official announcement that you may do so.

Good luck, and be safe!

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