Hurricane Safety Tips!
June 1 marks the opening day of hurricane season. Below are tips you and your family should practice to stay safe before, during and after the storm.
Preparing for the hurricane:
- Make sure flashlights, battery-powered lanterns and other sources of light are readily available.
- Make sure flashlights and radio batteries are fresh.
- Make sure you have an adequate supply of medicine, first aid supplies, and baby items.
- Keep at least a two weeks supply of bottled water, non-perishable food items, batteries and firewood on hand.
- If prescriptions are essential, make sure to get them refilled in case of an extended power outage or extensive damage to the area.
- Make sure to have identification and documentation on hand, such as your social security card, driver’s license, birth certificate, and insurance information for your home, car, and life.
- Have an evacuation plan for you and your family in case of an extended power outage.
- Listen to weather forecasts and predictions for possible hurricanes – hurricane season begins June 1 and ends in November.
During the hurricane:
- Make sure to get inside a building and stay away from the windows.
- Don’t leave candles unattended and keep them away from furniture, draperies and other flammable materials. Make sure to keep children away from open flames.
- Don’t open freezers and refrigerators any more than absolutely necessary.
- Listen to local radio stations for news about power outages.
- Turn off your heating and air conditioning systems, as well as electric range.
- Unplug sensitive electronic appliances such as TVs, VCRs, microwave ovens and computers – this will protect your appliances against power fluctuations that can occur when power is restored.
- After power is restored, be sure to wait five to ten minutes before turning on appliances and heating systems.
After the hurricane:
- If power lines and poles are down in your yard or in the street, always treat them as if they are energized and dangerous. Never touch them and stay away. Make sure to call 911 immediately!
- Debris from the storm can hide power lines that have fallen. Fallen trees that contain energized power lines can electrocute any item it comes in contact with, such as a metal fence, a pond or standing water. Even the ground can be energized near fallen power lines.
- If your electricity is out, make sure to check with neighbors to see if they have power. If they have power, you may have blown a fuse or tripped a breaker. Never replace a fuse or reset a circuit breaker with wet hands or while standing on a wet (or damp) surface.
- If you’re without electricity and want to use a portable generator, make sure to use it in a well-ventilated area.
- Avoid using candles if possible. If you must, never leave a burning candle unattended.
- If power remains out following a storm and you have to cook with Sterno or charcoal, do so outside to avoid the build-up of deadly carbon monoxide fumes.
- Replenish your supplies of batteries, bottled water, non-perishable food items and firewood for future hurricanes.