The Richton Dispatch

"Serving Perry County since 1905"

hurricane season - are you prepared?

Disaster Prevention should include:

One of the most important decisions you will have to make is "Should I Evacuate?"

If you are asked to evacuate, you should do so without delay. But unless you live in a coastal or low-lying area, an area that floods frequently, or in manufactured housing, it is unlikely that emergency managers will ask you to evacuate. That means that it is important for you and your family to HAVE A PLAN that makes you as safe as possible in your home.

Disaster prevention includes modifying your home to strengthen it against storms so that you can be as safe as possible. It also includes having the supplies on hand to weather the storm. The suggestions provided here are only guides. You should use common sense in your disaster prevention.

  • DEVELOP A FAMILY PLAN - Your family's plan should be based on your vulnerability to the Hurricane Hazards. You should keep a written plan and share your plan with other friends or family.
  • CREATE A DISASTER SUPPLY KIT - There are certain items you need to have regardless of where you ride out a hurricane. The disaster supply kit is a useful tool when you evacuate as well as making you as safe as possible in your home.
  • SECURE YOUR HOME - There are things that you can do to make your home more secure and able to withstand stronger storms.
  • ONLINE VULNERABILITY INFO - There are web sites that can give you information about your communities vulnerability to specific hazards. These include hurricanes as well as other weather related hazards.

 

family disaster plan

Discuss the type of hazards that could affect your family. Know your home's vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind.

Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard. In certain circumstances the safest areas may not be your home but within your community.

Determine escape routes from your home and places to meet. These should be measured in tens of miles rather than hundreds of miles.

Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact.

Make a plan now for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate.

Post emergency telephone numbers by your phones and make sure your children know how and when to call 911.

Check your insurance coverage - flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance.

Stock non-perishable emergency supplies and a Disaster Supply Kit.

Use a NOAA weather radio. Remember to replace its battery every 6 months, as you do with your smoke detectors.

Take First Aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes.

Disaster supply kit

Water - at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days

Food - at least enough for 3 to 7 days
— non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices
— foods for infants or the elderly
— snack foods
— non-electric can opener
— cooking tools / fuel
— paper plates / plastic utensils

Blankets / Pillows, etc.

Clothing - seasonal / rain gear/ sturdy shoes

First Aid Kit / Medicines / Prescription Drugs

Special Items - for babies and the elderly

Toiletries / Hygiene items / Moisture wipes

Flashlight / Batteries

Radio - Battery operated and NOAA weather radio

Telephones - Fully charged cell phone with extra battery and a traditional (not cordless) telephone set

Cash (with some small bills) and Credit Cards - Banks and ATMs may not be available for extended periods

Keys

Toys, Books and Games

Important documents - in a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag
— insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc.

Tools - keep a set with you during the storm

Vehicle fuel tanks filled

Pet care items
— proper identification / immunization records / medications
— ample supply of food and water
— a carrier or cage
— muzzle and leash

top 3 hurricane myths

...And why believing them can be dangerous

Gearing up for hurricane season can often mean well-intentioned friends and relatives will provide you with their own advice. But the Institute for Business & Home Safety wants to help residents in vulnerable states avoid some potentially dangerous ideas, by identifying The Top Three Hurricane Protection Myths.

1. Open the windows so the air pressure doesn’t explode the house.

This would not only be unsafe for you and your home, but it would also allow wind-driven rain to stream through your house and ruin belongings.  The normal leakage of air around windows and doors will tend to keep the pressure in your house slightly lower than the atmospheric pressure caused by the storm outside.  The greatest danger comes when a large window or door fails on a wall facing the wind.  The key is keeping all wind and water out with proper opening protection.

2. You only need to protect the openings facing the ocean or gulf.

Because hurricanes are a moving, rotating storm, winds can come from any direction, which can change rapidly if you are near the eye. Your best bet is to protect windows and doors on all sides of your home.

3. You should tape windows with a big “X.”

Taping glass does nothing to address the main point of protection – keeping the glass in its frame and securely attached to the home.

Remember – never lean or push against a window or door that is being blown inward by wind pressure.  And no matter what kind of glass you have, stay away from all windows during a severe storm.