- Category: Hurricane Preparedness
- Published on Thursday, 25 October 2012 10:54
- Hits: 388
Hurricanes can be dangerous killers. Learning the hurricane warning messages and planning ahead can reduce the chances of injury or major property damage. Hurricanes develop around the equator and heads north during hurricane season.
Hurricane season is from June 1 to November 1 every year. The areas affected are the costal states (Atlantic, Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico). The real danger of hurricanes is the wind and the derby that it picks up. Another danger is the storm surge (Click Here for more Info) Also the flood and flash floods that occur during the storm.
Since this is an annual occurrence we have become better equipped to track and monitor these storms. However there still is no precise science to it and a hurricane will travel the way it wants to, so we must be prepared even if we are not in its projected path.
Hurricane watches and warnings
A Hurricane watch is issued by NOAA, when there is a threat of hurricane conditions within 24 – 36 hrs.
A Hurricane warning is issued by NOAA, when there is a threat of hurricane conditions with 24 hrs.
Category 1 (74 – 95 MPH) Very Dangerous winds will product some damage
Category 2 (96 – 110MPH) Extremely dangerous winds; will cause extensive damage
Category 3 (111 – 130 MPH) Devastating damage will occur
Category 4 (131 – 155 MPH) Catastrophic damage will occur
Category 5 (>155 MPH) Catastrophic damage will occur
Hurricane Watch Checklist
1. Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for hurricane progress reports.
2. Check emergency supply levels
3. Fuel car.
4. Secure buildings by closing and boarding up windows.
5. Protect your windows.
a. Permanent shutters are the best protection.
b. A lower-cost approach is to put up plywood panels. Use 1/2 inch plywood--marine plywood is best--cut to fit each window. Remember to mark which board fits which window. Pre-drill holes every 18 inches for screws. Do this long before the storm.
6. Remove outside antennas.
7. Turn refrigerator and freezer to coldest settings. Open only when absolutely necessary and close quickly.
8. Store drinking water in clean bathtubs, jugs, bottles, and cooking utensils.
9. Review evacuation plan.
10. Moor boat securely or move it to a designated safe place. Use rope or chain to secure boat to trailer. Use tie-downs to anchor trailer to the ground or house.
11. Plan an evacuation route. Be ready to drive 20 to 50 miles inland to locate a safe place.
12. If your house is located on high ground, seek refuge elsewhere.
13. Before the storm hits, carry inside all possible objects that could be lifted by the storm and become deadly weapons. Tools garbage cans, outside furniture can hurt you even kill you.
14. Make arrangements for pets. Pets may not be allowed into emergency shelters for health and space reasons. Contact your local humane society for information on local animal shelters.
15. Make sure that all family members know how to respond after a hurricane. Teach family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity, and water. Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1, police, or fire department and which radio station to tune to for emergency information.
16. Trim back dead or weak branches from trees.
17. Check into flood insurance. You can find out about the National Flood Insurance Program through your local insurance agent or emergency management office. There is normally a 30-day waiting period before a new policy becomes effective. Homeowners polices do not cover damage from the flooding that accompanies a hurricane.
HURRICANE WARNING CHECKLIST
1. Listen constantly to a battery-operated radio or television for official instructions.
2. If in a mobile home, check tiedowns and evacuate immediately.
3. Store valuables and personal papers in a waterproof container on the highest level of your home.
4. Avoid elevators.
5. Stay inside, away from windows, skylights, and glass doors.
6. Keep a supply of flashlights and extra batteries handy. Avoid open flames, such as candles and kerosene lamps, as a source of light.
7. If power is lost, turn off major appliances to reduce power "surge" when electricity is restored.
8. If the center of the hurricane goes directly over you, there will be a period of calm from a few minutes up to an hour. Don't go out and stay in your shelter since the wind will pick up again even with more strength even from another direction. Stay inside till the hurricane has left.
9. The inside of a car is not a good shelter but it can be used in emergency your best bet is to crawl under the car to protect yourself. Staying in the car could be lethal.
10. If officials indicate evacuation is necessary:
a. Leave as soon as possible.
b. Avoid flooded roads and watch for washed-out bridges.
c. Secure your home by unplugging appliances and turning off electricity and the main water valve.
d. Tell someone outside of the storm area where you are going.
e. If time permits, and you live in an identified surge zone, elevate furniture to protect it from flooding or better yet, move it to a higher floor.
f. Bring pre-assembled emergency supplies and warm protective clothing.
g. Take blankets and sleeping bags to shelter.
h. Lock up home and leave.
AFTER HURRICANE CHECKLIST
1. Stay tuned to local radio for information.
2. Help injured or trapped persons. Give first aid where appropriate. Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Call for help.
3. Return home only after authorities advise that it is safe to do so.
4. Avoid loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company, police, or fire department.
5. Enter your home with caution. Beware of snakes, insects, and animals driven to higher ground by flood water.
6. Open windows and doors to ventilate and dry your home.
7. Check refrigerated foods for spoilage.
8. Take pictures of the damage, both to the house and its contents and for insurance claims.
9. Drive only if absolutely necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges.
10. Use telephone only for emergency calls.
INSPECTING UTILITIES IN A DAMAGED HOME
Check for gas leaks--If you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can and call the gas company from a neighbor's home. If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional. Look for electrical system damage--If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician first for advice. Check for sewage and water lines damage--If you suspect sewage lines are damaged avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid the water from the tap. You can obtain safe water by melting ice cubes.