Hurricanes are powerful storms that form at sea with wind speeds of 74 mph or greater in late summer and fall. They can be very dangerous. The greatest damage to life and property is not from the wind, but from tidal surges and flash flooding. While nothing can be done to stop hurricanes, actions can be taken to help maintain your health and safety.
- Plan an evacuation route
- Learn safe routes inland
- Protect your windows
- Trim back dead and weak branches from trees
- Check into flood insurance
- Store canned food and bottled water
- Prepare emergency supplies (battery-operated radios and flashlights, blankets, etc.)
- Secure bookcases, water heaters, oxygen tanks, etc. to walls
- Hang pictures, mirrors and plants away from beds and couches.
- Tie down trashcans, lawn furniture or other loose items outside, or bring them indoors.
The physical devastation that accompanies a flood is tremendous. As floodwater recedes there may be threats to your personal health and safety. Taking basic precautions can help you prevent injuries as well as the possibility of disease.
Before a flood occurs find out if you live in a flood-prone area from your local emergency management office or Red Cross chapter. Ask whether your property is above or below the flood stage water level and learn about the history of flooding for your region. And download the Connecticut Department of Public Health Fact Sheet “ “After the Storm: What to do when you come back to a flooded, moldy home.” [pdf]
Plan and practice an evacuation route. Have disaster supplies on hand. Avoid areas subject to sudden flooding. Do not try to walk across running water more than 6 inches deep. Do not drive into flooded areas. If your car stalls, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground.
During a flood, and its aftermath, there are some basic facts to remember that will help protect your personal health and safety.
Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with floodwater. Undamaged, commercially canned foods can be saved if you remove the can labels, thoroughly wash the cans, and then disinfect them with a solution consisting of bleach and water
Proper Hygiene. Practice basic hygiene during the emergency period. Always wash your hands with soap and water that has been boiled or disinfected.
Power outages can be very frustrating, especially when they are prolonged. Generators are often used during power outages. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines:
- Use and maintain generators properly.
- Always refuel generators outdoors.
- Use the appropriate sized and type power cords to carry the electric load.
- Never run cords under rugs or carpets where heat might build up or damage to a cord may go unnoticed.
- Never connect generators to another power source such as power lines.
- If power lines are lying on the ground or dangling near the ground, do not touch the lines. Always assume Down power lines are live.
- Notify your utility company as soon as possible.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HURRICANES SEE THE CDC’s “Hurricane Readiness“