Hurricane Safety Tips - Page 3

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Evacuation 

When you evacuate, you may wish to take some of the supplies listed above with you, but don't take more than you can carry. If you are going to a public shelter, the most important items to take are your medication(s), a blanket, a portables radio, an extra change of clothing, and perhaps a small supply of packaged, quick-energy foods like raisins and granola bars.

You can take certain actions ahead of time to make an evacuation easier:

  • Keep your gas tank as full as possible during hurricane season. In an evacuation, fuel may be difficult to get.
  • Team up with a "partner", a neighbor, or friend living nearby to plan your evacuation together. By sharing supplies and a ride, each of you can help each other.
  • If possible, make plans in advance to stay with friends or relatives living inland on higher ground. Local broadcasts will tell you where to go during an evacuation, but you can learn the safest route ahead of time by watching for a preseason distribution of a local evacuation plan or by calling your local emergency services office.


Stay aware of weather conditions

Listen to daily weather forecasts during hurricane season. As hurricanes develop, they are monitored closely by the National Weather Service. The Weather Service issues two types of notices about approaching hurricanes: a HURRICANE WATCH and a HURRICANE WARNING

A HURRICANE WATCH means a hurricane may threaten coastal and inland areas, and that hurricane conditions are a real possibility. It does not mean they are imminent, however, you should take preparatory action.

When a WATCH is issued for your area, you should:

  • Stay tuned to local stations for the latest weather information.
  • Contact your "partner" to review your plans.
  • Be sure you car is fueled and ready to go, or contact the person who agreed to give you a ride in an evacuation to re-confirm your arrangements.
  • Gather your emergency supplies, placing them in your car or near the front door if you are riding with someone else.
  • Store away all objects on your lawn or patio that could be picked up and carried by the wind. Lawn furniture, garbage cans, garden tools, toys, signs, and a number of other harmless items can become deadly missiles in hurricane winds.
  • Gather up important papers in your home such as birth and marriage certificates, wills, insurance policies, deeds, etc. Place them in a waterproof container with your non-perishable food supply or in your safe deposit box.

A HURRICANE WARNING is issued when a hurricane is expected to strike within 24 hours. A hurricane warning may also include an assessment of flood danger in coastal and inland areas, small craft warnings, gale warnings, and recommended emergency procedures.


When a storm threatens

Evacuation:

If a hurricane WARNING is issued for your area and an evacuation is ordered, local radio and television stations will announce information on where you should go and the best route to take. Call your "partner" and make arrangements to leave.

Don't panic if you cannot get a ride. In a hurricane evacuation, local emergency services personnel or police usually patrol each street to warn those people who may not have a radio or television. You can stop one of these officers, and they will help you.

Leave early! Do not wait, especially on low-lying areas. Roads can flood quickly leaving you stranded.

You should not use elevators to leave your building. The electricity could cut off and leave you stranded.

Before you leave your home:

  • Run wide waterproof tape from corner to corner in a large "X" on each windows and glass door to keep glass from shattering.
  • Close and lock your windows and glass doors, lowering blinds and closing curtains to keep flying rubble out. If possible, you may wish to nail boards over larger windows.
  • Fill bathtubs and other clean containers with water for later use should water become unavailable.
  • Follow the approved evacuation route from your home to safe, higher ground.

Do not stay in mobile homes during a hurricane. Even if a mobile home is anchored, there is no guarantee that it will withstand the strong winds of a hurricane
 



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