Valuable Information! Natural Disaster Preparation

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Be prepared for a natural disaster

For more detailed information please read the entire newsletter here

Where you live determines how you should prepare for a natural disaster. Each region faces its own unique set of challenges.

THE SOUTH PREPARES FOR HURRICANES

A hurricane WATCH indicates that hurricane conditions are possible in the specified area of the watch, usually within 36 hours. Listen to local radio or TV stations for up-to-date storm information. Prepare for high winds by installing hurricane shutters. Make trees more wind resistant with seasonal pruning and removing diseased and damaged limbs so that wind can blow through. Bring inside any lawn furniture and anything else that can be picked up by the wind. A hurricane WARNING indicates that hurricane conditions are expected in the specified area of the warning, usually within 24 hours. If you are not advised to evacuate, stay indoors away from windows. Be alert for tornadoes and flood waters that could have formed during the storm

THE WEST PREPARES FOR FIRES AND EARTHQUAKES.

Western wildfires

Create a 30-foot safety zone around your home to protect it from wildfires. Keep vegetation at a minimum and remove any debris under sun decks and porches. Only use fire resistant siding on your home. Install smoke detectors on every level of your home and near bedrooms. Listen to reports, and if advised to evacuate, do so immediately. To earthquake-proof your home, eliminate hazards by bolting bookcases and other tall furniture to wall studs. Install strong latches on cupboards and strap the water heater to wall studs. When an earthquake does strike, stand in a doorway or crouch under a table well away from windows or glass dividers. Remember to keep calm and don’t move until aftershocks are over

THE MIDWEST PREPARES FOR TORNADOES AND FLOODS

Midwestern tornadoes

Have an established place of gathering in case a tornado strikes. Basements are the safest places, but if there is no basement, find a room in the center of your home or, if in a high-rise building, the center of a hallway. Stay tuned to local radio and television stations for tornado warnings. Remain alert for signs of an approaching tornado such as a dark, often greenish sky, large hail or a loud roar similar to a freight train. If your area is prone to flooding, reduce potential damage by elevating your furnace, water heater and electric panel if they are in places in your home that may become flooded. When a flood warning is issued, move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home. Listen to local radio reports, and if told to evacuate, do so as soon as possible. Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks and storm drains. Do not drive around barricades—they are there for your safety.

THE NORTHEAST PREPARES FOR COLD AND SNOWSTORMS

Northeastern snowstorms

Protect yourself from the cold by making sure your home is well insulated. Install weather stripping around your doors and windowsills to keep the warm air inside. Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing. Learn how to shut off water valves in case a pipe bursts. Conserve fuel by keeping your home cooler than normal. If you have a car, fill the gas tank in case you have to leave. Stay indoors during the storm. If you must go outside, dress in several layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm, and use gloves and a hat to prevent loss of body heat. Cover your mouth to protect your lungs. Walk carefully on slick walkways. Use rock salt to melt ice and sand to improve traction. When shoveling snow or doing other strenuous activity, be careful not to overexert yourself.

For more detailed information on preparing your family and home for a natural disaster, click this link for our September newsletter.

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