Public warned to be ready for hurricane

  • A downed utility pole near Tobacoo Bay in the aftermath of Hurricane Humberto (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    A downed utility pole near Tobacoo Bay in the aftermath of Hurricane Humberto (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The public were warned to be prepared in advance of Hurricane Paulette and heed safety advice to protect their homes and families.

Belco released recommendations for residents yesterday as the storm approached.

• The Emergency Broadcast radio station is on 100.1FM. The Emergency Measures Organisation can be contacted at 295-0011. The ambulance service, fire, police and marine rescue are on 911 and Belco is on 955.

• Members of the public should talk to family members to plan ahead and identify the best place to be during the hurricane — a strong room and away from windows.

• Pre-pack a disaster supply kit with prescription medication and essential food, water and supplies for at least three days. Households should also make sure to have a first-aid kit, flashlights, candles, basic tools, a bucket and rope, and kitchen items.

• Hurricane kits should also be stocked with personal protective equipment such as face masks and hand sanitiser.

• Important household documents such as wills, insurance policies and contact numbers should be kept close by in waterproof containers, along with cash.

• The public should also prepare a bag with a change of clothes, sturdy shoes, hygiene products, rain gear, blankets or a sleeping bag in case they have to evacuate.

• The public were also asked to check on elderly neighbours and make sure they are prepared and have enough supplies.

• To help to secure homes, all storm shutters should be closed and exposed windows, such as sliding glass and French doors, should be boarded up. People should also make sure latches and locks on windows and doors are secured and block gutters with clean rags to prevent leaves or other contaminants from getting into water tanks.

• Bring in outdoor furniture and items that can be wind-tossed and remove outdoor antennae if possible.

• Turn off and unplug electrical devices and fill a bathtub with water for flushing and use a bucket to fill the cistern.

• The public should bring all pets inside and pack a disaster bag for pets containing food, bowls, medication, leashes or carriers and photographs of the animals in case they get lost.

• The public should stay away from downed power lines — at least 35 feet or more — and always assume downed power lines are live and dangerous. People should also avoid piles of debris or downed foliage that may conceal live power lines.

• Do not run from a fallen lines because running from a fallen line may cause people’s legs to bridge current from higher to lower voltage, which could deliver an electric shock. People should shuffle away and keep both feet on the ground.

• Never operate a generator in any indoor space, even if windows are open, as the carbon monoxide fumes released can be deadly.

• Do not connect a generator to a home power supply because it could energise the outside power lines and electrocute utility workers.

• Fuel for generators should not be stored in homes or near fuel-burning appliances such as a stove or water heater. Before refuelling a generator, turn it off and let it cool down. Gasoline spilt on a hot engine can ignite.

• Be careful not to overload electrical outlets. Overloaded outlets are one of the main causes of electrical fires, especially during and after a major storm when systems are more fragile.

• Unplug any appliances, electronics or other sensitive equipment before the onset of high winds.

• Never go sightseeing during or after a storm and remain inside until emergency services indicate it is safe to go outside.

• The public should never touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if they are standing in water.

• People should not use electrical appliances that have been wet. Water can damage the motors in electrical appliances, such as freezers, refrigerators, washing machines and dryers.

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Published Sep 12, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Sep 12, 2020 at 7:37 am)

Public warned to be ready for hurricane

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