Many lessons have been learned from previous experience and we would like to reinforce some guidelines for preparedness planning with you for your family’s safety:
- Secure lose items around your yard by bringing them indoors
- Provide shutters for your windows
- Stock up on water prior to the season for your family to avoid the rush at the last minute. Figure two to five gallons per day, per person depending on any special needs (three day supply minimum)
- Stock up on non-perishable food and canned meats as well (three day supply minimum)
- Stock up on batteries at the beginning of the season. Remember you will need batteries for flashlights and battery powered radios
- If you do not have flashlights, purchase some
- Battery powered camping lanterns are excellent light sources and much safer than candles
- Contact out of state relatives and let them know your hurricane plan. This will provide a point of contact for family members to check on your status
- If you have special needs such as medical devices, oxygen use, or medications, remember to have a plan for those needs as well
- Have several protective tarps available to cover damage to your roof. You will need a ladder, wood strips, nails and a hammer. Cover this damage as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your home
Safety After the Storm
The storm may cause little to severe hazards outdoors. Follow these simple safety guidelines to ensure for your safety:
Stay off the roads immediately following the storm: It’s a common reaction following the storm to want to take a ride to look for damage that may have been caused; people are naturally curious. However, local government must quickly complete a city survey in an attempt to determine the needs of our residents. Because of this, fire and police vehicles will be traveling throughout the city and drive every road looking for hazards and doing a "windshield" damage assessment. This assessment is critical in determining resource needs and financial impact, which is important in the activation of FEMA assistance.
- Watch for downed electrical wires: Wires may or may not be energized. Do not touch chain link fences that have wires lying across them or touch metal sheds with wires laying on them.
- Remove your shutters: Remove your shutters as soon as possible. By doing so, you will brighten your home and let people know that the house is occupied. Shutters that remain up create hazards, especially if you have no power and find yourself in a fire. They prevent the fire department from having quick access to the home and prevent the ability to have quick ventilation to remove smoke in the event of a fire. They also prevent you from having multiple escape routes from different rooms to the outdoors in the event of a fire.
- Generators - if you run a generator follow these simple rules:
- Run it outdoors
- Do not fill it with gas while it’s hot
- Use properly rated power cords for the power load you will run
For more information on Hurricanes and Disaster Preparedness, visit the Brevard County Emergency Management website.