The start of hurricane season should not be cause for panic, but it should motivate us into taking actions for the protection of ourselves and our families in the event a hurricane strikes our area. The following are a few hurricane safety tips:
Before for the Storm
- Be familiar with the different categories of hurricanes and the amount of damage each can cause. Pay particular attention to storm surge. Remember that even if you live away from the coast, extensive damage can be caused by heavy rainfall and strong winds.
- Take steps to protect your property. Consider installing storm shutters, or be prepared to board up windows BEFORE the storm hits. Trim trees and shrubs from around the house, clear rain gutters, and store or secure any outdoor objects that could become missiles during the storm.
- Create a family emergency plan and maintain an emergency supply kit that includes: three (3) days worth of water and non-perishable food for each family member, battery operated radio, flashlights and battery-operated lanterns, extra batteries, first aid kit, tape, hygiene items (moist wipes, toilet paper, paper towels), extra clothing, kitchen accessories (including manual can opener), special needs items such as prescription medications, hearing aid batteries, contact lens solution, infant items (diapers, bottles, pacifiers), extra clothing, games, cards, and books for children, plastic garbage bags, cash, copies of identification and credit cards (in water tight bag), important papers (in water tight bag), work gloves, goggles, and items unique to your family needs. And, if you have pets, don’t forget your pet’s needs!
- Plan ahead as to how you will communicate with family members if you are separated. Be sure to have a phone that plugs into a wall phone jack for emergencies, since cordless phones require electricity and cell phone towers may become overwhelmed.
- Be familiar with how to shut off utilities (electric, gas), if required.
- Prior to the arrival of the storm, make sure your vehicle gas tank is full and you have cash on hand.
- Check on your neighbors to see if they need help.
- Evacuate if ordered to do so, if you live in a mobile home, if you live on the immediate coast, or if you live in areas prone to flooding. You will be notified to evacuate by radio and television announcements well before the storm hits.
- If evacuating to a public shelter, bring your supplies kit, extra bedding and blankets. Secure your pets at home, leaving plenty of food and water, or arrange for sheltering them outside the affected area.
- Primary shelter for East Lyme is the East Lyme Library/Community Center, 39 Society Road. School facilities are also used as secondary shelters.
During the Storm
- Stay tuned to your battery-operated radio for the latest on storm conditions and emergency orders.
- Stay indoors, away from windows, until the storm passes. Take refuge in a basement area (if not prone to flooding) or in a small interior room.
After the Storm
- When returning home, USE CAUTION!
- Listen to the radio.
- Inspect your home using a flashlight. DO NOT USE CANDLES.
- Stay off the streets. If you must go out, watch for hazards such as downed electrical wires, fallen tree branches, and weakened sidewalks and roads.
While we can’t control Mother Nature, we can control how we prepare for, react to, and recover from her wrath. Preparing now can help save lives later!