Public safety officials provide hurricane advice


The Dukes County Emergency Management web page lists a series of instructions for what to do before, during, and after a hurricane:

During a Hurricane Watch

• Listen to radio and television for hurricane reports.

• Check emergency supplies.

• Fuel car.

• Bring in objects such as toys or patio furniture. Anchor objects that cannot be brought inside.

• Secure windows with shutters, boards, or tape.

• Store drinking water in clean bathtubs, jugs, bottles, etc.

• Review evacuation plan.

• Moor boats securely or remove them from the water.

During a Hurricane Warning

• Listen constantly to radio or television for updates and instructions.

• If in a mobile home, evacuate immediately.

• Store valuables in waterproof containers on high levels to avoid water damage from flooding.

• Elevate furniture to protect it from water damage.

• Stay inside, away from windows, skylights, and glass doors.

If Evacuation is Necessary

• Leave as soon as possible. Follow authorized evacuation routes.

• Avoid flooded roads and watch for washed-out bridges.

• Secure your home by unplugging appliances and turning off electricity and the main water valve.

• Bring pre-assembled emergency supplies kit and warm protective clothing.

• Lock up home and leave.

After the Storm

• Stay tuned to local radio and television stations for information on returning to your home.

• Return home only after authorities advise that it is safe to do so.

• Help injured or trapped people.

• Avoid loose or dangling power lines. Report them immediately to utility companies, police, or the fire department.

• Enter your home with caution.

• Beware of animals, insects, and snakes that may have entered your home in flood water.

• Open windows and doors to ventilate and dry your home.

• Check refrigerated foods for spoilage.

• Take pictures of the house and damaged goods for insurance claims.

• Drive only if necessary; rescue and maintenance crews need to be able to travel freely.

• Use the telephone only for emergency calls.

Marine interests should take extra precautions. Experts say the storm surge and torrential rains are often the most dangerous part of a hurricane, not the winds. The United States Coast Guard offers this guidance:

How do I prepare my boat, trailer or myself before a hurricane?

If you live or boat in an area prone to hurricanes or heavy weather, know your local and national weather sources and monitor them continuously. Get into the habit of reading weather signs and monitoring the weather.

Contact local marinas and ask for advice. You will find marina operators knowledgeable and helpful. They can advise you on the best methods for securing your boat.

Remove small boats from the water and move them to a secure location. Ensure the trailer and boat are secured above likely flood areas. Remove all loose items. Ensure the boat is tied securely to the trailer.

If your boat is too large to be removed from the water, move it to a safe haven well before the storm approaches. You should know where safe havens are in the area where you boat.

Do not go out to sea in a recreational boat to “ride out” a hurricane.

If you are unable to move your boat, contact local marinas for advice.

Some steps that may be taken are:

–Use extra fenders. Some people even lash used tires to boats to protect them.

–Double up and secure mooring lines.

–Secure all hatches and portals and cover windscreens.

–Take down mast whenever possible.

–Remove all loose items from decks and superstructure and from area around mooring.

–Leave nothing unsecured.

Never forget that storms move quickly and they are unpredictable. You can always replace a boat; you can not replace a life.

What should I do following a hurricane and where can I get information

Check with local authorities before entering any storm-damaged area. Do not rush down to your boat. Boaters should not place themselves in danger to get to a boat.

Do not try to enter damaged boathouses until authorities say it is safe to do so.

Do not try to reach your boat if it has been forced into the water and is surrounded by debris. Wait until authorities have made safe access available.

Do not try to board a partially sunken boat; seek salvage assistance from a professional.

If a boat has been washed inland and is stranded, do not approach it until authorities say it is safe to approach. There may electrical (or power) lines, harmful debris, dangerous wildlife in area.

Do only what safety and authorities permit.

Watch out for and report oil, gasoline or chemical spills to the Coast Guard and local emergency agencies.

Information can be found from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

The National Hurricane Center issues a standard family disaster plan and a disaster supply kit to guide families preparing for a hurricane. Experts advise the disaster plan be prepared well ahead, and reviewed annually. The disaster plan advises that families:

Discuss the type of hazards that could affect your family.

Know your home’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind.

Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard. In certain circumstances the safest areas may not be your home but within your community.

Determine escape routes from your home and places to meet. These should be measured in tens of miles rather than hundreds of miles.

Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact.

Make a plan now for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate.

Post emergency telephone numbers by your phones and make sure your children know how and when to call 911.

Check your insurance coverage — flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance.

Stock non-perishable emergency supplies and a Disaster Supply Kit.

Use a NOAA weather radio. Remember to replace its battery every 6 months, as you do with your smoke detectors.

Take First Aid, CPR and disaster-preparedness classes.

The disaster supply kit includes common items to get through a storm if food and water are not readily available, or if the power is out for an extended time.

Water — at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days

Food — at least enough for 3 to 7 days— non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices— foods for infants or the elderly— snack foods— non-electric can opener— cooking tools / fuel— paper plates / plastic utensils Blankets /

Pillows, etc.

Clothing — seasonal / rain gear/ sturdy shoes

First Aid Kit / Medicines / Prescription Drugs

Special Items — for babies and the elderly

Toiletries / Hygiene items / Moisture wipes

Flashlight / Batteries

Radio — Battery operated and NOAA weather radio

Telephones — Fully charged cell phone with extra battery and a traditional (not cordless) telephone set

Cash (with some small bills) and Credit Cards — Banks and ATMs may not be available for extended periods


Toys, Books and Games

Important documents — in a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag— insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc.

Tools — keep a set with you during the storm

Vehicle fuel tanks filled

Pet care items— proper identification / immunization records / medications— ample supply of food and water— a carrier or cage— muzzle and leash