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MAY 2014


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www.hsbc.bm/insurance Call +1 441 296 SAFE or contact your Premier Relationship Manager today. Issued by HSBC Bank Bermuda Limited which is licensed to conduct Banking and Investment Business by the Bermuda Monetary Authority. HSBC Bank Bermuda Limited, which is acting solely as an insurance agent of BF&M pursuant to its insurance agent’s license issued by the Bermuda Monetary Authority and accepts no responsibility for the underwriting, administering and claims handling of insurance products. HSBC Insurance is the brand name for insurance products offered by HSBC Group members.


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HURRICANE AWARENESS A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION OF THE BERMUDA SUN

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Inside this supplement

Bermuda Sun 19 Elliott Street, Hamilton, Bermuda HM 10 Tel 295-3902 Fax 292-5597 E-mail feedback@bermudasun.bm This special supplement is produced and published by Bermuda Sun Limited and printed in Bermuda by Island Press Limited.

Publisher Randy French President Lisa Beauchamp Editorial Robyn Bardgett Editorial Layout Robyn Bardgett, Jack Garstang Advertising Sales Carlita Burgess (Deputy Advertising Manager) Diane Gilbert, Claire James, Larissa French, Trikeita Outerbridge Creative Services Christina White, Colby Medeiros, Calae Steede Circulation & Distribution Michelle Furbert

The Bermuda Sun publishes twice weekly and is a subsidiary of MediaHouse Limited. We are members of the Inland Press Association, International Newspaper Marketing Association and the Newspaper Association of America. We are located at: 19 Elliott Street, Hamilton HM 10; P.O. Box HM 1241, Hamilton HM FX Tel: 295-3902 Fax: 292-5597. Visit our website: www.bermudasun.bm

Global warming: Expect more severe weather events Page 2 Forecasters predict slower than normal season Page 3 The importance of back up power for businesses Page 5 BELCO emphasizes hurricane preparation Pages 6 Put together a hurricane plan before the storm Page 7 Acute Care Wing designed to withstand storms Page 8 Ensure your boat is secured before the storm Page 9 The Bermuda Weather Service provides some of the most accurate forecasting during hurricane season Page 10 What do the different warnings mean before a storm Page 11 How the Regiment prepares for hurricanes Page 12 Bermuda’s stormy hurricane season Page 13 Preparing your pets for a storm Page 14 Ideas to keep kids entertained Page 14 Tips for seniors to weather the storm Page 14 Stay digitally connected after a hurricane Page 15 Hurricane supplies checklist: A handy pull out to stock up on all your storm necessities Page 16


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Global warming: Expect more severe weather events Devastating weather events associated with El Nino are expected to occur once every 10 years throughout the rest of the century if global warming remains unchecked.


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Forecasters predict slower than normal hurricane season Expect nine named storms, including three hurricanes, with only one major BY KEN KAYE Sun Sentinel (MCT)

The 2014 Atlantic hurricane season should be considerably slower than normal with nine named storms, including three hurricanes, Phil Klotzbach and William Gray said last month. The two Colorado State University climatologists say they expect El Nino, the large-scale weather pattern that suppresses storm formation, to emerge by the heart of the season in August. They also note the tropical Atlantic has cooled in the past few months. “El Nino is coming,” Mr Klotzbach said. “It has the potential to be a strong one, too.” Of the three hurricanes, they predict only one will be major, with sustained winds greater than 110 mph. The average season sees 12 named storms, including six hurricanes, three major. As part of their subdued forecast, Mr Klotzbach and Mr Gray predict a 35 per cent chance that a hurricane will strike Florida, compared to the long-term average of 51 per cent. They also call for a 35 per cent chance that a major hurricane will hit the US coastline. The state has gone a record eight seasons without a hurricane strike, with the last one being Wilma in October 2005. Mr Klotzbach and Mr Gray in November said

they would suspend issuing forecasts, after losing funding from the insurance industry. But only their December outlook was nixed, and now they’re back in business. “We’ve been scrambling, but I’ve been able to secure a couple of funding sources, enough to put out the forecasts,” Mr Klotzbach said. Another forecast team, Tropical Storm Risk, based in London, also calls for a slower than normal season, with 12 named storms, including five hurricanes, two intense. It also predicts three tropical storms and one hurricane will make US landfall.

El Nino effect

That firm, too, thinks El Nino will subdue the season, along with cooler Atlantic waters. Both of the forecast teams note that April outlooks hold large uncertainties. Last April, Mr Klotzbach and Gray were among several climatologists who predicted the 2013 would be highly active; they called for 18 named storms including nine hurricanes. Yet the season was surprisingly tranquil with 14 tropical systems, including two Category 1 hurricanes, neither of which hit the United States. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will issue its seasonal outlook in May. Hurricane season starts on June 1 and runs through November 30. n

n FILE PHOTO BY NASA

HURRICANE IGOR originated from a broad area of low pressure that moved off the west coast of Africa on September 6, 2010. Igor gradually weakened before passing over the island as a minimal hurricane on September 20.

n MCT GRAPHIC

SLOW SEASON: The forecasters at Colorado State University are predicting a below average number of named storms this hurricane season.


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THE BERMUDA SUN

Tips for securing your home BY ROBYN BARDGETT rbardgett@bermudasun.bm

It can feel panic-inducing when there is the threat of a storm approaching the island. But there are tons of resources to help keep you on track when it comes to preparing for a hurricane. Here are some tips from the Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) on making sure your house is prepared in the event of a storm.

Roof and tank

Block the gutters with clean rags or other device to prevent any leaves, salt and other contamination from entering your water tank. (See Emergency Plan booklet issued by the Department of Health for Water Supply Roof Care).

Windows and doors

Installing storm shutters over all exposed windows and other glass surfaces is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect your home. Cover all windows, French doors, sliding glass doors and skylights. Plywood shutters that you make yourself, if installed properly, can offer a high level of protection from flying debris during a hurricane.

Garage doors

Garage doors can pose a problem during hurricanes. They can wobble at high winds and can pull out of their tracks or collapse from wind pressure. Some garage doors can be strengthened with retrofit kits. Check with your local building supplies dealer.

Outdoor furniture and ornaments

Bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, toys and garden tools; anchor objects that cannot be brought inside but could be wind-tossed. Remove outdoor antennas, if possible.

Indoors

Turn off and unplug all electrical appliances. Store drinking water in clean bathtubs, jugs, bottles and cooking utensils. Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest settings if not instructed by officials to turn off utilities. n

A reminder of the damage of past storms

n FILE PHOTOS

KATRINA: Storm surge wreaked havoc on the East Coast of the US.


