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Hurricanes: The Dangers of Storms

When most people think of hurricanes, they conjure up pictures of the wind. They can also envision the heavy rain, which can cause streets, yards, and in some cases insides of buildings to flood. What many people do not think of, especially if they are not from the Caribbean or have never experienced a hurricane before, are the dangers of the sea: the high, crashing waves and rising sea level (storm surge) that cause sea water to come inland and combine with the rain to produce sudden, severe, even life-threatening flooding.
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Be Ready: A Hurricane Supply Checklist

Nobody knows just how much damage a storm will cause until it is over. Be prepared for the worst by putting together the following supplies, which you will need during and after the storm. Tip: Start collecting your supplies a little at a time from the start of the season. This makes them more affordable.

Conditions may change suddenly in an emergency and you may have to leave at a moment’s notice. When a hurricane threatens, get together a personal survival kit from your supplies or, better yet, prepare it beforehand. The kit is a bag or other portable container with your most important emergency items, which you can just grab if you have to go in a hurry. Each family member should have one.
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Take Care: Protecting Your Pets

Without proper planning pets are likely to get injured, lost, or worse. Even if you decide to stay home, authorities may issue an evacuation order requiring you to leave at short notice. Public shelters cannot accept pets because of space and for health and safety concerns. It might be difficult, if not impossible, to find shelter for your animals right before a storm, so plan ahead.
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Batten Down: Secure your Boat

When a severe storm approaches, boaters should monitor weather reports to determine the extent of threat to local areas. The right side of a hurricane is the most potentially dangerou section, thus the path of the eye of the hurricane is of critical importance. Also the distance from the center of the hurricane and the category of the storm are vitally important. A nearly direct impact of a severe storm will bring extremes of water levels.
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Your Home is your Castle: Protecting your Property

When the outer shell of a house is damaged, it becomes prone to sudden collapse. For example, if a door facing the wind blows in, the full force of the storm will hit the interior. Needing somewhere to go, the wind will then rip out windows, doors, walls or the roof. Even a small breach such as a roof tile bursting through a window, can have the same effect. Therefore pay special attention to all exterior openings.

Storms often get a finger into the house through the roof if it not secure. The wind begins to peel away the roofing material at the gable ends or eaves, exposing the edges of the roof sheathing. The sheathing then becomes damaged and the ceiling gets soaked and collapses, allowing wind and water inside. While the structure may survive, the interior and its contents will likely be destroyed.
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Stay Calm: What to do when a Storm Threatens

You live in a hurricane zone, so you already know what kinds of damage a hurricane is capable of wreaking on your life. The fact is, no one can be 100% prepared for a hurricane; they are just too unpredictable. But there are things you can do to lessen the damage that a hurricane can cause.
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Get Inside: Choosing a Safe Shelter

It is up to you to decide on the best place for your family and yourself during a storm. Public shelters are provided in each district but space is limited and is meant for people whose homes cannot be made safe and who can’t find another safe place to stay. If your home is hurricane-proof and is in a safe location it is probably the best place to be during a storm. The next best place is with family or friends whose house is well-constructed and in a safe location. However, if you have no other alternative or are not sure, do not hesitate to go to a public shelter. Here are some tips to help you decide.
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After the Storm: Post-Hurricane Safety

Typically, more deaths occur after a hurricane than during. These deaths come from people being too anxious to get outside and survey the damage where they come into contact with downed power lines or unstable trees, etc. Follow these suggestions for staying safe after the hurricane:
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Keep it Clean: Preventing Disease in the Aftermath

All water used for drinking or preparing food must be clean and free of bacteria and other germs (in other words, it must be potable). It is likely that the piped water supply system will have been shut down to minimize contamination and damage. The system will not be turned back on until it has been thoroughly checked. This might take some days or even longer.
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All Clear: Coping Emotionally

Fear and anxiety in an emergency are natural but controllable emotions. You need to remain calm so you can think and act rationally. Remember that someone may need your help. If you are feeling particularly anxious or frightened, follow this advice.
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