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#122632 - 05/26/06 03:05 PM Hurricane season tips
tacogirl Offline
Hi all this is going to be my Bf and I first hurricane season, so I was looking for some words of wisdom from the people who have already been through this before. I read the article in San Prdro Sun yesterday and it got me thinking to have a plan a bit ahead of time so we know what to expect some what and are a bit prepared. We are not living right on the beach at this time and are on middle street not sure how much difference that makes to storms.

Things like...

Do storms pick up and get stronger usually certain months? If you leave the island, do you just do stay on the mainland and if so where? (looking for reasonable place)

Do you leave the island or stay when it is heavy weather?

Best items you found useful (besides flash lights lol) to have on hand.

Does power go out for long peroids?

If so what are peoples best food tips?

Anyone use shortwave radios and can you get any signals during a storm? (I found a great company on the net for solar powered/hand crank short wave readios if anyone interested I can post link)

(I noticed the San Pedro Roman Catholic School listed in paper as an emergency place to go.)

Yor insights are appreciated.
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#122633 - 05/26/06 03:43 PM Re: Hurricane season tips
Seachange Offline
Watch TV for reports. It is my understanding that Belize does not get hit by hurricanes as frequently as other areas that are situated differently. If there is an approaching hurricane, you will likely have time to leave. Last fall when I left I was told that all the tourists must be off the island (or at least given the opportunity to do so) before residents leave...don't know if this is true. The Belize government also gives reports/recommendations. It is also helpful to listen to the local folks who have experience with these things. I jumped the gun a bit and evacuated before a storm that did not become a hurricane, but I think that it is prudent to be conservative in judging the weather.

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#122634 - 05/27/06 01:08 PM Re: Hurricane season tips
natalie p Offline
NEMO advises evacuate if there is a chance of being hit by a storm. There is nowhere safe on the island. Listen to Reef Radio when we are under a watch, NEMO will give out advisories of when it is wise to evacuate.Take with you important documents,medications, food and water for a few days, and a small bag of clothing.Hotels and shelters on the mainland are not to be held responsible to provide food and water. It is better to evacuate and then the storm miss us than to stay on the island and risk being swept off by sea surges.

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#122635 - 06/03/06 01:56 AM Re: Hurricane season tips
tacogirl Offline
The 2006 season, which begins June 1, will use this roster of names:

Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debby, Ernesto, Florence, Gordon, Helene, Isaac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Michael, Nadine, Oscar, Patty, Rafael, Sandy, Tony, Valerie and William
_________________________
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#122637 - 06/03/06 12:38 PM Re: Hurricane season tips
Diane Campbell Offline
A little bit of Hurricane Advice ....primarily aimed at the part-time resident.

Hurricane Season in the Atlantic basin – 1 June – 1 December.
Height of activity in Atlantic basin – September
Height of activity in Western Caribbean – mid-September though early Nov.

Hurricane Plan

Part A – insuring personal safety –
1. Stay away during the height of storm season
2. If you are here – be prepared to take care of yourself (leave the kids at home) If you cannot take care of yourself, activate item #1 above.
3. Do not attempt to weather a storm in a boat.

Part B – taking care of yourself – evacuation?
1. Get out early if you plan to get out. Know where you are going, how you will get here and how you will pay for it. Government will not help you. US Embassy will not help you. Lines at airline counters will be long, and seats will be limited. International flight reservations will be honored in order received. You do not want to ride out a storm at the International Airport.
2. Have cash-money available. Credit cards may not work.
3. Have ID (passports) on your person.
4. Have a cellular phone and numbers of airlines, water taxis etc with you.

Part C – Be prepared to be stuck in a hurricane.
1. Water – have at least two clean 35-gallon plastic garbage containers (with lids) on hand – if a storm threatens, put one in kitchen and one in a bathroom, fill with water.
2. Food - have an “action-packer” type container filled with food sufficient for (at least) a week for all occupants. High-energy foods like chocolate milk, energy bars, etc. are a must. Remember that you may not have a source of cooking-fuel for a while, so uncooked pasta and rice are not particularly useful during the initial phases of such an emergency. Consider a bar-b-q and some dry (?!) coco husks or a campiong stove as a back-up for foor prep.
3. Medical - have (at least) two weeks supply of necessary meds on hand – heart, insulin, etc.
4. Seeing - have spare glasses and contact lenses.
5. Emergency tools & equipment – hammer, hack-saw, crowbar, ax, hose, 200 feet of rope, life jackets, goggles.
6. Feet – thick soled, closed toe shoes for each occupant.
7. Hands – work gloves for after the storm, rubber gloves if you are called on to render medical assistance.
8. First Aid – fully stocked first aid kit.
9. Plastic bags - all sizes ziplock, many large garbage bags – to protect your stuff.
10. Duct Tape – taping windows, securing plastic bags, emergency repairs.
11. Communications – battery operated radio / well-charged cellular phone / walkie-talkies for use within the neighborhood.
12. Flashlights – water-proof, have several on hand with plenty of spare batteries. Keep batteries in refrigerator for longer life.
13. Raincoats – one for each person

Insurance - keep policy in a location away from area that could be affected by storm
Document contents of our home – you will not be able to make a claim for contents damage if you have not done this in advance. Digital photos are very helpful.

