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#378477 - 05/28/10 02:32 AM AC Chamber Hurricane Preparations
Marty Offline
It's that time of year again to start preparations for the hurricane season. The sections of this notice provide the latest information we have for preparations and the latest predictions just released from NOAA.

Hurricane Season Is Here:

June First is the "official" beginning of Hurricane Season. Today the National Hurricane Center released it's 2010 season predictions. A summary follows this notice.

For a complete read of the press-release from the NHC, visit this website:
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/outlooks/hurricane.shtml

Over the next week or so we'll be sending you web-links and hurricane planning tips. Please save the info and get familiar with your own particular area, situation and plan. If you make a list of things to do and get them done a little at a time, it won't be a huge task.

Think about starting now with three pre-season tasks:

1. Review your insurance - is it in force, does it reflect what you have now, and have you documented your "stuff". Take photos of your stuff, make an inventory list. Send copies of your policy and the documentation to:
a) your insurance carrier
b) a friend or family member who lives outside the country.

2. If you live on island, get a tetanus shot. (it wont' keep a hurricane away, but it just might save your life if you step on a nail or get cut with rusty zinc)

3. Arrange to have your coconut trees trimmed of large nuts

2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook: Summary

NOAA's 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook calls for an 85% chance of an above normal season. The outlook indicates only a 10% chance of a near-normal season and a 5% chance of a below-normal season. See NOAA definitions of above-, near-, and below-normal seasons. The Atlantic hurricane region includes the North Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico.

This outlook reflects an expected set of conditions that is very conducive to increased Atlantic hurricane activity. This expectation is based on the prediction of three climate factors, all of which are conducive historically to increased tropical cyclone activity. These climate factors are: 1) the tropical multi-decadal signal, which has contributed to the high-activity era in the Atlantic basin that began in 1995, 2) exceptionally warm sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea (called the Main Development Region), and 3) either ENSO-neutral or La Niña conditions in the tropical Pacific, with La Niña becoming increasingly likely. In addition, dynamical models forecasts of the number and strength of tropical cyclones also predict a very active season.

The conditions expected this year have historically produced some very active Atlantic hurricane seasons. The 2010 hurricane season could see activity comparable to a number of extremely active seasons since 1995. If the 2010 activity reaches the upper end of our predicted ranges, it will be one of the most active seasons on record.

We estimate a 70% probability for each of the following ranges of activity this season:

14-23 Named Storms,
8-14 Hurricanes
3-7 Major Hurricanes
An ACE range of 155%-270% of the median.

The seasonal activity is expected to fall within these ranges in 7 out of 10 seasons with similar climate conditions and uncertainties to those expected this year. They do not represent the total possible ranges of activity seen in past similar years.

Hurricane Landfalls:
It only takes one storm hitting your area to cause a disaster, regardless of the activity predicted in the seasonal outlook. Therefore, residents, businesses, and government agencies of coastal and near-coastal regions are urged to prepare every hurricane season regardless of this, or any other, seasonal outlook.

While NOAA does not make an official seasonal hurricane landfall outlook, the historical probability for multiple U.S. hurricane strikes, and for multiple hurricane strikes in the region around the Caribbean Sea, increases sharply for exceptionally active (i.e. hyperactive) seasons (ACE > 175% of median). However, predicting where and when hurricanes will strike is related to daily weather patterns, which are not predictable weeks or months in advance. Therefore, it is currently not possible to reliably predict the number or intensity of landfalling hurricanes at these extended ranges, or whether a given locality will be impacted by a hurricane this season.

Ambergris Caye Chamber of Commerce


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#378702 - 05/31/10 03:32 PM Re: AC Chamber Hurricane Preparations [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
Assembling a Disaster Kit

Assemble supplies you might need in an evacuation. Store them in an easy-to-carry container such as a backpack or duffle bag.

Include:

  1. A supply of water (one gallon per person per day).
  2. Store water in sealed, unbreakable container.
  3. Identify the storage date and replace every six months.
  4. A change of clothing, rain gear and sturdy shoes.
  5. Blankets or sleeping bags.
  6. A first aid kit and prescription medication.
  7. A battery-powered radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteries.
  8. Special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members.
  9. Sanitary supplies i.e, toilet paper; feminine supplies and soap.
  10. Personal identification documents such as passports, birth certificates, residency cards etc.

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#378724 - 05/31/10 06:22 PM Re: AC Chamber Hurricane Preparations [Re: Marty]
tacogirl Offline
The plastic packages that sheets and pillow cases come in are very handy to recycle - they make great first aid kit containers and everything is easily visible.

