The hurricane season (which officially runs
from June 1 to November 30) will soon begin. Are you prepared to deal with the disaster a hurricane might bring? A common thread that
runs through all major hurricane disasters is a lack of awareness and
hurricane is an intense tropical weather system that is accompanied with heavy
rains, flooding and or tornadoes and can cause extensive damage. For this
reason it is critical that you know how vulnerable you are and what actions to take to reduce the effects
of a hurricane.
are some useful tips from the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency
Management (ODPEM) to get you ready for this hurricane season.
At the Start of the Hurricane Season
roof of your house, hurricane shutters, hooks and latches and repair where
Make sure that
the galvanized sheeting on the roof of your house is properly fastened.
Keep in stock extra
plastic bags and sheets of plastic. Plastic is essential to prevent important
documents, paintings, equipment and furniture from getting wet.
Keep handy a supply of
lumber, plywood, timber, etc. for battening down purposes.
Trim trees that touch
power lines or hang over the house and other buildings.
Make sure that emergency
cooking facilities such as coal stoves are in good working condition as these
may be necessary.
Make sure you have a
supply of kerosene and coal. Keep coal dry by wrapping in a plastic bag or
other waterproof material.
Store extra food,
especially things that can be eaten without cooking or which need very little
preparation. Electricity may be off during a hurricane, leaving you without
Place emergency food
supply in a waterproof container and store in a closed box, cupboard or trunk.
Make sure you have
emergency equipment in your home. These include waterboots, raincoats,
flashlights, batteries, portable radio, kerosene lamps and matches.
Have simple first-aid
equipment such as iodine, bandages, eye lotion, etc. at home.
During a hurricane
Do not go outside unless
it is absolutely necessary as you may be hit by flying objects.
Children should not be
taken outside, since they may be in danger of being blown away.
If you are away from
home, remain where you are until the hurricane has passed. Many people have
lost their lives trying to go from one place to another.
Keep a hurricane lamp
burning, as it may make the night more tolerable.
If the house shows signs
of breaking up, stay under a table or stand in a sturdy closet.
Be prepared for material
falling from the ceiling.
If your glass windows
have not been boarded up, place a large heavy object in front of the window to
protect yourself and others from splintering glass.
Be calm! Your ability to
act logically is important.
Listen to the radio for
information on what is happening.
After a Hurricane
Seek medical attention
at first-aid stations, hospitals or clinics for persons injured during the
Do not touch loose or
dangling electrical wires. Report these to the power company, the nearest
police station or parish council.
Report all broken sewer
or water mains directly to the parish council, the public works department or
water resources authority for your area.
Immediately after the
hurricane don’t use stored water for washing houses, cars and watering gardens
until normal water services have been restored.
Do not empty water
stored in bathtubs or other receptacles until safe drinking water is restored.
Boil all drinking water
until safe water supply has been restored.
Watch out for fallen
trees. Collect fallen branches and other debris and pile them where they can be
Do not go outside
barefooted. Avoid wearing open shoes and watch out for broken glass.
One never knows when a hurricane might occur and the devastating impact it might have. Proper planning is of utmost importance. This
hurricane season hope for the best, prepare for the worst.