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The importance of back-up power for businesses BY BRYAN ADAMS President, BESCO

While homeowners learn to live without electricity in the aftermath of a hurricane, it is so much more critical for businesses to be operating as usual following a disaster. For many businesses, a loss of power can result in lost revenues and in some cases, it could mean irreparable damage to your company’s reputation. Having a generator can alleviate many of the headaches associated with loss of power in the event of a hurricane or disaster. At BESCO, we can provide a range of solutions from Generac, Cummins or Tradewinds. With qualified electricians and service technicians, we install and maintain all systems we provide. From legally required backup power systems, to those that simply help you get an edge on your competitors, you can rely upon a backup generator solution from BESCO to protect your assets in the event of a hurricane or power failure. Our commercial solutions are capable of providing full power protection for many types of businesses such as: n Data centres: Whether you are a collocation facility, backup your data through the cloud, provide dedicated/managed hosting or disaster recovery, it’s critical that your company data is protected and can be accessed as soon as possible following a disaster. Companies can increase reliability with a standby power system. n Educational facilities, gas stations/convenience stores: Standby generators keep you from losing refrigerated or frozen inventory and help you get an edge on your competition by enabling you to open during a power outage. n Grocery: Without a generator, your valuable inventory will spoil in the event of a storm or hurricane. n Healthcare: Power failures are not an option in legally mandated life safety situations. BESCO can help you design and implement a standby power solution that will keep patients happy and healthy. n Hospitality and restaurant: Revenues lost in a power outage today cannot be easily recouped tomorrow. Keep your current customers happy by being open when your competitors aren’t. n Office and banking: Computers, lighting, video conferencing, and climate control — all these technologies require power. Keep your office or financial institution up and running during a power outage with a BESCO standby power solution. n Retail: Back up your entire store, or coordinate a controlled shutdown with a standby power system. n Telecommunications: With more people than ever using cell phones, BESCO can help you keep them connected during an extended power outage.

n PHOTOS SUPPLIED

STAYING OPERATIONAL: In the event of a hurricane or disaster, having a generator can alleviate many of the problems associated with loss of power. BESCO, provides back-up power solutions to keep businesses operating.

‘For many businesses, a loss of power can result in lost revenues and in some cases, it could mean irreparable damage to your company’s reputation.’

BRYAN ADAMS Generators can be provided open frame for indoor installations or with aluminium all-weather enclosures for outdoor installation. The aluminium’s corrosion resistance prolongs the life of your generator and they are recommended for salt-air, coastal communities like Bermuda. Commercial generators are typically fuelled with diesel, as it is an efficient choice for high kilowatt applications, as well as for facilities where code

requirements call for on-site fuel storage. Diesel systems are custom configured to meet the specific requirements of each usage. Heavy-duty engines have proven their performance and reliability in commercial and industrial applications. If you have any questions regarding generators, don’t hesitate to call us so that we can help you select the system that is right for your business. Don’t be left in the dark. n

BRYAN ADAMS is a chartered mechanical engineer with over 20 years of experience in the field of power and energy. In the past 14 years with BESCO he has worked in building services with particular emphasis on the design and implementation of energy saving technologies. These include HVAC, integrated building automation systems, fire protection, security and CCTV systems. www.besco. bm.


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THE BERMUDA SUN

BELCO emphasizes hurricane season preparation SUPPLIED BY BELCO Regardless of whether forecasters predict a busy or quiet hurricane season, Bermuda Electric Light Company (BELCO) prepares with the same thorough process that starts well in advance of June 1. BELCO employees know from experience that no matter how many storms are predicted, it only takes one storm to cause widespread damage to the Island. The company has an established, practiced hurricane plan that includes readying materials, vehicles, personnel, and ensuring that all support systems are ready for stormy weather. BELCO offers these storm season reminders to Island residents: n Before a hurricane approaches, make sure that BELCO has the correct phone number associated with your account, so that when you dial 955 to report an outage, your account and phone number will be recognized. n Surge protection equipment can save valuable appliances and sensitive electronic equipment, but it is even better to disconnect appliances and electronic equipment prior to a hurricane. And remember, surge protectors are not the same as simple power strips. n Generators require routine use, testing and maintenance in order to operate safely during outages. Follow manufacturer’s instructions and, if you have questions, contact a qualified electrician. Improper generator operation can cause fires and electrical shock to you and BELCO line crews. n Most storm-related outages are caused by foliage coming into contact with power lines.

n FILE PHOTOS

DOWNED TREE: Falling trees and branches coming into contact with power lines are the number one reason for storm-related power outages. n Trim your tree branches at least 10 feet away from power lines. n To make advance arrangement for power lines to be de-energised, so that your landscaper can

work safely, please contact BELCO at 299-2800 or info@ belco.bm. n The safety of employees and customers is BELCO’s number-one priority. If a hurricane or other serious

weather event is impending, make sure that loved ones and pets are secure, have essential medications on hand, and make arrangement for any known medical need.

n If a hurricane does impact the island, ensure that children and adults are kept away from downed power lines and other equipment. n Call 955 to report any

problem with the electricity system. Please help to make the 2014 hurricane season, June 1 to November 30, safe for everyone. n

Trim trees and manage vegetation to keep the power ‘on’ during storms SUPPLIED BY BELCO A major cause of power outages during hurricanes and tropical storms is trees coming into contact with overhead lines, either directly or as windborne debris. While 100 per cent of Bermuda Electric Light Company Ltd’s (BELCO’s) transmission system that carries power from the central plant to its 34 substations is underground, approximately 45 per cent of the distribution system is overhead. Bermuda has lush vegetation and BELCO addresses it yearround in two ways: by asking customers to trim trees on their own property; and by managing vegetation along overhead mainline and branch circuits islandwide. In 2009, BELCO introduced a pilot programme, which was formalized in 2011. It hired a specialist horticultural and arboricultural firm, Brown and Company Ltd, to keep vegetation 10 feet away from overhead lines, as required.

Clearance

The company prunes trees according to growth rate and the habit of individual species, to

ensure that the required clearance is maintained for three years. Special attention is given to minimizing the impact on Bermuda’s endemic plant species, such as the Bermuda cedar, as well as removing invasive species, such as Mexican pepper and Chinese fan palm. BELCO’s primary objectives in hiring a specialist horticultural firm to do this work are to maximise the availability of the overhead distribution system and to reduce tree-related power interruptions, while also minimizing the environmental impact of cutting trees and creating a sustainable procedure with longterm benefits. To manage the programme, Brown and Company has added three new staff members — a qualified tree surgeon from overseas and two Bermudian groundspersons, who are also training to become certified tree surgeons. The company uses the safest and most up-to-date practices and techniques.

Vegetation management

BELCO’s vegetation management programme started in the

West End and has been working towards the East End, focusing first on mainline overhead circuits and then on branch lines. BELCO also encourages customers to manage trees on their own property — keeping them 10 feet away from overhead lines. Before trimming tree limbs that are dangerously close to power lines, property owners must contact BELCO to arrange for the power to be interrupted while landscapers work. Please contact BELCO three weeks in advance of the work, at 296-3408 or E-mail info@belco.bm. Advance notice is required so that BELCO can schedule the service interruption and notify any other customers that may be affected by it. While vegetation management does not guarantee uninterrupted power supply during a storm, it does reduce the risk of outages and improves the rate at which BELCO can restore power, because crews don’t have to spend time removing the foliage. n For more information and tips from BELCO, go to www.belco.bm

OVERGROWN: A linesman battles through the vegetation to restore power after a severe storm.


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STORM TIPS / The Argus Group

Put together a hurricane plan before the storm Having a plan of action before a hurricane is forecast can help make sure you and your loved ones are safe during and after the storm. The team at The Argus Group have put together this handy checklist of what you should do to prepare before, during and after a hurricane.

