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Tropical Storm

Disaster & Emergency
Management

How to prepare for a Hurricane?

Preparing for a Hurricane

The official hurricane season starts on June 1 and continues till November 30 annually. The period is usually a rainy one even if a hurricane does not develop.

When preparing for a hurricane, ensure you do the following:

  • Check on these emergency items: water, boots, raincoats, flashlights and batteries, battery-powered radio, hurricane lamp, matches, hurricane shutters, hooks and latches.

  • Keep plastic bags, nails, hammer and other tools handy.

  • Have on hand simple first aid supplies.

  • Stock 4-5 days supply of food that does not need cooking or refrigeration.

  • Make sure you have material for battening up doors and windows.

  • See that galvanized sheeting on your roofs, out-buildings and fences are securely

  • fastened.

  • If your house is in a high risk area, subject to a storm surge (tidal wave) or flooding, be sure you know of a safe shelter; preferably with relatives or friends.

  • Trim trees with branches near to buildings or electrical lines. Also pick fruits off trees as these can be carried by the wind and cause further damage.

  • Be sure to understand the hurricane warning system. That is the three phases – Alert, Watch and Warning. These are indicators of how far away the hurricane is from your location.

  • Keep in touch with your Parish Disaster Preparedness Committee and know how the committee works.

 

During a Hurricane:

  • Do not go outside unless it is absolutely necessary. When the winds get very strong, you are in danger of being hit by flying objects.

  • Children should not be taken outside, since they may be in danger of being blown away.

  • If you are away from home, remain where you are until the hurricane has passed. Many people have lost their lives trying to go from one place to another.

  • Keep a hurricane lamp burning, as it may make the night more tolerable.

  • If the house shows signs of breaking up, stay under a table or stand in a sturdy closet.

  • Be prepared for material falling from the ceiling.

  • If your glass windows have not been boarded up, place a large heavy object in front of the window to protect yourself and others from splintering glass.

  • Be calm! Your ability to act logically is important.

  • Listen to the radio for information on what is happening.

Post Tropical Storm Health Advisory Tips

WATER SAFETY

  • Store your water in a clean covered container.

  • Do not use containers which have stored harmful chemicals.

  • Use a clean container, with a handle, to “dip up” water from storage.

  • The lid of the container should fit tightly to prevent mosquito breeding.

  • Water must be treated before using for the any of the following:

  1. Drinking or making drinks

  2. Washing fruits and vegetables

  3. Making ice o Preparing food

  4. Washing dishes and utensil

  • Water may be treated by:

  1. Treat water by boiling for at least five minutes before removing from the fire OR

  2. Treating with bleach: add two drops of bleach per litre (or quart) of water. Make sure that you mix it well and leave for at least thirty minutes before using it.

  • Swimming or wading in water which has resulted from flooding or eating foods that might have been contaminated with animal urine may be dangerous. Ensure that children do not play in these waters or eat such foods that may be affected, as they can easily be infected with diseases such as Leptospirosis.ing.

  • Persons who are exposed to contaminated water or soil because of the nature of their job, to wear protective clothing and footwear.

FOOD SAFETY

  • Do not store food items with chemicals such as kerosene, bleach, detergents and insect sprays.

  • Do not use food from tins which have signs of dents, bulges or other damage.

  • Keep food items in a dry, cool place.

  • Store packages of sugar, flour, rice and crackers in their original package or in tightly closed containers.

  • Keep a bag with emergency food supply in the event that you have to evacuate your home. This should include only canned and dry food items.

 

CONTROLLING THE SPREAD OF INFECTION
Viruses are transmitted through droplets that are circulated primarily when a person sneezes and coughs. To reduce the spread of infection:

 

  • Cover nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing to reduce the spread of droplets and therefore infection.

  • Observe good hand cleansing practices.

  • Hands should be washed regularly with soap and water or an alcohol based hand sanitizer can be used.

  • It is important that the hand sanitizer is not used to replace hand washing. The recommendation is that after three uses of the hand sanitizer, the hands should be washed with soap and water.

MOSQUITO & RODENT CONTROL

Conditions immediately after a disaster are likely to cause a rapid increase in the population of insects and rodents. This is due to collections of large water bodies and debris in the environment.