Anyone know if there are new (or same ones we got a year or 2 back) Nemo brochures on hurricane preparedness available?
_________________________
tacogirl Facebook, Belize Life Linked In - Belize info & images https://www.facebook.com/tacogirl


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#378783 - 06/01/10 03:15 PM Re: AC Chamber Hurricane Preparations [Re: tacogirl]
Marty Offline

ACTIVE HURRICANE SEASON PREDICTED FOR 2010

June first marks the beginning of the hurricane season. Projects indicate that this year’s hurricane season will be an active one and according to forecaster at the National Metrologic Service Frank Tench Junior the forecast is for 15 or 16 named storms.

Frank Tench Junior; Forecast or, National Metrologic Service

“One of the better known sources is Colorado State University; they are forecasting 15 named storms; eight hurricanes, four of which will become major hurricanes. The Cuban Met Service also recently issued a forecast predicting 16 named storms, nine of which will become hurricanes with four main storms occurring within the Caribbean. most recently the sources out of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration are also predicting an active season with named storms ranging between 14 to 23 named storms. In terms or hurricanes it was fairly high, around eight named storms for this year’s hurricane season. All indications are suggesting an active hurricane season for this year.”

And as always Belizeans are advised to review and implement their hurricane plan as soon as possible.

Frank Tench Junior

“As usual we always emphasize being prepared in terms of having a plan in terms of what you would do in the eventuality of a storm or hurricane affecting the country of Belize. It is best implemented as early as possible, if not now or should have been prepared before now. It is still not too late to have your plan in place in terms of knowing what you are going to evacuate to with your family and friends. That planning is very useful. Also being prepared to stock up on food supplies, if you cannot do it all at once you can do it piece meal and stock up on essential food supplies bit by bit so that if we are faced with the eventuality of a storm or hurricane your are more or less ahead of the game in terms of that type of planning and of course monitoring the plans issued daily by the weather service on radio and television.”

Love News also spoke to Minister of National Emergency, Melvin Hulse who is confident that Belize is prepared for this year’s hurricane season.

Melvin Hulse; Minster of National Emergency

“I am confident and comfortable to the extent that we are prepared because there is always a plateau that we would like to get to. It would never be what we would like to call perfect but with all the places we are going to have the organization out in place I have no qualms about facing anything that comes along. We have really gotten better.”

Hulse adds that the hurricane shelters have been checked for safety and enhanced where necessary.

Melvin Hulse; Minster of National Emergency

“We have gone through all of them. We have enhanced the structure, took it to another level from all the coastal areas. We have already gone in, we have sent people in and we have gone through every shelter in the Belize River Valley in the Belize District. We have been doing that district by district, evaluating those areas where those that we have been encountered where we basically believe that guess what we cannot we have not put them on the list. We have struck off a tremendous amount, we have identified newer areas and we have even strengthened a lot of them. Each and every year we continue to strengthen hurricane shelters.”

Minister Hulse also urged the public not to listen to rumors but to listen to their radios and the news to keep track of what is happening. 

LOVE FM

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#378784 - 06/01/10 03:30 PM Re: AC Chamber Hurricane Preparations [Re: Marty]
elbert Offline
Originally Posted By: Marty
<font size="6" color="#0066CC">Assembling a Disaster Kit</font><p>Assemble
supplies you might need in an evacuation. Store them in an easy-to-carry
container such as a backpack or duffle bag.<br>
<br>
Include: </p>
<ol>
<li>A supply of water (one gallon per person per day). </li>
<li>Store water in sealed, unbreakable container. </li>
<li>Identify the storage date and replace every six months.</li>
<li>A change of clothing, rain gear and sturdy shoes. </li>
<li>Blankets or sleeping bags. </li>
<li>A first aid kit and prescription medication. </li>
<li>A battery-powered radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteries.
</li>
<li>Special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members. </li>
<li>Sanitary supplies i.e, toilet paper; feminine supplies and soap.
</li>
<li>Personal identification documents such as passports, birth
certificates, residency cards etc. </li>
</ol>

:-) this is normal for how I live. OMG I'm a living a Disaster!
_________________________
The Dive Shops Daily Blog
http://scubalessonsbelize.blogspot.com/

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#381132 - 06/21/10 02:42 PM Re: AC Chamber Hurricane Preparations [Re: elbert]
Marty Offline

Hurricane Planning –Hurricane Prep Outline

For those who are here …………

 

COMMUNICATION -

INFORMATION AND CONTACT WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS:

When a storm threatens or happens, the phone lines here are stressed beyond capacity.  This is frustrating for callers but even worse it can endanger lives.   Your family abroad is worried and needs news, but not at the expense of a complete collapse of local communications.    In an emergency, place one call, not ten.  Here is how:

Select ONE person OUTSIDE BELIZE to be your information center.  This person should have a reliable phone and a computer.  Tell all your family and friends that this is information central for you.   If there is a storm, contact this person and let them know what you plan to do and when you will contact them again (or a time they can try to reach you).    All your family & friends can get clear and correct information this way – and you will be able to focus on taking care of yourself instead of trying to calm the nerves of others who are far away.

