Hurricane advisories will help you save your life, but you must help. Follow these safety rules during hurricane emergencies:
- Enter each hurricane season prepared. Every June through November, recheck your supply of boards, tape, tools, batteries, and 72-hour emergency kit. If you don't have storage of ice, start freezing water in plastic containers.
- When you hear the first Tropical Storm Advisory, listen for future messages; this will prepare you for a hurricane emergency well in advance of the issuance of watches and warnings. Grocery stores and other merchants have hurricane tracking charts. You may want to track a storm on your own charts.
- When your area is covered by a hurricane watch, continue normal activities, but stay tuned to radio or television for all advisories. Remember: A hurricane WATCH means possible danger; if the danger materializes, a hurricane WARNING will be issued. Meanwhile keep alert. Ignore rumors. Keep up on projects that require electricity - like laundry.
- When your area receives a HURRICANE WARNING:
- Plan your time before the storm arrives and avoid the last minute hurry that might leave you marooned or unprepared.
- Keep calm until the emergency has ended.
- Leave low-lying areas that may be swept by high tides or storm waves.
- Tape or board up windows or protect them with storm shutters. Danger to small windows is mainly from wind driven debris. Larger windows may be broken by wind pressure.
- Secure outdoor objects that might be blown away or uprooted. Garbage cans, garden tools, toys, signs, porch furniture, and a number of other harmless items become missiles of destruction in hurricane winds. Anchor them or store them inside before the storm strikes.
- Store drinking water in clean bathtubs, jugs, bottles, and cooking utensils; your town's water supply may be contaminated by flooding.
- Check your battery-powered equipment. Your radio may be your only link with the world outside the hurricane, and emergency cooking facilities, lights, and flashlights will be essential if utilities are interrupted.
- Keep your car fueled. Service stations may be inoperable for several days after the storm strikes, due to flooding or interrupted electrical power.
- Stay at home, if it is sturdy and on high ground. If it is not, move to a designated shelter and stay there until the storm is over.
- Remain indoors during the hurricane. Travel is extremely dangerous when winds and tides are moving through your area.
- Monitor the storm's position through Weather Service Advisories.
- AVOID THE EYE OF THE HURRICANE. If the calm storm center passes directly overhead, there will be a lull in the wind lasting for a few minutes to half an hour or more. Stay in a safe place unless emergency repairs are absolutely necessary. But remember, at the other side of the eye, the winds rise very rapidly to hurricane force and come from the opposite direction.
5. When the hurricane has passed:
- Seek necessary medical care at Red Cross disaster stations or hospitals
- Stay out of disaster areas. Unless you are qualified to help, your presence might hamper first-aid and rescue work.
- Drive carefully along debris-filled streets. Roads may be undermined and may collapse under the weight of a car.
- Avoid loose or dangling wires, and report them immediately to your power company or the nearest law enforcement officer.
- Report broken sewer or water mains to the water department.
- Prevent fires. Lowered water pressure may make fire fighting difficult.
- If power is out, it is best to keep refrigerator and freezer doors shut during and/or after a storm. Use some of your ice storage in ice chests for perishable food you will be using during a power outage. After power is restored, check refrigerator for spoilage.
6. Remember that hurricanes moving inland can cause severe flooding. Stay away from river banks and streams.