A GULF COAST HURRICANE SCENARIO

It has been said the ďWhere preparations are being made there will be little difficulty, but where no preparation has been made, suffering and difficulties will come.Ē


Hurricane season is June 1 to November 30. Gulf Coast hurricanes are historically the worst mid-August to mid-September.

WHAT do you do in April and May?
-Check and update 72-hour kits
-Start purchasing extra supplies (food, water, batteries, repair materials, etc.) to last for 2 weeks
-Determine alternate cooking methods for use during power outages
-Know evacuation routes and have an evacuation plan
-Clear out drains and downspouts
-Trim trees and bushes
-Check insurance
-Apply for flood insurance, if needed or desired (there is a 30-day waiting period before it will take effect) For information see
www.floodsmart.gov
-If shutters do not protect windows, stock boards to cover glass
-Determine an out-of-state emergency contact

Itís September 7. You turn on the TV and a tropical depression in the Gulf has been upgraded to a tropical storm. That means the sustained winds are at least 39 mph. Itís still too early for hit predictions but the entire Texas and Louisiana Coasts are put under tropical advisory.

WHAT do you do? (DO NOT wait! But donít do more than you are willing to undo if it doesnít hit)
-check supplies - 72-hr kit
     batteries for 2 weeks
     extra water
     masking tape, duct tape, heavy plastic sheeting
     extra canned goods and other stored food
     film, disposable camera or digital camera (for insurance purposes)
-keep 1/3 tank of gas, minimum, in your car

The tropical storm is upgraded to a hurricane (74 mph) and is moving north to Louisiana; the upper Texas coast and Louisiana are under a Hurricane Watch (hurricane possible within 36 hours).

WHAT do you do?
-put extra ice in the freezer
-be sure to have adequate diapers, formula, prescription medication
-fill your car gas tank
-secure or move boats, RVís, etc.
-get extra cash
-watch and listen to weather updates
-if evacuating, make plans and begin to prepare your home (check mobile home tie-downs and start packing small valuables and important papers)

WHO should evacuate?
-if you live in a storm surge area
-if you live in a mobile home, poorly constructed home or high-rise building
-if you live near a river or in a 100-year flood plain

WHEN should you leave?
-whenever you want UNTIL evacuation orders are issued and then
-when authorities tell you to

The hurricane changes direction and increases in strength rapidly. It is a category 3 hurricane (sustained winds of 111 to 130 mph). Houston and Galveston are under a Hurricane Warning (within 24 hours winds will be 74 mph or higher, coastal waters and waves will be high).

WHAT do you do?
-secure outside objects
-remove spa and pool covers
-put pool furniture in the pool
-turn off electricity to pool; add chlorine
-bring pets inside
-turn off propane tanks
-turn refrigerator and freezer to coldest setting
-unplug small appliances
-get coolers ready for often used items
-consolidate supplies; have tools, etc. easily available
-fill bathtubs with water for flushing toilets
-draw drapes and blinds
-wedge sliding glass doors to prevent their lifting from their tracks
-in strong storms consider boarding up or taping windows
-watch and listen to weather updates
-stay home if it is secure; stay indoors on the downwind side; stay on the first floor in a small interior room, closet or hallway
-if evacuating, let someone know; leave early in daylight; donít go any further than necessary; shut off utilities, IF told to do so by authorities (order: electricity, gas, water); take small valuables, important papers, emergency contact information and proof of residency; take 72-hr kits, bedding, lawn chairs, baby needs, medications, and something to keep busy; take pets and their emergency kits to a predetermined shelter; lock up the house.

DURING the hurricane:
-stay inside even if the eye moves over you except to make emergency repairs
-be aware that tornadoes can be near the eye of the storm as well as in thunderstorms embedded in rain bands far from the storm center
-do not use the phone except in an emergency
-keep away from windows and doors

The storm is over, but there has been major damage.

NOW WHAT do you do?
-stay off the streets
-stay out of standing water and away from flowing water
-avoid loose or dangling wires
-notify utility companies of damage (use cell phones)
-prevent fires; water pressure may not be sufficient
-avoid open flame indoors
-do not use your water source during flooding unless it has been okayíd
-use phones only in an emergency (if they work)

A major side effect of topical storms and hurricanes is FLOODING
-stay out of flood waters and flowing water
-be aware of animals, reptiles, and insects escaping flood waters
-water weighs 62.4 lbs/ft3 or 1 metric ton/yd3
-water flows downstream at 6 to 12 miles an hour
-for each foot the water rises, 500 lbs. of lateral force is applied; cars can float in 18 inches of water
- be prepared for last minute evacuations; upstream rain can cause downstream flash flooding

Please prepare!
We can lessen the trauma of any emergency
if we have taken the time to prepare for its eventuality.