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Fire & Rescue Officials Suggest Residents Prepare for Hurricane Season

| August 29, 2012 | 0 Comments | News

Are you prepared if a tropical storm hits Northern Virginia? As we weather the hurricane season, and watch as Tropic Storm Isaac blows through the Southeast, Prince William County  Fire and Rescue offers some suggestions to keep residents safe and secure in the event of such an emergency.

Be Prepared

The key to surviving a storm is being prepared to sit tight and stay safe in the event of a  loss of power during a storm. With a little pre-weather preparation, you can have everything in place for surviving through the storm, if  you are unable to leave your home to make it to a store or to get assistance.

Here are some steps you should take prior to the storm:

  • Check emergency equipment and supplies.
  • Have non-perishable food and drinking water on hand for family and pets.
  • Clear loose or clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Trim trees and shrubbery to remove dead limbs.
  • Fuel vehicles.
  • Secure outside furniture and store items like trash cans that might be blown by heavy winds.
  • Move important items to a higher level if your home is prone to flooding.

Stay Informed

If you find yourself in the throes of the storm, monitor its progress and consider any emergency instructions.

Follow these simple steps to stay informed:

  • Monitor the NOAA weather radio or local media outlets, such as Bristow Beat, for storm updates.
  • Follow instructions from local officials and register on the County’s emergency notification system – PWCAN – to receive emergency information about the county. Registration is easy and it’s free. Go to www.pwcgov.org/pwcan to register.
  • Leave immediately if instructed to do so.

According to Public Information Specialist Kim Hylander at Prince William Fire and Rescue, getting reliable information during an emergency situation is vital. Therefore, Hylander suggests residents tune into The National Weather Service, which  broadcasts warnings and post-event information 24 hours a day for all types of hazards.

Most importantly: stay away from windows. Find a room such as a basement, bathroom or hallway where you and your family will be protected from glass or debris. 

Survey the Damage

After the storm, you will still need to be careful. You will not know the full extent of the damage to your home and neighborhood, so you must remain cautious and watchful.

  • Continue to listen to your NOAA weather radio or local media outlets for updates.
  • Check home for damages.
  • Watch for downed power lines.
  • If you come to a flooded road, turn around and look for another route.

Remain Prepared for Next Time

Since hurricane and tropical storm season occurs every year, and we are beginning to see more tornado-like weather conditions as well, it is a good idea to have a weather related emergency preparedness kit in your home.

Useful items to have in a supply kit include the following, according to Fire and Rescue:

  • Flashlights with extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • List of prescriptions and doctors
  • Special items for young children and disabled or older family members
  • Food and water for your pets

Make a Plan

Since residents do not always receive warning before an emergency, PWC Fire and Rescue suggests you create an emergency plan for your family. They suggest visiting the website, www.readynova.org which offers helpful information on how to construct such a plan.

Keep In Touch

PWC Fire and Rescue further recommends you choose an “out-of-town” friend or relative to call in such an emergency. Because power lines may be down and other services may be interrupted, it may be easier to get in touch with someone outside the area, not affected by the storm. That person can then rely information to other family members nearby.

To learn more on how to protect you and your loved ones during an emergency, visit www.pwcgov.org/emergency, www.ReadyVirginia.gov and www.ready.gov.

 

 

 

 

 

© 2012, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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