hurricane preparation

It is very important to have a checklist of things to prepare for in the event of a hurricane in Cozumel. The Hurricane Season lasts six months from June 1 through November 30. Cozumel has not had a severe hurricane since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Experts are predicting The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season is still on track to being near normal, although the potential number of named storms has increased to 15.  Below are detail instructions on what to do to prepare for hurricane season as well as what to do during and after a hurricane.

 

How to prepare for a hurricane:

hurricane imageStay on top of information provided by the authorities. Listen to the radio or TV for information.

Cover all of your home’s windows with pre-cut plywood or hurricane shutters to protect your windows from high winds.

Bring in all outdoor furniture, potted plants, decorations, and garbage cans, anything that is not a permanent fixture.

Turn off all power breakers, turn off and disconnect all gas tanks, and check for gas leaks.

Install a generator for emergencies. If you do not have a generator and must keep Insulin or other medication refrigerated, arrange to store it with someone that has one well in advance.

Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage, it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage. Reinforce your gates.

Keep all trees and shrubs well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.

hurricane-preparation2-150x150Secure your home by closing shutters, and securing outdoor objects or again, bringing them inside.

Ensure that you have a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill large containers with water, and the bathtub if you have one.

You should have a first aid kit. Do not forget a battery operated radio with new batteries, lanterns or flashlights, cellular telephone, blankets, bedspreads, candles, and matches.

Protect your documents, money, and personal belongings. You should have a place that these items that is water and fireproof, safe from all damage.

You should have a supply of non- perishable food on hand (canned, bottled, and/or boxed) and bottled water that can last you for 3 to 4 days. In case of flooding, food should be stored on shelves that will be safely out of the way of contaminated water. Make sure to have bottled water stored where it will be as safe as possible from flooding.

Turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed. Check to ensure that the freezer temperature is at or below 0 °F and the refrigerator is at or below 40 °F.

Make sure you have appliance thermometers in your refrigerator and freezer.

In case of a power outage, the appliance thermometers will indicate the temperatures in the refrigerator and freezer to help you determine if the food is safe.

hurrine-preparation-150x150Freeze containers of water for ice to help keep food cold in the freezer, refrigerator, or coolers in case the power goes out. If your normal water supply is contaminated or unavailable, the melting ice will also supply drinking water.

Freeze refrigerated items such as leftovers, milk, and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately. This helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.

Group food together in the freezer. This helps the food stay cold longer.

Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerated food cold if the power will be out for more than 4 hours.

Purchase or make ice cubes in advance and store in the freezer for use in the refrigerator or in a cooler. Freeze gel packs ahead of time for use in coolers.

Anticipate and prepare in advance for transportation, nutritional and medical needs.

If the authorities from Civil Protection tell you to evacuate your home, do so. Do not hesitate, leave immediately, and find a shelter.

If you have, pets contact Animal Control Centro at 872-5795. They will provide a safe haven for your pets.

What to do during a hurricane:

hurricane landAuthorities will transmit information on the weather conditions every three hours as the storm approaches and during the storm.

Stay away from the sea. Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors away from heavy winds.

Close all interior doors—secure and brace external doors.

Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm – winds will pick up again.

Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level.

Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.

DO NOT leave your home or shelter until the authorities have announced it is safe to do so.

BEWARE OF THE EYE OF THE HURRICANE!

eye of hurricaneIf the eye of the hurricane passes over the island, it will be calm. During this time, DO NOT GO outside of your home or shelter. The winds will regain new strength and without warning start blowing in the opposite direction.

Once The Power Goes Out:

Here are basic tips for keeping food safe:

Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature.

The refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened.

A full freezer will keep the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half-full) if the door remains closed.

If you plan to eat refrigerated or frozen meat, poultry, fish, or eggs while it is still at safe temperatures, it is important that each item be cooked thoroughly to the proper temperature to assure that any food borne bacteria that may be present is destroyed. However, if at any point the foods were above 40 °F for 2 hours or more — discard it.

Wash fruits and vegetables with water from a safe source before eating.

For infants, try to use prepared, canned baby formula that requires no added water. Concentrated or powdered formulas should be prepared with bottled water if the local water source is potentially contaminated.

What to do after a hurricane:

after wilmaBe careful with fences, walls, houses, and buildings that might be in danger of collapse. Do not touch fallen cables.

Do not move anyone that is seriously injured, instead, call the authorities.

Continue listening for information transmitted by authorities, and if you can join to help in the reconstruction and clean up.

You will need to determine the safety of your food. Here is how:

If an appliance thermometer was kept in the freezer, check the temperature when the power comes back on and If the thermometer reads 40°F or below, the food is safe for consumption and may be refrozen.

If a thermometer has not been kept in the freezer, check each package of food to determine its safety. You cannot rely on appearance or odor, if the food still contains ice crystals or is 40 °F or below, it is safe to refreeze or cook.

Refrigerated food should be safe as long as the power was out for no more than 4 hours and the refrigerator door was kept shut. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, or leftovers) that has been above 40°F for two hours or more.

Keep in mind that perishable food such as meat, poultry, seafood, milk, and eggs that are not kept adequately refrigerated or frozen may cause illness if consumed, even when they are thoroughly cooked.

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