What to do before the storm

n Check on your elderly neighbours. n Secure or bring inside all outdoor objects that could be blown around by high winds: barbecue, garbage cans, lawn furniture. n Stock up on drinking water, canned goods, manual can opener and non-perishable foods. n Make sure to have an adequate supply of your prescription drugs. n Fill your bathtubs and buckets with water to flush toilets. nMake sure your portable radio is working. Stock up on extra batteries. n Check that your flashlights are in working order and that you have enough bulbs and batteries. n Locate your emergency candles and matches. n When using candles, guard against fire by keeping a bucket of sand to absorb small fires or smother flammable liquids. n Plug downpipes on the roof to prevent salt water contamination if you can easily do so without causing personal injury. n Close your shutters/blinds or board up your windows. n Charge your cell phone. n Fill your car and/or bike with gas. n Park cars away from the

n FILE PHOTO

DANGEROUS: Don’t take unneccessary risks by leaving the house during a storm. house and large trees. n Unplug electrical appliances. n Secure your boat, check the up-chain and bridle of your boat mooring. n Fill your cooler with ice. n Have some sturdy working gloves and large trash bags on hand. n Bring in all pets with plenty of time to spare. n Have a household fire extinguisher at hand. n Ensure all insurance premiums for home and contents are paid.

What to do during the storm

n Do not take unnecessary risks and stay away from windows and sliding glass doors. n Listen to the radio for updates (playing a board game can help pass the time). n Open one window a couple of inches on the leeward side of the building away from the approaching storm. n If the ‘eye’ passes directly over the island remember to switch windows, as the winds will return from the opposite

Hurricane centre improves intensity predictions KEN KAYE Sun Sentinel (MCT)

After struggling for decades, the National Hurricane Center saw marked progress with intensity predictions in the past season. Yet its track forecasts, an area where it generally excels, were only so-so. The up and down projections both stemmed from a remarkably calm 2013 storm season. There were only 13 named storms, including only two Category 1 hurricanes and nine systems that lasted three days or less. While predicting the strength of the weak systems was relatively easy, forecasting their tracks was hard— because their anemic steering currents allowed them to go in any number of directions, said James Franklin, the centre’s top hurricane specialist. “When you have a poorly organized system, it has more options with how it will interact with its environment,” he said. According to an in-house evaluation, the Center’s intensity projections contained lower errors in every forecast cycle, from 12 hours to five days, than its 2012 predictions and

over the past five years. Forecasters did particularly well at predicting a storm’s strength three days in advance — the average error was about 9 mph, cutting in half the average of 18 mph. They also performed well at predicting a storm’s strength four days in advance, with the average error about 10 mph, down from 17 mph.

Hostile

“It was primarily because we had an easy season to work with,” Franklin said. “The atmosphere was so hostile that opportunities to make bad forecasts weren’t there.” Also boosting intensity forecast accuracy, a computer model called the HWRF showed significant improvement after being upgraded halfway through last year’s season. The main upgrade: Its resolution was increased, allowing it to see more detail in the atmosphere and better analyze the structure of storms. “The improvement in the HWRF was a big deal,” Franklin said. “It gives us some hope for when we have a tougher year.” Meanwhile, the Center’s forecast track errors last year were considerably

larger than those in 2012 in almost every forecast period. Franklin attributed that to so many systems being weak. “It’s harder to forecast the tracks of weaker storms than it to forecast the tracks of hurricanes, especially strong hurricanes,” he said. Additionally, only a few of last year’s systems developed in the deep tropics, or at low latitudes.

Track error

“Storms in the deep tropics are easy to forecast because they move on relatively straight tracks,” Franklin said. The result: The track error for the three-day forecast period was 162 miles, up from 115 miles in 2012. The error for the four-day forecast period was 190 miles, up from 164 miles in 2012. The Center did break an accuracy record for the five-day forecast period. But Franklin didn’t put much weight on that achievement. “There weren’t a lot of strong storms, and anytime your sample is so small you don’t know whether you got a good read on things,” he said. n

direction.

What to do after the storm

n Listen to the radio to find out how best to proceed. n Clear your driveway and street. n Check on your elderly neighbours. n If you have sustained damage contact Argus as soon as possible. To help with the assessment of your damage, take photographs and create an inventory of the damage. n Obtain estimates, but do not

be rushed into signing repair contracts. Deal with reputable contractors. If you’re unsure about a contractor’s credentials, contact Argus. n Never pay the entire amount before repairs are completed. Reputable contractors will not demand huge down payments. n Get a receipt for everything.

FOR MORE information about weathering hurricane season with your insurance intact, visit www. argus.bm.


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THE BERMUDA SUN

n NIGHT VISUAL ART SUPPLIED

DISASTER-PROOF: The new Acute Care Wing of the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital is a “post disaster recovery” building, having been designed to withstand both hurricanes and earthquakes so the hospital can continue to function even after a disaster.

Acute Care Wing designed to withstand hurricanes Essential that new facility is a ‘post disaster recovery’ building BY ROBYN BARDGETT rbardgett@bermudasun.bm

The new Acute Care Wing of the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital has been designed to be both hurricane- and earthquakeproof. The 254,000 square foot facility is a “post disaster recovery” building, according to a spokesperson from the Bermuda Hospitals Board. This is essential so that the hospital can continue to function even after a disaster, especially if new patients are being admitted after a natural disaster. The main frame of the building is constructed out of heavily reinforced concrete in a “flat slab” structural configuration. This allows the internal space layouts to be more flexible and easily adaptable to changing use patterns without major structural modifications. The walls have been built in the traditional Bermuda fashion with concrete filled masonry units that make it a robust external cover for any of the worst natural disasters — particularly hurricanes. The windows are double-

glazed and are pumped with argon gas between the two panes to increase energy efficiency and reinforcement. They are lab tested to withstand an impact of 35 to 40 miles an hour by having ball bearings fired at them. “The robust external envelope, including walls built from traditional Bermudian concrete filled masonry units, uses window and wall covering systems that have been tested for use in areas subjected to hurricanes,” the spokesperson continued.

Tremors

While Bermuda has not suffered from many earthquakes, the structure has been designed with a seismic event in mind, after a 2011 shake that measured 4.5 on the Richter scale. “In addition to the structural design measures to ensure that the Acute Care Wing functions as a post disaster recovery building in the event of an earthquake the facility includes MEP Plant isolation mountings and special seismic hangers which will allow the ordinarily rigid pipes and ducts to move in the event of a tremor,” the spokesperson said. n

‘The walls have been built in the traditional Bermuda fashion with concrete filled masonry units that make it a robust external cover for any of the worst natural disasters — particularly hurricanes.’

n PHOTOS SUPPLIED

REINFORCING: The windows in the new Acute Care Wing are double-glazed and are pumped with argon gas between the two panes to increase energy efficiency and reinforcement.


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Make sure your boat is secured before the storm BY ROBYN BARDGETT rbardgett@bermudasun.bm

With hurricane season and boat season running concurrently, it’s a great time to make sure that your boat is in the best shape for both the summer season as well as the possibility of a storm. Ensure that your boat is ready to weather a storm as far in advance of bad weather as possible, and have a professional come out an make sure your mooring is secure.

Last minute

Many people will leave it to the last minute when a storm is forecast to come close to the island. There are companies who will check your mooring and ensure that it is in good condition well before a storm is forecast. The Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) issues these top tips for securing your boat in the event of bad weather. n Take all trailers and small vessels out of the water. n Remove boat plugs or add weight to smaller boats by filing the boat up to halfway with water. Filling it all the way could cause damage. n Flatten the trailer tires. n If radio equipment can be removed, take it out. Remove outboard motor and anything that could blow away. n Store boats and trailers inside if possible. n If boat must remain outdoors, lash both boat and trailer down with heavy rope or chains anchored to the ground and away from objects that could fall on them. n Support the trailer axle and prevent the trailer from rolling by placing blocks against each wheel. n If your boat must remain in the water, tie it together with other boats, at the bows and sterns separate by protective bumpers.

