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Hurrican Preparedness

Hurricanes and Tropical Storms  

A hurricane is a tropical storm with winds that have reached a constant speed of 74 miles per hour or more. Hurricane winds blow in a large spiral around a relative calm center known as the "eye." The "eye" is generally 20 to 30 miles wide, and the storm may extend outward 400 miles. As a hurricane nears land, it can bring torrential rains, high winds, and storm surges. August and September are peak months during the hurricane season that lasts from June 1 through November 30.

 What can you do to Prepare?

  • Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries
  • First aid kit and manual
  • Emergency food and water
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Essential medicines
  • Cash and credit cards
  • Sturdy shoes

More guidelines…  
  • Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1, police, or fire department and which radio station to tune to for emergency information.
  • Protect your windows.
  • Permanent shutters are the best protection. 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.
  • Trim back dead or weak branches from trees.

Flood Insurance  
Homeowners polices do not cover damage from the flooding that accompanies a hurricane.

Communications  
Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address, and phone number of the contact person.

During a Hurricane Watch…   
  • Store drinking water in clean bathtubs, jugs, bottles, and cooking utensils.
  • Store valuables and personal papers in a waterproof container on the highest level of your home.
  • Review evacuation plan.
  • Moor boat securely or move it to a designated safe place. Use rope or chain to secure boat to trailer. Use tiedowns to anchor trailer to the ground or house.
  • Turn refrigerator and freezer to coldest settings. Open only when absolutely necessary and close quickly

During a Hurricane Warning…  
  • Listen constantly to a battery-operated radio or television for official instructions.
  • If in a mobile home, check tiedowns and evacuate immediately.
  • If at Home: Stay inside, away from windows, skylights, and glass doors.
  • Keep a supply of flashlights and extra batteries handy. Avoid open flames, such as candles and kerosene lamps, as a source of light.
  • If power is lost, turn off major appliances to reduce power "surge" when electricity is restored.

If officials indicate evacuation is necessary:  
  • Leave as soon as possible. Avoid flooded roads and watch for washed-out bridges.
  • Secure your home by unplugging appliances and turning off electricity and the main water valve.
  • Tell someone outside of the storm area where you are going.
  • 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.
  • Take pre-assembled emergency supplies, warm protective clothing, blankets and sleeping bags to shelter.

After the Storm…  
  • Enter your home with caution. Beware of snakes, insects, and animals driven to higher ground by flood water.
  • Open windows and doors to ventilate and dry your home.
  • Check refrigerated foods for spoilage.
  • Take pictures of the damage, both to the house and its contents for insurance claims.
  • Drive only if absolutely necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges.
  • Use telephone only for emergency calls.

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