Most people will make their arrangements for the duration of a hurricane by staying with relatives, friends, in the public shelters or remaining in their own homes. Some of you, however may not be sure what to do or where to go. If you believe that it would be unsafe in your own homes, and you do not have an alternative shelter, you may be evacuated to the mainland by the San Pedro Emergency Committee, where we will help arrange shelter for you and your family.
If you plan to do this, we shall be grateful if you would complete and return the attached form as soon as possible. This form will help us prepare in advance.
You may already be familiar with the Belize Information Service (BIS) supplement Hurricane Preparedness. BIS will issue an updated version soon. Please obtain a free copy.
Some points to consider in advance:
Q. If I decide to go to a safe place, e.g. Cayo, when should I travel?
A. In the preliminary first phase or soon after Red 1 has been declared. Do not start your journey once Red 2 has been declared.
Q. What Should I take with me?
A. See the attached packing list
We strongly recommend that you hold an extra stock of tinned food in your home throughout the Hurricane Season. An alternative to purchasing so much food in one go is to buy one or two extra tins each week and put them to one side.
NB: If you are to travel to the Government shelters, you will be expected to be self sufficient with food. There may be none available at the shelter.
Q. What Should I do before leaving my home?
A. See the attached suggested checklist.
Whilst we all hope that Belize is not hit by a hurricane, if it is, then any preparations you have made in advance will pay considerable dividends. Power and telephone lines may be out of action for a prolonged period and food supplies may not be easily obtained in the shops. Prior to the storm it is likely that food shops will be empty a few hours or less after the news has been received that the hurricane is heading to Belize.
San Pedro Emergency Committee.
PACKING LIST OF ITEMS TO TAKE IF BEING EVACUATED TO A SHELTER FOR THE DURATION OF A HURRICANE.
* Your emergency food pack in one box containing about one weeks food supply. Include a tin opener and personal toiletries.
* Other food from your cupboard, as well as any special foods or medicines required by you or your family. (Take any bottled drinks you have.)
* If you have them, sleeping bags and blankets.
* A maximum of one suitcase, clearly labeled, containing:
* Sufficient clothing for 96 hours. Including warm and waterproof clothes;
* Personal toilet requirements, towel and toilet paper.
* Knife, fork, spoon, mug, plate and bowl;
* torch and spare batteries;
* important family documents e.g. passport/insurance papers/medical records (store in waterproof bags);
* Small personal radio and spare batteries.
* NO PETS
You may also find the above list useful if you are going elsewhere.
SUGGESTIONS ON WHAT TO DO WHEN PREPARING TO LEAVE.
* Keep your radio on. Listen to the latest news.
* Pay no attention to rumours. Only rely on official information.
* Board up your windows or put storm shutters in place.
* Sterilize your bathtub and fill it with water. Water supplies may continue to be contaminated even after you return to your home.
* Make sure your vehicle is fully fueled.
* If you have an upstairs, place as many items upstairs as possible. Flooding may damage anything left downstairs. Put as much as possible in cupboards so if you loose your roof not everything will be damaged.
* Secure everything that may blow away (rubbish bins, TV aerials, etc.)
* Remove coconuts and heavy foliage from nearby trees.
Those people who intend remaining in their homes, in addition to the above, are advised to ensure they have sufficient gas for cooking.
San Pedro Emergency Committee.