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Hurricanes: Evacuation & Homecoming June 25, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Home & Garden, Nature.

Goofy-SurprisedUnlike tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes (which often wreak havoc with little or no advance warning), hurricanes generally don’t sneak up on us.

Weather experts monitor each storm’s approach, predicting the expected track and gauging the level of wrath, giving residents time to prepare and, if necessary, evacuate to remove themselves from the path of destruction.

If you need to evacuate:

(1) Put everything you want to take with you near the front door so you can grab it and go ~ clothes, pet supplies, the 5 T’s, food, important papers, the local phone book, your personal address book, ID’s, wallets, etc.

(2) If you are going to a shelter, bring pillows, sleeping bags, comforters, lightweight folding chairs or cots, bath towels, wash cloths, and a few games or playing cards.

(3)  Make sure that your destination is not within a zone ordered to evacuate.

(4) Let friends and relatives know where you are going.  Check to make sure your neighbors have safe transportation out of the area.

(5)  Fill the bathtub with water for washing and to flush toilets when you return.  Fill clean containers with water for drinking and cooking when you return.

(6)  Turn off gas, water, and electricity at their main valves and switches.

(7)  Lock your windows and doors.

(8)  Stay tuned to your local radio and television station for emergency broadcasts.

(9)  If you are leaving a coastal area, move inland away from storm surge and inland flooding ~ but think tens of miles, not hundreds.  Roads will be heavily congested and you should avoid being caught on the highway without a safe refuge if the storm takes a different track.

After the storm:

(1)  Have valid ID ~ you will not be allowed back into your area without proof of residency.

Donald-Duck-Driving(2)  Avoid driving.  Roads must be left clear for emergency vehicles.  Don’t sightsee ~ you may be mistaken for a looter.

(3)  Beware of snakes, insects, and animals driven to higher ground.

(4) Avoid downed or dangling utility wires.

(5)  Enter your home with caution.  Open windows and doors to ventilate the interior.

(6)  If there is any evidence of flooding near your home, have an electrician inspect your home before turning on the breaker.

(7)  Take photographs of all damage for insurance purposes.  Make temporary repairs to prevent further damage from holes in roofs or walls.

(8)  If the power has been out, check the blocks of ice left in the freezer.  If they have melted and the food is warm, get a garbage bag and dump ALL the food.  It is not safe to eat.  If the blocks of ice are still solid, keep the freezer closed until power is restored and check again.

(9)  Contact friends and relatives to let them know that you are safe.  Keep calls short to keep phone lines open for emergency communications.

(10)   Disinfect any tap water you drink or use for cooking or cleaning.  You must purify the tap water until officials notify you of its safety.  Bring water to a rolling boil for a full 10 minutes or use chemicals (eight drops of chlorine bleach or iodine per gallon) or water purification tablets, as directed.  Let the water sit at least 10 minutes before using.

Water you saved in clean containers before the storm will be fine for 2-3 weeks.  To be sure, add two drops of chlorine or iodine per gallon before drinking.

(11)  Put flashlights in strategic places throughout the house for people to use after dark, or give each person a flashlight of their own.

(12)  Use your portable radio and talk to neighbors who have returned to keep updated about clean up efforts and other important information.

Other thoughts, suggestions, and ideas . . . please comment below!

Related posts:  Hurricanes:  Weathering The Storm * Hurricanes ~ Other Tips & Resources


1. cindy - June 25, 2010

Why the filled bathtub? Does the water supply get turned off somehow?
(Asking because this is all totally weird and foreign to me).

nrhatch - June 25, 2010

When we were on a private well, if the electricity went out, there was no way to pull the water into the house ~ the only way to flush toilets would be to pour a bucket of water into them.

The recommendation (which I’ve seen several places) stems from the fact that widescale power outages or storm devastation could stop the flow of water into homes for a time.

If the water is flowing, but the water supply is contaminated, you’d have a small reservoir for washing up ~ something to dip a washcloth into to give yourself a sponge bath.

I’m not quite done with these articles ~ I’m going to add some links, etc. If I get further clarification on this issue, I’ll let you know.

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