Hurricane Irene is on its way, and this weekend it will be roaring up the East Coast of the United States, including the New York metropolitan area, and Canada.
Here are the top 10 precautions that you need to keep in mind or have a list of while you prepare for the forthcoming hurricane:
1. Always remember to turn off the gas to prevent any gas leaks from broken or damaged gas lines. This may create dangerous situations if left unchecked.
2. Stock up on battery powered flashlights and a radio. It is advised to avoid using candles, especially around children or pets. Remember to keep a check on the radio for further safety instructions that will be broadcast.
3. Have at least a two-week supply of any prescription medications, as well as personal care items that include tooth brushes and toothpaste, and other hygiene products.
4. This is important: Make sure all the vehicles have a full gas tank in case you need to make an emergency departure before the storm arrives.
5. Remember to select the innermost part of your home (the ground floor is recommended) to ride out the storm, but not a basement or cellar. In the unfortunate event of flooding, those areas of your home may make it impossible for you to escape. Remember to stay away from all windows and glass doors.
6. Since flooding caused by tidal surge is the leading cause of death and destruction in hurricanes, it is crucial for you to be aware of your surroundings. If you observe water coming into your house, get to an upper floor immediately.
7. Have a well-stocked first aid kit in the event of any accident in the house. Bandages, cotton balls, disinfectants, antiseptics, antibiotic creams, aspirin, Tylenol, and a thermometer are some of the basics things that you will need. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
8. You may want to purchase an average-sized portable generator. This is especially important if someone in the household is on oxygen or other electrical powered medical equipment. However, if you do use a generator, be sure to follow all instructions and safety precautions that come with it, and do not operate it indoors as that may lead to serious carbon monoxide hazards.
9. Remember to have an ample supply of bottled water and non-perishable food stuff that can be prepared and eaten without having to be cooked. Be sure to have enough food and water for everyone, including pets, to last for a week. It is advisable to keep a can opener and a clean, sharp pocket knife handy.
10. Most important of all: Do not wait until the last day to purchase supplies (food, water, etc.) or you run the risk of ending up with very little supplies, or even none, in the end. It's a good idea to stock up on all non-perishable stuff as soon as possible.