Avoid waiting until it's too late. Prepare now for a hurricane. Learn how to protect yourself and cope with the storm by planning ahead. This checklist will help you get started. Discuss these ideas with your family, then prepare an emergency plan.
Post the plan where everyone will see it - on the refrigerator or bulletin board.
This Emergency Preparedness page contains the following information:
Emergency Phone Numbers
Develop a list of emergency phone numbers for the following at your installations:
Coordinate with the Installation Emergency Management Office or the American Red Cross. First step is to review this Web site.
- Ask how to prepare for a hurricane.
- Ask how you would be warned of an emergency.
- Learn your community's evacuation routes.
- Ask about special assistance for elderly or disabled persons.
- Ask your workplace about emergency plans.
- Learn about emergency plans for your children's school or day care center.
Preparing an Emergency Plan
The following guidelines will help you create an emergency plan.
- Meet with household members. Discuss with children the dangers of fire, severe weather, earthquakes, and other emergencies.
- Discuss how to respond if a hurricane should occur.
- Discuss what to do about power outages and personal injuries.
- Draw a floor plan of your home. Mark two escape routes from each room.
- Learn how to turn off the water, gas, and electricity at main switches.
- Post emergency telephone numbers near telephones.
- Teach children how and when to call the base emergency numbers.
- Instruct household members to turn on the radio for emergency information.
- Pick one local friend or relative for family members to call if separated by hurricane (it is often easier to call outside than within the affected area).
- Teach children how to make long distance telephone calls.
- Pick two meeting places. A place near your home in case of a fire. A place outside your neighborhood in case you cannot return home after a disaster.
- Take a Basic First Aid and CPR Class.
- Keep family records in a water- and fire-proof container.
Preparing a Hurricane Kit
Assemble supplies you might need in an evacuation. Store them in an easy-to-carry container, such as a backpack or duffle bag. For a more detailed supplies kit, click Here.
- A supply of water (one gallon per person per day).
- Store water in sealed, unbreakable containers.
- Identify the storage date and replace every six months.
- A supply of non-perishable packaged or canned food and a non-electric can opener.
- A change of clothing, raingear, and sturdy shoes.
- Blankets or sleeping bags.
- A first aid kit and prescription medications.
- An extra pair of glasses.
- A battery-powered radio, flashlight, and plenty of extra batteries.
- Credit cards and cash. An extra set of car keys.
- A list of family physicians.
- A list of important family information; the style and serial number of medical devices, such as pacemakers.
- Special items for infants, elderly, or disabled family members.
Preparing an Escape Plan
In a fire or other emergency, you may need to evacuate your house or apartment on a moment's notice. You should be ready to get out fast. Here are some tips:
- Develop an escape plan by drawing a floor plan of your residence. Using a black or blue pen, show the location of doors, windows, stairways, and large furniture. Indicate the location of emergency supplies (Disaster Supplies Kit), fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, collapsible ladders, first aid kits, and utility shutoff points.
- Use a colored pen to draw a broken line charting at least two escape routes from each room. Finally, mark a place outside of the home where household members should meet in case of fire. Be sure to include important points outside, such as garages, patios, stairways, elevators, driveways, and porches. If your home has more than two floors, use an additional sheet of paper.
- Practice emergency evacuation drills with all household members at least two times each year.
Fire Safety Guidelines
Here are some additional guidelines of fire safety.
- Plan two escape routes out of each room.
- Teach family members to stay low to the ground when escaping from a fire.
- Teach family members never to open doors that are hot. In a fire, feel the bottom of the door with the palm of your hand. If it is hot, do not open the door. Find another way out.
- Install smoke detectors. Clean and test smoke detectors once a month.
- Change batteries at least once a year.
- Keep a whistle in each bedroom to awaken household members in case of fire.
- Check electrical outlets. Do not overload outlets. Purchase a fire extinguisher (5 lb., A-B-C type).
- Have a collapsible ladder on each upper floor of your house.
- Consider installing home sprinklers.
Home Hazard Hunt
In a disaster, ordinary items in the home can cause injury and damage. Anything that can move, fall, break, or cause a fire is a potential hazard.
Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. Fasten shelves securely. Place large, heavy objects on lower shelves. Hang pictures and mirrors away from beds. Brace overhead light fixtures. Secure water heater. Strap to wall studs. Repair cracks in ceilings or foundations. Store weed killers, pesticides, and flammable products away from heat sources. Place oily polishing rags or waste in covered metal cans. Clean and repair chimneys, flue pipes, vent connectors, and gas vents.
If there is a need to evacuate, here are some tips:
- Listen to a battery-powered radio for the location of emergency shelters.
- Follow instructions of emergency officials.
- Wear protective clothing and sturdy shoes.
- Take your Hurricane Kit.
- Lock your home.
- Use travel routes specified by disaster officials.
- Shut off water, gas, and electricity, if instructed to do so.
- Let others know when you left and where you are going.
- Make arrangements for pets. Animals are not allowed in most public shelters.
Upon evacuation order, evacuees should proceed directly to the embarkation points with Hurricane kits. If unable to do so, proceed to the nearest assembly point. Assembly points serve only as gathering areas for further transportation to embarkation points.
What should you take with you?
- Personal Records (birth certificate, medical and immunization records, etc.)
- Passports for all members
- Housing Documents (inventory, housing contract, etc.)
- Automobile Papers (bill of sale, registration, etc.)
- Other Legal Documents (insurance policies, powers-of-attorneys, etc.)
- Traveler's Checks or Other Forms of Currency
Things to Do Before Leaving Residence
- Turn of all lights and unplug all electrical appliances except refrigerators and freezers. Do NOT turn off the main switch.
- Turn off all water faucets.
- Close windows and shutters and lower the window blinds.
- For families with pets and have sponsors remaining behind, leave ample supply of food and water for pets.
- Post an inventory of all household goods and personal effects in a prominent place in the kitchen.
- If a family member will stay behind, keys to the family quarters should be left with him/her. If all members of the family are to be evacuated, the quarters should be locked; keys tagged; and deposited at the embarkation point.
If a family members stays behind, leave the keys and proof of ownership with him/her. If everyone is evacuating, keys should be tagged with the following information: license plate number; make,; color; year of vehicle; and location of vehicle.
Preparing an Emergency Car Kit
Here is a list of the things needed in an emergency car kit.
- Let others know when you left and where you are going.
- Battery powered radio and extra batteries
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Blanket Booster cables
- Fire extinguisher (5 lb., A-B-C type)
- First aid kit and manual
- Bottled water and non-perishable high energy foods, such as granola bars, raisins and peanut butter.
- Tire repair kit and pump