Securing Property -
Cover glass windows and doors (outside) with plywood.
Put away lawn furniture and any other objects that could blow around.
Pull boats out of water - put on high land and tie with ropes to something that will hold them fast in a surge.
Turn off your electric breakers - town board will turn off power if a storm approaches, but do it on your own place too - this will help you avoid surges and dangerous downed live wires after the storm.
Knock down coconuts from trees - they are cannonballs in a wind.
Check your roof material now to see if it is securly fastened - flying roof tiles and/or flying zinc are deadly. A few extra nails now will also keep your house dry in a storm.
Assemble rags & long bits of foam to place at the bottom of doors - water will blow in below them regardless of the method of installation, so have something there to absorb it.


Who is in Charge during a Force Majeur?
National Emergency Management Organization = NEMO.
NEMO’s word will be law – NEMO can commandeer your home, boat or vehicle for emergency service. They can arrest and detain. Local radio stations will turn into emergency communications networks. During Keith, LOVE FM broadcast 24-7.
You can access LOVE FM on your computer. Reef Radio is our local island station, and local NEMO Broadcasts will be made there. Broadcasts depend on people being available, power being available, broadcast towers standing tall and equipment remaining in place.


Keys - make sure you have a spare set of keys to your home placed somewhere that family members can locate.

Kids - make sure they have ID and family contact information on their person. Small laminated information cards are an excellent idea.

Phone Tree - have somebody you know who lives OUTside the area be your point of communication. Tell all your family and friends that this is who they call for information about you after a storm. When the storm is over the phone lines will be very congested. If you can call one person in the US or Mexico or whereever, give them an update, they can call out to your family and can receive calls for you. Organize this now. If you have such a phone-tree, inform your neighbors of who is your initial contact person.

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#122638 - 06/03/06 01:22 PM Re: Hurricane season tips
Diane Campbell Offline
To more specifically answer your questions ----
middle street vs- front street -
While it's better to get away from the wave action at the shore, you can experience devastation from wind in areas that are away from the beach. Damage cam come from trees falling, adjacent buildings blowing apart and smashing the one you are in, etc. After Keith the SP airstrip was full of boats - and people were jet-skiing on front and middle streets.

Power out? When a storm aproaches, the power is turned off for safey, island wide. Afterwards if it can go back on, it will go back on. After Keith every single power line on the island needed to be located (imagine spaghetti put in a blender and poured over a junkyard and doused with mud) and then replaced. Town core got it's power back first - crews came in from aound the region and worked night adn day to get us up and running again. I think maybe some power was back in 2 weeks or so. Where I live we went without electricity for 6 weeks. Washing sheets and towels by hand in a wheelbarrow is a great upper-body workout. :-)
Having a generator is a very good idea - but you need to know how to store fuel safely, and how to use the generator safely. It's serious business to use one of these things.
Remember also that if we are severely hit, the gas stations will not be functioning. After Keith, it took a while for the gas-staions to find a way to pump (needing power) and to have any supply (front station lost it's entire piping system - heck it lost the dock and the station too) so --- store some fuel (SAFELY) well ahead of time.

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#122639 - 06/03/06 01:32 PM Re: Hurricane season tips
Diane Campbell Offline
And more bits of hurricane info ..........

Employees - your employees are legally "off" when a storm warning is posted. Prepare well in advance if you can't do it yourself.

Don't point fingers - if you DO find somebody to board up your house, don't demand that they pay for the window that got broken in the process of storm prep. If you do, you'll find yourself with no help at all next time.

Don't expect physical assistance during a storm. We all hunker down until it's over.

During Keith, there were 4 fatalities - all were people on boats.

During Iris there were 22 fatalities - all were on boats.

Don't tie your animals up on leashes and leave them behind to strangle or starve. If you must leave them behind, put them in an upper floor of your home with a good supply of water and food, and be sure that somebody knows where they are so that they can be let back out and tended to after the storm passes.

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#122640 - 06/03/06 01:47 PM Re: Hurricane season tips
Diane Campbell Offline
Food shopping - storm prep made easy ..
Each time you go shopping for food tell yourself that you are coming home with one or two complete hurricane dinner-style meals for yourself and family. In a short while you will have all you need and it won't have ruined your budget.
If you just go out willy-nilly buying canned goods you will end up with 10 cans of sauce and nothing to put it over, or a lot of tuna and no mayo - ick. You can do some amazing things (good ones) with smoked spam lite. Lots of lime and pineapple squash are good for a taste treat and to boost your energy. I also find that a couple dozen packets of Lasko food drink powder are invalueable - solid nutrition, no cooking, easy and the chocolate one is a feel-good food too.
DO buy a stock of liquid bleach - you may need it for your water supply.

OK - enough about storms. Prepare, stay informed and then relax.

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#122641 - 06/03/06 02:07 PM Re: Hurricane season tips
Amanda Syme Offline
Diane, is there any room at your house? You are fully prepared!

Everybody else, there is no more time left to postpone your storm plan. Get your act and supplies together.

Folks will always help you out in major emergency situation that are out of your control, but if you didn't store enough food and potable water your really shouldn't expect other, more prepared squirrels to take pity on you.

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#122642 - 06/03/06 02:52 PM Re: Hurricane season tips
Diane Campbell Offline
Amanda - sure you and family can come - how do you like your spam prepared?

And one more thing - well one more thing "for now" ..........
For ya'll tourists and part-timers ----- if there is a kind of "maybe" storm out there, and you have a trip planned - do NOT rely on the US airlines to give you any kind of hint or early safety tips. They fly until the last minute so they can make full-fares, and they finally shut-down flights without warning.

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