Some tips to minimize this are:

  • All garbage should be properly bagged, tied and stored until collected.

  • Punch holes in the bottom of tins to avoid water collection, and dispose of containers as soon as possible.

  • Cover tightly all drums, barrels, tanks, and buckets that are storing water for use. If container cannot be covered, pour cooking oil to cover the surface of the water.

  • Get rid of all old tyres, tins, bottles, plastic containers, coconut shells and anything in which rain water can settle.

How to prepare for an earthquake?

Preparing for an earthquake

Earthquakes are the sudden, rapid release of energy stored in rocks.


The constant motion of the earth’s surface causes an earthquake. The earth’s rock layer is broken into large pieces. These pieces are in slow but constant motion. They may slide by each other smoothly and almost imperceptibly.


From time to time, the pieces may lock together and energy that accumulates between the pieces may be suddenly released. The energy that is released travels through the Earth in the form of waves. People on the surface of the earth then experience an earthquake.

Experiencing an Earthquake? Check out these survival tips:

 

​General Tips:

  • Drop down; take cover under a desk or table and hold on.

  • Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you’re sure it’s safe to exit.

  • Stay away from bookcases or furniture that can fall on you.

  • Stay away from windows. In a high-rise building, expect the fire alarms and sprinklers to go off during a quake.

  • If you are in bed, hold on and stay there, protecting your head with a pillow.

  • If you are outdoors, find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, and power lines. Drop to the ground.

  • If you are in a car, slow down and drive to a clear place. Stay in the car until the shaking stops.

 

 

Before an Earthquake:

  • Learn how to survive during the ground motion. This is described in the “During the Earthquake” section below. The earthquake safety tips there will prepare you for the fast action needed – most earthquakes are over in seconds so knowing what to do instinctively is very important.

  • Teach all members of your family about earthquake safety. This includes: 1) the actions you should take when an earthquake occurs, 2) the safe places in a room such as under a strong desk, along interior walls, and 3) places to avoid such as near windows, large mirrors, hanging objects, heavy furniture and fireplaces.

  • Stock up on emergency supplies. These include: battery operated radio (and extra batteries), flashlights (and extra batteries), first aid kit, bottled water, two weeks food and medical supplies, blankets, cooking fuel, tools needed to turn off your gas, water and electric utilities. 

  • Arrange your home for safety: Store heavy objects on lower shelves and store breakable objects in cabinets with latched doors. Don’t hang heavy mirrors or pictures above where people frequently sit or sleep.

  • Anchor heavy appliances and furniture such as water heaters, refrigerators and bookcases.

  • Store flammable liquids away from potential ignition sources such as water heaters, stoves and furnaces.

  • Get Educated. Learn what to do during an earthquake (see below). Then you will be ready for the fast action needed. Make sure that all members of your family have this important education.

  • Learn where the main turn-offs are for your water, gas and electricity. Know how to turn them off and the location of any needed tools.

 

 

During an Earthquake:

  • If you are indoors, stay there. Quickly move to a safe location in the room such as under a strong desk, a strong table, or along an interior wall. The goal is to protect yourself from falling objects and be located near the structural strong points of the room. Avoid taking cover near windows, large mirrors, hanging objects, heavy furniture, heavy appliances or fireplaces.

  • If you are cooking, turn off the stove and take cover.

  • If you are outdoors, move to an open area where falling objects are unlikely to strike you. Move away from buildings, powerlines and trees.

  • If you are driving, slow down smoothly and stop on the side of the road. Avoid stopping on or under bridges and overpasses, or under power lines, trees and large signs. Stay in your car.

After an Earthquake:

  • Check for injuries, attend to injuries if needed, help ensure the safety of people around you.

  • Check for damage. If your building is badly damaged you should leave it until it has been inspected by a safety professional.

  • If you smell or hear a gas leak, get everyone outside and open windows and doors. If you can do it safely, turn off the gas at the meter. Report the leak to the gas company and fire department. Do not use any electrical appliances because a tiny spark could ignite the gas.

  • If the power is out, unplug major appliances to prevent possible damage when the power is turned back on. If you see sparks, frayed wires, or smell hot insulation turn off electricity at the main fuse box or breaker. If you will have to step in water to turn off the electricity you should call a professional to turn it off for you.

 

Source of Information: Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management

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