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Page 2 • Hurricane Guide • Supplement to the Alvin Advertiser • June 13, 2018
Prepare in advance to survive hurricanes The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, with the peak occurring between midAugust and late October. According to the federal government, following these steps can help you before, during and after a storm. Basic Preparedness Tips • Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation route(s) to take and have a plan for where you can stay. Contact your local emergency management agency for more information. • Put together a go-bag: disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications and copies of your critical information • If you are not in an area that is advised to evacuate and you decide to stay in your home, plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and you are not able to leave due to flooding or blocked roads. • Make a family emergency communication plan. • Many communities have text or email alerting systems for emergency notifications. To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the Internet with your town, city or county name and the word “alerts.” Preparing Your Home • Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so before hurricane season trim or remove damaged trees and limbs
to keep your property safe. • Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property. • Reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforce the roof, windows and doors, including the garage doors. • Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows
and doors and protected from moisture; and NEVER try to power the house by plugging a generator into a wall outlet. • Consider building a FEMA safe room or ICC 500 storm shelter designed for protection from high-winds and in locations above flooding levels. Hurricane Watch Hurricane watch equals conditions possible within the next 48 hours. Steps to take:
• Review your evacuation route(s) and listen to local officials. • Review the items in your disaster supply kit; and add items to meet the household needs for children, parents, individuals with disabilities or other access and functional needs or pets. Hurricane Warning Hurricane warning equals conditions are expected within 36 hours. Steps to take: • Follow evacuation orders from
local officials, if given. • Check-in with family and friends by texting or using social media. • Follow the hurricane timeline preparedness checklist, depending on when the storm is anticipated to hit and the impact that is projected for your location. What to do when a hurricane is six hours from arriving • If you’re not in an area that is See PREPARE, page 3
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Hurricane Guide • Supplement to the Alvin Advertiser • June 13, 2018 • Page 3
PREPARE Continued from page 2 recommended for evacuation, plan to stay at home or where you are and let friends and family know where you are. • Close storm shutters, and stay away from windows. Flying glass from broken windows could injure you. • Turn your refrigerator or freezer to the coldest setting and open only when necessary. If you lose power, food will last longer. Keep a thermometer in the refrigerator to be able to check the food temperature when the power is restored. • Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions. What to do when a hurricane is six-18 hours from arriving • Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions. • Charge your cell phone now so you will have a full battery in case you lose power. What to do when a hurricane is 18-36 hours from arriving • Bookmark your city or county website for quick access to storm updates and emergency instructions. • Bring loose, lightweight objects inside that could become projectiles in high winds (e.g., patio furniture, garbage cans); anchor objects that would be
unsafe to bring inside (e.g., propane tanks); and trim or remove trees close enough to fall on the building. • Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. What to do when a hurricane is 36 hours from arriving • Turn on your TV or radio in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions. • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include food and water sufficient for at least three days, medications, a flashlight, batteries, cash and first aid supplies. • Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power. For example, you can call, text, email or use social media. Remember that during disasters, sending text messages is usually reliable and faster than making phone calls because phone lines are often overloaded. • Review your evacuation plan with your family. You may have to leave quickly so plan ahead. After a Hurricane • Listen to local officials for updates and instructions. • Check-in with family and friends by texting or using social media. • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe. • Watch out for debris and downed power lines.
