Hurricane Safety Tips

Updates on Hurricane Irma

Latest information on Hurricane Irma from the Weather Channel: https://weather.com/storms/hurricane-central/irma-2017/AL112017

[9.7.17 @ 11:26am] – Guerry Lumber and Home Depot on Victory Drive have plywood.

[9.7.17] – Savannah-Chatham Schools will be closed Friday, Monday, & Tuesday to allow families to safely prepare for the storm. Full story here.


Severe weather can affect the Savannah area from time to time. In 2016 we experienced Hurricane Matthew; the first hurricane to hit the area in decades. We’ve learned a lot since then and wanted to create a place to share information and helpful tips to keep you and your family safe in the event we are affected by another hurricane.

Atlantic hurricane season: June 1 through November 30.
Depending on where you live, natural disaster preparedness may be a vital undertaking, but stocking food and water only takes care of one’s immediate needs. What happens if your roof is blown off, your walls collapse or your home is completely destroyed? Even the most diligent retrofitting can’t foil Mother Nature.
Our hearts go out to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. We know that once their safety is assured and their immediate needs are taken care of, their thoughts will turn to the safety and overall livability of their homes. So, today we thought we’d take a look at some preliminary steps to take.

Head For Safety, First
Don’t remain at or return home if you have any doubts about the soundness of your home. The American Red Cross and Salvation Army typically provide shelters during disasters. You can locate shelters by texting “SHELTER” and your ZIP code, (for instance, “SHELTER 75043”).


Prepare to secure your property:

  • Cover all of your home’s windows with hurricane shutters to protect them from high winds. Another option is to board up windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine pre-cut plywood. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
  • Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
  • Keep all trees and shrubs well trimmed to make them more wind-resistent.

Plan ahead for your pets. Shelters cannot accept pets due to health reasons, so it’s important to find a pet-friendly hotel or make arrangements with family or friends in advance.

Know your area’s flood risk – if unsure, call your local emergency management agency or planning and zoning department, or visit www.floodsmart.gov.

Property insurance does not typically cover flood damage. Talk to your insurance provider about your policy and consider if you need additional coverage. The National Flood Insurance Program is designed to provide reasonable flood insurance in exchange for the careful management of flood-prone areas by local communities. The program, administered by FEMA, is available in hundreds of participating Georgia communities.

Hurricane Safety Checklists

You should stock six basics for your home: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency supplies, and special items. Keep the items you would most likely need during an evacuation in an easy-to carry container—suggested items are marked with an asterisk (*). Possible containers include a large, covered trash container, a camping backpack, or a duffle bag.

Food and Water

Water

  • Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers, and ill people will need more.
  • Store one gallon of water per person per day.
  • Keep at least a three-day supply of water per person (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for each person in your household for food preparation/sanitation).*

Food

Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking, and little or no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of sterno. Select food items that are compact and lightweight. Include a selection of the following foods in your Disaster Supplies Kit:

  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables
  • Canned juices
  • Staples (salt, sugar, pepper, spices, etc.)
  • High energy foods
  • Vitamins
  • Food for infants
  • Comfort/stress foods

Possessions and Documents

  • Keep these records in a waterproof, portable container:
    • Will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds
    • Passports, social security cards, immunization records
    • Bank account numbers
    • Credit card account numbers and companies
  • Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers
  • Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
  • Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members. Keep a smaller version of the supplies kit in the trunk of your car.
  • Keep items in airtight plastic bags. Change your stored water supply every six months so it stays fresh. Replace your stored food every six months. Re-think your kit and family needs at least once a year. Replace batteries, update clothes, etc.
  • Ask your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription medications.

Pet Supplies

  • collar
  • leash
  • medical and vaccination
  • records
  • extra food and water

Read the full list of supplies to keep on hand on our blog: September is Preparedness Month: Is Your Home Ready?

Basic Preparedness Tips

  • Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation route(s) to take and have a plan for where you can stay. Contact your local emergency management agency for more information.
  • Put together a go-bag: disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate
  • If you are not in an area that is advised to evacuate and you decide to stay in your home, plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and you are not able to leave due to flooding or blocked roads.
  • Make a family emergency communication plan.
  • Many communities have text or email alerting systems for emergency notifications. To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the Internet with your town, city, or county name and the word “alerts.”

Hurricane Watch

Hurricane watch = conditions possible within the next 48 hrs.

Steps to take:

Hurricane Warning

Hurricane warning = conditions are expected within 36 hrs.

Steps to take:

  • Follow evacuation orders from local officials, if given.
  • Check-in with family and friends by texting or using social media.
  • Follow the hurricane timeline preparedness checklist, depending on when the storm is anticipated to hit and the impact that is projected for your location.

What to do when a hurricane is 6 hours from arriving

  • If you’re not in an area that is recommended for evacuation, plan to stay at home or where you are and let friends and family know where you are.
  • Close storm shutters, and stay away from windows. Flying glass from broken windows could injure you.
  • Turn your refrigerator or freezer to the coldest setting and open only when necessary. If you lose power, food will last longer. Keep a thermometer in the refrigerator to be able to check the food temperature when the power is restored.
  • Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.

What to do when a hurricane is 6-18 hours from arriving

  • Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Charge your cell phone now so you will have a full battery in case you lose power.

What to do when a hurricane is 18-36 hours from arriving

  • Bookmark your city or county website for quick access to storm updates and emergency instructions.
  • Bring loose, lightweight objects inside that could become projectiles in high winds (e.g., patio furniture, garbage cans); anchor objects that would be unsafe to bring inside (e.g., propane tanks); and trim or remove trees close enough to fall on the building.
  • Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install.

What to do when a hurricane is 36 hours from arriving

  • Turn on your TV or radio in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include food and water sufficient for at least three days, medications, a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power. For example, you can call, text, email or use social media. Remember that during disasters, sending text messages is usually reliable and faster than making phone calls because phone lines are often overloaded.
  • Review your evacuation plan with your family. You may have to leave quickly so plan ahead.
  • Keep your car in good working condition, and keep the gas tank full; stock your vehicle with emergency supplies and a change of clothes.

After a Hurricane

  • Listen to local officials for updates and instructions.
  • Check-in with family and friends by texting or using social media.
  • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
  • Watch out for debris and downed power lines.
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of fast-moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Avoid flood water as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines and may hide dangerous debris or places where the ground is washed away.
  • Photograph the damage to your property in order to assist in filing an insurance claim.
  • Do what you can to prevent further damage to your property, (e.g., putting a tarp on a damaged roof), as insurance may not cover additional damage that occurs after the storm.

View the full article: https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes