Jamaica Health Tips Blog
History teaches that a lack of hurricane awareness
common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your
vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a
hurricane disaster. As we continue in the hurricane season it’s of vital
importance that we put plans in place for the unexpected. It’s also never too
late to know the meaning of words that are commonly used in the hurricane
season, as this will ensure that the information you receive is clearly
Hurricane hazards can present themselves in so
many forms, so here are some important words and their meaning that is affiliated with the
watch: An alert for a specific area that hurricane conditions pose a threat to
that area within 36 hours.
warning: Hurricane conditions (winds of 74mph or greater or dangerously high
water and rough seas) are expected in 24 hours or less. All precautions should
be completed immediately.
There are five categories of
hurricane, category1(74-95 mph) being the least likely to cause any damage to
building structure however, it may damage primarily unanchored buildings,
shrubbery, trees, coastal flooding and minor pier damage. On the contrary a
category 5 hurricane (winds above 155 mph) will likely result in complete roof
failure on many buildings, massive damage to structure located less than 15
feet ASL (above sea level) and within 500 yards of shorelines. In this
situation it’s imperative that evacuation of residential areas on low ground
5-10 miles of shoreline is enforce.
As stated on the American Red Cross website; steps
that you can take to be prepared.
- Build a disaster supply kit or check the kit you prepared last
year. Include a three-day supply of water and ready-to-eat non-perishable
foods. Don’t forget a manual can opener, battery-powered radio, flashlight and
extra batteries. Your kit should also have a first aid kit, prescription and
non-prescription medications, and copies of important documents.
- Prepare a personal disaster and evacuation
plan. Identify two meeting places—one near your home, and one outside your area
in case you can’t return home. Make plans for your pets. Select an out-of-area
emergency contact person. Be informed. Know what a hurricane WATCH means.
- If a hurricane WATCH is issued: Listen
to weather updates from your battery-powered or hand-cranked radio. Bring
in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, hanging plants, bicycles, toys and
garden tools. Anchor objects that cannot be brought inside. Close
all windows and doors. Cover
windows with storm shutters or pre-cut plywood. If
time permits, and you live in an identified surge zone, elevate furniture or
move it to a higher floor to protect it from flooding. Fill
your vehicle’s gas tank. Check
your disaster supply kit to make sure items have not expired.
ARE YOU PREPARED FOR A HURRICANE?
- If a hurricane WARNING is
to the advice of local officials, and leave if they tell you to do so. Secure
your home by unplugging appliances and turning off electricity and the main
water valve. If you are not advised to evacuate, stay inside, away from
windows, skylights and glass doors. Do
NOT use open flames, such as candles and kerosene lamps, as a source of light. If
power is lost, turn off appliances to reduce damage from a power surge when
electricity is restored.
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