June 1 marks the start of hurricane season so now is the time to sit down with the family to develop a complete action plan.
This should include evacuation procedures and preparation tips for both inside and outside the house.
• Develop a complete ‘hurricane kit’. Stock up on emergency supplies including a first aid kit, batteries, flashlights, matches, candles, fire extinguisher, Sterno (canned heat), fuel, sand, and a bucket and rope (for gathering fresh water from your tank).
• Stock up on canned/dry foods that require little preparation and cooking. Make sure you have a manual, mechanical can opener.
• Sterilize and fill jugs, bottles, etc. with drinking water; fill the bathtub to enable flushing of the toilets.
• Pet owners should also stock up on pet food.
• Check on supply of necessary medications.
• Put important documents in a waterproof container.
• If necessary, withdraw some cash from the bank.
• Unplug any appliances, computers, televisions and equipment that may be susceptible to power spikes or surges.
• Make sure that animals are kept indoors where possible.
• Charge your cellphone(s).
• Keep your (battery-powered) radio tuned in to local stations or the Government Emergency Broadcast Facility (FM 100.1 MHz) for continuous weather updates.
• Secure storm shutters and/or tape or board up windows. Apply masking tape in ‘X’s on your windows — this will not stop anything from breaking, but it may prevent the glass from shattering.
• Remove or secure awnings.
• Plug water tank roof drains with rags or other suitable items to prevent ingress of leaves and other debris into the tank during the storm.
• Be aware of the potential for water to overflow from roof areas and cause damage to the house. Do not block drains which could give rise to this situation.
• Make sure roof downpipes are fitted with securely-installed strainers.
• If you have a garage, brace garage doors from the inside.
• Disconnect your propane gas tank and turn off the main gas line.
• Secure all moveable objects in your garden/yard (ie. garbage cans, garden furniture), and remove or secure outside awnings.
• Anchor small sheds and punts.
• Take down and/or secure TV antennas, satellite dishes and other aerial masts.
• Trim back any tree branches that could cause damage or a power outage.
• Secure and tie down anything that can’t be taken inside.
• Turn off all electrical power to the pool, but do not drain it (moveable items can be submerged in the pool).
• Add chlorine to purify water, and protect the pool motor.
• Ensure that your boat and its accessories, and the mooring, are secure. Where necessary, pull the boat out of the water and move to a secure location.
• If at all possible secure your boat with an extra bridle.
• Anchor and/or secure your punt and any large accessories.
• Do not attempt to secure your boat after waters become dangerously rough.
• Make sure your vehicles (cars, commercial vehicles and bikes) have a full tank of fuel.
• Do not fill gasoline cans as this is a fire hazard.
• Check fluids (water, oil) and battery.
• Check spare tyres.
• Park your vehicle in as safe and secure an area as possible, preferably inside a garage or away from trees.
For more information contact Freisenbruch-Meyer Group, 75 Front Street, Hamilton. Contact 296-3600 or e-mail email@example.com. See www.fmgroup.bm