How to Prepare and Safely Weather a Hurricane/Tornado

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The following information is provided by the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP), Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

WHAT IS A HURRICANE?

A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone, the generic term for a low pressure system that generally forms in the tropics. A typical cyclone is accompanied by thunderstorms, and in the Northern Hemisphere, a counterclockwise circulation of winds near the earth’s surface. The higher the rating, the more damaging the wind will be.

Hurricanes can cause catastrophic damage to coastlines and several hundred miles inland. Winds can exceed 155 miles per hour. Hurricanes and tropical storms can also spawn tornadoes and microbursts, create storm surges along the coast, and cause extensive damage from heavy rainfall.

Hurricanes are classified into five categories based on their wind speed, central pressure, and damage potential – Category Three and higher hurricanes are considered major hurricanes, though Categories One and Two are still extremely dangerous and warrant your full attention. For more general information on hurricanes, visit FEMA’s site at http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30; the principal threat period for Connecticut is from mid-August to mid-October.

**Recommendations by the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection offer the following tips that all Connecticut residents take three simple preparedness steps: Get a kit, make a plan, and stay informed”.**

Connecticut residents with mobile smartphones, Apple and Android devices, can download the CTPrepares App., to access emergency information and alerts, free of charge, during an emergency event.  Services on the mobile application include creating an interactive emergency kit, developing a customized family communication plan, connect with utility companies, check weather reports, and have access to emergency preparation guides, so to be more informed during emergencies.  Visit the CT.Gov Website: Emergency Management site at the following for more details and to sign up: http://portal.ct.gov/Emergency-Preparedness/

Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:

Family Emergency Plan:

 

WHAT IS A TORNADO?

The Weather Channel describes a tornado as a violently rotating column of air extending between, and in contact with a cloud and the surface of the earth. Tornados are generally spawned by thunderstorms, though they have been known to occur without the presence of lightning. Tornados can come one at a time, or in clusters, and they can vary greatly in length, width, direction of travel and speed.

FEMA has published the following facts and general information about tornadoes:

Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. Every state is at some risk from this hazard. Some tornadoes are clearly visible, while rain or nearby low-hanging clouds obscure others. Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that little, if any, advance warning is possible. Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down and the air may become very still. A cloud of debris can mark the location of a tornado even if a funnel is not visible. Tornadoes generally occur near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm. It is not uncommon to see clear, sunlit skies behind a tornado.

**Terms to help identify a tornado hazard:**

TORNADO WATCH:

Tornadoes are possible. Remain alert for approaching storms. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.

TORNADO WARNING:
A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter immediately.

Take Protective Measures:

Before a tornado, be alert to changing weather conditions.

For more information on FEMA safety measures, and how to build a “Safe Room” , visit: http://www.ready.gov/tornadoes

HOW TO PLAN AND PREPARE:

IF A HURRICANE/TORNADO THREATENS:

EVACUATE IF

IF YOU CAN’T EVACUATE

IF YOU’RE OUTSIDE

IF YOU’RE IN YOUR CAR

HOW TO PREPARE FOR AND HANDLE POWER OUTAGES FOR MEDICAL DEVICES THAT REQUIRE ELECTRICITY.  Go to:

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/HomeHealthandConsumer/UCM252812.pdf

WATCH YOUR WATER

After a storm or other natural disaster, public water supplies and private wells may not be safe to drink. Water that is dark, has an odor, or has floating pieces should not be used.

ELECTRICAL WIRES

Strong winds from a hurricane can knock down electrical wires. Some of these wires may be live. If you see a downed wire, DO NOT TOUCH IT as it could shock you and even kill you. Report it to your local police or fire department.

FLOODING

Severe rain during a hurricane could cause flooding which may cause structural damage, mold and loosen asbestos or lead pieces. Roads may be flooded andbridges washed out so avoid driving in flooded areas.

MOLD

Water damage will cause mold to grow in your home. Porous items that have stayed wet in a home for more then 48 hours should be removed and thrown away. For more information about mold visit: http://www.ct.gov/dph/mold

FOOD

Food may spoil if there is a loss of electricity. Check for and throw away any spoiled food.

ANIMALS

Snakes, rodents, raccoons, and other wild animals may have been driven outof their homes by damage from the storm as well. When working around your home, be aware of animals as they may bite or carry disease.

INSECTS

Standing water after the storm can be the perfect place for disease-causing insects, like mosquitoes, to lay eggs. Empty out containers with standing water.

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT:

http://www.ct.gov/demhs/site/default.asp

http://www.ct.gov/cid/cwp/view.asp?a=3299&Q=461660

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/prepare/place_to_go.shtml

http://www.weather.gov/
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SOURCES: State of Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP), Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
PREPARED BY: 211/mm
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: July2017