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Hurricane_Tips

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					Main Message: When officials call for an evacuation, get going
without delay

Key Talking Points:

  • When a storm is in the Gulf of Mexico, monitor weather reports
    and NOAA weather radio.

  • Monitor local radio and TV broadcasts for important evacuation
    information.

  • Storms may take several days to arrive. When a storm is in the
    Gulf, fill your gas tank and keep it full. Make sure your
    emergency supply kit is ready to go.

  • Your emergency preparedness kit should include: radio,
    flashlight, extra batteries, extra eye glasses, medications, copies of
    prescriptions, special products for babies and elderly family
    members, bottled water, non-perishable food, dry clothes, bedding
    and important documents in waterproof containers.

  • Start your evacuation with a full tank of gas – and food and water
    in the car.

  • When local officials tell you to evacuate – go!!

  • Monitor your car radio and check Texas Department of
    Transportation highway signs for evacuation information.

  • If possible – to help avoid traffic congestion – take only one
    vehicle.

  • Some traffic congestion in is inevitable. Plan for significantly
    longer travel time to reach your destination.

  • If you are planning to take several vehicles, trailers or boats –
    leave your area BEFORE the evacuation call to avoid adding to
    traffic congestion.
Main Message: Smart planning for evacuations means making
your plans NOW before storm season begins June 1.

Key Talking Points:

  • When a hurricane threatens your area, evacuating is the smartest
    move. When local officials call for an evacuation, get out without
    delay.

  • Make your evacuation plan now. Discuss your evacuation plans with
    your family, friends and relatives BEFORE hurricane season begins.
    Review it and remind others of the plan as the storm moves in.

  • Start putting an emergency supply kit together now. If you have an
    emergency supply kit already, double check it and make sure water
    and other supplies are fresh. Keep a NOAA weather radio and
    batteries.

  • Make a checklist of what you need to do before you leave and review
    it.

  • Make sure you and your family members have the name and phone
    number of a friend or relative outside your city or state -- so anyone
    who becomes separated from the group can telephone to let others
    know their situation.

  • If you plan to stay in a hotel or motel, make reservations and
    confirm your reservations before you leave.

  • Learn evacuation routes from your area before storm season. If
    possible, drive the route to get familiar with it before hurricane
    season. Some traffic congestion is inevitable. Expect delays and
    longer drive-times than normal situations would allow.

  • Learn the places to stay between your home and your destination
    – in case you have to stop before you reach your goal.

  • Contact your local county emergency management office to get
    information about anyone in your household who may need
    special assistance during an evacuation. You may also consider
      whether to register information about your family’s special needs
      information with the emergency management office.

   • Make plans for what you are going to do with pets and livestock.

Main Message: Prepare your emergency supplies and copies of
important documents before hurricane season begins June 1.

Having these emergency supplies on hand will serve you well,
no matter what kind of hazard you may face. Plan for your
supplies to last three to seven days.
Key Talking Points:

Your supplies should include:

   • Food, water and cash (including small bills) because power outages
     mean banks and ATMs may be unavailable.

   • First-aid kit, extra prescription medications, written copies of
     prescriptions, special medical items, eyeglasses, hearing aids.

   • Toilet paper, cleanup supplies, personal hygiene products, special
     items for babies, the elderly and pets.

   • Copies of important documents and records, photo IDs, driver license,
     proof of residence, account numbers, information you may need to
     process insurance claims. Maintain in a waterproof container that is
     easy to carry.

   • Battery-operated radio, flashlight, extra batteries, extra keys, tools,
     NOAA weather radio.

   • Road maps, a list of places between your town and your destination
     where you can stop if the highways are clogged, phone numbers of
     family and friends.

   • Food supplies should include a three-day supply of non-perishable
     food, one gallon of bottled water per person per day, coolers for food
     and ice storage, paper plates, plastic utensils, manual can opener.
   • Blankets, pillows, sleeping bags and extra clothing.


   • Supplies for pets, including leashes and carry cases.


Main Message: Preparing your home before you evacuate

Key Talking Points:

When a hurricane threatens your area, evacuating is the smartest move.
Make your evacuation plans in advance. Keep this checklist of important
tasks – and review it before you leave.

• To prepare your home, put up shutters or plywood on all windows
  and openings. Winds are stronger at higher elevations, and high-rise
  apartments or condos.

• Move patio furniture, hanging plants and gas grills inside.

• If your home is vulnerable to rising water, move valuables and
  furniture to a higher level. Put valuable documents in air-tight plastic
  containers that are easy to carry during an evacuation.

• Turn off electricity at the main circuit breaker or fuse box to protect
  appliances from power surges and reduce the risk of live dangling
  wires after the storm.

• If the house is supplied with natural or propane gas, turn the gas off
  at the meter or tank.

• Make a final walk-through inspection of the home before closing the
  door.
Main Message: Learn the difference between a hurricane watch
and a hurricane warning and be prepared to take action

Key Talking Points:

  • Hurricanes are nature's most powerful storms. They are extremely
    unpredictable and extremely dangerous. It’s critically important to
    monitor TV and radio broadcasts -- and NOAA weather radio -- as
    storms approach.

  • Learn what you should do during a hurricane watch and what you
    should do when a hurricane warning is issued.

  • Hurricane season begins June 1 and lasts through November 30. An
    average of six dangerous hurricanes per year threaten the United
    States.

  • August, September and October are the most dangerous months for
    hurricanes in Texas.

  • A hurricane watch is issued when a hurricane is about 36 hours away
    from landfall. A hurricane watch means your family should begin
    following the disaster plan. Anything that requires extra time, towing
    a boat or leaving a barrier island, should be taken into account.

