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What To Do To Prepare for a Hurricane

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  • What To Do To Prepare for a Hurricane

    If you are under a hurricane watch or warning, here are some basic steps to take to prepare for the storm:
    • Learn about your community's emergency plans, warning signals, evacuation routes, and locations of emergency shelters.
    • Identify potential home hazards and know how to secure or protect them before the hurricane strikes. Be prepared to turn off electrical power when there is standing water, fallen power lines, or before you evacuate. Turn off gas and water supplies before you evacuate. Secure structurally unstable building materials.
    • Buy a fire extinguisher and make sure your family knows where to find it and how to use it.
    • Locate and secure your important papers, such as insurance policies, wills, licenses, stocks, etc.
    • Post emergency phone numbers at every phone.
    • Inform local authorities about any special needs, i.e., elderly or bedridden people, or anyone with a disability.
    • Make plans to ensure your pets' safety.
    Expect the need to evacuate and prepare for it.

    The National Weather Service will issue a hurricane watch when there is a threat to coastal areas of hurricane conditions within 24-36 hours.
    When a hurricane watch is issued, you should:
    • Fill your automobile's gas tank.
    • If no vehicle is available, make arrangements with friends or family for transportation.
    • Fill your clean water containers.
    • Review your emergency plans and supplies, checking to see if any items are missing.
    • Tune in the radio or television for weather updates.
    • Listen for disaster sirens and warning signals.
    • Prepare an emergency kit for your car with food, flares, booster cables, maps, tools, a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, sleeping bags, etc.
    • Secure any items outside which may damage property in a storm, such as bicycles, grills, propane tanks, etc.
    • Cover windows and doors with plywood or boards or place large strips of masking tape or adhesive tape on the windows to reduce the risk of breakage and flying glass.
    • Put livestock and family pets in a safe area. Due to food and sanitation requirements, emergency shelters cannot accept animals.
    • Place vehicles under cover, if at all possible.
    • Fill sinks and bathtubs with water as an extra supply for washing.
    • Adjust the thermostat on refrigerators and freezers to the coolest possible temperature.
    If You are Ordered to Evacuate

    Because of the destructive power of a hurricane, you should never ignore an evacuation order. Authorities will be most likely to direct you to leave if you are in a low-lying area, or within the greatest potential path of the storm. Be aware that most shelters and some hotels do not accept pets. If a hurricane warning is issued for your area or you are directed by authorities to evacuate the area:
    • Take only essential items with you.
    • If you have time, turn off the gas, electricity, and water.
    • Disconnect appliances to reduce the likelihood of electrical shock when power is restored.
    • Make sure your automobile's emergency kit is ready.
    • Follow the designated evacuation routes—others may be blocked—and expect heavy traffic.
    If You Are Ordered NOT to Evacuate

    The great majority of injuries during a hurricane are cuts caused by flying glass or other debris. Other injuries include puncture wounds resulting from exposed nails, metal, or glass, and bone fractures.
    To get through the storm in the safest possible manner:
    • Monitor the radio or television for weather conditions, if possible.
    • Stay indoors until the authorities declare the storm is over.
    • Do not go outside, even if the weather appears to have calmed—the calm "eye" of the storm can pass quickly, leaving you outside when strong winds resume.
    • Stay away from all windows and exterior doors, seeking shelter in a bathroom or basement. Bathtubs can provide some shelter if you cover yourself with plywood or other materials.
    • Prepare to evacuate to a shelter or to a neighbor's home if your home is damaged, or if you are instructed to do so by emergency personnel.

  • #2
    Re: What To Do To Prepare for a Hurricane

    AAA Texas: Now Is the Time to Prepare for a Hurricane Threat

    Last update: 2:20 p.m. EDT Aug. 29, 2008

    HOUSTON, TX, Aug 29, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- With Tropical Storm Gustav approaching the Gulf Coast states within days, there's still time to make preparations to ensure the safety of your family and your home, according to AAA Texas.
    Even if the brunt of the storm misses the Texas coast, the area could expect to experience strong wind, heavy rain, high surf and likely flash flood watches, according to the National Weather Service.
    "Typically, you don't want to leave your preparations until the last minute," said AAA Texas spokesman Dan Ronan. "If you haven't already done so, it's important to make a plan and gather supplies now."
    Experts agree that the first thing to formulate is a family disaster plan. Decide where everyone should go if people are at home, work, school or in a car when a hurricane warning is issued.
    "The family disaster plan should be updated every school year as places of employment or residence change. Generally, going to the closest safe place usually is best," Ronan said. "After the emergency has passed, designate a place where family members can meet, if separated."
    Assemble a disaster supply kit. Supplies should include water, food, first aid supplies, bedding, tools and emergency supplies. Be sure to include prescription medications along with formula and diapers for babies. Perishable items should be replaced every six months. For help in assembling a complete disaster supply kit, contact the American Red Cross for a free brochure.
    "Assembling all the necessary items is an important step," said Ronan. "But keeping all of these supplies in one, easy-to-access location is equally as important."
    Other important preparations include:

    -- Designate an emergency contact person outside your town and inform him/her of your plans.-- Be sure to keep your vehicle filled with gasoline and have a supply of cash on hand.-- Keep a battery-powered radio handy.-- Protect all windows with shutters or plywood.-- Check the tie downs on mobile homes.-- Contact your insurance agent to learn of your coverage for damage caused by floods and high winds.</PRE>AAA Texas has served members since 1902. Today, AAA Texas provides services to its members that include roadside assistance, auto, home and life insurance products, maps, international and domestic travel planning and reservations; pedestrian and traffic safety programs; automotive pricing, financial services, including consumer loans, deposit accounts and credit cards. Information about these products and services is available on the AAA Texas web site at

