Be Prepared For Hurricane Irene
Be Prepared For Hurricane Irene
The National Weather Service predicts that Hurricane Irene will hit the Northeast this weekend with the worst of the storm coming on Sunday. Below are some helpful links to make sure your family is prepared.
The National Hurricane Center suggest families be prepared by developing a plan, creating a disaster supply kit, having a place to go, securing your home and your pet. For more details click here.
The Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security suggests people should do the following to keep safe before a hurricane:
- Have a plan for your family including children, loved ones with special needs and pets. Ready.gov has information on how to plan for an emergency.
- Have an emergency kit ready at all times. Your kit should include food, water, first aid supplies, battery-powered radio, flashlight, and other emergency supplies. You can learn more about building an emergency supply kit on Ready.gov.
- Learn the evacuation routes and where the designated shelters will be in your area in case you have to evacuate. Contact your local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter, and ask for the community hurricane preparedness plan. This plan should include information on the safest evacuation routes and nearby shelters.
- Check with your insurance company about the National Flood Insurance Program as homeowners’ insurance does not cover flooding during a hurricane. Take photos of your home and its contents. For more information on preparing your home and making sure you have the right insurance coverage for a disaster, visit the Connecticut Department of Insurance.
- Make plans to secure your property. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8″ marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
- Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
- Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well-trimmed.
- Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
- Determine how and where to secure your boat.
- Consider building a safe room.
- Make sure your gas tank is full of gas in case you have to evacuate.
The Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security suggests people should do the following to keep safe during a hurricane:
- Listen to the radio or TV for information.
- Secure your home, close storm shutters, and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
- Homeowners with private wells should save as much water as possible since their well will not work if the power is out. Fill the bathtub with water to be used for toilet flushing during a loss of power. If your well is flooded or damaged by the hurricane, assume that it is contaminated and do not use it until it has been flushed, disinfected and tested for bacteria.
- Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
- Turn off propane tanks.
- Be sure your cell phone is charged. Avoid using the phone except for serious emergencies.
- Moor your boat if time permits.
- Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water.
You should evacuate under the following conditions:
- 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 hurricanes 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 inland waterway.
- If you feel you are in danger.
If you are unable to evacuate, go to your 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 – 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.