As we monitor the track of Hurricane Earl, we urge everyone to take steps to prepare their families and homes for a disaster.
Prepare for High Winds
- Give yourself enough time before a storm to conduct a home hazard hunt and perimeter search, in which you inspect your home for items that can move, fall, break or cause a fire.
- Make trees more wind resistant by removing diseased and damaged limbs
- Install hurricane or high-wind shutters on your windows or cut plywood to cover windows, and add protection to the outside areas of sliding glass doors
- Strengthen garage doors and un-reinforced masonry
- Move or secure lawn furniture, outdoor decorations or ornaments, trash cans, hanging plants and anything else that can be picked up by wind and become a projectile
If a hurricane watch is issued:
The Red Cross strongly recommends that individuals and families take preventive measures to ensure their personal safety during a hurricane watch and before a warning is issued:
- Listen to media hurricane progress reports via battery-operated radio or television
- Get a battery-operated radio, flashlight and extra batteries
- Check disaster supplies kit, including food, water and clothing
- Fill vehicles with fuel
- Bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, toys and garden tools, anchor objects that cannot be brought inside
- Secure buildings by covering windows with storm shutters or pre-cut plywood.
- Remove outside antennas
- Turn refrigerator and freezer to coldest setting. Open only when absolutely necessary and close quickly
- Store valuables and personal papers in a waterproof container on the highest level of your home
If a warning is issued or officials indicate evacuation is necessary:
- Before you evacuate, consider registering with the Safe and Well Web site at www.redcross.org.
- If time permits, and you live in an identified surge zone, elevate furniture or move it to a higher floor to protect it from flooding
- Secure your home by unplugging appliances and turning off electricity and the main water valve
- Bring disaster supplies kit
- Take warm protective clothing, blankets, sleeping bags and prescription medicines
- Tell someone outside of your storm area where you are going
- Lock your home and leave immediately
- Avoid flooded roads and watch for washed-out bridges
- If you see water, turn around and go another way.
If local authorities have not advised you to evacuate:
- Check tie-downs and evacuate as told by local authorities, for manufactured homes
- Stay inside, away from windows, skylights and glass doors
- Do NOT use open flames, such as candles and kerosene lamps, as a source of light
- If power is lost, turn off appliances to reduce damage from a power surge when electricity is restored
Something else to keep in mind is the value of neighbors during a difficult time. Working with neighbors can save lives. Know your neighbors’ special skills and consider how you could help neighbors who are elderly or have disabilities. Make plans for child care in case parents cannot get home – that way, all of the children in your neighborhood can be safe.
At any time, everyone can take steps to Be Red Cross Ready for all types of disasters in three simple actions: 1) get a kit, 2) make a plan and 3) be informed.