Preparing Your Family for Hurricanes Lou Romig MD, FAAP, FACEP Miami Children’s Hospital FL-5 DMAT © 2006 Lou Romig
A.K.A… My New Best Friend is a Generator!
Take disasters personally. Put our families first.
In a “culture of preparedness”, emergency planning becomes a matter-of-fact part of life.
Things to do • Things to get • Living the Generator Life • My favorite gadgets
Things To Do: Throughout the Year • Reassess homeowner’s or renter’s insurance annually • Assess need for and complete major preparedness projects such as hurricane shutters, a generator, roof repairs, etc. • Put away emergency cash
Things To Do: Throughout the Year • Spare two week supply of usual prescription medications • Update vaccinations for all pets in case of need for kenneling or evacuation • Watch for bargains on hurricane supplies and equipment (Tax Free days?) • Learn about disaster plans at family members’ schools and workplaces
Things To Do:June 1st • Review family disaster plan with family members. Update as needed. • Evaluate evacuation routes, closest shelters, triggers for evacuation • Register with shelters if pre-registration program is available. Include considerations for pet-friendly shelters.
Things To Do:June 1st • Designate and notify a long-distance emergency phone contact • Review school and workplace disaster plans • Gather copies and/or originals of important documents. Keep documents together in a portable format (paper or electronic).
Important Documents • Mortgage, leases, taxes • Insurance policies • Pending bills and account numbers (credit cards, banks, utilities, etc) • Identification documents (birth certificates, passports, etc) • Emergency contact information • Important medical records, including doctors’ phone numbers
Important Documents • Copies of medication lists and prescriptions, including glasses, contact lenses, etc. • Recent photos of all family members • Photo/video inventory of home and most important belongings • Phone numbers, websites of commonly used repair/maintenance services • Serial numbers of important equipment, including medical devices • Blank checks, envelopes, stamps
Things To Do:June 1st • Keep emergency cash reserve with important papers • Complete needed home and vehicle repairs • Have trees trimmed and clean up the yard • Inventory, rotate and stock non-medical hurricane supplies
Things To Do:June 1st • Inventory, stock, and repair emergency and back-up medical supplies and durable equipment. Assure the availability of prescription medications. • Perform generator maintenance as specified in owner’s manual • Back-up computer hard drives • Identify storm information resources
My Favorite Websites www.nhc.noaa.gov www.hurricanecity.com www.wunderground.com
Things to Do: Before A Storm • Review plan with all family members. Inform extended family (especially your long-distance contact) and others of your family’s immediate plans. • If evacuating, do so as early as possible. Consider making hotel reservations outside the threat area if you can’t stay with outside family/friends. • If evacuating, turn off water and gas mains
Things to Do: Before A Storm Move emergency equipment and basic supplies to home “safe space”.
Things to Do: Before A Storm • Gas up all vehicles. Safely store limited quantities of fuel for generator. • Fill LP gas tanks for grills or generators as needed • Top off emergency supplies if necessary • Charge all rechargeable batteries (cell, cameras, etc) • Deal with pets as per your disaster plan
Things to Do: Before A Storm • Assure that important documents and cash reserve are stored safely. Take documents and cash with you if you evacuate. • Refill prescriptions if possible • Secure protective measures such as storm shutters. Secure garbage and loose objects in yard, on balconies, etc. Shutter installation and removal can be very dangerous. Be careful!
Things to Do: Before A Storm • Test all battery-powered equipment • Turn refrigerators and freezers to coldest settings • Sanitize bathtubs/sinks with bleach. Seal drains and fill basins with water if there’s any question about the water supply after a major storm. • Freeze drinking water in clean partially-filled soda bottles or other food-grade containers
Things to Do: Before A Storm • Catch up on laundry • Unplug major electrical appliances, including computers • If riding out a storm, make sure all family members are adequately clothed (with shoes!) in case of the need to leave the home emergently during the storm. All family members should have some form of ID.