DAMAGE: Make sure your boat is well maintained before hurricane season gets into full swing. Before the possibility of a big storm, make sure your boat is well secured to minimize the chances of it breaking loose or sinking. n FILE PHOTOS

n Do not tie boats parallel to the shore as waves often capsize or beach vessels in this position. n Under no circumstances should you go out in storm conditions to check your boat n DO NOT venture out to sea as long as there is an advisory, or a hurricane watch or warning is in force. n

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Weather service provides most accurate forecasting When it comes to forecasting a tropical event, the place to turn to for all of the up-to-date information is the Bermuda Weather Service. Robyn Bardgett recently spoke to BWS director Kimberley Zuill and deputy director James Dodgson just before the start of hurricane season to find out all about everything you need to know about hurricanes, how they forecast a tropical event and how to be prepared in case the weather takes a turn for the worst.

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very computer screen inside the Bermuda Weather Service (BWS) offices flashes a different weather event. From clouds to wind patterns to radar data, there is a wealth of weather knowledge on the screens as well as with all of the forecasters that use that data to let us know whether we need to wear our shades or pull on our rain gear that day. Overlooking the airport, the vantage point is impressive and gives the observer an eagle-eyed view of weather that even the most sophisticated radars and satellites can’t predict. The Bermuda Weather Service is a 24-hour manned operation that provides the Department of Airport Operations with accurate weather information that are vital to the running of the LF Wade International Airport. When the forecasting of weather for the airport fell to the Bermuda Weather Service after the US military base was closed down in the mid-90s, the BWS began providing the weather information for the community. Now, the team of meteorologists is in constant demand to provide the most up-to-date weather information, particularly throughout hurricane season and during the winter when we often see those pesky gale-force storms.

n PHOTOS BY ROBYN BARDGETT

WATCH OUT: Large windows overlooking the LF Wade International Airport give observers at the Bermuda Weather Service a birds-eye view of the weather, above. Below, some of the technology that the BWS uses to track weather. And while the team takes their tropical data from many different sources, gleaning the information that is presented and breaking it down to fit Bermuda’s weather profile, the tiny dot in the middle of the ocean has become an important centre for predicting the weather that heads towards the US.

Checkpoint

“We have an extremely close relationship with the National Hurricane Centre,” explains Ms Zuill. “Not only are they assisting

us but we are also providing them with radar information to help them fine tune their checkpoints. We are often the checkpoint for weather that heads towards the east coast.” And this partnership is even more important during hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through to November 30. “When hurricane season starts we really ramp up our efforts and rely on that much more data by using different models to help us with accuracy as each has their benefits.”

The meteorologists pull from data models from the US, Canada, the UK and Europe to give them a better picture of what is going down weather-wise in the Atlantic. “We really have to use all of our background as meteorologists to put out our forecast. This is especially true with tropical weather because it can be quite difficult to predict,” explains Ms Zuill. “You really want to have sat down and thought about what’s going to happen and how is this going to affect us. We really

pride ourselves on providing quality forecasting for the community. Everything else should just be entertainment.” But the BWS can often take a lot of flack, particularly during hurricane season. “A lot of people need to have a better understanding of what goes into predicting a tropical system,” says Ms Zuill. “A tropical system can be very unpredictable and just because a hurricane doesn’t make a direct hit to the island doesn’t mean that we weren’t affected. “There is an element of public perception about what they expect ‘should’ happen when there is a hurricane or tropical storm approaching the island. When swells increase and the seas increase we are considered to have been impacted. It may mean that it’s safe to go about your day but just that it’s not a good idea to go swimming.” Ms Zuill says this is particularly important for people who have never experienced a hurricane or tropical storm to be aware of the weather associated with a storm. “Tropical storms and hurricanes are two different categories of the tropical cyclone scale but we take them both very seriously because they can change so easily. The dynamics of the weather situation have to be just so that we are on such a razor blade edge of what we will do in terms of putting out warnings,” says Ms Zuill. BWS provides information about storms on its website as well as links to the National Hurricane Centre website. During the last week of May they also

run Hurricane Awareness Week with links to videos and presentations about hurricanes featured on their website. “A strong understanding of weather products is the best way to be prepared,” she says. “I would encourage companies to provide people new to the island with links to our website.” Even those who have ridden out many a storm in Bermuda should become more responsibe with paying attention to the watches and warnings that are issued by BWS, says Ms Zuill. (See page 11 for an in depth look at what each warning means).

Impact

“We are responsible for covering everything tropical in the region even if it appears that it will have no impact on Bermuda,” says Ms Zuill. “The public needs to take more responsibility with understanding the forecast and understand how the weather might affect us. It might be increased swells or higher winds. We can put out our advisories but it is up to the public to monitor the weather service website or our channel on the television.” When a tropical event has the potential to come close to the island, the team ups its forecasts to every three hours to provide as accurate information as possible. “Tropical systems are such tricky beasts and are very unpredictable. With a tropical storm you have the uncertainty that you don’t have with a winter gale because they can change so rapidly,” explains Ms Zuill. See WEATHER, page 11


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What do the warnings mean during a hurricane? The watches and warnings given out by weather forecasters is not some arbitrary code. They carry real meaning and are a good guide for what to start doing to prepare for the potential of a storm coming close or hitting the island. Here are what the terms mean and what you should start doing provided by the Emergency Measures Organization (EMO).

During a potential threat and threat — “take precautions”

Hurricane/tropical storm could come within 400 or 100 miles within 72 hours. n Check emergency supplies and items for securing your home. Stock up. n Assess your home and make necessary repairs to roofs, etc. n Remove overhanging limbs and fruit from trees. n Decide whether you need to stay with friends or relatives or go to a shelter. n Find out which shelter is closest to you and decide how you will get there if you need to. n Make arrangements for your pets in case you have to go to a shelter. n Fill vehicles with gasoline and, if necessary, withdraw some cash from the bank.

n Stay tuned to radio and local television for the latest official notices from the Emergency Measures Organization.

Watch — “batten down”

Hurricane/tropical storm could strike within 48 hours Outside n Put up shutters or board up windows, glass doors and skylights. Wedge sliding glass doors and windows to prevent them from lifting from their tracks. n Bring in or securely tie down everything that could be blown away, such as outdoor furniture, potted plants, clothes racks, garden tools, garbage pans, etc. n Remove antennas and satellite dishes to prevent damage or loss. Inside n Sterilize bathtub, pans, jugs and bottles and fill with water. n Turn refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and open as little as possible.

Warning – “ take refuge”

Hurricane/tropical storm could strike within 36 hours. A warning remains in effect until the storm has passed or is no longer a threat.

Before the storm strikes

n Close curtains and blinds to

minimise the danger of flying glass if windows are broken during the storm. n Put your food and other hurricane supplies in plastic bags and containers so they won’t get wet. n Turn off outside gas cylinders and disconnect gas pipes. n Bring pets indoors. If you have to leave home and cannot find accommodation for your pets, leave them indoors along with food and litter. n Fill the bathtub and basin with water and brace the bathroom door open so they will have drinking water if water containers get knocked over. Make sure they are wearing identifying collars with metal/plastic tags. n If you intend to stay with relatives or friends, or to take pets to a kennel, go now. n Shelters will usually open during this phase. If you intend to go to a shelter, listen for announcements that the one nearest you is open. Before you leave, turn off the main power and fuel supply and take the items you have prepared. n Park vehicles inside the garage or away from trees

n If you are remaining at home, go indoors, secure and brace external doors. You can brace an inward-swinging door by wedging a chair with the back against the door knob. n Stay indoors, but be ready to evacuate to a shelter or other location if your home is damaged, or if you are instructed to do so by emergency personnel n Use telephone for emergencies only. n Stay tuned to local media for official notices and instructions from the National Hurricane Committee. During the storm n Close all inside doors. If the wind gets inside, closed doors will help stop it from entering other rooms. You can also brace inward-swinging doors by wedging a chair-back against the knob. n Do not go outside while the eye of the storm (an area of calm weather at the centre of the storm) is passing, unless absolutely necessary. Depending on the size of the eye and the speed at which the hurricane is travelling, the calm weather can last for up to half an hour or more, but winds will return unexpectedly from the opposite direction, sometimes with greater force.

