Hurricane Tips And Safety Advice

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August 27, 2015

HURRICANE TIPS

Hurricane Season in The Caribbean officially began on June 1st and ends November 30th, meaning that this is the period most likely to see Hurricane activity.  However, a natural disaster can occur at any time, and the best defense is to always be informed and prepared

Apart from the dangers posed by the force of high winds and heavy rainfall, a hurricane can also produce abnormal and extremely dangerous storm surges.  These occur as a result of the unusual combination of atmospheric pressures, and with the addition of the strong force of the winds, become even more dangerous.

TROPICAL STORM

When wind intensity measures between 40 and 75 per hour, the phenomenon is termed a Tropical Storm.

TROPICAL DEPRESSION

The storm system is called a Tropical Depression when the winds are below 40 miles per hour.

Category

Wind force (mph)

1

75 – 95

2

96 – 110

3

111 – 130

4

131 – 155

5

Over 155

 

HURRICANE WATCH

Stay tuned to your local radio station and listen to regular bulletins. Weather reports are constantly updated for your information.  When a hurricane is threatening the area, the Bahamas Meteorological Office gives hourly reports by radio, which includes plotting information and wind speeds etc.

  1. The Bahamas also receives forecasting from the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Coral Cables, Florida.  There is no need for members of the public to tie up vital telephone lines in search of information.
  2. Stay away from beaches and other low areas, which can be swept away by the sea and hurricane tides.
  3. If your house is out of danger of storm surges and is properly protected for the hurricane, this is the best place to stay.  Move to the shelter established for the residents of your area only if your own house is unsafe.
  4. Fasten and secured doors and windows, especially on the outside using good wood or hurricane shutters.
  5. Put away all objects that can be blown away by wind such as furniture, flower pots, trash cans, pool furniture etc, since the can become instruments of destruction during a hurricane.  Clean your yard of any debris that can fly around.
  6. Stock up on at least a week’s supply of foods that do not need to be cooked.  If there are small children in the family, get canned milk to lat for a similar time period.
  7. Keep a good supply of drinking water.  Get a first aid kit, lanterns or gas lamps, batteries for radios and flashlights and torches.  Your water and electrical supply will probably be disrupted at some point.
  8. If any member of your family is ill, get in touch with your medical authority before going to a shelter.  Pre-pack all medication in the event of leaving for a shelter.
  9. Keep a full tank of gasoline in your car.  If the center or “eye” of a hurricane passes over your area, there will be a brief period during which the winds will come to a lull.  This can last from several minutes to a half- hour or more.  Remain safely indoors during this period, as the storm will quickly pick up again.  During the course of the hurricane, BTC will endeavor to maintain national communications for as long as possible, depending on local conditions.

HURRICANE WARNING

  1. Do not pay attention to rumors.  Stay tuned to your local radio and listen to the bulletins issued by the Net Office.  Do not make unnecessary telephone calls.
  2. Go inside your home, or get the relevant designated Emergency Shelter, stay tuned to the local radio stations and do not come out until the authorities give the “ALL CLEAR”.
  3. Stay away from beaches and other low lying areas which can be swept away by the sea and hurricane waves.
  4. If your house is out of danger of tidal waves, that is the best place to stay during a Hurricane.  On the other hand be prepared to move to the shelter designated to your area.
  5. Fasten and secure doors and windows, especially on the outside with storm shutters or good plywood.
  6. Organize your surroundings.  Put away all objects which can be blown away by winds such as furniture, flower pots etc., since they can be destructive weapons during a hurricane.  Clean your yard
  7. Stock up on enough food and drinking water at least three days.  Ensure that it does not need to be cooked.  If there are small children in the family, store canned or cartooned mile to last for a similar period of time.

DURING THE STORM

Do not leave your house of shelter during the storm.  Open one of the windows of doors of your house on the side opposite to the one from which the wind is blowing.  Remember to close the same door or window as soon as the direction of the wind changes and open another contrary to the new direction.  This is recommended as a means of balancing the pressure inside and outside the house so that the difference in pressure does not destroy the doors and windows.  If the centre of “EYE” of the hurricane passes directly over your area, there will be a brief lull in the wind which can last from several minutes to a half hour or more.  Remain in a safe place during the lull.  Make emergency repairs if necessary, bearing in mind that the wind will return suddenly from the opposite direction with great force.

AFTER THE STORM

When the Bahamas Meteorological Department and NEMA announce that it is safe to go outside, BE VERY CAREFUL, and follow these guideline:

PRECEED WITH CAUTION!  Be careful and notice your surroundings before you take the first step out-side.  During the storm, power lines may have fallen in your path of departure or debris may be dangling dangerously above your head.

DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING THAT IS TOUCHING A POWER LINE.  Call the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) or the 919 EMERGENCY number.  Where possible, examine your surrounding and ensure that your home is secure.  Clear debris, but do not attempt to remove items without gloves as rusty nails may be in some materials.  Take photographs of any damage to the property in the event you need this evidence for insurance claims.

DO NOT USE TAP WATER unless NEMA has authorized it, as contamination may occur during the storm.

STAY OFF THE ROADS until NEMA gives the ‘all clear’ as roads may be blocked by debris or washed away, and emergency vehicles may need to get through.

HELP YOUR NEIGHBOURS where possible, and call 919 for emergency care needs.  Keep calm and do not let children or anyone else wade in standing water as it may be contaminated and fallen power lines may be in the water.

DO NOT EPECT electricity to be immediately restored.  Keep the refrigerator and freezer close as much as possible to reduce the possibility of spoilage from increased temperature.

DO NOT TURN ON ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT until you are certain that there is no water damage in or near the electrical supply of socket.  Failure to do so may result in electrocution.

 

 

LISTEN TO LOCAL RADIO STATIONS FOR UPDATES

DEPARTMENT OF METEOROLOGY WEATHER & HURRICANE FORECAST SECTION TELEPHONE NUMBERS:

377-7178, 377-7040, 377,3334

News date : 08/27/2015    Category : Weather

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