Many things that we take for granted on a daily basis can and usually are rendered inoperative after a tropical storm/hurricane hits. Electricity, telephones, drinking water, life support equipment, and cell phones, can and have been rendered unusable after an event. The loss of these services can last for as little as a few hours to several days.
Here's what you should do prepare to weather the storm and its aftermath.
Before the Storm
- Have a five-day supply of batteries for a portable radio in order to receive emergency information as well as flashlights for each person in the house.
- Store Drinking water in jugs and bottles. One gallon of water per person per five days. Fill your bathtub for washing and cleaning purposes only.
- Get a two-week supply of prescription medication.
- Have extra cash on hand. (ATM's will not operate without power)
- Have a full first aid kit and a working fire extinguisher.
- Stock up on infant supplies, formula, medicine, diapers,etc.
- Have a non-electrical can opener.
- Stock up on toilet paper, paper towels, towelettes.
- Turn the refrigerator and freezer to its highest setting.
- Have a five-day supply of nonperishable food.
- Make sure your car has a full tank of gas.
- Secure outdoor objects that might blow away. This includes garbage cans, outdoor furniture and grills.
- Store propane tanks, which are used for barbecuing in a secure location outside your house. The risk of fire is too great if they go inside.
- Make arrangements for the elderly and others who depend on electric for their life support devices by calling LIPA prior to a hurricane at 1-800-490-0025
- Pets are not allowed in public shelters. Contact your veterinarian for more information on how to shelter your pet.
- Develop an emergency communication plan for keeping in contact. This is especially important for parents whose children could be in school.
- Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact" for everyone to call. Make sure every member of your family has their telephone number with them.
- If you have a basement that tends to flood, lift things as high off the floor as possible to reduce damage in case of flooding.
- Automobiles should be stored in your garage away from falling limbs and flying debris, but remember that with the possible loss of electricity you may not be able to open your garage door if it is operated by an electric door opener. Many electric openers have manual releases.
- If you are operating a portable generator, DO NOT do so in a confined space like your garage or in your home where there is improper ventilation.
- DO NOT store fuel in your home.
- Clear loose and clogged gutters and downspouts.
- Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed of dead branches.
- Place all valuables and important records in a waterproof container and store in the safest place in your home.
During and After the Storm
- Do not use telephones unless you have an emergency.
- Avoid all downed utility lines. Assume ALL downed lines have live electricity.
- Do not sight-see. Stay out of disaster areas. Your presence could interfere with emergency operations. Only trained essential personnel (police, auxiliary police, firefighters and utilities personnel) should be in the effected area.
- Do not drive unless you absolutely must. Many roads may have become impassable, and you could become stranded.
- Underpasses and some roadways flood do NOT attempt to drive thru them.
- Monitor local radio and television broadcasts for updated emergency instructions.
Please remember that during a severe weather event all first responders are out responding to calls for service throughout the community. Depending on the severity and nature of your request you may not see an immediate response. All requests are prioritized based on severity.
If any residents have any questions, please call us at 516-538-5800 and visit the NCAP116.org