Home Survival Handbook - Survival-proof your home

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Natural Disasters and What to Do
Earthquake, Flood, Hurricane, Tornado, Lightning, Winter Storm

During hurricane season -be aware of weather conditions. If you are traveling in an area that has hurricanes, listen to the car radio. If at home, keep your car's gas tank full, keep emergency supplies of water and food on hand, have candles or flashlights handy, and have available items necessary to run a generator.

Hurricane 'Warning' - stay tuned to local weather news and advisories using a weather radio. Cover windows with storm shutters or boards, and secure any outdoor items that might blow away or cause damage. Safe out the car. If in a low-lying area that may be affected by high tides or storm waves, evacuate. For boats, moor it and then leave it. Store clean drinking water in bathtubs, pots, jars and/or bottles.

During a hurricane - stay indoors away from windows or large glass doors. Open a window on the side away from the wind side. Do not stay in a home that is not structurally sound or in a manufactured/mobile home - seek safety at a designated shelter. Before leaving turn off all water, gas and electricity - then lock the doors.

Be aware that if it turns calm outside, this may only be the eye of the hurricane passing over. Stay inside, the storm will resume with winds and rain from the other side. If this occurs, the open window should be closed and another on the opposite side opened.

After the hurricane - when outside avoid any downed electrical wires. Look for any damage to roads, trees, or your house. Report any damaged electrical wires. Stay away from any areas suffering significant damage. Don't drive unless necessary.

Tornadoes are very often preceded by dark skies, south winds, heavy rain, hail and lightening. It has been shown that tornadoes commonly occur between noon and midnight. If you live in a tornado prone area, monitor your radio or television for alerts.

If a tornado 'Warning' is issued:
  • Get to your tornado shelter or if you are in a house, open the windows on the side of the house away from the approaching storm.
  • Basement shelter - stay near a wall in the deepest, most shelterer part. Get under a work bench or table for additional protection.
  • If no basement or cellar is available, go to the smallest room with stout walls. Use a mattress, heavy table, tipped over upholstered chair or sofa against the inside wall for protection.
  • Stay away from windows and outside doors.
  • Keep a battery-powered radio with your for information on the storm as well as a cell phone for communication.

Away from home - take shelter in a steel frame or reinforced concrete building. In open areas, move at a right angle away from the oncoming tornado. If you have no other alternative, lie flat in a low ditch and shield your head. Cover your face with clothing to keep the dust out. It is not recommended to stay in a car, trailer or mobile home. And stay out of buildings like gyms and theaters (wide span roof).

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