Thursday, April 24, 2014

Howard County Office of Public Information: PREPARING IN ADVANCE for Hurricane Irene EXPECTATIONS & PRECAUTIONS

August 26, 2011

Posted in: Latest News

Keep a battery-powered radio tuned to a local station, and follow the emergency instructions from local officials

The following conditions are likely during a hurricane. Local officials recommend that residents consider the following advance preparations.


• Check your business, home and yard for anything that could become an airborne threat. Move lawn furniture indoors, as well as decorative items such as bird feeders, hanging plants and birdhouses. Secure loose or free-standing signage. Secure trashcans.

• Chain down your propane tank and barbecue grill (DO NOT take the propane tank indoors).

• To protect large windows use either plywood or tape. To tape, use 2 inch masking tape and make an X or a snowflake pattern across each window. If windows are blown in, this will protect against shattering.

• Recheck manufactured home tie-downs.


• If your home or business is located in a known floodplain, remove everything of value or move it to a safe level.

• Prepare for possible basement flooding, even if it has not flooded before. Check sump pump by lifting float switch. Move anything of value to a higher level ahead of time. Do not wade in a flooded basement in bare feet.

• Clean downspouts in advance, so there is an unobstructed flow of water, directed away from the foundation of your house.

• Clear out storm drains near your home to keep runoff unobstructed.

• Make sure your pets have collars and identification tags and enough food to last several days.

POWER FAILURE… Assume there will be a loss of power for a significant period of time.

• Arrange for emergency lighting that is battery powered. DO NOT rely on candles as these create a fire hazard.

• Generators should only be used with adequate ventilation.

• Stock a reasonable supply of non-perishable food supplies, including specialty items for infants, and special medical needs.

• If possible, in advance of anticipated power outage, turn refrigerator to lowest setting and limit refrigerator door opening.

• Have a reasonable amount of cash on hand in case ATM machines go down.

INTERUPTIONS IN WATER SUPPLY…Assume the loss of running water.

• Prepare ahead by filling bathtubs, sinks and plastic soda bottles with clean water. Sanitize the sinks and tubs first by using bleach. Rinse and then fill with clean water. Make sure the stopper is tight or reinforce it with tape as needed. This will provide adequate water for a family of four for several days if it is used only for drinking.

• Count on 2 quarts of water per person per day for drinking.

• Remember, the water in your hot water heater is also a good emergency water supply.


• Establish a family communication plan ahead of time that will enable you to stay in touch during emergencies. Identify where you could go if you are told to evacuate. Choose several places. Communicate this information to others.

• Wireless telephones can deplete their power source if there is not electricity to recharge the handset for 24 hours. Plug in any phones you have that are attached to the headset, as they will still function.

• In the event of severe power outages that disable Howard County Government’s traditional means of communicating emergency information to the public, Howard County Fire Stations will serve as information dissemination points.

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