This is Part 1 of a series of 3 blog posts. Click here for the entire series.
Hurricanes and Tropical Storms begin their active season this month and ORR Safety wants you to be prepared.
What to do when storms strike
Evaluate emergency equipment
Obtain and store materials such as plywood and duct tape necessary to properly secure your home. Pre-drill holes and cut plywood so you’re ready should a storm occur. Keep trees and shrubs trimmed. (NOTE: Once a hurricane watch or warning has been issued, do not attempt to trim trees and/or shrubs.)
As the storm approaches
Pay attention to the latest weather updates on local radio and television stations or online.
If you must evacuate
Mobile homes and factory-built or prefabricated homes are unsafe in hurricane conditions, no matter how firmly they may be attached to the ground. High-rise apartments and condos must also be evacuated because they are susceptible to conditions that may cause fires during high winds, when it’s impossible to get emergency help. Hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations. An evacuation order may come from local officials and/or the governor, and will be broadcast by zone number.
- Leave early to avoid traffic or early flooding.
- Turn off electricity, water, and gas before you leave.
- Unplug major appliances.
- Remember your disaster kit. Pack emergency supplies in your vehicle and leave immediately.
Organize emergency supplies
- Put your emergency plan into action and ready your family and home.
- Prepare emergency water storage:
- Sterilize bathtub, jugs, cooking utensils, and containers.
- Scrub thoroughly, sponge with bleach, rinse, and let dry; fill with water.
- Clear your yard of loose objects such as bicycles, lawn furniture, and trash cans. Trash pickup will be suspended, and your trash can become dangerous missiles in the storm's high winds.
- Anchor objects that cannot be moved inside (no matter how heavy or large).
- Secure your boat. Lash it to your trailer securely, let the air out of the trailer tires, and secure to something sturdy in the ground. If you keep your boat in a marina, check your contract: some require that you move it when a hurricane watch is issued. You are responsible for your boat.
- Close all windows and doors, and board wherever possible. Taping glass will not prevent breakage.
- Do not drain your pool completely; lower water level 6 to 12 inches and add extra chlorine to prevent contamination. Turn off electricity to equipment and cover pool pump, if exposed.
- Store documents and valuables in waterproof containers and secure in the highest possible spot.
- Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting, opening only when absolutely necessary.
- Freeze water in plastic jugs and containers, and use them to fill empty spaces between refrigerator contents to keep food cool.
Personal Protective Equipment
Cut Resistant Gloves - If there is cleanup to do after the storm, you may have to handle sharp objects.
In the next post I will review the Terms You Should Know and Making A Disaster Kit.