With two named storms occurring before the season even started – Alberto and Beryl – Craig Fugate, administrator of Federal Emergency Management Agency, reminds us there is no better time than now to be prepared and get informed.
“When it comes to preparing for disasters, don’t simply focus on the calendar … focus on the need to be prepared,” said Fugate. “You can go to http://www.ready.gov and find all of the tools and information you need to prepare your home, business and family.”
Now that we are in the official first week of hurricane season, and you and your family are working on becoming properly prepared, we’re sharing some tips for what to do as a storm approaches.
1. If a hurricane is likely in your area, you should:
- Secure your home and close storm shutters. Don’t forget to secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
- Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed. Find out how to keep food safe during and after and emergency.
- Turn off propane tanks.
- Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
- Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purpose such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other larger containers with water.
2. You should evacuate:
- If you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.
- If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure. Such shelters are particularly hazardous during hurricane no matter how well fastened to the ground.
- If you live in a high-rise building – hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.
- If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river or on an island waterway.
3. If you are unable to evacuate, go to your wind-safe room. If you do not have one, follow these guidelines:
- Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
- Close all interior doors – secure and brace external doors.
- Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm, meaning winds will pick up again.
- Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level.
- Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.
- Avoid elevators.