COMMUNICATION –  NEIGHBORS, FRIENDS NEARBY:

1.  Keep Cellular phone charged.  Everybody make a plan to have phone on from 5            minutes before until 5 minutes after the hour. 

            This will allow you to conserve power. 

2.  Listen to LOVE FM and/or REEF Radio.  Bulletins will be broadcast there, including

            messages to individuals.

3.  Buy and use Walkie-talkies / radios – Channel 16 is the emergency frequency.

            Work out a plan with your neighbors prior to the storm hitting – know how to      communicate during the storm.

4.  Have phone cards with available credit on hand.

5.  NEW PROGRAM – EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION RADIOS – contact Chris Berlin for details on buying, programming and using - <chris@sunrisebelize.co,>

INSURANCE POLICIES

1.  Do not keep your original policy in your house –

             if the house is damaged, the policy will be damaged as well.

2.  Do keep your policy encased in plastic bags – either in a safe deposit box at the bank   or in the hands of a designated representative that lives outside the danger area.

            Best that your “communication central” person above also have the policy or a

            current copy of same.

3.  Do copy policy particulars electronically and place that documentation out of

            harm’s way.

4.  Check that your policies have not lapsed and update your inventory list now.

5.  Boat policies – most require that you have secured your boat well – photograph

            your tie-down or beach-storage at the time you pull your boat.  You may

            need this to process a claim.

OTHER IMPORTANT PAPERWORK

Wills, Deeds, Boat Titles etc –

DO put them in plastic carriers and thence in a safe deposit box at the bank.

DO scan electronically and then back up the scan.  Place copies in two safe locations, (one should probably be “communication central” person.)

PREPARING PROPERTY –

TO DO NOW –

1.  Assemble boards and/or shutters for windows and doors. 

2.  Get nails & hammer for installation of boards.

3.  CHECK seals around windows and doors – is the silicone fresh –

            will it keep out water.

4.  CHECK roofing – nail down what is loose, and repair what is missing.

5.  Knock down coconuts.  This is to protect your from a flying nut, but also to protect the          trees themselves.  In a strong wind the trunks of  trees that are heavy with     coconuts will snap in two and you will loose your best trees as a result.

6.  Remove trees that would crash you/your house if they fell.

WHEN THE STORM IS THREATENING:

1.  Put up boards/shutters on windows and doors.

2.  Take down all hanging-banging things (hammocks, flags, decorative items)

3.  Take in all outdoor furniture.

4.  Disassemble downspouts and put them away – they are going to blow down if you      don’t do this, and if you take them down you will save time and money putting            the place back together.

HURRICANE SAFETY - ITEMS TO HAVE:

TOOLS & SUPPLIES

            Hammer

            Nails

            Saw

            Crowbar

            Axe 

            Machete

            Rope (at least 200 feet)

            Knife (to cut rope)

            Plastic sheeting/tarp

            Duct tape – be sure the stick-um is fresh

HOUSEHOLD

            Lots and lots of big tough garbage bags – you will use them for everything.

            Large plastic garbage cans (5 or more)  For storing water &  personal items. 

            Candles

            Stove-lighter (matches get wet)

            Hand can-opener

            Flashlights

            Battery radio

            Extra Toilet paper and paper towels – stored in sealed plastic.

            Bleach for disinfectant.

            Plastic buckets.

            Batteries

            Flares / Air horn – for summoning aid

            Mosquito coils

           

FOOD for 10-14 days - Suggested items, all of which can be eaten without cooking:

            Tuna – canned

            Beans of all varieties – canned

            Beef stew in cans

            Fruit cocktail, fruit in syrup

            Canned chocolate milk

            Tinned meats

            Canned soups

            Canned Chili

            Fruit squash concentrate

            Canned veggies – green beans, corn, beets, yams, peas, etc.

            Mayonnaise, Olive oil, Vinegar

            Crackers

            Cold cereal

            Peanut butter.

            Tinned butter

            Sugar

            Canned or powdered milk.

            Lasko food drink – a lifesaver in a pinch. 

Many of the items above will allow you to assemble good set of cold meat or tuna and vegetable salads at dinner.  Fruit for breakfast.   Chocolate milk for comfort. Peanut butter needs bread, so keep some frozen and ready to use if you need it. 