© John Pritchett, Honolulu Weekly 10/26/05 TTD During a Storm
Things to Do: During a Storm • Keep up with information • Know where everyone is in the house • Establish a signal for retreat to your safe room • Turn off electrical equipment if power goes out • Don’t run a portable generator • Constantly reassess your safety • Be very careful during the eye of the storm
After a Storm Before Wilma After Wilma
Things to Do: After the Storm • Assess immediate surroundings for safety hazards. Leave the area if possible if there are serious safety issues. • Be alert for newly evolving hazards such as flooding • Access the media for situation reports • Document damage as soon as it’s safely possible to do so
Things to Do: After the Storm • Make critical emergency repairs as soon as it’s safely possible • Supervise children at all times and don’t allow them to get into hazardous situations during the assessment and recovery phases. • Be very cautious if using a generator. It’s never appropriate for a child to be on the roof of a house unless they’re being rescued from it.
Things to Do: After the Storm • Use open flames only for cooking, never for lighting. Keep a fire extinguisher at hand. • Keep all chemicals and fuels out of reach of children. Use clearly marked containers. • Communicate with family and friends when possible but don’t make unnecessary calls that may burden an overwhelmed communication system
Things to Do: After the Storm • Watch family members (including children) for signs of stress. Make allowances for stressed-out behavior. • Maintain family routines whenever possible • Replace used disaster supplies as soon as it’s practical • Safely and properly dispose of waste chemicals such as generator oil, gas, kerosene, etc.
Things to Do: After the Storm Evaluate and revise your disaster plan as needed. Share what you’ve learned! Don’t forget to include your children in the evaluation process.
Next: Things to Get Disclaimer: Products shown are included as representative samples, not endorsements
Battery-powered radio NOAA weather radio, preferably with Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) feature Battery powered TV Wireless internet device Hardwired, non-powered phone Work gloves Eye protection Sturdy shoes Rain gear Emergency signaling devices Fire extinguisher Flashlights First aid kit Smoke alarms Carbon monoxide monitors Spare batteries for all electronics Safety and Information
Plastic sheeting Large plastic garbage bags Duct tape Tie wraps Rope Bungee cords Basic tools Broom Staple gun for tacking plastic sheeting Blankets/mattresses Shelter/Protection
Water • One gallon/person/day for a minimum of three days (includes ½ gallon of potable water/person) • Potable water for pets • Eyedropper • Nonscented chlorine bleach OR Iodine water treatment tablets
Purifying water • Rolling boil for at least 15 minutes. • 2 drops of non-scented chlorine bleach per quart of water (8 drops per gallon). • Iodine tablets or solution per package instructions.
Canned and packaged food that doesn’t require cooking Include some “comfort” and snack foods Consider self-contained meals with heaters included Powdered flavoring packets for water (Kool Aid®, Crystal Lite®, etc) Baby food/formula if necessary (premixed formula if you have the room) Special nutritional formulas/supplements as needed Pet food Manual can opener Non-electric (usually propane) burner/stove Propane for burner/stove Charcoal, matches if using charcoal grill Spare gas, matches if using gas grill Grilling tools Coolers, cold/ice packs Food
Self-heating Food Chef5minutemeals.com Heatermeals.com Sunmeadow.com Labriutemeals.com
Propane Burner/Stove Look for wide-based stable burners, preferably not requiring matches.
Moist towelettes Toilet paper Alcohol-based sanitizer Napkins, paper towels, shop towels Paper plates/cups and plastic eating implements Waterless teeth cleaners (such as Oral-B Brush-ups®) Feminine hygiene products Diapers and diaper wipes Cornstarch-based body powder Hygiene
Gotta go? • Line the empty toilet bowl with a double layer of plastic garbage bags • Pour in clumping cat litter. • Do your business. • Discard when necessary.
Basic first aid kit with lots of supplies for minor injuries Prescription medications Copies of prescriptions (include glasses and other prescribed aids) and prescription bottles Human and pet vaccination and medical records Spare glasses & contact lenses Sunscreen Insect repellant Anti-itch medications Nail clippers Hydrocortisone cream Diaper cream/ointment (for adults too!) Medical
Medical • Antifungal cream/powder • Disposable cold packs • Creams, gels, disposable patches for muscle aches • Topical oral anesthetic & dental emergencies kit • Battery-powered nebulizer if needed (with spare batteries) • Other supplies as needed for specific medical conditions (i.e. oxygen, battery-powered suction, monitors, etc) Secure all medications against curious children!
Lighting • Flashlights for everyone • Battery-powered lanterns • Lots of spare batteries Never use open flames around children!
Other • Emergency cash • Checkbook • Pending bills • Stamps • Writing paper/pens/pencils • Personal phone/address book • Family communication plan
Family Communication Plan www.fema.gov/areyouready/emergency_planning.shtm