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Page 4 • Hurricane Guide • Supplement to the Alvin Advertiser • June 13, 2018
Hurricane Guide • Supplement to the Alvin Advertiser • June 13, 2018 • Page 5
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Page 6 • Hurricane Guide • Supplement to the Alvin Advertiser • June 13, 2018
Flooding is the biggest danger during hurricane season The most common disaster in Texas is flooding. Most regions of the state are at risk. Flash flooding is also common, especially in areas where the terrain is steep and rocky. Flash floods are floods that happen very quickly. They can be very dangerous. Even in flat areas, flash flooding can occur during a heavy downpour. Being Prepared for Floods The first thing you need to do is assess your risks. Do you live in a flood plain or a low-lying area? Are there creeks and streams nearby that fill up fast when it rains? What’s the drainage like in your area? If your risks are high, get flood insurance. Most homeowners policies do not cover flooding from rising water. You may be able to reduce your risks by improving drainage. Install drains or dig ditches to help divert water before it has a chance to rise. In some cases, sandbags can stop floodwaters from entering your home. Get sandbags if you may need them, and be sure to fill them up ahead of time. As with any disaster, you need to have a disaster supply kit. Keep it handy so you can load it and go in case you must evacuate suddenly. When the threat of flooding is high, evacuate early. Don’t wait until it’s already flooded. If you have time, shut off the electricity before you go. The Power of Floodwaters Don’t underestimate the power of floodwaters. They can move swiftly, often faster than they appear. They are very dangerous. Never allow children to play near floodwaters. Adults are also in danger. As little as six inches of moving water can knock an adult off their feet. If you become stranded by floodwaters and must escape, wear a life jacket. In some situations, it may be safer to climb onto a rooftop or into a tree and wait for rescue. Avoid Flooded Roads Never drive into flooded roadways. It’s always dangerous. In fact, half of all flood-related deaths are caused when people
As Hurricane Harvey showed, the biggest danger during hurricane season is flooding due to heavy rains. Heavy thunderstorms can quickly lead to unexpected water on roads or in yards. (File photos) drive into flooded roadways. Water can look like it’s only a few inches deep when it’s actually several feet deep. All it takes is one foot of water to make a car or SUV float. And if the floodwaters are moving, your car can be swept away in a matter of seconds. If you see water on the road, turn around, don’t drown. Recovering from Floods Wait for officials to give the allclear before returning home. When it’s safe to go home, take the following precautions: Do not enter your home if the electricity may still be on. Beware of displaced wildlife, such as snakes and bats. Do not handle them. Wear sturdy shoes, long pants, long sleeves and gloves when cleaning up. Follow safety recommendations when using chain saws and power tools. Help prevent mold by disinfecting household items with a bleach solution. After floods, mosquitoes can become a major problem. Reduce their breeding grounds by draining stagnant water in your yard. Safeguarding Your Health Discard foods that came into
contact with floodwater, and refrigerated foods that have reached room temperature. Tap water may be unsafe to drink. Drink bottled water instead, or boil water for at least one minute. As an alternative, you can purify water by mixing 1/8 teaspoon of bleach per gallon; stir and let stand for 30 minutes. Drink plenty of fluids and do
not overexert yourself. Be aware of heat stroke and other heatrelated illnesses. If you are not up-to-date on your tetanus shot, get a booster shot before cleaning up. Tetanus bacteria can enter the body through puncture wounds, cuts and scratches. Never use generators, camp stoves or charcoal grills inside your home, garage or near open
windows. These devices produce carbon monoxide – a deadly gas – and need to be placed in wellventilated areas. When using a generator, be sure to install a carbon monoxide detector because you cannot see or smell carbon monoxide. After a disaster, it’s common to experience emotional distress. Learn about protecting your family’s emotional health.
Hurricane Guide • Supplement to the Alvin Advertiser • June 13, 2018 • Page 7
GLO: Let’s work together to help Texans prepare for hurricane season Last month, Land Commissioner George P. Bush sent a letter to and held a conference call with elected officials in Texas’ communities with information to help constituents be prepared for the 2018 hurricane season. He informed local leaders of the work the General Land Office is doing to help communities prepare and recover more quickly should a disaster strike. He also provided links to valuable disaster preparedness resources. “Experts anticipate an aboveaverage season with 14 named storms, including seven hurricanes, three of which are expected to be major,” said Bush. “Six Presidential Disaster Declarations have been issued for Texas in the past three years. These disasters should serve as a reminder that Texans must prepare for the hurricane