Don’t be caught off-guard! n If your roof begins to fail, go to an inner room (preferably one without windows), or to a cupboard or passageway or empty bathtub or stall and shield yourself with a mattress. The great majority of injuries during a hurricane are cuts and blows caused by flying glass, trees or other debris. Other injuries include puncture wounds resulting from exposed nails or metal, and bone fractures. n

Stay off the roads Trying to drive through flooded roads is very dangerous! It is hard to believe how buoyant vehicles become in water, but as little as two feet of water will carry away most automobiles. Moreover, the depth of the water may not always be obvious. The road underneath may be washed out and you could stall or become stuck in rising water. If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another way.

WEATHER: Bermuda Weather Service prides itself on accurate forecasting Continued from page 10 BWS works closely with the Emergency Measures Organization to make sure that people are aware of the potential impact that a storm may have on the island. “People can be very unfair to the EMO and the decisions they make,” Ms Zuill says. Many people were frustrated last year when mixed information was sent out about school closures after Tropical Storm Gabrielle brushed the island. “The EMO handle the situation really well and go out and make the decisions based on what they have assessed. No one wants to close down and it’s important that we get everything back up and working.” Ms Zuill says its important also for everyone to take responsibility when they make preparations for the onset of bad weather.

From preparing our homes and belongings to maintaining vegetation close to our homes, it only takes a little bit of responsibility to make sure we all remain safe during a hurricane. “Engaging our understanding of weather and how this weather event is going to affect my preparedness will help understand how you can be affected by a storm,” she says. n

VISIT www.weather.bm for updated weather information as well as information on understanding and preparing for hurricane season. FORECAST: Computer screens are lit up in the Bermuda Weather Service office with weather data that helps the meteorologists predict the weather. n PHOTO BY ROBYN BARDGETT

‘We really have to use all of our background as meteorologists to put out our forecast. This is especially true with tropical weather because it can be quite difficult to predict. You really want to have sat down and thought about what’s going to happen and how is this going to effect us. We really pride ourselves on providing quality forecasting to the community. Everything else should just be entertainment.’ KIMBERLEY ZUILL Director, Bermuda Weather Service


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Regiment trained in disaster relief response BY ROBYN BARDGETT rbardgett@bermudasun.bm

After the strong, battering winds of a hurricane, there can be quite a lot of damage, particularly from flying debris and falling trees. This can hamper the efforts of emergency teams who are needed if there are any injuries during a storm. It can also effect the time it takes for crews to get out on the roads to start getting the power back on. Luckily for Bermuda, teams of Regiment soldiers are on-call in the event of hurricane to ensure the roads are back in service. “We have a multi-skilled team that is integral to providing support to emergency services,” explains Lt Col Michael FosterBrown, the Regiment’s Commanding Officer. “The soldiers are on a graduated notice to move to support the EMO (Emergency Measures Organization) in the likelihood of a hurricane. “We take disaster preparedness very seriously because in Bermuda that is one of the most likely threats.”

Chainsaw

The five teams of five soldiers are stationed across the island with the intention of helping to clear the roads as quickly as possible. Many are trained as part of a squad of chainsaw operators that will move fallen trees and debris from off the road. “Within the first 24-hours are main objective is to clear one lane to allow for emergency vehicles to pass.” Teams are stationed in the east end across the causeway as well as the west and are tasked with monitoring and clearing the island of debris working in partnership with other agencies including Works & Engineering and the Department of Parks. One team is also responsible for looking after the families of those soldiers that have been tasked with helping the island get back to normalcy after a bad weather event. “We are asking these

n FILE PHOTOS

TEAM WORK: The Immediate Response Teams of the Bermuda Regiment are trained in the use of chainsaws in order to help clear the roads after the a storm such as a hurricane. Pictured above and below: Teams provide help after Hurricane Igor in 2010. men and women to be away from their families at a very critical time so it’s important that their families have the resources if necessary,” says Lt Col Foster-Brown. The Regiment teams are also responsible for maintaining order if there is damage to property to ensure that people are not taking advantage of the situation. This year all Regiment soldiers will be tested on their medical skills to ensure they can provide basic first aid. They will also be teaming up with other organizations such as the ambulance, fire service, police as

well as BELCO to do joint exercises in preparation for a possible hurricane in order for them to assist. “It will help our soldiers understand what they do for instance if they come in contact with downed wires they will know what to do,” says Lt Col Foster-Brown.

Support

Along with on-the-ground team support, the Regiment also can provide a boat troop that can transport people by water, especially those who are injured and need to get to the hospital when there is difficulty going by road. Over the years the Regiment have assisted with

providing local hurricane relief for some of the worst hurricanes to hit Bermuda, including Hurricane Emily in 1987 and Hurricane Fabian in 2003. Along with assisting Bermuda get back to normal after a storm, the soldiers have also provided service overseas in some of the hard hit areas of the Caribbean. After Hurricane Fabian, former Premier Alex Scott gave great endorsement to the work of the Regiment and their ability to provide help to other countries in need. At the time he said: “They went from the west to the east and the east to

‘We take disaster preparedness very seriously because in Bermuda that is one of the most likely threats.’ the west and opened up the main thoroughfares. As soon as you can start moving back and forwards, then folks who want to help can get back out there. “They were so good that the next year we volunteered the Regiment to go to Cayman to help them clean up. I was confident at the skill and reliability of the Regiment.” This year the UK Foreign

Office provided the island with hurricane stores that can be used for when the Regiment goes overseas, says Lt Col Foster-Brown. “It’s very important that when we go over there that we are not a burden to that country, so we have to bring everything that we will need with us. This will be a great help for us if we have to go abroad in the future. n


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Bermuda’s stormy hurricane history BY MARY FLATRES Senior Underwriter, Property and Casualty, The Argus Group

Bermuda is no stranger to hurricanes. From the time that a storm sent the Sea Venture crashing into our reefs, they have been a part of life on the Island. And while we don’t get hit as often as other parts of the Atlantic, we have seen our fair share since that initial tempest back in 1609. According to the Bermuda Weather Service, devastating storms impact Bermuda on average every six to seven years. Some decades have seen little or no activity; others bring storms every year or two and sometimes more than one in a single year. Throughout our history there are stories of devastation, recovery, survival, kindness and tragedy. The stories of storms, big and small, that have hit our shores are part of the essence of who we are as a nation.

