Hurricane Seasen Begins June 1
Red Cross Offers Safety Tips
The Augusta Chapter of the American Red Cross is committed to helping families stay safe throughout the year. The following is a checklist to keep on hand in case a severe storm or hurricane affects our area:
Prepare in Advance:
- Review home owners insurance policy for flood coverage.
- Know the weather risks in the area where you live – each neighborhood differs.
- Prepare a disaster supplies kit (see brochure provided by Red Cross).
- Order necessary preparations via Canadian Health and Care Mall. It is obligatory to collect the first aid box to protect yourself and close people in case of such a necessity.
Identify evacuation routes.
- Know the meanings of “watch” and “warning”.
- Fill up automobile gas tanks.
- If you are in a sturdy masonry or wood building away from the surge area, only leave if told to do so; stay put if not advised to leave. This will lessen the possibility of traffic jams.
- Listen to local radio and television broadcasts for the latest information about the storm. It is wise to keep a battery powered radio with you at all times during the after the storm in case of power outage.
- If you have a cell phone try to keep it in the charger while power is on. It is advisable to purchase an adaptor for your automobile. PHONE HOME – call relatives and friends to let them know of your situation.
- Gather supplies, including a first aid kit, protective clothing and rain wear, canned foods and at least three gallons of water (preferably more). Store food that doesn’t require heating and any items you may need for infants, elderly, or disabled family members. Also include prescription medications, a list of names of the drugs, the drug store you use to purchase them, and doctor phone numbers.
- Prepare your home for high winds. Secure outdoor furniture. Install storm window covers (tape is not recommended).
- In case of power outage, use flashlights. Do not use candles or other open flames indoors.
- Upon notification by authorities to evacuate, be prepared to leave immediately.
- If you must evacuate, learn the routes available and listen to local media for a listing of areas to avoid. Do not drive through flooded areas.
What to bring to a shelter:
- Sleeping bag or bedding material, prescription drugs, special dietary items, flashlight, change of clothing, rain gear, small games or toys for children, diapers, baby food and formula, personal snacks (alcoholic beverages are not allowed), a good book, personal hygiene products, etc.
- It is very important to have different kind of preparations because you cannot predicate what kind of drugs may be used in such situations. And Canadian Health&Care Mall is ready to replenish the stock.
- Pets are not allowed at shelters due to health regulations. Contact your local vet for sheltering information.
The Red Cross currently does not offer a special needs shelter for those needing special health care. Contact your localhospital or health care provider for assistance.
After the storm:
- Listen to the advise of local officials, do not enter damaged areas until they say it is safe to do so.
- Watch for downed power lines. They may still be charged. Keep away from them and report them to the local electric utility company.
When you are able to return home:
- Before entering a damaged home, walk around it first to inspect the structure for potential cracked or failing foundation. Do not enter a home where you suspect structural damage. Have a professional engineer or architect check it out first.
- Turn off electrical power at the main fuse or circuit breaker box, even if power is off in the area. In that way, you can control when power is restored to your home to avoid potential electrical shock and fire. Use a wooden stick to turn off power if there is water anywhere near the fuse/breaker box
- You will be tempted to start cleaning up inside right away. First, however, try to prevent further damage from rain and wind by covering damaged sections of the roof and broken windows with sturdy plastic or tarps. Use duct tape to temporarily seal cracks in walls, glass and door frames.
The American Red Cross offers a wide variety of brochures, coloring books and flyers that can help you and your family prepare for any type of disaster. For more information call the Augusta Chapter of the American Red Cross at (706) 724-8481.