During a Hurricane:
During the storm, howling winds, driving rain, and the threat of tornadoes make riding out a hurricane a scary ordeal. Follow these tips for staying safe in your home during a hurricane:
• Stay inside and away from windows, skylights, and glass doors. Find a safe area in your home (an interior room, a closet or bathroom on the lower level).
• If flooding threatens your home, turn off electricity at the main breaker.
• If you lose power, turn off major appliances such as the air conditioner and water heater to reduce damage.
• Do not use electrical appliances, including your computer.
• Do not go outside. If the eye of the storm passes over your area, there will be a short period of calm, but at the other side of the eye, the wind speed rapidly increases to hurricane force and will come from the opposite direction. Also, do not go outside to see "what the wind feels like." It is too easy to be hit by flying debris.
• Beware of lightning. Stay away from electrical equipment. Don't use the phone or take a bath/shower during the storm.
After a Hurricane
More deaths and injury occur after a hurricane hits than during. Usually because people are too anxious to get outside and survey the damage and come into contact with downed power lines or unstable trees. Follow these suggestions for staying safe after a hurricane:
• Remain indoors until an official "all clear" is given.
• Do not touch fallen or low-hanging wires of any kind under any circumstances. Stay away from puddles with wires in or near them. Do not touch trees or other objects in contact with power lines.
• USE PHONES FOR EMERGENCIES ONLY. Call 911 only for life-threatening situations.
• Call police or utility companies immediately to report hazards such as downed power lines, broken gas or water mains, overturned gas tanks, or any other dangerous situation you come across.
• Watch for weakened roads, bridges, tree limbs or porches that could collapse unexpectedly.
• After power is restored, check refrigerated food for spoilage. (Spoiled food is the cause of much sickness two days to a week after the storm.)
• When reinstalling a CB, TV or satellite antenna, check in all directions to be sure no power lines are nearby. The same goes for climbing trees to clear debris.
• Do not operate charcoal grills, propane camping stoves or generators indoors.