Preparing for a hurricane: what you need to have and do before, during & after
With Hurricane Irma threatening South Carolina, the S.C. Emergency Management Division has a guide for protecting yourself, your family and your property before, during and after a hurricane.
BEFORE A HURRICANE
- Have a hurricane plan and ensure everyone in the household knows the plan.
- Know your evacuation route.
- Have an emergency supplies kit prepared, to include at least: three days' drinking water (two quarts per person per day); non-perishable food; flashlight with extra batteries; portable battery-operated radio; first-aid kit; non-electric can opener; essential medicines; cash and credit cards.
- Make arrangements for pets. Pets are not allowed in official shelters.
- Protect your home by covering windows with permanent shutters, plywood panels or other shielding materials. Bring in lawn furniture and other loose objects, such as garbage cans, that may become a hazard during high winds.
- Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
- Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well-trimmed.
- Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
- Determine how and where to secure your boat.
- Fuel up and service family vehicles.
If a hurricane is likely in your area, you should:
- Listen to the radio or watch TV for information.
- Secure your home, close storm shutters, and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
- Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
- Turn off propane tanks.
- Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
- Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water.
You Should Evacuate If:
- If you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.
- If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure—such shelters are particularly hazardous during hurricanes no matter how well-fastened to the ground.
- If you live in a high-rise building—hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.
- If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an inland waterway.
- If you feel you are in danger.
DURING A HURRICANE
- If you are unable to evacuate, you should:
- Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
- 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.
- Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.
- Be alert. Tornadoes are frequently spawned during hurricanes.
AFTER A HURRICANE
- Wait until an area is declared safe before reentering.
- Do not drive in flooded areas.
- Avoid using candles or other open flames indoors. Use a flashlight to inspect damage.
- Check gas, water, electrical lines and appliances for damage.
- Avoid any loose or down power lines and report them to your power company.
- Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until local officials have declared it safe to drink.