Riding out the storm
Once the storm arrives, there are additional measures you can take to keep everyone safe.
- Stay indoors in a secure location or in your “safe room.” The strongest part of a house is usually away from windows and exterior doors.
- Place towels along window sills and the bottom of doors leading outside to prevent water from coming inside. Have buckets, mops and sponges handy in case of flooding.
- Place valuables on tables or high places in case flooding occurs.
- Do not go outside as the calm eye of the hurricane passes, unless repairs are absolutely essential. The storm is not over. More severe damage can occur once the eye passes and the winds blow from the opposite direction.
- Be aware that tornados can spawn from hurricanes at any time. Monitor your local news station and if a tornado warning is issued, take cover in your safe room of an interior hallway or lower level if in a tall building. Stay away from glass doors and windows. You also can seek shelter under heavy furniture in the center of the house.
- Leave the main breaker on unless the electricity goes off or you evacuate prior to the storm. If the electricity goes off, turn off air conditioners, refrigerators, freezers, television sets and computers to avoid damage due to power surges. If the power returns and is steady, these may be turned back on.
- Use flashlights for lighting when the power goes off. Do not use candles or any other type of open flame. The fire department can not respond during a hurricane.
- Use the telephone for emergencies only. Jammed phone lines may obstruct emergency calls for police, fire rescue, emergency medical and Red Cross disaster units.
- If the power is off, open refrigerator and freezer doors as little as possible.
- Stay away from the fuse box, main breaker and electrical outlets in the event of flooding. Normally the electric current will fail with flooding.