season, and the most effective response and recovery begins at the local level.” GLO staff has and will continue to conduct training and outreach throughout the state, focusing on pre- and post-disaster recovery planning. The GLO encourages all jurisdictions to participate in training for disaster recovery planning. “As a local elected official, you can take several steps today to lead your community’s preparedness effort,” Bush said. “Comprehensive recovery planning requires establishing and rehearsing plans for continuity of operations and a system to protect critical government documents.” Bush asked local leaders to remind constituents to: • Maintain adequate levels of renter or flood insurance (which typically includes a 30-day waiting period before going into effect), even if you do not live in a flood plain; • Safeguard important
personal documents such as birth certificates, deeds or insurance policies; and • Keep emergency supplies like bottled water and canned food on hand. In the wake of Hurricanes Ike, Dolly, Rita, and Harvey, the Bastrop wildfires and the 2015-16 floods, Texas made great strides to improve disaster preparation. The GLO provides resources to assist communities as they prepare for the hurricane season and other hazardous events at: http://www. glo.texas.gov/recovery/ partnerships/recovery-resources/ index.html. Additional helpful resources are available at the following websites: Department of Homeland Security https://www.ready.gov Federal Emergency Management Agency https:// www.fema.gov The United States Coast Guard http://www.uscgboating.org American Red Cross http:// www.redcross.org Texas Division of Emergency Management https://www.dps. texas.gov/dem Texas A&M Forest Service http://texasforestservice.tamu.edu National Flood Insurance Program http://www.floodsmart. gov Texas Department of Insurance http://www.tdi.texas.gov Small Business Administration https://www.sba.gov Texas General Land Office http://www.glo.texas.gov/recovery “I am honored to support and work alongside our Texas communities to prepare and respond to whatever comes our way,” said Bush. “The economic health of our communities depends upon the steps we take to build resilience. Working together we can be better prepared for Texas’ unpredictable weather.”
Y REAND T O ?
OR HAVE A PLAN
BUILD YOUR EMERGENCY SUPPLY SUPPLY KIT
YOU CAN BUILD YOUR KIT ALL AT ONCE OR AT YOUR OWN PACE. START WITH WHAT YOU HAVE AT HOME. THEN, ADD TO IT OVER TIME, STEP BY STEP.
FOOD AND WATER (STEP 1) FF FF
3-day supply of nonperishable food that needs no cooking 2 gallons of water per day for each person, to last 3 days for drinking and sanitation
Hand-operated can opener
Plastic plates, cups, utensils
Baby items (formula, bottles, baby food) FIRST AID, MEDICATION, AND HYGIENE (STEP 2)
First-aid kit (advice: a kit recommended by the Red Cross)*
Prescription and backup medications
Hand sanitizer, wipes, bleach
Toilet paper, paper towels, garbage bags
Dental care, hearing, and vision products
Soaps, personal supplies, baby items
Sunscreen, insect repellent
Nose and mouth protection masks (N-95 rating) Communications Unit 9–201 Rev 08/2010
PAGE 1 0F 5
Names for 2018 Atlantic storms Alberto Beryl Chris Debby Ernesto Florence Gordon
Helene Isaac Joyce Kirk Leslie Michael Nadine
Oscar Patty Rafael Sara Tony Valerie William
Page 8 • Hurricane Guide • Supplement to the Alvin Advertiser • June 13, 2018
Include pets in hurricane plan Hurricane season officially began earlier this month, and one statewide organization is urging pet owners to make sure their evacuation plans include a plan for their pets. The Texas Humane Legislation Network said Texas pet owners, especially those living in hurricane- and flood-prone areas, need to take their pets into account when devising a plan for hurricane season, which goes through the end of November. “We remember too well the heartbreaking stories that came out during Hurricanes Harvey and Irma,” said THLN’s executive director Laura Donahue Halloran. “As their people fled for safety, many companion animals were left behind, sometimes chained up or caged without access to food, water, or shelter. They were left to die in agony as the waters rose around them with no hope of escape.” Tethering an animal in inclement weather is cruel and dangerous, she said, adding that all companion animals should be provided adequate shelter. THLN is asking pet owners to consider implementing a few simple steps to make sure their pets are part of their family’s emergency plan, including: 1. Making sure your pet(s) wear collars and tags with up-to-date contact information and other identification. 2. Microchipping your pet(s) – or updating information if you have moved or changed phone numbers since they were microchipped — is one of the best ways to ensure that you and your pet are reunited if you are separated. Always be sure to register the microchip with the manufacturer and keep your contact information up to date with the microchip company. 3. Get a portable pet carrier or crate, and help your dog or cat get comfortable in it. 4. Know where you will go, how you will get there, and if your pet will be able to go with you. 5. Prepare a small travel bag with essentials, including food for several days and any medications and an extra leash.
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