Hurricane Preparedness Plan
Designate an Out of State Contact:Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." After a disaster, it is often easier to call or text long distance. Advise this designated person to stay by the phone following a hurricane striking your area. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address, and phone number of your designated contact person. Fill out out-of-state Contact Cards with your out of state relatives' and friends' information so you can keep them informed of your safety. Carry them at all times! Following an earthquake, if you are separated from your loved ones, text your out-of-state contact number. Give your contact critical information including your physical condition, location, direction in route and plan to reunite. Check back regularly to update and check on whereabouts of your loved ones. It is recommended you try texting before calling your out-of-state contact. Phone lines will be tied up following a wide-spread emergency, but texts use limited data and will continue to try sending the text if at first is does not go through. Texting also frees up phone lines for emergency personnel.
PLAN TO REUNITE:Make a plan on where and how to unite family members. Choose a person outside the immediate area to contact if family members are separated. Long distance phone service will probably be restored sooner than local service. Remember, don't use the phone immediately after a hurricane, and make local calls only for emergencies.
PLAN RESPONSIBILITIES:There will be many things to take care of after a hurricane. Make a plan with your family, friends, and neighbors assigning specific responsibilities to each person. Remember that it may be difficult to get around after a hurricane, so each person's tasks should be related to where they may be.
DEVELOP A MESSAGE DROP:You need to identify a secure location outside your home were family members can leave messages for each other. This way, if you're separated and unable to remain in your home, your family will know where to go to find you. You don't want to publicize that you are not at home. That is why this location should be secure and discrete. i.e. under a paving stone, inside a tin can, in the back yard, etc.
IDENTIFY THE SAFEST PLACE IN YOUR HOME:During a hurricane, stay away from heavy furniture, appliances, large panes of glass, shelves holding heavy objects, and masonry veneer (such as the fireplace). These items tend to fall or break and can injure you. Know the danger spots, (windows, mirrors, hanging objects, fireplaces and tall furniture).
KNOW YOUR ENVIRONMENT:Always know all the possible ways to exit your house and work place in hurricane situations. Try to discover exits that would only be available to you in an emergency.
Know your open and safe areas that are way from buildings, trees, telephone and electrical lines, overpasses, or elevated expressways. Know the location of the shutoff valves for water, gas, and electricity. Learn how to operate the valves. If you are not sure, contact your utility company.