Editor’s note: The following was submitted by Ed Brewer, the director of Long County Emergency Management Agency.
June 1 is the beginning of hurricane season. This season is projected to see more activity than last year. The following is information on what to do before, during and after a hurricane.
The No. 1 thing is to incorporate a plan. Notify family members in other states or surrounding areas of your plans. Have an evacuation plan. Have a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other larger containers with water. Be prepared to be without electricity for extended periods of time. If you have a car, fill the gas tank in case you have to evacuate. Don’t wait for the stores to be bare or lines for gasoline!
If a hurricane is likely in your area, you should listen to the radio or TV or download the readygeorgia app.
Secure your home, close storm shutters and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors. Turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed. Insure that your phone is charged and you have the ability to charge it.
You should evacuate under the following conditions, if you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.
• If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure — such shelters are particularly hazardous during a hurricane no matter how well fastened to the ground.
• If you live in a high-rise building — hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.
• If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an island waterway.
You should be able to move your valuables within 15 minutes.
If you are unable to evacuate, go to your safe room. If you do not have one, follow these guidelines: Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors. Close all interior doors — secure and brace external doors. Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level. If flooding occurs, be prepared to take shelter on a floor above the flooding.
After a hurricane local authorities may not immediately be able to provide information about what is happening and what you should do. Stay out of flood waters, if possible.
The water may be contaminated or electrically charged. However, should you find yourself trapped in your vehicle in rising water get out immediately and seek higher ground. Be alert for tornadoes and flooding.
If you see a funnel cloud or if local authorities issue a tornado warning take shelter underground or in an interior room away from windows. If waters are rising quickly or local authorities issue a flood or flash flood warning, seek higher ground. Stay away from downed power lines to avoid the risk of electric shock or electrocution.
Do not return to your home until local authorities say it is safe. Even after the hurricane and after flood waters recede, roads may be weakened and could collapse. Buildings may be unstable, and drinking water may be contaminated. Use common sense and exercise caution.