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7 steps to take before a storm strikes

Safety first!

Long Islanders may not bear the brunt of Hurricane Dorian, but with the hurricane season entering its peak, it's never too early to have a plan in place to weather the next storm and protect your home, your family and pets. Here are seven recommendations to help you be storm-ready.

1. KEEP THESE HANDY

  • Flashlights, with plenty of spare batteries
  • Portable radio, also with plenty of spare batteries 
  • Candles and/or kerosene and oil lamps
  • First-aid kit, including your prescription medicine and spare pairs of eyeglasses
  • Food and water for at least three days, including canned goods, a manual can opener and recently purchased perishables
  • Blankets, clothes, sturdy shoes
  • Infant supplies, such as diapers and formula

2. STAY SAFE & SOUND

  • Stay inside unless it's absolutely necessary to leave the house. Stay away from windows
  • Don't use the phone except for emergencies. Keep the radio and television tuned in for emergency information
  • Prepare backup systems for family members who rely on electrically powered medical equipment
  • Fill the bathtub and other containers with fresh water for drinking
  • If there is a power outage, do not cook indoors with charcoal
  • In case of separation, designate a distant relative as the person to call with whereabouts and make sure everybody knows the phone number

3. SECURE YOUR PROPERTY

  • Cover your windows with permanent storm shutters or with 5/8-inch plywood boards 
  • Bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down. You don't want any of that flying around in the wind and hitting your house 

4. IF YOU NEED TO LEAVE...  

  • Keep tuned to the radio and television for evacuation announcements. Fill up the car gas tank; Know at least two escape routes from the neighborhood
  • If possible, arrange to stay at the home of a relative or friend outside the storm area, and know how to get there  
  • Know how to turn off water, gas and electricity, and keep the necessary tools handy  
  • Move valuables to the top floor to avoid water damage and take only small valuables and papers with you when you evacuate
  • If officials call for evacuation, follow their instructions and learn the way to a shelter
  • Avoid downed power lines; if the car strikes a power line, stay put and wait for help.

5.  CARING FOR FIDO

  • Stockpile enough food and water for pets in the house
  • If possible, give pets identification tags
  • In case of evacuation, find an alternate safe spot for pets in advance, as many shelters won't accept animals
  • If there is no alternate safe spot for pets, bring to the shelter inoculation papers, cages, leashes and muzzles to protect people and other animals
  • If pets can't be brought to the shelters, make sure they have plenty of food, water and newspaper at home

6. KNOW THE NUMBERS

7. GENERAL TIPS

  • Carry identification; copies of important papers, such as insurance records, health records, mortgages, deeds, birth certificates
  • Do not stay in your car during a storm. Cars can be crushed or flipped in high winds. Go to a shelter
  •  Avoid downed power lines; if the car strikes a power line, stay put and wait for help
  • Drive carefully along debris-filled streets

  SOURCE: AARP; Newsday

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