Monday, November 18, 2013

Storm Safety

Every change of season we can experience a variety of extreme weather. One day it will be an ice storm or a thunderstorm, the next, extreme wind (possible tornadoes and hurricanes).

Severe storms can cause large destruction to our electric systems.  It takes a while to clear away debris and repair damage.  People could be without power for a few days. Take the necessary steps ahead of time to be prepared.

Another reason is flying objects and high winds. These conditions can be havoc on your home. Taking action now to protect your home and your family can save lives and reduce damage.

How to Prepare for Power Outage and Strong Storms

1. If power goes out you need to report it right away.  If you smell gas call your gas company immediately.  Have your power and gas company phone number available.

2. If someone in your household has to depend on a life support device have your special 24 hour hotline number ready.  Have an evacuation plan for all locations. Consider home, work, and school/daycare. Check in your area and see if you have any neighbors with special needs that may benefit from your assistance.

3. Learn how to manually open your garage door, security doors, or any electronically operated devices.

4. Make sure your cell phone is fully charged.

5. Keeping the refrigerator and freezer door closed helps keep your food cold. Turn off stoves. Unplug any devices.

6. Make sure your gas is filled in your car, in case you need to travel to a safer location.

7. Fill your bathtub with water and any other buckets or containers you can find.  You will need this to flush your toilets and have spare water for cleaning.

8. Get cash.  It is always good to have emergency cash available unexpected expenses.  And with the power out you might not have access to buy items with your debit card.

9. Plan your family food and lodging needs.  If you are unable to use you electric stove have a gas or charcoal grill with matches available. Plan an alternative destination if you need to evacuate your home.

10. Put together a disaster supply kit, include garbage bags, duct tape, put matches and important papers in plastic bags, disposable wipes, batteries, flashlights, battery operated radio, candles, tools, first aid kit, pet supplies, manual can opener.

11. Find a safe room in your home,  pick a room with no windows preferably a in basement.  If evacuated  because of a hurricane find a alternative location away from the storm.

12. Plan one week of  meals. In your safe room put canned food, water, paper plates, cups and silverware, and a garbage can. Put these items in totes for easy travel if evacuated.

13. Conduct a safety check of your home.  Fix any torn roof shingles.  Keep gutters clear of debris. Consider replacing windows or protecting them with storm windows to protect against flying objects. Windows should be weather tight and trimmed. Put away any lawn furniture or loose objects outside your home, like potted plants and shovels. Repair any broken fences.

Stay calm, be alert and stay up to date on weather conditions. Taking these steps helps you get peace of mind that you and your family are ready when the extreme weather hits.