Fateful

Let’s look at that fateful day in 1609. The hurricane that lashed Bermuda and brought with it the shipwreck of Sea Venture might well be one of the most important in our history, having brought the Island’s first settlers. In 1780, one of the most powerful storms ever to hit Bermuda washed 50 ships ashore, destroyed buildings and vegetation, and took many lives. The Island subsequently suffered from a serious famine and a small pox outbreak. This storm became known as “The Great Hurricane” for the path of destruction it left across the Atlantic and was unrivalled for 200 years. Fast forward to 1926 and the Havana-Bermuda Hurricane. The violent Category 4 hurricane was a direct hit with winds of 183 km/h (98 knots) and gusts to 264 km/h (143 knots). It damaged or destroyed 40 per cent of the buildings, sank two British Royal Navy warships and killed 88 people. This was the last storm to cause loss of life

until Hurricane Fabian 77 years later. In more recent memory, Hurricane Emily on September 25, 1987 caught the Island by surprise. While forecast to move away, it veered and moved quickly and violently over Bermuda, becoming the strongest hurricane to hit in decades. Emily produced dangerous tornadoes and the damage was extensive; every room window in the Hamilton Princess hotel was shattered. More than 100 people were treated for injuries and the destruction cost $35 million. Eleven years later brought a busy season for Bermuda with three hurricanes: Danielle on September 2 to 3, 1998; Karl on September 21 to 22; and Mitch on November 6. Danielle and Karl were small and caused little damage. And while Mitch was declared the deadliest Atlantic hurricane since The Great Hurricane of 1780, it brought to Bermuda little more than wind and showers. Regardless, weary residents were happy to bid farewell to the 1998 hurricane season. But the following year did not provide relief, with the arrival of Hurricane Gert. Passing 217 kilometres to the east, Gert flooded roads and destroyed the Dolphin Quest infrastructure at The Fairmont Southampton. The Natural Arches in Tucker’s Town were damaged, and would later be completely destroyed by Fabian in 2003. Subtropical Storm Karen in 2000 formed into a Tropical Storm as it arrived and then became a hurricane while moving away, but only after causing surprise and chaos. Very high winds –– at times up to 160 km/h (86 knots) –– hung over the Island for 24 hours and caused power outages and damage, most due to the fact that the usual preparations had not been made. The worst hurricane to hit Bermuda in almost 50 years arrived on September 5, 2003. Fabian, a strong Category 3, brought wind speeds of 240 km/h (130

n FILE PHOTOS

EYE OF THE STORM: Hurricane Fabian, above, a massive storm that caused $300 million worth of damage, including the Causeway, below right, which cut off access to the east end for days. Below left, the powerful storm surge from Hurricane Igor, batters the South Shore in 2010. knots) and was the first to cause loss of life since 1926. The strongest part of the storm sat above the Island for three hours. The causeway was damaged and impassable and the east end was cut off for days. There was extensive damage and power outages lasted in some parts of the Island for weeks. The storm cost $300 million.

Scare

The next big scare came with Hurricane Igor in 2010. A massive, powerful storm with its sights on Bermuda, residents braced for destruction that was forecast to potentially “flatten” the Island. Fortunately, Igor lost steam and was a minimal hurricane when it reached our shores. Hurricane Ophelia in 2011 was another extremely powerful storm, but was very small in size. Storm

surge and dangerous rip currents damaged the beaches but the Island was otherwise spared. This was followed by another busy year in 2012 with three hurricanes. Similar to 1998, the first two had little impact. The third was Hurricane Sandy, an immense system that ravaged the Caribbean and United States. Although not forecast to approach Bermuda, the enormous reach of the storm affected us for days and caused a damaging tornado. Through the years and various storms we have learned to prepare, stay informed and protect ourselves and our belongings from damage. Local warnings and watches during the season are available at www.weather. bm, www.nhc.noaa.gov or www.sharkoil.bm. Information on how to

protect your property and on insurance coverage can be found at the Hurricane and Weather section on www.Argus.bm. No doubt the shark oil will cloud up many times again. But for this hurricane season, let’s hope it stays clear and calm. n

MARY FLATRES is Senior Underwriter, Property and Casualty at the Argus Group. She is an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute and a Chartered Insurer. She’s lived through 5 hurricanes. www.argus. bm


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Make sure to prepare your pets for a storm or cage; a leash; an ample supply of food, water and bowls; any necessary medications; specific care instructions; and newspapers or trash bags for clean-ups. n Bring pets inside well in advance of a storm. Reassure them and remain calm. n Pet shelters will be filled on first come, first served, basis. Call ahead and determine availability.

BY MELISSA BREYER AccuWeather.com

When preparing an emergency supply kit for this hurricane season, remember to also think about your pet. Here are some tips on how to prepare your pet for a disaster, and what to put in a pet emergency supply kit.

Preparations

The National Hurricane Center recommends: n Make sure that your pets are current on their vaccinations. Pet shelters may require proof of vaccines. n Have a current photograph of your pet. n Keep a collar with identification on your pet and have a leash on hand to control it. n Have a properly-sized pet carrier for each animal. Carriers should be large enough for the animal to be able to stand and turn around. n Plan your evacuation strategy and don’t forget your pet. n Pet shelters, animal control shelters, veterinary

Supply kit

n FILE PHOTO

PLAYFUL: Make sure to bring all pets inside well in advance of a storm. clinics, and friends and relatives in safe areas are potential refuges for your pet during a disaster. n If you plan to shelter

your pet, work it into your evacuation route planning.

Disaster tips

n Animals brought to a

pet shelter are required to have: A proper identification collar and rabies tag; proper identification on all belongings; a carrier

Hurricane activities to keep kids busy Just just because the lights are out, it doesn’t mean that your kids have to just sit there staring longingly at all the electronics they are unable to use. In fact, there are plenty of things kids can do inside that require no electricity whatsoever. Just add a little imagination and, who knows? Maybe they’ll even choose to kick it old school after the power comes back on. Here are some tips from iVillage.com for fun-family entertainment when the electricity goes out. Game time. You’ve been meaning to organize a family game night for months –– maybe even years. Well, now’s the time. Whether it’s your old Clue game that’s been gathering dust for decades, the latest Banagrams or a classic like Monopoly, board games are a hit when the power is out. And don’t forget cards: Teach your kid some new games or pull out the classics, such as Go Fish!, and they’ll be occupied for hours. String fling. Whether you stocked up on cereal before the storm or always seem to have 10 boxes of the stuff in the pantry, kids love stringing Cheerios, Froot Loops and cereal with holes into necklaces and bracelets. Once the jewelry is made, have your kids give you a fashion show. And, if they’re really hungry later? Instant snack! Act it out. So what if TV and movies are off limits? Put on a play. Write your own script or borrow from a favourite story, then assign roles, put someone in charge of set design and costumes, have an older child or parent narrate and get ready for a star performance! Get colourful. Arts and crafts are a no-brainer when you’re stuck inside with no electricity, but we have to give major ingenuity props to this twist on finger-painting. While definitely fun, tiny hands mixed with paint can equal a major mess. Instead, squeeze a couple blobs of washable finger paint into a zip-top bag, pressing the air out of it and sealing it with clear packing tape. Little ones can then move the paint all around –– without actually touching it. No muss, no fuss? Why didn’t

The United States Humane Society gives the following tips for a pet disaster supply kit: n Proper identification including immunization records. n A carrier or cage. n Medications and medical records stored in a waterproof container. n Collar and leash. n Pet first aid book and kit. n Blankets or towels for bedding. n Food and water for at least three days for each pet, bowls and a manual can opener. n Information on feeding schedules, medical condi-

tions, behaviour problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to board your pets or place them in foster care. n Pet beds and toys, if you can take them, to reduce stress. n Other useful items include newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and grooming items.

