Hurricane Planning –Hurricane Prep Outline
For those who are here …………
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
COMMUNICATION – NEIGHBORS, FRIENDS NEARBY:
Cellular phone charged. Everybody
make a plan to have phone on from 5 minutes
before until 5 minutes after the hour.
will allow you to conserve power.
2. Listen to
LOVE FM and/or REEF Radio.
Bulletins will be broadcast there, including
3. Buy and use
Walkie-talkies / radios – Channel 16 is the emergency frequency.
out a plan with your neighbors prior to the storm hitting – know how to communicate during the
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 - <firstname.lastname@example.org,>
1. Do not
keep your original policy in your house –
if the house is damaged, the policy will
be damaged as well.
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.
that your “communication central” person above also have the policy or a
copy of same.
copy policy particulars electronically and place that documentation out of
4. Check that
your policies have not lapsed and update your inventory list now.
policies – most require that you have secured your boat well –
tie-down or beach-storage at the time you pull your boat. You may
this to process a claim.
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.)
TO DO NOW –
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 –
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
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
(at least 200 feet)
(to cut rope)
tape – be sure the stick-um is fresh
and lots of big tough garbage bags – you will use them for everything.
plastic garbage cans (5 or more)
For storing water &
(matches get wet)
Toilet paper and paper towels – stored in sealed plastic.
/ Air horn – for summoning aid
FOOD for 10-14 days -
Suggested items, all of which can be eaten without cooking:
of all varieties – canned
stew in cans
cocktail, fruit in syrup
veggies – green beans, corn, beets, yams, peas, etc.
Olive oil, Vinegar
or powdered milk.
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:
Rice, Pasta (canned spaghetti
sauce to go with it)
If you drink coffee, be sure that you have some
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.
weeks minimum supply of essential medications
aid supplies – full spectrum
that are comfortable and dry easily.
/ 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.
coats & pants
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.
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 /
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:
bedding, small items –
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.
& books – you can do the garbage can thing, but if you do this, be
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.
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
5. Dishes and
pots and pans –not a major focus –
can stand water and if they break they break.
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:
one plastic garbage can in or near your kitchen – fill and cover.
one plastic garbage can in your bathroom – fill and cover.
you cannot drink the water that you have stored in the kitchen can,
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
– 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
cards (in case of a trip outside)
for necessary medications
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
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.