  • A hurricane warning is issued when the storm is 24 hours away from
    land and when winds reach 74 mph or greater. It’s too late to leave
    after tropical storm force winds reach your area because it is not safe
    to be outside.

  • A tropical storm watch is issued when a storm system is 36 hours
    away from land and a tropical storm warning is issued when the storm
    is 24 hours away.


  • Hurricanes represent the greatest weather threat to Texas. But slower
    moving tropical storms can be just as deadly. In 2001, Tropical Storm
    Allison flooded Harris County with 36 inches of rain and killed 22
    people.
Main Message: Hurricane dangers include storm surge, high
winds, tornadoes and heavy rains

Key Talking Points:

  • Hurricanes are nature's most powerful storms. They are highly
    unpredictable. The smartest thing to do when a hurricane threatens is
    to evacuate well ahead of the storm.

  • Hurricanes are measured as Categories One through Five, based on
    speed of the winds. But even the weakest Category One hurricane can
    damage buildings, knock down power lines, flood roads and uproot
    trees. A number of hurricane victims are killed each year by falling
    tree branches after the storm has passed.

  • Because hurricanes are unpredictable, emergency managers always
    plan for a hurricane one category stronger than predicted. So should
    you.

  • A Category Four hurricane will cause about 100 times the damage of
    a Category One storm.

  • Hurricanes frequently will not follow the track predicted in weather
    broadcasts. Wind speeds can get a lot stronger just before the storm
    comes on shore. Hurricanes can change directions unexpectedly and
    strike 70 to 100 miles away from the place they were supposed to
    make landfall.

  • Storm surge is a dome of water that can be 50 to 100 miles wide and
    30 feet high or more – one of the most destructive forces on earth. A
    cubic yard of water weighs 1,700 pounds (a ton is 2,000 pounds).

  •    Many people who decided not to evacuate were killed by storm surge
      in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama during Hurricane Katrina in
      2005.

  • Tornadoes are spawned by hurricanes – even days after the storm
    system has moved inland. Hurricane Beulah in 1967 spawned 114
    tornadoes, including seven that struck Travis County in Central Texas.
    Tornadoes are most likely to form in the right front quadrant of a
    hurricane.
  • A hurricane can knock out electric power for days or weeks at a time,
    making life in a damaged house in the heat of summer extremely
    uncomfortable for residents who stay behind or return too soon.


Main Message: Tropical storms also are dangerous

Key Talking Points:

  • Hurricanes and tropical storms can cause severe flooding. The slower
    the storm moves, the greater the flooding may be.

  • Tropical storms can be killers. In 2001, Tropical Storm Allison
    dumped 36 inches of rain on Harris County and killed 41 people
    nationwide, including 22 in Texas.

  • Tropical storm-force winds are strong enough to be dangerous.
    Evacuations must be complete before tropical storm force winds reach
    the area.

  • Over the last 30 years, inland flooding due to tropical storms and
    hurricanes has been responsible for more than 50 percent of deaths
    related to these storms.


Key Talking Points:

  • Hurricanes are nature's most powerful storms and can cause flooding
    hundreds of miles away from the coast.

  • The smartest thing to do when a hurricane threatens is to monitor TV
    and radio broadcasts. When officials call for evacuations – get out.

  • Remember that heavy rainfall can occur hundreds of miles away from
    the center of the storm. Storms, tornadoes and heavy flooding can
    occur several days after a hurricane makes landfall as the storm
    system moves inland.

  • Drivers should never attempt to drive through water running across
    roadways. When drivers see water across roads or highways, they
    need to back up and choose alternate routes.
   • Water on a roadway can be much deeper than it appears and water
     levels can rise very quickly. Floodwaters erode roadways. A missing
     section of road -- even a missing bridge -- will not be visible with
     water running across the area.

   • If your car stalls in floodwater, get out quickly and move to higher
     ground. Floodwaters may still be rising and the car could be swept
     away at any moment.

   • Water displaces 1,500 pounds of weight for every foot that it rises. In
     other words, if a car weighs 3,000 pounds, it takes only two feet of
     water to float it.

   • Cars can become death traps because electric windows and door locks
     can short out when water reaches them, trapping occupants inside.
Main Message: Protecting your property means taking
precautions and making advance preparations well ahead of
storm season. Start planning now.

Key Talking Points:

   • Learn your vulnerability to flooding from hurricanes by finding
     out the elevation of your property and checking floodplain maps.
     As construction increases in your area, floodplains can change.

   • Check your insurance coverage. Most homeowner insurance
     policies do not cover flood damage. Learn about the National
     Flood Insurance Program.

   • Find out if your home meets current building code requirements
     for high winds. Structures built to meet or exceed current
     building code high-wind provisions have a better chance of
     surviving violent windstorms.

   • Protect all windows by installing commercial shutters or preparing
     5/8 inch plywood panels.

   •   Garage doors are frequently the first feature in a home to fail.
       Reinforce all garage doors so that they are able to withstand high
       winds.
• If you do not live in an evacuation zone or a mobile home,
  designate an interior room with no windows or external doors as a
  Safe Room.

• If you live in an evacuation zone, DO NOT plan to stay during a
  hurricane.

• Before hurricane season, assess your property to ensure that
  landscaping and trees do not become a wind hazard. Trim all dead
  wood, and weak branches or overhanging branches from all trees.
  Certain trees and bushes are vulnerable to high winds and any
  dead tree near a home is a hazard.

•   Consider landscaping materials other than gravel or rocks.

				
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