• Have a practice drill to determine what everyone’s responsibility will be.
  • Educate all family members in CPR and other first aid measures.
  • Teach children how to use a fire extinguisher and when & how to call 911 for emergency assistance.
  • Check all fire alarms, smoke alarms, etc. for proper operation.
  • Determine what the criteria will be as to whether you evacuate or stay in your home.
  • Know your evacuation routes and determine which route you will use should an evacuation order be issued.
  • Determine in advance your evacuation destination. If you will not be staying with a friend or family member, make hotel reservations at this location as soon as a ”watch” is issued. Remember, that during an evacuation, several towns may be evacuated at the same time and hotels will fill up quickly in all surrounding areas. Reservations can be cancelled.
  • Make a decision about vehicles. If you have more than one vehicle and will not be taking all of them with you determine where the other vehicles will be left during the storm.
  • Make a decision about boats and other recreational vehicles.
  • If you have pets, determine whether they will evacuate with you or be placed in a shelter.
  • Have a list of phone numbers, such as family members, doctors, employers, insurance company’s, etc.
  • Make arrangements for extra cash on hand.
  • Catalog all personal items NOW. Include description (brand name, model number, age, purchase price, place of purchase, etc.) Take a picture of everything and make two copies of the pictures and lists. Keep one copy with you and send the other to a relative or friend out of town. Never give the insurance company the only copy.
  • Have a secure place for all valuables & documents that you will need to take with you, such as birth certificates, property deeds, insurance policies, etc.
  • Determine an out-of-town person who can be a “point of contact” to communicate messages if communications are down for an extended period of time.
  • Prepare and maintain a “Hurricane Kit” (a list of recommended supplies is included).
    • Approximately, 7 gallons of water for each person.
    • Food supplies for a minimum of 2 weeks.
    • Check all flashlights, battery operated radios & TVs, and other supplies in your “Hurricane Kit” for proper operation.
  • Evaluate your home to determine if you can make improvements that will provide better protection. If you have an older home, getting a professional opinion about updated building codes, etc. may be helpful in determining beneficial improvements.
  • You should also review your insurance policy, with your agent, to determine if you need to make any coverage changes. Be sure to ask questions about following a hurricane. Be sure you have your supplies and that they are in a secure location.
  • Choose a “Safe Room” where you will ride out the storm. Normally, this would be a hallway, large interior closet or an interior bathroom with no windows.
  • Equip your “safe room” with a battery-operated radio or TV and extra batteries; chairs, sleeping bags or cushions, snacks and drinking water; towels; games, cards, books; etc. A slow moving storm could mean a long wait. Have a mattress ready to move into your safe room if advised to do so by emergency personnel. You should only have to do this in an extremely severe storm.
  • Turn off and unplug any unnecessary electrical equipment, especially sensitive electronics BEFORE THE POWER GOES OUT. If the power goes out, turn off the circuit breaker or remove fuses. You might want to leave on one circuit breaker that operates a lamp, so that you will know when the power has been restored.
  • If the electricity goes off, use only flashlights. Never use candles or kerosene lamps during the storm.
  • Never cook during the storm. A gust of wind could spread a fire, and the fire department would not be able to respond.
  • Tell stories, sing songs or play games to keep children calm.
  • Do not go outside during the storm, unless winds have calmed briefly and protective repairs are absolutely necessary. The winds and rain may stop for a few minutes to more than half an hour and then can suddenly pick back up again from the opposite direction, possibly with greater force than before.
  • Turn your refrigerator & freezer to their coldest settings. Freeze water in plastic jugs and use them to fill empty spaces in your refrigerator and freezer to help keep food cool. Cover your refrigerator with blankets and secure them with ropes to keep the coldness in. If you open the refrigerator only when necessary and close it quickly, you can keep food cool for up to 2 days without electricity.
  • Prepare a water supply for bathing and sanitary purposes by storing water in the bathtub and other jugs and bottles. Seal the bathtub well by caulking around the drain to keep the water from running out. Remember that this water is NOT for drinking.
  • Place valuables and personal papers in a waterproof container or plastic garbage bags and store them on the top shelf of a closet, Include voter registration cards, passports, visas, and all important papers.
  • Take identification and insurance papers with you if you leave your home (you should take a recent electric or other utility bill, voter registration card, etc. with you to prove permanent residency and facilitate re-entry).
  • Fill clean, sanitary jugs with water for drinking. You will need a minimum of 7 gallons per person. Sterilize the jugs by putting a little chlorine bleach (plain, no lemon) in some water, sloshing them around and rinsing thoroughly.
  • Always use a generator in a well ventilated area away from your home.
  • When using a generator, run a separate, heavy-duty properly grounded extension cord from the generator directly to EACH of the electrical appliances you want to power.
  • When using a generator, calculate the total power consumption (number of watts) of all the appliances you intend to connect to be sure that you stay within the load capacity of your generator. DO NOT OVERLOAD THE GENERATOR.
  • Do not drink tap water immediately after a hurricane. Assume a, “boil water order” is in effect until you are, informed it has been lifted.
  • If you did not store sufficient drinking water and must use water from the tap, do the following:
  • Strain the water through a paper towel or several layers of thick cloth to remove dirt before purifying, or let the water settle in a container for 24-hours so that solid par tides will sink to the bottom.
  • Use one of the following methods to purify the water... (1) keep water boiling at a rolling rate for 3-5 minutes, OR add 4 water purification tables per gallon, OR add 12 drops of 2~/c tincture of iodine per gallon of water, OR add 8 drops of household bleach (without lemon or other additives) per gallon of water.
  • It is important to take action immediately after the storm to safeguard your home and prevent more damage from occurring. That is why it is important to have all of the necessary supplies on hand.
  • Take pictures and make detailed lists & descriptions of all damages inside/outside of your home.
  • If you do not have insurance, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will set up disaster application centers within 2 weeks after the storm.
  • If you hire an individual, or business, to make repairs for you, check to make sure that they have a current business license, proper insurance (including liability & worker’s comp), and possess a permit authorizing them to do the work in your county and or city. These safe guards will help to protect you from unsavory individuals or businesses taking advantage of you.




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The Rotary Club of Weston addresses the service needs of our community through its organizational capabilities, member skills, volunteerism, and funding support. We focus our community service activities in the areas of Services to Youth (including education /scholarship/ learning development), Services to Families In Need, and International Projects as needs are identified.

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