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Things to know before the storm

Posted: 3:28 PM, Aug 27, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-27 15:28:39-04
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If you can remain in your home (you are outside an evacuation area and do not live in manufactured housing), do so.

Take these precautions:

* Protect your windows with shutters or plywood.
* Prepare clean containers for drinking water. Plan on 3 gallons per person per day for drinking and washing. Fill your bathtub and use the water for washing and flushing.
* Plan to take care of yourself and your family without outside assistance for a minimum of seven days.
* Don’t plan to ride out the storm in a room with sliding glass doors. That can be the most dangerous place in the house. Instead, stay in an interior room such as a bathroom or walk-in closet. Stay away from windows, skylights and glass doors.
* If you have double-entry doors, protect them as you would a window with shutters or plywood, or nail 2 x 4s across them on the inside on storm day to prevent them from blowing in.
* Wait for official word that the danger is over. Don’t be fooled when the storm’s eye passes over.
* If the power goes out, turn off the stove and appliances. That will avoid a fire hazard when the power comes back on.
* Know where to shut off power and water.
* Don’t use candles or other open flames inside the house.

If a hurricane is likely in your area, you should:

* Listen to the radio or TV for information.
* Secure your home, close storm shutters, and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
* Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
* Turn off propane tanks.
* Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
* Moor your boat if time permits.
* Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water.

You should evacuate under the following conditions:

* If you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.
* If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure -- such shelters are particularly hazardous during hurricanes no matter how well fastened to the ground.
* If you live in a high-rise building. Hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.
* If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an inland waterway.

If you feel you are in danger:

* If you are unable to evacuate, go to your safe room. If you do not have one, follow these guidelines:
* Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
* Close all interior doors. Secure and brace external doors.
* Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm - winds will pick up again.
* Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level.
* Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.