Other foodstuffs to have – must be cooked, so not really much use during the storm:

            Oatmeal, Rice, Pasta  (canned spaghetti sauce to go with it)

                       

If you drink coffee, be sure that you have some pre-ground.  

If you drink tea, be sure you store it in zip-lock bags.

When you buy, try to assemble a meal at a time from the shelves of the market ---- that will allow you to really know if you have enough food and the right kind. 

IF YOU HAVE PETS -  stock up on pet food, cat litter.

PERSONAL ITEMS

            Glasses

            Extra contact lenses

            Two weeks minimum supply of essential medications

            First aid supplies – full spectrum

            Clothes that are comfortable and dry easily.

            Hard-sole / toe-covering shoes – do not go outside without them during or after a storm as there will be so many things around that will cut your feet.

            Rain coats & pants

            Tampons

            Soap, shampoo, toothpaste

            Mosquito repellant

KEYS?

Do you have extras for your house, etc?  If not, get some and put a set in a zip-bag someplace you can both remember and access if you loose your originals.

PETS

If it’s too dangerous for you, it’s probably too dangerous for them.  Have kennel-carriers ready.  If you are evacuating, take a boat – the planes won’t fly them.  Many local captains will take you to the mainland as a private run - if you arrange soon enough.  Cost last year for us was $600 Bz – that was four adults, two dogs and a cat.   Not bad.

DO NOT tie an animal up on a roof or a veranda.  They will strangle for sure.

Pets are not allowed in government hurricane shelters, but generally are ok in an emergency in most other places of refuge.

PACKING UP / BATTENING DOWN

After two evacuations (in two weeks) in 2008 year, I have arrived at a method for household packing that seems to work pretty well --- here it is:  

1.  clothes, bedding, small items –

            haul out those plastic garbage cans – line with big plastic garbage bags, dump your stuff in there, duct tape the heck out of them to seal them shut and then clamp on the lids – store on a second floor if possible.

2.  Paperwork & books – you can do the garbage can thing, but if you do this, be prepared            for a jumble afterwards – if you can get some rectangular action packers it’s a   better bet for papers – do the same bag and tape exercise as noted above.

3.  Larger electronics – double bag, and tape.  Put in a place least likely to get wet.

4.  Unplug all appliances – storm surge can fry them when the storm is over, as can           lightening strikes.

5.  Dishes and pots and pans –not a major focus –

            they can stand water and if they break they break.

6.  Paintings and wall items – take down, bag and tape. 

WATER - you need power to pump from underground cisterns, and above ground ones may be damaged.  Both types may become contaminated in a storm.  Store at least 100 gallons of clean water for immediate use as follows:

            Place one plastic garbage can in or near your kitchen – fill and cover.

            Place one plastic garbage can in your bathroom – fill and cover.

            If you cannot drink the water that you have stored in the kitchen can,

                        fill many smaller bottles with drinking water and store.

GETAWAY BAGS ??    Pack one as a practice exercise – if you can leave it packed for the next couple of months, do so.  If not, unpack it and list all items you must have in it – when the emergency comes just follow the list ( in a panic you will forget important things and pack stuff that makes no sense at all ……. it’s stressful and it wastes time– a list takes the worry out of the prep).

COMPUTER – back it up now.  If you evacuate, do try to take your laptop.

Toss in some inspirational, distracting, happy DVD’s and music.

READING MATERIALS – You are going to be stuck someplace for a while with nothing much to do – have a couple of escape-type novels and magazines with you.

MONEY MONEY MONEY --------

When we have a storm the power is off.  When the power is off there is no credit card use, no instant teller and no banking. 

Have cash on hand in small bills – both US and Belize money if you can do that.  If you end up in Texas or Mexico, the Belize money is not as useful as if you had a bit of USD on hand.   Credit cards for these foreign locations are useful, so do not forget them.

DOCUMENTS TO CARRY WITH YOU

            Passport

            Driver’s license

            Credit cards (in case of a trip outside)

            Prescriptions for necessary medications

FUEL –

GASOLINE AND DIESEL -  HAVE A SUPPLY ON HAND.  After a storm there may   not be any gasoline or diesel for some time.   Power is needed to pump.               Pipelines, storage tanks and barges are disrupted.   After Keith we had no fuel at    first and then rationing of fuel for some time after the one station was restored. 

PROPANE – same advice as above – fill tanks and store out of harm’s way when

            a storm threatens. 

GET A GENERATOR NOW  unlikely that you will find one for sale anywhere after a storm (there were none to be had in Belize for about a year after Katrina hit the US).  Keep it serviced and know how to use it.


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