Wednesday, June 2, 2010

How to Plan for Hurricane PHET: from a GONU girl lol


OPNO was on Ras al Hamra for GONU those years ago, and was one of the few in Qu'rum who had enough water for locals who were out, and food (only cuz we bought crap expat junkfood by the case LOL). So here are our experienced tips.

a. don't freak out yet, as we don't know what way PHET (meaning diamond in Thai---pronounced "pet") is gonna swing yet. But be prepared. If you live in a coastal area be prepared for structural damages, and if you live a in a flood area, be prepared to maybe have to move for a bit. Get enough food, water, flashlights, batteries, candles/matches for a week. Clean your clothes now, lol, and store things a bit higher in your house if they are really valuable and would take alot of time to move in a real emergancy.

-make sure everyone knows how to respond in the event of a hurricane.
-What to do about power outages.
-How to deal with personal injuries.
-How to turn off the water, gas and electricity at main switches.
-What to do if you have to evacuate.
-Where to meet and whom to contact if you get separated.
-Have at least a three-day supply of nonperishable food on hand. Focus on high-nutrition foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little or no water. Your foodstuffs might include:
Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables (mmmmm dates, yummy:))
Canned juices, milk, soup
Staples, including sugar, salt, pepper
High energy foods, including peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, trail mix
Foods for infants, the elderly or people on special diets
Comfort/stress foods, including cookies, hard candy, instant coffee, tea
***Optimally, a two-week supply of nonperishable food is recommended (a week is best for places in Muscat that suffered madly during Gonu lasttime).***

Though it is unlikely that an emergency would cut off your food supply for that long, such a stockpile can relieve a great deal of inconvenience and uncertainty until services are restored.

Keep a supply of cooking and eating implements that can be used in the absence of running water or electricity, including:
Plastic utensils, paper cups and plates
Manual can and bottle openers
A heating source, such as a camp stove or canned heat stove, and extra fuel.

****also, for leakage and glass breakage, I like duct tape, so useful lastime round****

PROTECTING YOUR HOME (do this when you know a storm is certain but you have a few hours prep time)
-Board up windows or attach storm shutters. Taping windows will not prevent breakage, but will help reduce shattering.
-Electric power may be off, so have a supply of extra food, especially things that can be eaten without cooking, and a hand-operated can opener.
-Thoroughly clean the bathtub, jugs, bottles and cooking utensils, and fill containers with drinking water. Allow a minimum of 3 gallons of water for each person.
-Check flashlights and radios. Make sure you have batteries.
-Check trees and shrubbery, and remove limbs that could damage your house or utility lines.
-Secure anything that might tear loose or blow away, including garbage cans, grills, potted plants, garden tools, toys, signs, porch furniture, awnings.
- Remove pumps from underground pits after all valves have been closed and the electricity has been shut off. If the filter pump is exposed, wrap it in a waterproof material and tie it securely. -Add extra chlorine to swimming pools to help prevent contamination (3 gallons of chlorine per 5,000 gallons of water).
-Fill your car's gas tank.

-Take action early -- don't wait until a hurricane warning is declared. The storm's fringe activity will make preparations difficult.
-If your boat is stack-stored in dry storage and you have a trailer, consider securing the boat at home. If you have a trailer and are in an evacuation zone, consider taking the boat with you.
-If your boat will remain in berth, before hurricane season check the strength of primary cleats, winches and chocks. They should have substantial back plates and adequate stainless steel bolts. -Purchase extra mooring lines and chafing gear in advance; they may not be available just before a hurricane.
-Protect lines from chafing by covering rub spots with leather or old garden hose. Double all lines, with rig crossing spring lines fore and aft. Attach lines high on piling to allow for tidal rise or surge.
-Seal all openings with duct tape to make the boat as watertight as possible.
-Charge batteries for automatic bilge pumps.
-Reduce dock or piling crash damage by securing old tires along the sides of the boat.
-Remove loose gear from the deck. Store it securely inside or at home.
-For a boat stored on a trailer, lash the boat and trailer down in a protected area. Let the air out of tires before tying the trailer down. Place blocks between the frame members and the axle inside each wheel. Secure with heavy lines to fixed objects from four different directions, if possible.
-If you prefer, remove the boat from the trailer and lash down each separately.
Remove the outboard motor, battery and electronics, and store them.
-Small boats can be filled with water to give them added weight after lashing down.
***:)If you like your boat more than you like your car, put the boat in the garage and leave the car outside.

-Find out about any special assistance that may be available in your community.

-Keep a supply of extra wheelchair batteries, oxygen, catheters, medication *** Also, keep a list of the type and serial numbers of medical devices.

-If your home is safe and you aren't trained emergancy response? Stay put. If your house is structurally sound and in a non-flood zone), you should ride out the storm there. Leaving your home when it isn't necessary adds to traffic congestion and makes it tougher on those who must evacuate.
-During the storm, it is safest to use a battery-powered radio or television to monitor developments. If you lose power, turn off major appliances such as the air conditioner and water heater to reduce damage.
-Stay inside and keep away from windows or glass doors. Stay on the leeward, or downwind, side of the house. If the wind direction changes, move to the new downwind side.
-If the storm center passes over your area, there will be a short period of calm. The wind and rain may cease, but do not go outside. Remember, at the other side of the eye, the wind speed rapidly increases to hurricane force and will come from the opposite direction.
Wait for official word before you leave your home.

-if in a coastal area where flooding and wave damage will be terrible, move to higher ground.

I will post emergency contacts in local areas courtesy of the ROP if the storm looks like it'll get us. Remember ya'll, just prepare and pray for now, no freaking. We can handle this one, this time, if we take it easy and know what we are doing.

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