Post-disaster

n Walk pets on a leash until they become reoriented to their home. Often, familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and pets could easily become confused and then lost. Also, downed power lines and debris can all pose a threat for animals after a disaster. n If pets cannot be found after a disaster, contact the local animal control office to find out where lost animals can be recovered. Bring along a picture of your pet if possible. n After a disaster animals can become aggressive or defensive, so monitor their behaviour. n

Tips for seniors to ride out the storm BY ROBYN BARDGETT rbardgett@bermudasun.bm

As we start to prepare for the hurricane season it’s important to remember the most vulnerable in our community. Especially important are those seniors who live alone. They may need help with preparing their home for bad weather, particularly if they have outdoor furniture or a lot outdoor items that they may need help with securing. If you know of a senior who may need assistance with getting supplies it may be worth asking if you can pick up a few extra items from the grocery store or hardware store that they may need. The Department of Consumer Affairs has some great tips that are not only important for seniors to ensure they are ready before a big storm, but we should all take into consideration.

Documents

n MCT ILLUSTRATION

we think of this one sooner? Make sure to also have a good stock of crayons, markers and paper. Stick long sheets of paper down on the floor to create an instant canvas that will keep the kids occupied for hours. Sensory fun. This is a fun idea if you have toddlers. Using a large, plastic storage container and items from around the house, build a sensory bin for little hands to explore. Add things such as dried rice, beans or aquarium rocks for the base then fill it with small toys, buttons, ribbon and balls. Fort fun. Yes, we know it’s an oldie, but it’s still totally a goodie. Let your kiddos go to town building a fort in their bedrooms or the living room, using pillows, cushions, the card table, chairs, blankets, whatever. Hand over a flashlight or two, drop off a few books and a snack –– and they may just spend the whole black-

out in their fancy new fortress. Treasure hunt. While the kids are whining about how bored they are cooped up inside, steal a few minutes away to create a scavenger or treasure hunt around the house or apartment. Come up with clever clues –– make them harder for older kids –– and mine your gift drawers or raid the candy stash for prizes. Nothing good on hand? Draw a picture or write down a fun reward –– ice cream at their favourite shop, a new book or a long-coveted game. Books, books, books. Make sure to have a ready supply of new books or reading material on hand, and not just for the kids but mom and dad, as well. If you can take out some time from preparations to head to the library, you can stock up on all sorts of good books that will keep the whole family entertained. n

n Make copies of important documents such as passports, insurance polices and medical information. A safe deposit box at the bank is the safest place for important documents, but if they are kept at home, they should be put into a waterproof container or vacuumsealed storage bag. n Have a written list of emergency contacts next to all phones in the house. n Secure windows and blinds, particularly if they might be prone to blow open during high winds. n Ensure that seniors have another form of communication, such as a cellphone, if the land lines go down. Make sure the cellphone is fully charged before a hurricane and keep on hand extra batteries if possible. Consumer Affairs also suggests investing a car charger if possible. n Help a senior in your neighbourhood whom you know lives alone to put together an emergency action plan. There is a cutout in the back of this supplement that can help assist someone with preparing for a storm. n Another great tip from Consumer Affairs includes making your own block ice. This lasts longer than ice cubes and can be used to keep food in the refrigerator and freezer cold should the electricity go out. Ice blocks can be made in large plastic containers and frozen in advance of a storm. n If a senior receives damage to their home, provide them with the contact information of someone honest and trustworthy that they can contact to help them. n

FOR MORE tips to prepare for a hurricane, visit the Consumer Affairs website at www.ca.gov.bm.


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Stay digitally connected during a hurricane the news, find out that power would be out for probably at least a week, and then, subsequently, make arrangements to high-tail it out of the dark, cold and desperate SoPo (‘South of Power’) zone to a friend’s place uptown to enjoy a hot shower, clean water, warm food and news.”

BY DANA HULL San Jose Mercury News (MCT)

If you live in a disasterprone area, you likely have an emergency kit that includes a medical kit, flash lights and extra batteries. But what about your data and devices? Are your key documents –– like birth certificates, passports and insurance policies –– scanned and uploaded to a cloud server? Or are they sitting in a box that could be buried, burned or soaked? How do you plan to charge your smartphone if the power is out for several days? Hurricanes can reveal just how dependent we have become on our mobile devices. In disasters, those devices become a lifeline: for calling family members, following the news and getting critical information. After Hurricane Sandy hit, many New Yorkers walked zombielike from Lower Manhattan, which lost power, in a desperate search for working electrical outlets.

Documents

In a disaster, you may lose all hard copies of your critical personal documents. Upload passwordprotected copies of key documents –– insurance policies, passports, birth certificates, photographs of pets –– to a backup drive that is secured in a remote location or to a cloud-based storage system. Another option is to email copies of the documents to yourself. Store extra batteries or chargers –– ideally hand-cranked or solar –– with your emergency kits or in an automobile so your devices can remain powered. n

Charging

Images of people crowding around ad hoc smartphone charging stations were widely circulated. “The first thing that gets fixed when emergency crews go out is cellphone towers, because that’s how first responders are communicating as well,” said Sharon Cook, director of marketing for Eton, which makes several models of high-tech emergency radios. “Cellphone towers will be fixed before the power lines. But if your smartphone is dead, that’s not very helpful to you.”

n PHOTO BY JEDD ZELEVANSKY/GETTY IMAGES/AFP

KIND: A good samaritan provides electricity for storm victims to charge electronic devices in Hoboken, New Jersey in October 2012. Known as the Mile Square City, the low-lying neighbourhoods suffered deep flooding resulting from the storm surge associated with Hurricane Sandy.

PREPARE YOUR DATA AND DEVICES

Eton is not the only maker of emergency radios, but the Palo Alto, California-based company has a long-standing partnership with the American Red Cross, with several of its products available in a co-branded line with the charitable organization. Eton sells a variety of emergency radios, including the FRX3, which includes a built-in LED

Your natural disaster emergency kit should include water, food, flashlights and a medical kit. But you also need a solar-powered or hand-cranked radio, preferably one that can charge your cellphone, and extra batteries or chargers (hand-crank or solar) for your phone.

flashlight and a USB smartphone charger. The radio can use four different power sources: AAA batteries, a built-in rechargeable battery, solar power and a hand-crank. “We have so many stories of people whose houses became hubs of information in natural disasters, from tornadoes in Alabama to Sandy, because they had our radios,” Ms Cook said.

“They could use the handcrank and solar to keep the radio going, and then neighbours were using it to get a little juice for their smartphones.” Other solarpowered smartphone chargers include the PowerMonkey and the Nokero SunRay Pro Power Panel. New York-based tech journalist Jill Fehrenbacher of Inhabitat.com wrote about how the Nokero solar

charger saved her sanity after Hurricane Sandy. “This device was the only thing in my house that could draw enough charge through a window to breathe life back into my sad little phone,” Ms Fehrenbacher wrote in the article. “And what a difference a charged phone made! Once my phone was finally charged I was able to check

National Hurricane Center to track storms before they form BY KEN KAYE Sun Sentinel (MCT)

As if we aren’t jittery enough when tropical storms head our way, now we can watch disturbances approach. Starting July 1, the National Hurricane Center will put on its website colourful graphics that identify systems that could grow into storms and where they might go over five days. The graphics, called swaths, resemble colourcoded cones of uncertainty. The idea isn’t to scare people but rather make sure they aren’t taken by surprise if a tropical system develops close to land, said James Franklin, the centre’s top hurricane specialist.

