hurricane storm in the ocean viewed from a satellite

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When a hurricane watch or warning is issues, it's important to listen to radio or television for hurricane progress reports. In this time, you want to check your emergency supplies, store drinking water in clean bathtubs, jugs, bottles and cooking utensils, and bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, toys and garden tools; anchor objects that cannot be brought inside but that could be wind-tossed. Preparing for an oncoming hurricane will increase your chances of surviving the damage from the storm. There are many things you can do once a hurricane is headed towards your home to protect yourself:
  • Remove outdoor antennas, if possible.
  • Secure your home by closing or installing window shutters.
  • Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting. Open only when necessary and close quickly.
  • Fuel your car. If you have a boat, moor it securely or move it to a designated safe place.
  • Store valuables and personal papers in a waterproof container.

If officials order evacuation, leave as soon as possible. Avoid flooded roads and watch for washed-out bridges. Secure your home by unplugging appliances and turn off electricity and the main water valve. If time permits, elevate furniture to protect it from flooding or move it to a higher floor. Take your pre-assembled emergency supplies and warm, protective clothing.

If you live in a hurricane area, keep this "Supply Checklist for Surviving a Hurricane" from CBS News handy:
  • Decide now who will be responsible for your water supply. You do not need bottled water from the supermarket. Have containers on hand to hold tap water. You'll need enough for drinking, bathing and to flush the toilet. The bathtub is a good place to hold non-drinking water. Use caulking to seal the drain.
  • Sterilize your containers for drinking water with a little bleach (non-flavored) and water. Slosh it around, rinse the container and fill it from the tap. Do not end up in line for water after a hurricane.
  • For cooking, supplies include: sterno, portable camp stove or grill, stove fuel or charcoal and lighter fluid, disposable plates, cups and eating utensils, napkins and paper towels, aluminum foil, and oven mitts
  • For non-perishable foods, supplies include: canned meats, fruits, vegetables; bread in moisture-proof packaging; cookies, candy, dried fruit; canned soups and milk; powdered or single-serve drinks; cereal bars; condiments; instant coffee and tea.

You should also be prepared with the following equipment:
  • manual can opener
  • Flashlight and portable battery powered lanterns and glass enclosed candles
  • Battery powered radio or TV, battery operated alarm clock extra batteries, including hearing aids
  • Ice chest and ice
  • First aid kit, including aspirin, antibiotic cream and antacids
  • Mosquito repellent and sun screen (SPF 45 recommended)
  • Waterproof matches and/or butane lighter
  • Money
  • Bleach or water purification tablets
  • Maps of the area with landmarks
  • Disposable diapers, moist towelettes, and formula, food and medication for babies
  • Photo copies of prescriptions
  • Photo identification
  • Proof of residence (utility bills)
  • Medical history
  • Waterproof container for document storage
  • Back up discs of your home computer files
  • Camera and film
  • Prescriptions (one month supply
  • Toilet paper
  • Soap, shampoo and detergent
  • Toiletries and feminine hygiene products
  • Changes of clothing - extra glasses or contacts
  • Bedding: pillows, sleeping bags
  • Rain ponchos and work gloves
  • Entertainment: books, magazines, card games, etc.
  • Tools: hammer, wrenches, screw drivers, nails, saw
  • Trash bags (lots of them)
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Plastic drop cloth
  • Mosquito netting
  • ABC rated fire extinguisher
  • Masking or duct tape
  • Outdoor extension cords
  • Spray paint
  • Rope
  • One gallon of water per person per day (half for drinking, half for bathing etc.) Store water in clean, plastic containers such as soft drink bottles or milk jugs.
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