Tips For The Hurricane Season

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Here are some tips to get prepared for the hurricane season. Also find out how to keep safe before, during and after bad weather. In addition, click here to find your nearest hurricane shelter.

  • Protect your windows from the threat of flying debris, by installing shutters.
  • Ensure that your roof and foundation are secure.
  • Check for termite damage.
  • Trim tree branches.
  • Have an up-to-date insurance policy.
  • Secure emergency supplies and important documents in water tight containers.
  • Have a portable first-aid kit and know the location of the nearest emergency shelter.

The District Emergency Organisations (DEOs)

  • Joining a District Emergency Organisation in your community is another step towards getting ready for the season.
  • If you are a carpenter or artisan be sure you get involved.
  • In case of a storm or hurricane members can assist with makeshift housing after the system has passed.
  • Training is available in chainsaw operation and first-aid.

For more information telephone 438-7575

  • If there is a lot of heavy rainfall flooding may occur.
  • Monitor the amount of rainfall outside.
  • Persons who live in low-lying areas should listen to their radios.
  • When you see the water begin to rise, prepare to evacuate.
  • Secure emergency supplies and important documents in water tight containers.
  • Know the location of the nearest emergency shelter.

Before the Storm

  • Keep on hand lumber, a hammer, torchlight, masking tape, medicine, boots, rubber gloves, raincoat, nails, rope, wires, plastic sheeting, and sandbags.
  • Have enough water stored in sealed plastic containers to allow for cooking, bathing, washing and other domestic chores for two weeks.
  • Have canned foods and dried goods and a portable transistor radio.
  • Keep listening to your local radio station for updates and advisories.
  • In the event of a flood, don’t try to drive or walk through high waters, you may be swept away!

Before the Storm – Farmers

  • Store livestock feed and supplies above expected water levels.
  • Keep on hand material such as lumber, plywood, nails, rope, wire, hammer, sandbags, boots, raincoats, lanterns and a battery-operated radio.
  • Store important documents in water tight containers.

Terms to Know

Flood Watch – Period during which flood monitoring, forecasting and flood warnings are carried out.

Phases of Flood Watch

Alert – Period of intense data collection, monitoring and assessment. The possibility of flooding is present.
Warning – Issued when indications show that water levels will exceed the alert level within 24 hours.

Before The Flood

  • Listen to the radio for instructions.
  • Watch for rapidly rising water.
  • Store drinking water in sealed plastic containers, as water service may be interrupted.
  • Move household items to higher levels.

Terms To Know

Small Craft Advisory – Issued when weather conditions make small craft operations marginally safe. Issued for moderate sea conditions, winds of 20 mph or low visibility due to haze.
Small Craft Warning – Issued when conditions are unsafe for small craft operations. Issued for tropical depressions, storms, hurricanes and rough seas.
Storm Warning – Issued for an area when tropical storm conditions are expected to occur within 24 hours or less.
Tropical Wave – Is a low pressure trough or a weak low pressure circulation.
Tropical Cyclone – The general term used for anti-clockwise circulations originating over tropical waters.
Tropical Disturbance – An area of organised convection in the lower atmosphere which may or may not be associated with a surface low pressure system and which has maintained its identity for at least 24 hours.
Tropical Depression – Is a tropical cyclone in which the maximum average surface wind is 38 mph or less.
Tropical Storm – A well organised tropical cyclone has maximum average surface winds of 39-73 mph.

A Flood Watch is designated:

A period of flood monitoring; data collection and processing. During this time the probability of flooding is assessed and information disseminated.

Phases of Flood Watch:


Alert
– A period of intense data collection, monitoring and assessment, when the possibility of flooding is present, but its probability is relatively low.
Warning – Issued when indications show that water levels will exceed the alert level within 24 hours.

Things To Do

  • Keep listening to your local radio station for updates and advisories.
  • Store important documents in water tight containers.
  • In the event of a flood, don’t try to drive or walk through high waters, you may be swept away
(Stock Photo)

(Stock Photo)

Hurricane Ivan – 2004

Classic Cape Verde storm that formed at an unusually low latitude. Ivan rapidly developed into a Category 4 hurricane with winds over 130 mph briefly weakening to a Category Two for a period as it moved through the extreme Southern Windward Islands, Barbados and Grenada before it strengthened back to major hurricane status.

Ivan destroyed 75 to 90 per cent of all buildings on the island of Grenada. It sparked torrential rains, flooding, and 123 tornadoes and was responsible for 124 deaths throughout the Caribbean and the Eastern United States. Final damage estimate from the U.S. and the Caribbean was $28.4 billion.

Hurricane Katrina – 2005

Katrina started out August 23rd, 2005 in the Bahamas as a tropical wave. It made landfall in South Florida as a minimal hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph, and gusts up to 95 mph.

It became Category Five Hurricane, with winds up to 175 mph. Katrina was the fourth most powerful hurricane of all time ahead of Camille and behind Hurricane Gilbert (1988), the Labour Day Hurricane of 1935, and Hurricane Allen (1980). Some 50 people were killed in coastal Mississippi and there was extensive flooding in New Orleans.

Some 1,833 perished; (Louisiana-1582, Mississippi-170, Florida-30, Alabama-48, Georgia-2, Tennessee-1). The estimated total cost for the storm was US $200 billion dollars, making it the costliest hurricane and natural disaster in United States history.

During An Emergency

  • The senior warden is the supreme authority in the shelter.
  • He or she can call on any occupant of the shelter to assist with its operation.
  • Every occupant should be cooperative.
  • If a state of emergency is proclaimed at anytime under the Emergency Powers Act, all persons within the shelter will be subject to the orders made under the Act and will be liable for such penalties as may be imposed for failure to comply.
  • The senior warden and all assistants cannot accept responsibility for anyone’s personal property.
  • Know the location of the nearest emergency shelter.

More Tips

  • Always have a plan for your home as well as your office.
  • Shutters are effective against high winds and flying debris.
  • In case you have to evacuate, keep all important documents and valuables in a sealed bag.
  • Turn off all electrical appliances.
  • Remove TV antennas from the roof.
  • Have emergency cash available.

If a Hurricane Watch is issued:

  • Keep listening to your radio for advisories.
  • Fill your car with fuel.
  • Pick all fruit that can become missiles in high winds.
  • Put away patio furniture, garbage cans and tools.
  • Unplug any electrical equipment.
  • Place important documents in air-tight containers.
  • Ensure you have enough food and water for two weeks.
  • Know the location of the nearest emergency shelter.
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