Heads up

“We want to give people a heads up that there might be a disturbance out there worth paying attention to,” he said. Similar to the Transportation Security Administration’s colour-coded terrorism threat scale, the swaths will be coloured yellow, orange and red to designate low, medium and high odds

of a disturbance strengthening into a depression, storm, or hurricane. “Hopefully, people will understand that a red swath over Florida means, yeah, I ought to pay attention to this,” Mr Franklin said. Although all the details have yet to be worked out, the swaths will be available under the “Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook” link under the main map on the hurricane centre’s online site, nhc.noaa.gov. If you click on a particular swath, it will be enlarged and accompanied by a text explanation. “It’s going to be kind of interactive,” said hurricane centre spokesman Dennis Feltgen. “You’ll have to move your mouse and click.” Until this year, storm watchers had to rely on models –– the spaghetti-like predictions of storm paths –– to see if a disturbance might be headed their way. The swaths will provide a forecaster’s best estimate of a system’s path. “The forecaster has experience in what he sees in the structure and organization of a system, and the quality of the environment

ahead of it,” Mr Franklin said. “We hope the swaths dissuade some folks from focusing on computer models for tropical forecasts.” The swaths, being offered on an experimental basis this year, are an extension of the hurricane centre’s

two-day tropical weather outlook.

Disturbances

Currently, that outlook shows the location of disturbances with circles and ovals, colour-coded in yellow, orange and red. Once the swaths are

implemented, the circles and ovals will be replaced with “X”s. Although many disturbances end up dissipating before they can pose a threat, Mr Franklin said the swaths will let people know which systems pose the greatest threats.

“The point of our forecasts is to let folks know what potential threats are out there,” he said. n

VISIT www.nhc.noaa.gov for more information and tropical weather updates.


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THE BERMUDA SUN

Hurricane supplies checklist Cut out this handy guide to stock up on all the necessities to weather the storm

Emergency supply kit ❒ Flashlights, extra bulbs and batteries ❒ Battery-operated FM radio and batteries ❒ Battery-operated lanterns, extra bulbs and batteries or propane lantern ❒ First Aid Kit ❒ Candles and matches ❒ Ice Chest ❒ Sterno, propane or similar cooking unit ❒ Clock (wind-up or battery-operated) ❒ Plastic garbage bags ❒ Working fire extinguishers or bucket of sand ❒ Scissors ❒ Manual can opener ❒ Waterproof containers for important paperwork ❒ Cash ❒ Toilet paper

❒ An inexpensive rabbitears television antenna to use if cable goes out ❒ List of emergency phone numbers ❒ Baby supplies: Diapers, baby wipes, baby food ❒ Pet supplies: food, water, litter, medications Hardware ❒ Hand tools: hammer, screwdrivers, saw ❒ 4 x 8 foot sheets of plywood 5/8" to 1/2". Ask for exterior plywood ❒ Plastic sheeting and canvas tarps ❒ Rope, screws, nails ❒ Duct tape for water proofing items. Masking tape isn't strong enough ❒ Sturdy working gloves ❒ Bucket n FILE PHOTOS

First aid kit ❒ Gauze 2” x 2” ❒ Triangle bandage ❒ Elastic bandage 4”, elastic bandage 2” ❒ Vaseline ❒ Savlon cream ❒ Hydrogen peroxide ❒ Dermoplast ❒ Bactine ❒ Tweezers ❒ Instant cold pack ❒ Ipecac syrup ❒ Eye wash/drops ❒ Eye pads 2” ❒ Adhesive bandage ❒ Dressing strip ❒ Aspirin or ibuprofen

ON HAND: Make sure to stock up with hurricane supplies before the storm. ❒ Absorbent cotton ❒ Scissors ❒ Disposable gloves ❒ Adhesive tape, ❒ First aid book ❒ Smelling salts ❒ Cotton swabs ❒ Thermometer ❒ Swabs ❒ Absorbent lint ❒ Mercurochrome ❒ Airway tube ❒ Alcohol ❒ Iodine ❒ Small trash bags ❒ Safety pins ❒ Mosquito repellent

Food supplies ❒ Bottled water (one gallon per day per person) ❒ Ice ❒ Shelf-package juice and milk boxes ❒ Canned and powdered milk (you’ll need extra water) ❒ Beverages (powdered or canned, fruit juices, instant coffee, tea) ❒ Prepared foods (canned soups, beef, spaghetti, tuna, chicken, ham, corned beef hash, fruit cocktail, packaged pudding)

n

RECIPE / Quick & easy taco salad

Ingredients 1 large tomato, chopped 4 leaves romaine lettuce, chopped 1/2 onion, diced finely 4 tablespoons cheddar cheese 1 bag whole wheat tortilla chips 1 avocado, chopped into chunks 1 small can black olives,

PREPARE: a first aid kit before the storm.

❒ Canned vegetables and fruits ❒ Dried fruits ❒ Snacks (crackers, cookies, hard candy, nuts) ❒ Snack spreads (peanut butter, cheese spreads, jelly) ❒ Cereals ❒ Raw vegetables ❒ Sugar, salt, pepper ❒ Bread ❒ Dry and canned pet food ❒ Extra formula, baby food

chopped 1/2 can sweet corn 2 tablespoons Catalina or French dressing

Directions Put all ingredients, except chips, in a small bowl n Pour in the dressing and toss n Top with tortilla chips Serves 4 n

FAST FOOD: Whip up this quick, tasty salad.

Preparedness plan Formulate a Family Plan (see below). n Stock an Emergency Kit (see checklist, left). n Get Food Supplies (see checklist,left). n Keep a two week supply of prescriptions and special medications. n Make sure at least one of your phones in your home doesn’t require electricity (e.g. is not a cordless) n Check flashlights are functioning and radio batteries. Have extra on hand. n Keep a supply of candles and matches for after the storm. DON’T use candles or flammable devises during the storm. n Have a supply of sterno fuel or camping fuel. n Have a manual can opener. n If you have space, store extra plywood, lumber, nails and other materials to secure your home. n Check fire extinguishers are fully charged or have a bucket of sand handy. n If you have them, check your generator and chain saw are in operating order. n If you have to evacuate learn the locations of the nearest official shelters. n Keep trees and shrubs trimmed. n Check the up-chain n

and bridle of your boat mooring annually. Family plan n Discuss the type of hazards that could affect your family. How vulnerable is your home to storm surge, flooding and wind. n Designate a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard. n Establish escape routes from your home and places to meet. n Have a single point of contact for all your family members. n Make a plan now for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate. n Post emergency telephone numbers by your phones and make sure your children know how and when to call 911. n Check your insurance policies for wind, flood and rain coverages. n Have an FM radio tuned to 100.1 mHz. Remember to replace its battery every 6 months, as you do with your smoke detectors. n Make sure everyone knows the location of electrical, water and gas shut-offs as well as how and when to shut them off. n Practice your family plan to ensure it works Take First Aid and CPR classes. SOURCE: WWW.SHARKOIL.BM


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STOCK UP ON TRUSTED POWER

LAST UP TO 6 TIMES LONGER* *vs. zinc-carbon batteroes. Applies to AA, C and D


I n s u r a n c e M at t e r s f o r H u r r I c a n e s e a s o n

Are You Prepared?

Are your insurance policies in order? Whether you rent or own a house or condo, it is important to have coverage for your personal possessions as well as the building. Call BF&M today at 295-5566 to arrange a free, expert insurance review.

112 Pitts Bay Road, Pembroke HM 08, Bermuda

295-5566

bfm@bfm.bm

www.bfm.bm

www.sharkoil.bm Your source for hurricane information

BF&M GeneRal

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