Be prepared: Official hurricane season started June 1

Fri, 06/08/2007 - 2:57pm
By: The Citizen

ATLANTA (GA) — With the start of the hurricane season, the Georgia Department of Human Resources (DHR) is urging residents, especially those in hurricane prone regions, to start preparing in case an emergency hits home.

“When you prepare for hurricanes, you prepare for several events in one” said Dr. Stuart Brown, director of DHR’s Division of Public Health. “By taking small actions such us stocking extra water and non-perishable goods, noting emergency numbers ahead of time, and having an evacuation plan for your family, Georgians can improve their ability to respond to and manage the stress and disruption of a hurricane or any emergency.”

Hurricane season began on June 1 and continues through the end of November. However, Georgia has already been hit by severe storms and tornadoes this year. In March, tornadoes caused extensive damage in Americus. And in May, the first named storm of the season “Andrea” formed off the Georgia coast.

Experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are projecting a 75 percent chance that the Atlantic Hurricane Season will be above normal this year.

DHR offers the following hurricane season preparation tips that are supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency:

Learn about your community’s emergency plans by calling your local Emergency Management Agency (EMA). They can tell you about warning signals, evacuation routes, and locations of emergency shelters.

Identify and secure potential home hazards such as loose rain gutters and down spouts. If shutters do not protect windows, stock boards to cover glass. Trim back dead and weak branches from trees.

Be prepared to turn off electrical power when there is standing water and fallen power lines.

Have a fire extinguisher in an easily accessible location, and make sure your family knows where to find it and how to use it.

Locate and secure your important papers, such as insurance policies, wills, licenses, stocks, etc.

Post emergency contact numbers at every phone.

Inform local authorities about any special needs residents in your home, for example elderly or bedridden people, or anyone with a physical disability or who requires medications.

Update insurance policy to adequately cover your loses in case of an emergency

Emergency Supplies You May Need

• At a minimum, these supplies should include a 3-5 day supply of water (about five gallons for each person).

• A 3-5 day supply of non-perishable food.

• A manual can opener.

• A first aid kit. Include medicines and other special medical supplies.

• A manual, battery-powered radio; flashlights, and extra batteries.

• Sleeping bags or extra blankets.

• Water-purifying supplies such as chlorine or iodine tablets or unscented, ordinary household chlorine bleach.

• Personal hygiene supplies, such as soap, toothpaste, sanitary napkins, and disposable cleaning cloths such as “baby wipes” for the whole family to use in case bathing facilities are not available.

Preparing to Evacuate

Expect to be evacuated and prepare for it if you live along major waterways or the coastline. The National Weather Service will issue a hurricane watch when there is a threat to coastal areas of hurricane conditions within 24-36 hours.

When a hurricane watch is issued, you should have an emergency kit for your car with food, flares, booster cables, maps, tools, a first aid kit, fire extinguisher and sleeping bags. Fill your automobile’s gas tank but if no vehicle is available, make arrangements with friends or family for transportation.

If ordered not to evacuate, monitor the radio or television for weather conditions if possible, and stay indoors until the authorities declare the storm is over. Even if the weather appears to have calmed, the calm “eye” of the storm can pass quickly, leaving you outside when strong winds resume. Stay away from all windows and exterior doors, seeking shelter in a bathroom or basement. Bathtubs can provide some shelter if you cover yourself with plywood or other materials.

For more information about hurricane preparation or hurricane tracking, visit or the National Weather Service at

login to post comments