It’s the start of a new hurricane season. Natural disasters are not simply newsmakers from other parts of the world. The Lowcountry faces its share of wicked weather — from hurricanes to tornadoes to flash floods. Homeowner readiness can make the difference between an inconvenience or a major disruption when wicked weather blows through. This means having an emergency plan in place.
Many homeowners operate under the “it won’t happen to me” philosophy regarding weather-related inconveniences. However, Mother Nature can strike at any time and leave damage in her wake. Plus, it doesn’t take an epic weather event to wreak havoc. You see this information every year, but do you take heed?
As a reminder and to provide some peace of mind in a weather emergency, consider these tips:
1. Gather the troops: Have the family sit down and go over a readiness plan. This way, should an emergency occur, all members of the household will know where to go and what to do to be safe.
2. Stockpile supplies: Store non-perishable items that can be consumed relatively easily. Canned fruits, soups, bottled water, granola bars and the like are good items to keep on hand for a rainy day. Remember to have a manual can opener at the ready. Also, purchase a few coolers to which you can transfer perishable foods should the power go out.
3. Alternative power: Keep plenty of battery-powered electronics around. This includes a radio, flashlights and toys for the kids. Book lights or LED lights generally are safer than candles for providing illumination in the event of a power outage. Glow sticks can make great night lights for children. Once activated, glow sticks can last up to 12 hours.
4. Enjoy fresh water: Thousands of homes across the country are supplied by well water. When the power goes out, the water pumps responsible for delivering water to the house often fail. That results in no water from the faucets, appliances and even the toilet. Consider investing in a modern hand pump, such as one from Bison Pumps, to keep water at hand and accessible at any time. When the power fails, just attach a garden hose between the pump and your outdoor faucet, and you can pump water back into your domestic system to flush toilets and run tap water. Visit www.bisonpumps.com or call 800-339-2601 to learn more.
5. Keep cooking: You can use the backyard grill to heat foods and even boil water for coffee or sterilization.
6. Pack a “Go” bag: Sometimes weather is just too strong to stay put. Your area officials may issue a mandatory evacuation notice. Keep a bag handy that is prepped with a change of clothes, medications, insurance papers, first-aid kit, money and other essentials so that you’ll be ready to leave when instructed.
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS / EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
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