TOMS RIVER, NJ, August 26, 2009 – The 2009 Atlantic hurricane season, which lasts until November 30, has already produced several named storms, including Tropical Storm Claudette which moved over the Florida panhandle, Tropical Depression Ana and Hurricane Bill which churned up the east coast.
Although meteorologists continue to monitor even more storms forming out to sea, it is impossible if, when or where a storm will make landfall. Now is the time to get prepared at home and with your family to help keep you safe should a storm affect this region.
Community Medical Center offers the following safety and health tips and urges the public to monitor the weather, especially when a Hurricane Warning or Watch is posted for this area.
Before a Storm
- Listen to local news broadcasts for up-to-date information and evacuation routes.
- Bring in outdoor furniture and toys; secure those objects that can be tossed around by wind.
- Keep extra cash on-hand in small denominations
- Trim overlying branches
- Turn the refrigerator to the coldest settings
- Make sure vehicles have a full tank of gas; review evacuation routes
- Generate a list of emergency numbers
- Store valuables in water-tight containers
- Store a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Store a three-day supply of water; one gallon per person, per day
- Prepare a disaster kit including:
- Portable radio, tv, cell phone charger, extra batteries
- Flashlights, lanterns and light sticks
- Garbage bags, toilet paper, soap, waterless hand cleaner, bucket, paper towels
- Pot/pan, cooking utensil, disposable plates, cuts, matches/lighter, sealable plastic bags
- Photocopies of personal records and documentation (bank acct. info, ID cards, birth certificates, property deed, passport, insurance policy, medical information, prescription info., etc.)
- Extra clothes
- Tools (hammer, screwdriver, scissors, needle and thread, work gloves, masks)
During a Storm
- Beware of driving through deep water
- Drive slowly through water; excessive speed can cause a bow of water which may cause your car to stall. Check brakes after exiting water.
- If your vehicle stalls in water, immediately abandon it and move to higher ground. About 1-2 feet of water can carry away a vehicle (1 ft of water displaces 1500 lbs)
- Identify and discard any food that has come in contact with storm or drain water (remove labels from cans and wash cans in 1 cup bleach/5g of water)
- Discard canned foods that may be bulging, damaged, and/or open
- Throw away any perishable foods that have been above 40° F for 2 hours or more
- Thawed food that contains ice crystals or is 40°F or below can be refrozen or cooked.
- Listen for public service announcements regarding contaminated water.
- Water should be at a rolling boil for 1 minute to kill most organisms. Boiling will not remove chemical contaminates
- Flooded, private water wells will need to be tested and disinfected after flood waters recede.
- Practice basic hygiene. Wash your hands with soap and bottled water or water that has been boiled or disinfected.
- Pools of standing or stagnant water become breeding grounds for mosquitoes, increasing the risk of West Nile Virus, encephalitis, or other mosquito-borne diseases. The presence of wild animals in populated areas increases the risk of diseases caused by animal bites (e.g., rabies) as well as diseases carried by fleas and ticks.
Preparation before and during a storm can prevent injury, illness and even save lives. Make a plan and an emergency preparedness kit. Become educated about an impending storm and always err on the side of caution.
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