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Thursday, August 25, 2011

To all my eastcoasters: Hurricane safety tips are a good thing!

Emergency Kit Backpack - Deluxe - 4 Person

Hurricane Safety Tips (Thank you to Susan Mangigian for this via

BEFORE the storm:

MONITOR STREAM AND URBAN STREET FLOODING – For those living in areas that are prone to localized flooding, closely watch small streams and low-lying areas for early flooding. Make sure street storm drains are cleared.
 ·         Secure outside objects.  Hurricane force winds can make outdoor furniture into missiles.
 ·         Make sure you have plenty of fuel and water. 
 ·         IF YOU EXPERIENCE A POWER OUTAGE be prepared with flashlights/ extra batteries/ lanterns, do not use candles
 ·         Have several days supply of food, water and prescription medication for each family member.
 ·         Register yourself or loved ones with the Special Needs Registry at if you or they have difficulty receiving or acting upon emergency instructions.
 ·         Have an emergency kit for you and your pet in case you need to evacuate.
 ·         Sign up to receive free emergency alert information at or texting CHESCO to 411911.


DO NOT WALK THROUGH FLOWING WATER – Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths.  Most of these drownings occur during flash floods.  Flash flood waters move at very fast speeds and can roll boulders, sweep away cars, tear out trees, destroy buildings, and obliterate bridges.  Six inches of swiftly moving water can knock you off of your feet.  If you MUST walk through a flooded area, use a pole or stick to ensure that the ground is still there and solid, even where the water is not flowing.

DO NOT DRIVE THROUGH A FLOODED AREA – More people drown in their cars than anywhere else.  Cars can be swept away in just 2 feet of moving water.  Do not drive around road barriers.  They are there for a reason.  The road or bridge may be washed out or structurally unsound.  If your car becomes trapped in flood-waters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.  Many deaths have resulted from attempts to move stalled vehicles.  TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN

AVOID POWER LINES AND ELECTRICAL WIRES – Electrocution is also a major killer in floods.  Electrical current can travel through water.  Report downed power lines to your utility company or local emergency manager. Always assume a downed wire is a live wire.  The number to PECO is 1-800-841-4141; the number to PPL is 1-800-342-5775.

LOOK BEFORE YOU STEP – After a flood, the ground and floors are covered with debris, including broken bottles and nails.  Floors and stairs that have been covered with mud can be very slippery.

BE ALERT FOR GAS LEAKS – Do not turn on electric lights, but use a flashlight to inspect for damage. A spark from the light switch could cause an explosion or fire.   Do not smoke or use candles, lanterns or open flames unless you are sure that the gas has been turned off and the area has been aired out. 

CARBON MONOXIDE EXHAUST KILLS – Only use camping stoves, generators or other gasoline-powered machines outdoors.  Fumes from charcoal are especially deadly, so never use indoors.

CLEAN EVERYTHING THAT GETS WET – Flood waters have probably picked up sewage and chemicals from roads, farms and factories.  Spoiled food and flooded medicines and cosmetics are health hazards.  When in doubt, throw them away.

Do NOT call 9-1-1 to report a power outage.  You should call your electric service provider.  The number to 

PECO is 1-800-841-4141; the number to PPL is 1-800-342-5775.

Monitor local weather reports on radio, television and the Internet. 

Check on elderly neighbors and others that experience difficulty in caring for themselves or receiving or acting upon emergency instructions.

Roll on!

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