    Contactsan RonanDFW/StatewideRonan.dan@aaa-texas.comdanronan@sprint.blackberry.net469 221 8217 office469 583 7070 cellSarah SchimmerHoustonSchimmer.sarah@aaa-texas.com713 284 6552 office281 797 7886 cellSonta Henderson512 444 4745 ext 224512 899</PRE>SOURCE: AAA Texas

    mailto:Ronan.dan@aaa-texas.commailto:danronan@sprint.blackberry.netmail DF376C5BD6E4C%7D</PRE>


    • #3
      Re: What To Do To Prepare for a Hurricane

      In Praise Of The Bug Out Bag

      # 2266

      In the vernacular, a `bug-out bag' (BOB) is a bag of emergency supplies, ideally kept at the ready, that one can grab on the way out the door during an emergency.

      It isn't supposed to be a survival kit, but rather, to provide the essentials one might need during the first 72 hours of a forced, and sometimes unexpected, evacuation.

      It should contain food, water, any essential prescription medicines, copies of important papers (ID's, insurance, important Phone #s), a first aid kit, portable radio, flashlight, extra batteries, and ideally blankets and extra clothes.

      Sometimes emergencies occur with some warning, such as with a Hurricane, granting one a few days or hours to prepare. Other times they happen with such suddenness that there is no time to think, no time to prepare. Such as in an earthquake, a tornado, a chemical leak, or even a terrorist attack.

      Every year, thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of Americans are forced to leave their homes in emergency evacuations. Most won't be ready.

      Which is why everyone should have a BOB outfitted and ready to go.

      This weekend, with the approach of Hurricane Gustav (that's Hanna on the right, still not quite ready for primetime), many thousands of residents along the Northern Gulf coast will either have their BOB's, or sorely wish they did.

      In New Orleans residents are being told to evacuate, and that there will be no `shelter-of-last-resort', such as the Superdome, this time around.

      New Orleans plans to get tough on residents who refuse to flee ahead of Hurricane Gustav.

      08-29-2008 11:17 PM By BECKY BOHRER, Associated Press Writer

      NEW ORLEANS (Associated Press) -- Police with bullhorns plan to go street to street this weekend with a tough message about getting out ahead of Hurricane Gustav: This time there will be no shelter of last resort. The doors to the Superdome will be locked. Those who stay will be on their own.

      New forecasts Friday made it increasingly clear that New Orleans will get some kind of hit _ direct or indirect _ by early next week. That raised the likelihood people would have to flee, and the city suggested a full-scale evacuation call could come as soon as Sunday.

      Those among New Orleans' estimated 310,000 to 340,000 residents who ignore orders to leave accept "all responsibility for themselves and their loved ones," the city's emergency preparedness director, Jerry Sneed, has warned.

      As Katrina approached in 2005, as many as 30,000 people who either could not or would not evacuate jammed the Louisiana Superdome and the riverfront convention center. They spent days waiting for rescue in squalid conditions. Some died.

      Stung by the images that flashed across the world, including the photo of an elderly woman dead in her wheelchair, her bodied covered with a blanket, officials promised to find a better way.

      This time, the city has taken steps to ensure no one has an excuse not to leave. The state has a $7 million contract to provide 700 buses to evacuate the elderly, the sick and anyone around the region without transportation.


      If you think having an emergency bug out bag sounds like something that only a camouflage wearing, gun toting survivalist would have on hand . . .think again.

      Here is the advice from They call is an Emergency Supply Kit, but the idea is the same.

      Step 1: Get A Kit
      • Get an Emergency Supply Kit,which includes items like non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries. You may want to prepare a portable kit and keep it in your car. This kit should include:
        • Copies of prescription medications and medical supplies;
        • Bedding and clothing, including sleeping bags and pillows;
        • Bottled water, a battery-operated radio and extra batteries, a first aid kit, a flashlight;
        • Copies of important documents: driver?s license, Social Security card, proof of residence, insurance policies, wills, deeds, birth and marriage certificates, tax records, etc.

      Step 2: Make a Plan

      Prepare your family
      • Make a Family Emergency Plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency
      • Plan places where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.
      • It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.
      • You may also want to inquire about emergency plans at places where your family spends time: work, daycare and school. If no plans exist, consider volunteering to help create one.
      • Plan to Evacuate
        • Identify ahead of time where your family will meet, both within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.
        • Identify several places you could go in an emergency, a friend's home in another town, a motel or public shelter.
        • If you do not have a car, plan alternate means of evacuating.
        • If you have a car, keep a half tank of gas in it at all times in case you need to evacuate.
        • Take your Emergency Supply Kit.
        • Take your pets with you, but understand that only service animals may be permitted in public shelters. Plan how you will care for your pets in an emergency.
      • Take a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) class from your local Citizen Corps chapter. Keep your training current.

      A search of the Internet will find loads of information on BOBs, including some kits so chock full that it would require a pack mule to carry. Some restraint may be required when making a suitable BOB, particularly if you may be forced to carry it.

      A bug-out-bag should be a smaller version of a much larger emergency supply that every household should maintain. While a BOB should provide for 72 hours of your family's needs, you should be prepared to stay at home, without outside assistance, for at least 2-weeks.

      Many organizations, including some government agencies (US and others) have recommended that up to 3 months of preparations would be prudent, particularly in view of the current pandemic threat.

      For more information on how to prepare your household, and your family, to withstand a 2-week or longer crisis visit (family checklists) or

      posted by FLA_MEDIC @ 7:40 AM