KATC’s Hurricane Safety Guide will get you prepared for what you need to know before the season starts, before a storm makes landfall, during a a storm and afterwards. This essential information will help you and your family get the necessary supplies and plan in place to keep everyone safe.
We”ll keep you updated through television, this website, Facebook ( KATC-TV 3) and Twitter ( @KA TCTV3 ). We also recommend having a battery-operated radio for hurricane progress reports from authorities.
What Should I Do Before Hurricane Season Starts?
- Plan an evacuation route
- Contact the local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter, and ask for the community hurricane preparedness plan.
- This plan should include information on the safest evacuation routes and nearby shelters. Online: http://www.redcross.org/
- Learn safe routes inland.
- Be ready to drive 20 to 50 miles inland to locate a safe place.
- Have disaster supplies on hand.
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries
- First aid kit and manual
- Emergency food and water
- Non-electric can opener
- Essential medicines
- Cash and credit cards
- Sturdy shoes
- Make arrangements for pets.
- Pets may not be allowed into emergency shelters for health and space reasons.
- Contact your local humane society for information on local animal shelters.
- Make sure that all family members know how to respond after a hurricane.
- Teach family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity, and water.
- Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1, police, or fire department and which radio station to tune to for emergency information.
- Protect your windows.
- Permanent shutters are the best protection. A lower-cost approach is to put up plywood panels. Use 1/2 inch plywood – marine plywood is best – cut to fit each window. Remember to mark which board fits which window.
- Pre-drill holes every 18 inches for screws. Do this long before the storm.
- Trim back dead or weak branches from trees.
- Check into flood insurance.
- You can find out about the National Flood Insurance Program through your local insurance agent or emergency management office. There is normally a 30-day waiting period before a new policy becomes effective.
- Homeowners polices do not cover damage from the flooding that accompanies a hurricane.
- Develop an emergency communication plan.
- In case family members are separated from one another during a disaster (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together.
- Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the “family contact.” After a disaster, it’s often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address, and phone number of the contact person.
What To Do When A Watch Is Issued
(A Hurricane Watch is issued when there is a threat of hurricane conditions within 24-36 hours.)
Outside Your Home
- Located storm shutters, boards, garage door supports and any hardware or tools necessary for installation.
- Do not prune trees. Trash collection will be delayed and loose branches may become dangerous.
- Fill all of your vehicles with fuel. Park your vehicle in the garage or pull it up as close as possible to the side of the home.
- Locate water, gas, and electric shut-offs. You should shut them off if you evacuate.
- Watch KATC-TV 3, refresh our website, check us out on Facebook ( KATC-TV 3) and Twitter ( @KA TCTV3 ) or listen to a battery-operated radio for hurricane progress reports.
- Bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, toys, and garden tools and anchor objects that cannot be brought inside.
- Secure buildings by closing and boarding up windows.
- Remove outside antennas.
- Moor your boat securely or move it to a designated safe place.
- Use rope or chain to secure your boat to its trailer.
- Use tiedowns to anchor the trailer to the ground or house.
Inside Your Home
- Review your evacuation plan.
- Check your hurricane supply list.
- Turn refrigerator and freezer to coldest settings. Open only when absolutely necessary and close quickly.
- Store drinking water in clean bathtubs, jugs, bottles, and cooking utensils.
- Store valuables and personal papers in a waterproof container on the highest level of your home.
- Check medical supplies and prescription medicines, at least a two-week supply. Check first aid kit.
- Make sure all battery-operated TVs radios, flashlights, and lanterns are in working order with spare batteries.
- Make sure you have enough cash on hand.
- Make sure everyone knows where the fire extinguisher is located.
What To Do When A Warning Is Issued
(A Hurricane Warning is issued when hurricane conditions are expected in 24 hours or less.)
- Watch KATC-TV 3, refresh our website, check us out on Facebook ( KATC-TV 3) and Twitter ( @KA TCTV3 ). or listen to a battery-operated radio for hurricane progress reports.
- If in a mobile home, check tiedowns and evacuate immediately.
- Avoid elevators.
- If at home:
- Stay inside, away from windows, skylights, and glass doors.
- Keep a supply of flashlights and extra batteries handy. Avoid open flames, such as candles and kerosene lamps, as a source of light.
- If power is lost, turn off major appliances to reduce power “surge” when electricity is restored.
- If officials indicate evacuation is necessary:
- Leave as soon as possible. Avoid flooded roads and watch for washed-out bridges.
- Secure your home by unplugging appliances and turning off electricity and the main water valve.
- Tell someone outside of the storm area where you are going.
- If time permits, and you live in an identified surge zone, elevate furniture to protect it from flooding or better yet, move it to a higher floor.
- Take pre-assembled emergency supplies, warm protective clothing, blankets and sleeping bags to shelter.
- Lock up home and leave.
Outside Your Home
- Begin installing storm shutters or plywood and door braces. All window openings need to be covered and all doors must withstand hurricane-force winds (including garage door).
- Unplug your TV before attempting to lower an outdoor antenna. Take great care not to allow the antenna anywhere near an electrical line.
- Drain in-ground pools approximately one foot to allow for heavy rains. Super-chlorinate to avoid contamination. Disconnect electrical pumps.
- Bring in any outdoor objects that could be blown away.
- Disconnect propane gas tanks and turn off the main gas line.
Inside Your Home
- Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest settings.
- Make sure you have at least three gallons of water per person on hand.
- Clean a bathtub using bleach, rinse thoroughly, and let dry. Seal the drain with caulk and fill the tub. This water is to be used for bathing and sanitary purposes only, not for drinking.
- Prepare your “safe room.” Stock it with a battery-powered TV and/or radio with spare batteries, sleeping bags and pillows, chairs, snacks, and drinking water. Have a mattress nearby in case your home suffers structural damage.
- Place valuables and personal papers in waterproof containers. If you are evacuating, you may be required to provide proof of residency before being allowed to return to an evacuation area after a storm.
- Close all windows.
- Put as many loose objects as possible in drawers.
- Call your out-of-town contact and tell them where you will be during the hurricane.
- Do not stay in a mobile home.
What To Do During The Storm
- Stay informed: K ATC.com , Facebook ( KATC-TV 3) and Twitter ( @KA TCTV3 ), and by watching KATC-TV 3.
- Stay indoors, away from windows.
- Consider turning off circuit breakers before the power goes off.
- Once you get into your safe room, stay there even if you hear breaking glass.
- If your house begins to break apart, cover yourself with the mattress and pillows. If your safe room is a bathroom, get into the bathtub and cover yourself with the mattress.
- Stay tuned to local television. Do not leave your safe room until you hear an official “all is clear.” If the wind dies down, you may be in the eye of the storm. Winds may resume at any time and may be stronger than before.
- Use the phone for urgent calls only.
What To Do After The Storm
- Locate the fire extinguisher before attempting to turn the power back on.
- Stay away from all downed power lines.
- Do not dial 911 unless it is a life-threatening emergency.
- Do not report individual power, water, gas, or phone problems. Utility companies will restore service as quickly as possible.
- Do not drink tap water until you hear from officials that it is safe.
- Do not pile debris near power poles.
- When possible, call your out-of-town contact and tell them you are all right.
- Avoid driving.
- Use caution in approaching someone else’s property; you could be mistaken for a looter.