FEMA photo taken
in the aftermath of Hurricane
DURING A HURRICANE WATCH
- Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for hurricane
- Check emergency supplies.
- Fuel car.
- Bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, toys, and garden
tools and anchor objects that cannot be brought inside.
- Secure buildings by closing and boarding up windows. Remove
- Turn refrigerator and freezer to coldest settings. Open only when
absolutely necessary and close quickly.
- Store drinking water in clean bathtubs, jugs, bottles, and cooking
- Review evacuation plan.
- Moor boat securely or move it to a designated safe place. Use rope
or chain to secure boat to trailer. Use tiedowns to anchor trailer
to the ground or house.
Stay tuned to local radio for information.
Help injured or trapped persons.
Return home only after authorities advise that it is
safe to do so.
Avoid loose or dangling power lines and report
them immediately to the power company, police, or fire department.
Enter your home with caution.
Beware of snakes, insects, and animals driven to
higher ground by flood water.
Open windows and doors to ventilate and dry your
Check refrigerated foods for spoilage.
Take pictures of the damage, both to the house and
its contents and for insurance claims.
Drive only if absolutely necessary and avoid flooded
roads and washed-out bridges.
Use telephone only for emergency calls.
Hurricanes can be dangerous killers. Learning the
hurricane warning messages and planning ahead can reduce the chances of
injury or major property damage.
Plan an evacuation route.
Contact the local emergency management office at 973-728-2840 or American Red Cross
chapter, and ask for the community hurricane preparedness plan. This
plan should include information on the safest evacuation routes and
Learn safe routes inland.
Be ready to drive 20 to 50 miles inland to locate a safe place.
Have disaster supplies on hand.
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries
- First aid kit and manual
- Emergency food and water
- Nonelectric can opener
- Essential medicines
- Cash and credit cards
- Sturdy shoes
Make arrangements for pets.
Pets may not be allowed into emergency shelters for
health and space reasons. Contact your local humane society for
information on local animal shelters.
Make sure that all family members know how to respond
after a hurricane.
Teach family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity, and
Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1, for police,
and the fire department and which radio
station to tune to for emergency information.
Protect your windows.
Permanent shutters are the best protection. A lower-cost approach is to
put up plywood panels. Use 1/2 inch plywood--marine plywood is best--cut
to fit each window. Remember to mark which board fits which window.
Pre-drill holes every 18 inches for screws. Do this long before the
Trim back dead or weak branches from trees.
Check into flood insurance.
You can find out about the National Flood Insurance Program through your
local insurance agent or emergency management office.
There is normally a 30-day waiting period before a new policy becomes
effective. Homeowners polices do not cover damage from the flooding that
accompanies a hurricane.
Develop an emergency communication plan.
In case family members are
separated from one another during a disaster (a real possibility during
the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan
for getting back together.
Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the
"family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call
long distance. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address,
and phone number of the contact person.
Hurricane Watches and Warnings
A hurricane watch is issued when there is a threat of
hurricane conditions within 24-36 hours. A hurricane warning is issued
when hurricane conditions (winds of 74 miles per hour or greater, or
dangerously high water and rough seas) are expected in 24 hours or less.
Last modified: Saturday, December 13, 2003
DURING A HURRICANE WARNING
- Listen constantly to a battery-operated radio or television for
- If in a mobile home, check tiedowns and evacuate immediately.
- Store valuables and personal papers in a waterproof container on
the highest level of your home.
- Avoid elevators.
If at home:
- Stay inside, away from windows, skylights, and glass doors.
- Keep a supply of flashlights and extra batteries handy. Avoid open
flames, such as candles and kerosene lamps, as a source of light.
- If power is lost, turn off major appliances to reduce power
"surge" when electricity is restored.
If officials indicate evacuation is necessary:
- Leave as soon as possible. Avoid flooded roads and watch for
- Secure your home by unplugging appliances and turning off
electricity and the main water valve.
- Tell someone outside of the storm area where you are going.
- If time permits, and you live in an identified surge zone, elevate
furniture to protect it from flooding or better yet, move it to a
- Bring pre-assembled emergency supplies and warm protective
- Take blankets and sleeping bags to shelter.
- Lock up home and leave.
INSPECTING UTILITIES IN A DAMAGED HOME
Check for gas leaks--If you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing noise,
open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the
outside main valve if you can and call the gas company from a neighbor's
home. If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on
by a professional.
Look for electrical system damage--If you see sparks
or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the
electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step
in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician
first for advice.
Check for sewage and water lines damage--If you
suspect sewage lines are damaged avoid using the toilets and call a
plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid
the water from the tap. You can obtain safe water by melting ice cubes.