Hurricane Joaquin Preparedness

October 2, 2015

While Hurricane Joaquin will not be making landfall into the carolinas. We will see large amounts of rain forecasted for the grand strand area. There will be high potential for flooding and dangerous marine conditions and high surf expected though out the area. We at Midway Fire Rescue are preparing for anything that may come our way but we want our citizens and visitors to have a few safety tips provided by the National Fire Protection Agency. 

 

 

HURRICANES

An average of five hurricanes land on the U.S. coastline every three years. In spite of this hazard, statistics suggest the coastal population of the United States have doubled between 1995 and 2010.

 

Safety basics

Hurricanes are huge tropical storms that move in a counterclockwise spiral. They form in the eastern Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, or the southern Atlantic Ocean. The storms calm center, called an eye, is about 20 to 30 miles wide. The storm around the eye can extend outward 400 miles with winds in excess of 74 mph. It's important to know what to do before, during, and after a hurricane:

 

Before...

Have a hurricane disaster plan: Locate local shelters. Map the route to a nearby shelter; this will cut down on the travel time. Make sure you know how to get there before an evacuation order is issued.

If you are not ordered to evacuate, find shelter in your home. The safest place during a hurricane is an interior room without windows. Get your home and yard ready for a hurricane. Install hurricane shutters; remove dead and diseased trees and branches; identify items in the yard that should be brought inside; clean rain gutters, outside stairwells, window wells, drain lines, and downspouts.

 

Family members can become separated during a hurricane. Be prepared by creating a plan for how to reach one another. Establish an out-of-area contact (such as a relative or family friend) who can coordinate family members' locations and information should you become separated. Make sure children learn the phone numbers and addresses, and know the emergency plans.

 

Prepare a family disaster supplies kit. Families with children should have each child create their own personal pack.

 

During...

If a hurricane watch has been issued for your area, conditions are favorable for and could produce a hurricane. Listen to the news and the weather updates and make sure you leave if an official evacuation is ordered. Cover your windows with hurricane shutters or plywood. Taping windows offer little or no protection against the winds. If a hurricane warning has been issued, a violent storm, possibly a hurricane, is expected within 24 hours.

 

Remain inside, away from windows and doors.

 

During power outages try to avoid carrying a lit candle. Use flashlights instead. Don't use a lit candle when searching for items in a confined space. Never use a candle for a light when checking pilot lights or fueling equipment such as a kerosene heater or lantern. The flame may ignite the fumes. Read NFPA's candle safety fact sheet.

 

Do not be fooled by the calm when the eye of the hurricane is above your area; the worst of the storm is probably yet to come.

 

Be prepared for tornadoes caused by hurricanes; remain inside and at the center of your home or in a closet or basement.

 

If you are evacuated, take your family disaster supplies kit and leave immediately to a nearby shelter.

 

After...

Continue to listen to the news and weather updates. Often when the storm is over, damage still exists from floods, downed power lines, and electrically charged water.

Stay out of buildings that have been damaged or flooded and obey detour and warning signs when driving. Never enter a flooded or barricaded roadway (even with a large vehicle) vehicles can be swept away by only two feet of water.

 

Source: NDEC (National Disaster Education Coalition), NWS

 

 

FLOODS

Flooding is the most common and widespread of all natural disasters. It can happen anywhere and at anytime, with devastating results to life and property.

Safety Basics

Tropical storms, cyclones and tsunamis (giant sea waves) produce heavy rains and can flood coastal communities. Inland, floods can occur in valleys, near rivers and streams, and even in small creaks and dry stream-beds. Flooding along rivers can occur seasonally. Rains that come in winter or spring combine with melting snow can quickly fill river basins beyond capacity. In urban areas, land loses its ability to absorb rainfall as fields are converted to roads. When this happens, streets and roadways become swift-moving rivers. It's important to know what to do before, during, and after a flood.

 

Before...

Find out the elevation of your property to determine whether forecasted flood levels are likely to affect your home. Move the main breaker or fuse box and utility meters above the flood level determined for your neighborhood. Move appliances and valuables out of basements or flood-prone lower levels. Learn how to shut off electricity, gas and water to your home.

Have a plan

 

Develop an evacuation plan. Make sure family members know where to go in the event of a flood. The plan should include how family members will contact one another if separated. Establish an out-of-area contact (such as a relative or family friend) who can coordinate family members' locations and information. Make sure children learn the phone numbers and addresses, and know the emergency plans.

 

Prepare a family disaster supplies kit. Families with children should have each child create their own personal pack.

 

During...

Be alert for flood indicators such as rapidly rising water and flooding of highways, bridges and low-lying areas. During a flood warning, take the following precautions:

 

Evacuate to an area of higher ground immediately if advised to do so.

 

Stay away from flooded areas, even if the water seems to be receding.

 

Do not walk, swim or drive through moving water.

 

Watch for snakes in flooded areas.

 

Use flashlights instead of candles.

 

Be aware of potential flash flooding.

 

After...

Take precautions

 

Keep an eye on children and make sure they don't play around high water, storm drains, ravines, or culverts.

 

Throw away food that may have come in contact with floodwater or perishable food that was not refrigerated at a safe temperature. Use water from safe sources (such as bottled water) until you know that your tap water isn't contaminated. (Boiling, disinfecting, or distilling can purify water.)

 

Before re-entering a home damaged from a flood: turn electricity off at the fuse box or main breaker until your home has adequately dried; check for gas leaks; examine your home for fire hazards; inspect the floors, doors, windows and walls for cracks or other damage to make sure the home isn't in danger of collapsing.

 

Source: FEMA, NOAA/NWS (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service), USGS (United States Geological Survey)

 

 

 

http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/emergency-preparedness/natural-disasters/hurricanes

 

http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/emergency-preparedness/natural-disasters/general-preparedness

 

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Main Address
67 St Pauls Place
Pawleys Island, SC 29585

 jwelch@gtcounty.org
Tel: 843-545-3620
Fax: 843-237-3458

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