As many of you are aware, Hurricane Matthew, which is being called one of the most powerful storms to hit the Caribbean in nearly a decade, has hit Haiti hard with torrential downpours, strong winds, and flooding, especially in the south. Today, the storm reached the eastern shore of the United States. Heavy rainfall and storm surge will trigger major flooding in coastal Georgia and South Carolina. As we pray for those already affected by Hurricane Matthew and for those still in the storm’s path, please take a few moments to ensure the preparedness of your family and home.
To prepare for a hurricane, you should take the following measures:
- To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit.
- Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
- Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Another year-round option would be installation of laminated glass with impact-resistant glazing. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
- Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
- Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
- Install a generator for emergencies.
During a hurricane, you should:
- Listen to the radio or TV for information.
- Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
- Ensure a supply of waterfor sanitary purpose such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other larger containers with water.
- Find out how to keep food safeduring and after and emergency.
- 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 on the lowest level.
- Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.